Books: Ed And Helen

by Sally Beauman Bantam; 822 pages; $19.95

Bantam Books bought the privilege of publishing Destiny for $1,015,000, "a sum," its publicity release announces, "greater than the combined advances earned by Stephen King, James Michener, Sidney Sheldon and Danielle Steel for their first novel." Aside from the tantalizing but possibly erroneous suggestion of a King-Michener-Sheldon-St eel collaboration, there is not much to celebrate. For one thing, a cool million no longer induces the slack-jawed awe it once did; everyone knows that insider traders on Wall Street can steal that much before lunch. And British Author Sally Beauman is not really a first novelist. She has written nine Harlequin romances...

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