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The Butler

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The Butler by Daniel Steel may be my favorite DS release this year.  Unusual with a male main character but a close supporting role of a female main character.  Joachim is a finally trained formal Butler  who finds himself in between jobs when his long time elderly employees pass away.  Taking a break while  he reevaluates and weighs his options,  he makes a trip to Argentina where he was raised with his identical twin brother Javier & then to Paris where he spends time with his elderly mother.  The mirror image identical twins are a bit like Cain and Abel and brought up the  nature vs nurture question for me.  Neither Joachim nor his mother have seen Javier in 25 years.     On a whim, Olivia takes refuge in Paris  After her mother's death and the the folding of her magazine.   Unsure of where she is going or what her future holds, she begins to set up her Paris apartment  With the help of Joachim who was sent to her through a temp agency.  As they each battle to overcome the demons of their past they grow into  friendship. But could there be more? As Javier's dangerous criminal life impacts Joachim sedate lifestyle,  changes must be made.   This book holds a little bit more  suspenseful intrigue than some of her previous books and I loved Olivia's story  And the HGTVesq sideline story.   As usual, Steels characters lead charmed lives  touched by  tragedy, more money than most of us will ever know, & then overcome all to live happily ever after.
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Another great read by Danielle Steele. She always pulls you right in. Loved the Paris descriptions and enjoyed characters along with the story.
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The Butler by Danielle Steel is typical Danielle and that's what makes it a good read. Joachim has led a complicated life and when he reaches manhood, he is at loose ends. After puttering for five years, he sees an ad in the newspaper for a school for butlers and decides to give it a try. It seems he had found his niche and for the next 16 years acted as butler and house manager for an aging Marquess and Marchioness. The, of course, as happens to the aged, they both died fairly close together. Their children had no desire for their parents' traditional lifestyle and planned to sell both homes. With no new position looming, he decided to visit the place of his birth, Argentina, and then his mother in Paris. Olivia White was an American magazine editor. Unfortunately the time for magazines had passed, just as her mother lay dying. At about the same time, she discovered that her mother's late friend, had indeed been her father. She remembered her mother's life as mistress to this great, married man and vowed she would never give over her life to a man. After he mother's passing, she decided to go to Europe, Paris, to live for however long the spirit moved her, possibly finding a new line of work. There is so much more to their lives than this. They meet in Paris; Joachim goes to work for Olivia, although not as a traditional butler. Life moves on.

Steel gives her characters the most amazing back-stories and this book is a shining example of this skill. The story itself is somewhat ordinary and predictable; it is the earlier lives of the two that makes it amazing. The detail about being a proper English butler was interesting. Who knew they had school for it? And, the story is not about beautiful twenty-somethings, but about people over 40, in the primes of their loves. As usual, it was a totally feel-good story with a happy ending, for at least the protagonists. I love Steel's books. She always provides an interesting break from my more serious books.

I was invited to read a free e-ARC of The Butler by Delacorte Press, through Net galley. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #netgalley #delacortepress #thebutler #daniellesteel
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Great story. This book is the perfect example of what happens when secrets and truths are withheld from people.

Joachim von Hartmann was born and raised in Buenos Aires by his single mother, along with his identical twin, Javier. Joachim's mother, Liese, was born in Germany and left at the age of 5 with only her father. They were very wealthy and lived a very good life. Liese married the son of a prominent family and after trying for children for 10 years, she finally gets pregnant at 39. Four months after her twins were born she lost both her husband and father. She was left alone, with no money at all. Liese began working at the art museum which recovered lost pieces the Nazis stole during the war and returns them to their rightful owners.

When Joachim is 17 years old he moves to Paris with his mother who is getting married, but Javier refuses to come. He wants to finish high school in Argentina. Truth is, he's in a bad crowd running drugs. This is the first time Joachim will be separated from his twin. Lost at first, Joachim doesn't know what he wants to do with his life. He sees an ad for a Butler school in London, and decides to give it a try. It turns out he loves working in big homes and running them. His job became his life, no romances, no attachments; means not getting hurt.

