Cover Image: The Butler

The Butler

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Member Reviews

Danielle Steel takes you into the life of a butler with his own baggage. A truly enjoyable tale from a unique perspective. It’s rare she uses a male narrator,  if this is the outcome she should do it more often.
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A modern day Cain and Abel story mixed with Downton Abbey, Danielle Steel pens a tale filled with adventure and finding love in the midst of heartache. Liese von Hartmann provided her twin sons love and stability despite difficult circumstances. While Joachim was content without having riches, Javier felt resentful..

When darkness takes over Javier's life, the brothers are distanced not only by location but in life decisions.. Struggling to make piece with his brother's defection, Joachim forges a new life for himself. Becoming a butler, he helps others clean up their lives not realizing that he's glossing over his own sadness.  

Taking a job near his aging mother, Joachim returns to Paris and begins working for Olivia White. Running from her past, she escapes to Paris for a new beginning. Offered the opportunity to remodel a chateau, the project forges a restoration of Olivia and Joachim's dreams. Will they leave their pasts behind or forever be stuck in  their concrete views of the world?

Thank you to #NetGalley and Delacorte Press for the early edition of #TheButler in exchange for an honest review. From the first chapter, I knew this would differ from Steel's historical fiction or romance titles. I didn't have a clear direction of where the story was headed until Joachim commenced working with Olivia, Readers will delight in their friendship and fortitude by overcoming obstacles. 

I enjoyed the read and fans will fall in love with Joachim, Olivia and their arresting adventures. Danielle Steel continues to 'usher' in charismatic characters.
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The Butler by Danielle Steel.  Heartwarming and  enchanting love story.  Joachim is a sensitive and empathic hero. Olivia is more pragmatic and not as reliable.   Refreshing to read a story that leaves you feeling happy and content with the outcome.

Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for the opportunity to preview the book.
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When Olivia decided to leave New York for Paris, her life transformed from gray to Technicolor. She chose to live rather than committing herself only to those things that she could not form personal attachments to. Joachim was similar in his behaviour but at least he showed more emotion in his interactions with his mother and what he was willing to give up for Javier. They both grew together and realized what is important. In doing so, it was really the true testament that love does make each person stronger together.
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Over the past few years, I have enjoyed Danielle Steel’s books – some more than others. “The Butler” is one of her best, along with “Neighbors” and “Finding Ashley.” What distinguishes this offering from other books by this prolific storyteller is the introduction of two strong protagonists – one male and one female. 

Joachim von Hartmann is The Butler. Born into a life of privilege in Argentina, his life takes an abrupt turn when he, his identical twin brother, Javier, and his mother are forced into poverty. It becomes apparent that despite the love he has for his brother, Javier is destined to pursue a life in the shadows, falling in with the wrong company and eventually crossing over into the illegal drug trade. At seventeen, Joachim relocates to Paris with his mother and his new stepfather and after a few years of struggling with his academic studies, he decides to enroll in a British program to train butlers. Joachim finds success and satisfaction in this unlikely career until his long-time employers die and he is no longer needed. At loose ends, he travels to Paris to spend time with his elderly mother.

Olivia White arrives in Paris after shuttering her business of ten years – a once successful and highly regarded decorator magazine. Her failed business, coupled with her mother’s death, has left her adrift and unclear what she wants to do with her life. Lacking the language skills to negotiate in French, Olivia seeks to hire an assistant to help her set up her apartment. With mutual skepticism, Olivia and Joachim meet through a local agency and agree to a trial period of employment. Much to their surprise, it is a good match of complementary skills and interests that leads to a friendship and more.

This was a quick and easy read that held my interest from the first chapter. I thought the characters were well developed, likeable and relatable. Both Olivia and Joachim grew up without fathers; one had a weak, self-centered mother, the other a strong and courageous one. These childhood experiences where further amplified by the discovery of long-held family secrets. Consequently, both were averse to commitment in relationships and devoted themselves to their careers at the expense of a balanced life. Their redemption comes at middle age in reevaluating their choices and choosing to take risks.

Some of the elements of the story stretched the limits of credibility, but this is a work of fiction and is highly entertaining. The only drawback I experienced was the author’s tendency to repeat background information, but thankfully this was at a minimum in this book.

My thanks to the author, Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, and NetGalley for the privilege of reviewing a digital ARC in exchange for an independent, honest review.

This review is being posted immediately to my GoodReads account and will be posted on Amazon upon publication.
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After years of struggling to find his life’s path, Joachim von Hartmann sees an ad for training to become a butler. He loves his life and career until one day his job is finished. 
Oliva White has seen her mother dedicated her life to a married man and is eventually left with nothing.  Oliva vows not to follow her mother’s path.  She dedicates her life to her magazine.  Soon her mother’s health is failing along with the magazine.  As this chapter in her life ends, she decides to move to Paris for a year to decide what to do with the rest of her life.  
Olivia and Joachim met through a temp agent.  Olivia employees Joachim and starts an unusual journey.  Family secrets are slowly revealed in both of their lives and through this a friendship is formed then torn apart as Joachim tries to protect her from his family secrets. 
The book was different from many of Danielle Steel prior novels.  The Butler allows the reader to follow both Joachim and Olivia’s stories.  There were many unexpected twists combined with twist that I was expecting in the beginning of the book that did not happen until much later in the story. 
There was a lot of repetition in the book that became frustrating to me.  I kept thinking I already read this many times throughout the book.  The introduction of Olivia had some confusing sentences that I had to read carefully to understand who Olivia was.  Her name was just kind of thrown in a sentence before explaining who she was.  
I enjoyed the book and the history that was included. The news on May 4, 2021 has an article of an Expressionist painting estimated to be worth $18 million that was returned to the heirs of its original Jewish owner.  The detainment situation at an airport led me to wonder how often this happens.  Thank you Danielle Steel, Random House Publishing Group Ballantine and NetGalley for allowing me an advance copy for my honest feedback.
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I was lucky to receive an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and opinion.  I'm always so excited to read the newest book from Danielle Steel.  This book (like all her others) is amazing!  This one was a bit different as it has a male protagonist which I felt was a good change of pace.   As always her books are a quick, easy read that hit you in all the right spots.  Loved this and highly recommend!
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Joachim and his twin brother Javier were born and raised in Argentina.  Joachim later moved to Paris with his mother and step-father, but Javier stayed behind and eventually led a life filled with trouble.  As Joachim struggled with the separation from his twin, he decided to enroll in butler school and found a lifestyle that brought him great joy.  Olivia moves to Paris for a break from life and her path cross's with Joachim as he assists her with some projects. 

