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Matters of the Heart(CD)(Abr.) [Abridged, Audiobook, CD] [Audio CD]

Danielle Steel
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 25 2010
Hope Dunne has carved out a name for herself as a top photographer, known the joys of marriage and motherhood and the heartbreak of loss. In her chic SoHo loft, Hope is content with her life, finding serenity and beauty through the lens of her camera. She isn’t looking for a man or excitement. But these things find her when she accepts a last-minute assignment to fly to London at Christmas and photograph one of the world’s most celebrated writers – an Irish-American author known for novels of thrilling literary darkness. To Hope’s surprise, Finn O’Neill exudes warmth and a boyish charm. Enormously successful, he is a perfect counterpoint to Hope’s quiet, steady grace – and he’s taken instantly by her. He courts her as no one ever has before, whisking her away to his palatial, isolated Irish estate. Hope finds it all, and him, irresistible. But soon cracks begin to appear in his stories: gaps in his history, lies and bouts of jealousy unnerve her. Suddenly Hope is both in love and suspicious, caring and deeply in doubt, and ultimately frightened of the man she loves. Alone, thousands of miles from home, her mind is reeling. Is it possible that this adoring, attentive man – like the characters in his novels – is hiding something even worse? The spell cast by a brilliant sociopath has her trapped in his web, too confused and dazzled to escape, as he continues to tighten his grip on her.

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Review

"A dramatic and increasingly dark yarn glittering with enough luxurious settings... to keep the glam-fixated reader happy" -- Wendy Holden Daily Mail --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world’s most popular authors, with over 590 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include Happy Birthday, 44 Charles Street, Legacy, Family Ties, Big Girl, Southern Lights, and other highly acclaimed novels. She is also the author of the story of her son Nick Traina’s life and death.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Purchased as a gift May 10 2014
By Atuser
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very much enjoyed by the recipient. Nothing more to say about it, I hope all enjoy the novel in all.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. March 9 2012
By Ilse
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having been in a marriage with a Psychopath which turned out to be a real nightmare, I am grateful for getting him out of my home with the help of his son.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  121 reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing July 17 2009
By T. Foust - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
While an avid reader, I rarely write reviews but was disturbed after reading this book. I feel the author was attempting to show how manipulative and devious a sociopath is, but had her character stay with the man for far too long. I feel it sends a dangerous message to both men and women. In the story, Hope is shown to be a strong woman. She is a woman who has lost much, but has been able to move through the pain and loss. I realize that a true sociopath can manipulate anyone, but as a message for young women, in particular, I think Hope should have left Finn the first time he was abusive. I think it sends a poor message that a strong, 44-year-old woman would stay with a man after he had been both mentally and physically abusive.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Great...But OK June 12 2009
By LuvsLabs09 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Well, the big news is that this book lacks the usual repetition Steels' last books always have. Who knew it would take her 100th book to break the cycle? We'll see if it continues.

This is a predictable story. Since the book jacket and in my opinion the above copied reviews from other sources have given you all the details to the story, not much is a surprise. I found myself disliking Hope because she is such a weak woman. It was irritating to me that the story dragged on on if Hope stays with Fin when all the signs of this man not being good were plain as day. The ending is just as predictable.

I read the book in a day. Its a fast read. Get it from the library for free, certainly not worth paying for.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretty unbelievable Nov. 5 2010
By Grace1120 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I've read and/or listened to many Danielle Steele books over the years. I take her stories in spells - sometimes stepping away from them for years, then returning to them again. Let's be honest, they're fairly predictable. You know they'll either take place in San Francisco, France, New York or London. That never changes. You know it will be a happy ending. But at least you can relate to and become interested in the characters in her novels. Many times I've thoroughly enjoyed her books from beginning to end but this one was the worst. As a side note, if you listen to books on CD regularly as I do, you come to appreciate the phenomenal readers that are out there for these books on CD. Danielle tends to choose men to read her novels which is fine, but this one was HORRIBLE. He sounded like a very old man which felt strange and awkward to me and he also used very little emotion in his voice and read very slowly and monotone. I'm listening to another book on CD right now and the reader is breathtakingly good. For those of us who rely on that, it's a gift when you get it.

