Posts Tagged ‘danielle steel’

An icon in the world of television news, Blaise McCarthy seems to have it all: beauty, intelligence and courage. But privately there is a story she has protected for years . . .

Blaise’s daughter Salima, blinded by juvenile diabetes, lives at a year-round boarding school. But when the school suddenly closes, she returns home to Blaise’s New York apartment with her new carer, Simon. As new challenges change the way they see one another, the bond between mother and daughter deepens as never before.

Then Blaise’s personal and professional worlds collide, and the well-guarded secrets of her home life are exposed. Suddenly her life is no longer perfect, but real. Can mother and daughter together learn how to face a world they can’t control?

A Perfect Life

Danielle Steel


Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan Butterworth

Blaise is a top notch journalist at the top of her career.  She’s an elegant, quiet woman who everyone loves who has a perfect life.  Then her daughter, Salima, comes home when her school is unexpectedly closed.  A teacher, Simon, comes with her to be employed as a babysitter, though he is determined that she learns to do things by herself.

Simon is drop dead gorgeous, smart, a good guy, cordon bleu cook, and 20 years younger than Blaise.  They slowly become friends… then sparks happen!  They’re happy for a while, then Blaise gets cold feet about the age difference and Simon has to leave while he sorts his feelings for a past lover out.  Will he return?

This is a Danielle Steel novel, so while true love has a rocky path, it wins in the end.  I’m bemused by the author’s view on disability though, which seems to suggest anyone with one is content not to function as independent.  A previous book had a wheelchair-bound woman who had to be carried everywhere.

 In this one being blind means you need to be lead everywhere and helped to bathe, dress, eat food.  The blind daughter is 19 and she lets someone brush her teeth?!  Two days after meeting the hero she’s doing everything for herself perfectly?  Yeah right.  And a school for the blind would let this babying happen by a staff member?

Ignore that and it is a fun read while curled up in front of the fireplace this winter.  A good book to escape with.

Twin boys grow up in the same family, in the same town. Dramatically different, they become bitter enemies, even as children: one good, one bad. One leaves his peaceful hometown, but when the prodigal son returns twenty years later, the brothers’ reunion will expose shocking revelations…


Supplied by Penguin Random House

Reviewed by Jan

Peter loses his Wall Street job as a result of the financial market collapse. His wife moves back home to LA with his sons and suddenly he’s paying alimony and child support and looking for work.  He has a strained relationship with his twin brother, who was the golden child growing up, and heads back home to regroup and mend fences.

Michael is a small town doctor with a disabled wife, Maggie, he’s devoted too and a hoarde of elderly patients who adore him.   Eventually Peter and Michael make amends and regret the hatred they had shared for so many years.  Then Peter meets Michael’s son, Bill, in London and it turns out things are not as they seem.

Which brother is the prodigal son?

I usually rely on Danielle Steel’s book formula for a comforting HEA story but I did not enjoy his book at all.  I loathed the heroine for being a gutless wimp with no backbone and felt she played the victim.  Living in a 2 story house confined to a bed because your husband loves his family home?!  Missing out on your kids growing up because you’re confined to bed?!  Only going downstairs to join in family meals when your husband allows?!   Did she not see the big red flags waving about her husband?

I didn’t enjoy this book because I kept screaming at her to wake up; and think for yourself.



Nicolas and Alex are best friends, aristocratic German widowers raising children in 1930s Europe, both enjoy horses and Alex breeds Lippanzers.  When war breaks out neither are too worried as their prestigious ancestry protects them somewhat.  Then Nick finds out a devastating family secret that means death for him and his sons.  Forced to flee, they head to America with eight purebred horses – two of them Lippanzers – a gift from Alex.

The beautiful Lippanzer stallion Pegasus enables Nick to gain a new job with the famous Ringling Brothers circus, where he instantly becomes besotted with a graceful high-wire performer half his age. Terrified she performs without a net, he plain to move to California to breed horses but Christianna won’t leave the only life she’s known – the circus.

Back in Austria Alex his daughter face escalating danger and he smuggles her to the safety of England by bribing a Nazi official with a Lippanzer.  Alex then starts helping Jews escape to Switzerland and after a few years is caught blowing up a munitions train and shot.

The families lose contact and the circus stories become made-up legends, until a horse auction in England featuring a Lippanzer stallion named Pegasus causes Nick’s grandson – Alex – and Alex’s great-granddaughter – Nicola – to cross paths.

Another easy read following the Danielle Steel formula and with the mandatory HEA.  If you’re a Danielle Steel fan you’ll enjoy this book,a


Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan


Lily Thomas is a talented competitive skier aiming for the Olympics. A horrific accident on the slopes leaves the 17—year-old paralysed and forces her to let go of that dream. Trying to learn to live again, Lily meets Teddy, a young man even more badly injured than she is. Teddy teaches her about hope and encourages her to find a new dream.

Dr Jessie Matthews lost her beloved husband in an accident the night Lily was injured. A top neurosurgeon, she operated on Lily and was blamed by her father for causing his daughter to be paralysed. Bill Thomas is a wealthy widower and his daughter is his life. He is devastated as she loses all she dreamed of and starts on the road to recovery.   He grows close to Jessie and together they survive their tragedies and begin to heal.

The story is of a father and daughter overcoming life’s curveballs and creating new lives for themselves, providing hope for others along the way.

A typically sweet Danielle Steel story where everyone ends up happy. I’m in a wheelchair myself and it irritated me how people carried on like it was the most horrible thing ever to be confined to one. I’m not an Olympic hopeful skier with the future suddenly being snatched away from me though. A good book for when you want to have warm fuzzie feelings about triumphing against all odds.

Transworld Publishers

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

power play

Fiona Carson is a powerful CEO of a multibillion-dollar high-tech company and savvy and organised solo mother. She lives a solitary life with only her children for company and the occasional blind date, her ex-husband having decided he wants a domestic goddess instead of a smart, successful woman with a better career than him. Logan is an investigative reporter assigned to interview her for a business magazine and they slowly become friends.

Marshall Weston appears to have the perfect life; a loving wife of 30 years, 3 gorgeous talented children, a high powered job that has seen him become a corporate bigwig; but under the surface it’s slowly falling apart. Marshall has a mistress and twin 7 year old daughters in another city that he sees every week when he flies there on business. His mistress knows all about his family and he’s promised her he’ll leave his wife and marry her when his youngest child finishes high school. Then his conservative company finds out about the affair and gives him an ultimatum; the mistress or the wife but not both.

Fiona and Marshall’s stories are told concurrently and the book looks at family secrets and how power is used by different people. There were a few unexpected twists but I was satisfied by the ending overall. I really enjoyed this book and I recommend it to anyone who wants a HEA. A delightful read from the queen of romance and a good way to spend to spend a few hours.


Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

first sightTimmie O’Neil is a top fashion designer who’s in Paris for Fashion Week.  Feeling ill she calls for a doctor, Jean-Charles, who recommends a hospital.  Being a workaholic Timmie refuses to take his advice and works till she collapses a few days later.  Trapped in a loveless marriage, Jean-Charles begins to confide in Timmie and soon their relationship becomes something more…..

A typical Danielle Steel story that follows the formula of a rich, beautiful, genuinely nice, successful woman that falls for a nice guy, there’s a problem and they split, then things magically work out and hey reunite.  There’s always a happy ending and it’s a nice they’re so predictable as sometimes you want a light, fluffy read.

Bantam Press

Supplied by Random House

Reviewed by Jan