This book was a little flat to me.  It took the first 30% of the book to lay the background/foundation and there were some details in the book that were repeated which was distracting.  Because the background took up a majority of the book there was less action and relationship building between the characters.  A very light read.
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If you too are a lover of Danielle Steel books, then this book is for you.  While a little more slow paced than her other books, a beautiful story of rediscovery and second chances.  
Joachim grew up in Buenos Aires with his mother and identical twin brother, Javier.  They were poor, but his mother always made sure the boys had everything they needed, often doing without themselves.  But Joachim and his brother are on two different paths, and when they turn 18 they will separate and go in two totally different directions.  Years later, unsure what to do next he applies to Butler school, and thus begins his rewarding career.

Olivia grew up with a mom, in love with a married man who never gave her the love or attention she deserved.  Olivia had owned and run a paper for 10 years that went out of business.  When her mom passes, she decides to use her inheritance to spend a year in Paris.  While there she gets a unique opportunity to refurbish a mansion, and needs an assistant.  In between jobs, Joachim decides to take the job, enjoying the change of experience.  

Together the two are a force to be recon with.  But the past has a way of coming back and interfering in the present.  When that happens, Joachim and Olivia will be forced apart, and may not be strong enough to find a way back to each other.

The first chapter or two were very repetitive and a little slow.  After that, it is smooth reading.  Very enjoyable story. 

I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Danielle Steele has written a beautiful glimpse into the life of a butler!  Joachim decided on a lark to enroll in butler school when he could find no other path that seemed right for him. He was a successful butler for many years, when the family he worked for no longer needed him. Deciding to go back to France to be close to his mother, Joachim finds himself taking another path in his career. I loved the friendship between him and his new employer, Olivia. The two go on many adventures during their time together, and eventually find a way to resolve feelings about their family secrets.
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Another wonderful book from Danielle Steel.  You can feel the chemistry between Olivia and Joaquim from their first meeting.  Both have experienced struggle and loss which has shaped who they are today.  Due to this, both have chosen to live solitary lives and neither trusts easily.  I am a history buff and the historical aspect in Ms. Steels books always makes for a much more enjoyable reading experience for me.  I highly recommend this book!
Thank you Danielle Steel,  Random House Publishing Group Ballantine and NetGalley for allowing me an advance copy for my honest feedback.
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I loved this book. Danielle Steel gives me a history lesson when she writes an historical romance. This novel should come with a WARNING sign of a page turner. I has a little suspense, crime, love for family and sadness. The Butler was a whole new look into the past and present. Keep up the good work Ms Steel. Cant wait for the next novel.
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This book was sent to me by Netgalley on Kindle for review.  It is different.  Not so much about the rich and famous but about almost ordinary people, a set of twins.  Not sure I agree with the mother in this story...problematic at best.  The ending was abrupt.
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Review	Thank you for NetGalley for allowing me to read this Danielle Steel book.

There was allot to like in this book!

The Pros:
Danielle Steel wrote about a male protagonist, which is pretty rare for her books. Joachim is a good protagonist, Well like every Danielle Steel book its high on a 'isn't he wonderful' character.
- I enjoyed Olivia's story.
- This book certainly held my interest. I liked both characters and enjoyed learning about their histories.

cons-
you can figure out how it ends in chapter 5.
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The Butler by Danielle Steel is an interesting story. The descriptions of the places he worked as a butler were 🧐 interesting. I liked the ending of course you will have to read the story to find out that.
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One of my favorite authors and she never fails to totally hook me right in.  This one is all about family, brotherly love and hatred, a strong mother/son relationship.  All the family secrets come out and everyone is shocked. Finally some of them find the courage to love and be happy.
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I am a huge Danielle Steel fan and I was SO excited to be given an ARC of her upcoming book. I absolutely loved this novel—it was intriguing, heartwarming, and very engaging. I absolutely loved the main characters and it left me with such a happy & content feeling upon completion. Highly recommended!
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Great great book. Definitely recommended this book. Danielle Steel books are the best.  Thank you for another wonderful book.
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This is different from most Steel books, with a male protagonist, the butler. Joachim is a man with a fascinating backstory that has made him very sensitive and empathetic.  Because of family trauma and the lies used to cover some awful truths, Joachim opts to train as a butler and establishes an impressive career in service, until the death of his noble employers. At that point he returns to Paris to visit his beloved mother and finally learn about long hidden truths. 

Olivia has had her world collapse after the death of her mother. Rootless and dealing with many ugly lies she lived with, she decides to escape to Paris. 
Despite the inconsistencies in the novel, it is a lovely story of 2 people, nearing middle age and finding new beginnings. 

This book certainly held my interest. I liked both characters and enjoyed learning about their histories. Thank you Netgalley for another lovely Danielle Steel book.
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