The characters of Hope and Finn were just not believable at all. I know I didn't form any kind of attachment at all to Hope or Finn which made this story even less believable. No woman would ever stay with a man as long as she did. He showed signs of being a sociopath in the early part of the book, then we had to endure waiting and waiting and waiting while Hope pondered, considered and wondered what on earth she should do next. He would slam her against the wall and then she'd tell him she loved him two hours later? I think not. There was no thread of a realistic human experience. A reader wants to root for the character(s) but in this story, by the end, I didn't care what happened to either of them. That has never happened in any book I've ever read. Literally 90% of the book was about Finn's Sociopathic behavior with no character development of any other except Hope and Finn. It was torture. Then it felt like two seconds before the end of the book, she suddenly hints that a life with this briefly introduced male character and his daughters is going to be happily ever after for Hope? Hope goes through absolute hell, goes to India to find herself, does it in a heartbeat, comes back home and jumps right into a new relationship 5 minutes after returning home? They sail off into the sunset and BAM! the book is finished? Just really strange. It felt like a rushed ending and certainly left me feeling cheated. Several times I considered shutting the book on CD off and just forgetting the whole thing, but when you pay a fair amount of money for a book on CD, you want to at least give it your all.

Choose another Danielle Steele book. This one isn't worth the money. An all around bad experience for me.
22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fun character driven thriller June 3 2009
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Ever since MOMA showed an exhibit of her photography when she was thirty-eight, Hope Dunne has become famous. She was recently in India and Tibet, but now is back in her Manhattan Soho loft just before Christmas. Hope enjoys her lifestyle though at times misses the intimacy she once had when she was married for over two decades to sexagenarian Paul who suffers from Parkinson's disease; but Hope especially misses her late daughter. She captures that combination of serenity and passion though a camera lens.

Her agent Mark Webber asks if she would like to do a shoot of popular Irish-American author Finn O'Neill; she agrees. She meets her assistant on the job Fiona Casey and they travel to Ireland together. Hope finds the bodacious warm Finn a delightfully charming opposite of her quiet manner. He seems attracted to her and overtly displays his feelings as he tries to sweep her off her feet. At his remote estate, she falls in love only to begin to unravel his tale of omissions and lies, but mostly it is his jealous rage when there is no remote reason bothers her. She realizes she is acting schizoid as her heart tells her to trust Finn, but her brain tells her to flee back to Manhattan before it is too late. She wonders if he is an overly concerned somewhat possessive lover, a sociopath, or worse.

This is a typical Danielle Steele contemporary character driven thriller that fans of the author will devour once Finn enters the picture as the audience will wonder if he is a villain or hero; if he is a hero than Hope is paranoid. The story line is filled with angst, perhaps too much as everyone carries tons of baggage even secondary players like Robert. Yet readers will relish Hope's dilemmas she believes she has found love but fears she has found obsessive love; either way she understands it is MATTERS OF THE HEART dictating to the mind how to feel and act.

Harriet Klausner
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect depiction of obsessive love July 12 2010
By Tiffany - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was a little surprised at the reviews of this book. I thought it was very realistic story about a sociopath and his prey. A previous review said that Hope should have left much sooner, but how would you know how you would react in the situation, being manipulated on a regular basis, always confused and terrorized. I think it was a true depiction of how a person in this situation would react after what they are up against. It is disturbing but it is true and most likely hits home for people that are in the same type of situation. It doesn't get more real until you are there and have gone through what she went through. Hope is a very honorable, admirable person and came out of it stronger, whereas some people are not so lucky. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, read it in 2 days and feel a little more knowledgeable about the subject, thanks to Danielle Steel's beautiful storytelling. She never fails to deliver.
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