Olivia White was also raised by a single mother. Only her father was the same married man that showed up to their apartment pretending to be a good friend to Olivia. Her parents were afraid to tell her the truth about who her father. really was. Margaret met George Lawrence, a famous author, at the publishing house she worked for when she was just 24 years old. He was twice her age. Margaret's patents walked away from their daughter when she became pregnant. Olivia saw Margaret stop her life and wait for George to show up for a visit. Every holiday he went away with his family, Margaret stayed in bed until he came home. Which made Olivia hate being home for the holidays. After George died of cancer, Margaret turned to drinking, then her dementia took over. Olivia became like Joachim, too afraid to love someone enough to get hurt.

After her mom's death, Olivia decided to move to Paris temporarily and start over. She leased an apartment and needed help putting it together. Joachim had just finished a 16 year job, his employers died. Now back home in Paris again he starts looking for work. When he interviews with Olivia, he takes the job thinking it will only be a few weeks, a temporary job. It will allow him to reconnect with his mother who is now in her 80's and still going strong with her job at the museum. The job turns into months and they form a mutual respect for each other.

In fact, it's Liese that realizes that her son is in love with Olivia before he does. But when Javier and his enemies show up in Paris, Joachim decides that both Olivia and his mom are better off without Joachim around, because Javier made some bad choices. 

Can these two lonely souls find their way back to each other after all?

A must read.
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This unlikely pair won me over! Danielle Steel can always be counted on to delve right into the heart of a character and with her signature ease of prose, she hooks her reader with the character's storyline early and unravels their life right before our eyes. I highly enjoyed Joachim and Olivia!

Joachim is a gentle soul and very likable from the start. We learn the path he chose in life and watch him mature and settle into a career he loves only to have an upheaval come about that allows him to return to his homeland for the first time in multiple decades and reconnect with a past he previously only skimmed the surface of.

Olivia is at a crossroad in life and showcases her fortitude quickly when she sets out on a solitary journey of enlightenment.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a women's fiction novel that brings two characters to a turning point in life and watches as they reevaluate and connect to prosper in something new.
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Whenever I read a novel written by Danielle Steel I can guarantee that I will enjoy it. She has a talent for creating solid characters living in a sophisticated lifestyle who experience some kind of emotional issue or at a crossroad, and family is always a main focus. It always amazes me how she can always come up with new ideas and storylines that she hasn’t touched upon or written about yet. She has written so many books and I don’t think any of them are repetitive at all. Her books always flow easily and are comfortable yet still compelling. Her characters are always relatable or intriguing, or both. In The Butler, we read about two twin brothers and their mom. The brothers’ lives are drastically different from one another, as is their relationship with their mother. It was interesting to read about Joachim’s career choice and the things he had to go through. You don’t hear or read too much about butlers or people wanting to be one, making the novel even more interesting since not much is known about it. Steel also has a knack for capturing and describing raw emotion in just the right way. The Butler starts out fast-paced with a lot of info being thrown out there quickly but it does slow down allowing the reader to catch up, and once that happens, you’re already captivated by the characters and story. There were a few twists that I didn’t predict, which I thought made the novel even better. Another great novel by Danielle Steel!
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The Butler by Danielle Steel takes us from Argentina to Paris and New York.  This is a unique story for this author with a male protagonist as the main character.  Joachim von Hartmann is a modern-day butler in a world where butlers are no longer needed.  Olivia White is a woman at a crossroads.  She is not sure what she wants to do or where she wants to it.  The characters are developed and interesting.  I particularly liked Joachim’s mother, Liese.  She has a rich, diverse history.  I especially enjoyed the work Liese was doing helping to return stolen art from World War II to its rightful owners. Personally, I felt that Liese’s story would have made a more compelling story.  Joachim’s life is complicated by his identical twin brother, Javier who joined a drug cartel in Columbia.  This provides complications for Joachim.  Olivia and Joachim end up working together.  They have a companionable relationship. They each get a chance to find their path.  While some aspects of The Butler were interesting, others were lackluster.  There is quite a bit of repetition and there is mild foul language.  The way Olivia was introduced was abrupt.  There needed to be a smoother entrance, or it should have been done earlier in the story.  She came out of left field.  We get to see Joachim discover that a butler’s role is changing and, in many cases, is no longer needed.  Olivia must discover where she belongs and what she should do with her skills.   The ending felt rushed though it was satisfying.  The Butler felt disjointed with repetitive details.   This is not my favorite book by Danielle Steel, though, it will not keep me from checking out her future books.
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This is a Women's Fiction book. I loved this book, and it kept me wanting to keep reading. This book takes place in Paris, France. The main person is Joachim von Hartmann who is an identical twin. He has not seen is twin in 25 years. He is trying to learn to deal with not having seen his twin in a long time and the fact people do not need Butler's anymore. While, He is visiting his Mother he takes a job for Olivia. Olivia trying to deal with her Mother just dying and what her Mother choose to do with her life. This book has so much drama and that keeps you wanting to read. The characters are super developed and pops so much. This book is well written. I cannot believe how much Danielle Steel can fit into less then 300 pages. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Delacorte Press) or author (Danielle Steel) via NetGalley, so I can give honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.
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Two different people from two different backgrounds meet in Paris and find their way to each other. Joachim von Hartman is from Buenos Aires and has an identical twin, Javier. Raised by their single mother, Joachim enters a life of service as a butler. Trained by the best, Joachim has worked for some of England's most powerful elite. 

Olivia White is recovering from her magazine folding, a magazine she labored with for ten years. The only child of a single mom, Olivia decides to start fresh in Paris. She is excited about her new venture, having never done anything so spontaneous. New to the country, she needs an assistant, familiar with the language to help her set up her home and hires, Joachim. 

Both will find themselves on a new chapter, a new journey and maybe, find love and solace in each other.

First, I have to say that I truly enjoyed this read. I was sucked into the story and couldn't believe the trauma and tragedy they went through. I loved the title and concept. Just that alone made me want to read. This was a story of self-discovery, forgiveness, renewal, family. It had intrigue that kept me swiping on my kindle to get to the end.

However, as I am seeing with Danielle Steel, there is a lot of info dumping in the beginning. I am guessing she is able to get away with all those pages of narratives because of who she is. Because of this, I had stopped reading another book but after reading The Butler and another book of hers, I think I might go back and give that book a chance.

People will enjoy the strong characters who you want to root for. Their love felt organic and it wasn't the central part of the story, though of course, there was the happy ending. Rather it was about Joachim and Olivia coming to terms with their past and using what they have learned to embark on a new future. Sometimes things happen in life that make up skeptical about love or about becoming vulnerable to another person. But it is beautiful when it happens and that is what I enjoyed reading.
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Many of DS’s book, I feel,go on too long, this one I felt a little cheated, I wanted more after the ending.

This book fell a little short for me as it seemed a little disjointed but maybe that’s how things happen in real life and it’s me that is missing out.
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The Butler by Danielle Steel is different from most Steel books, with a male protagonist, the butler. A man with a fascinating backstory that has made him very sensitive and empathetic. The Butler is a lovely story of 2 people nearing middle age and finding new beginnings.
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The Butler by Danielle Steel was another one of her excellent standalone novels.  The Butler is a saga about a family that is broken by some of its past, with twin brothers, one bad, and the other good.  The story starts off in Argentina, with the mother and son moving to Paris, with her remarrying; the bad (Javier) brother refuses to leave, and later becomes deeply involved with the drug cartel.

Joachim, our hero, is the good son, who loves his mother, and since many years pass without any knowledge of his twin, he moves on.  Sort of like a Cain and Able story, but Joachim is the hero in this book, with the other reappearing nearer to the end for a very short period.

Joachim decides while still home in Paris with his mother and step father, to go to Butler school, and from there he rises to become the main butler in a wealthy mansion in London for over 16 years, and when the family passed on, he moves back home temporarily to spend time with his now elderly mother.    

We meet our heroine, Olivia, who lives in New York, and recently ran a decorating magazine, which after 10 years failed.  Oliva lost her mother, and decides to use the money bequeathed to her, to spend a year in Paris.  She decides to rent for one year a beautiful charming apartment, and realizes she will need an assistant to help her set up and arrange everything. 

Joachim is bored after a bit, as his mother continues to work, so he decides to take a job as an assistant to pass the time.  With Olivia his employer, Joachim begins to enjoy the different kind of work, as he and Olivia visit places for furniture, antiques, as well as Joachim hiring the help to fix and put all the pieces together.  Olivia finds herself dependent on Joachim, for he has done a fabulous job helping her, and they become friends.   Both Joachim and Olivia are older adults (early 50’s), and each has their own issues to never allow themselves to become involved.  I loved Joachim and Olivia, as they were true and wonderful people, and rooted that they would end up together.

With things going smoothly, Olivia takes a trip to New York to take care of things, and asks Joachim if he wanted to go with her for the weekend.  All hell breaks loose when they arrive, as the police pull Joachim into custody, thinking he is Javier, a known drug cartel member.  When proof is found that he is not Javier, they return to Paris, but things fall apart. Joachim also learns the truth from his mother about the dark days when he was a child, and the family that were criminals. Joachim knowing how dangerous his brother has been all the 25 years he was missing; decides he needs to be protective to both his mother and Olivia. He abruptly will make a decision to leave, in order to keep them safe. Will he find a way to return to them? Will Olivia be able to forgive him for leaving?

The Butler was very well written by Danielle Steel. It was a beautiful story line revolving around two people who led different lives, and a friendship that changed slowly changed everything.  The story also has a lot of history for both families, with some dark secrets along the way. I suggest you read The Butler, as I enjoyed it very much.
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As always with Danielle Steel books, you can count on strong characters and settings that sweep you away, and this is no different,  What is different, however, is that the main character is a male. Joachim and Javier are twins who have been living apart from each other for all their adult lives.  Joachim is very sensitive and empathetic and attached to their mother, especially given their past as well as hers, he feels very protective of her. Javier has always been the difficult one, and has chosen a life very different from theirs. Joachim chooses a life of service as a butler and is very good at it. When his long term employer’s pass away, he’s given a new assignment with Olivia, who unbeknownst to Joachim has had a similar past,  to renovate a chateau. In the process, they become very good friends until Javier shows back up and threatens everyone and everything that Joachim is close to. 
It’s a nice and simple story of love, loss and friendship and the power of new beginnings. Classic Danielle Steel. 
Thanks to Delacorte Press and Netgalley for this Arc in exchange for my review.
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Danielle Steel's latest novel tells the story of Joachim and Olivia in Paris. Joachim and Olivia's backstories are told in the opening chapters so that you understand their baggage; Joachim has been working as a butler in England and Olivia is from the US where she recently shut down her magazine. They find their lives crossing in Paris and a work relationship and friendship ensues.  Like all Steel novels it's a privileged world and the reading is easy though the story seems to wrap up all of a sudden. Steel's fans will likely enjoy an afternoon reading about Paris.
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I had a hard time getting into this book. The beginning of the book  started out really slow.. it started picking up towards the middle of the book and then once it started picking up, it ended. Not a horrible story, but not Danielle Steel's best.
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What a change of pace for a Danielle Steel book! Most of her books have the female as the main character, this time it's a man. Joachim is a butler who is temporarily out of work and staying with his mother when he agrees to work on a temporary basis for Olivia. It was a little different reading about a butler in modern times, but it was a very interesting and fun read. I wish it had continued at the end, I wanted more to the ending. Still a really good book!

This review is based on an ARC from NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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I enjoyed this book for many reasons.  Danielle Steel typically seems to write with a particular outline and then fits all her characters and storylines within that outline.  I felt like this story broke out of the box a little bit.  Our main character is a man, which is not common in Danielle Steel's books, and she also takes us to Buenos Aires for some of the book.  Most often, I find that her books are set in France, where she lives.  However, this was an interesting change of pace.  I found that the characters in this story had more depth and history to them than other books of hers and I really enjoyed all the layers that the characters had.  This book includes family trauma, both in their history and current day.  I found all of the characters to be so realistic.  This was a very enjoyable read that you won't want to miss.
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I received an arc copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest opinion of it. I got to 20 percent, and the book was still talking about background information. Too boring.
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It’s always a pleasure to slip back into a DS novel. This one is international, jetting between Europe, South America, and the US.  Joachim decides to be a butler, which leads him on many adventures. Olivia is resetting her life in Europe and hires Joachim. The back story of both characters is interesting. It’s a simple, straight forward read with no frills and that’s what I needed.
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Danielle Steele is in my opinion the queen of romance and always will be!!!!!!! I've heard some people say that her stories are starting to sound too much alike but in my opinion each book is different and so are the characters. This book is a beautiful story of loss, rediscovery, and finding yourself again as well as love. I highly recommend this book to all romance lovers.
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