Cover Image: The Ball at Versailles

The Ball at Versailles

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Member Reviews

Enchanting. I loved each character’s story and the beguiling blend of tradition, independence, and coming of age.
Many thanks to Random House and to Netgalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Book Name: The Ball at Versailles
Author: Danielle Steel

ARC
Thank you to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, Delacorte Press, and NetGalley for an ARC of Danielle Steel’s A Ball at Versailles

Stars: 5
Spice: 1

Standalone
Fast Paced (EXTREMELY)
MULTI-POV
Historical Drama with Romance Elements

- Topics
- Class
- Second Wave Feminism
- Consequences
- Tradition Vs Modernity
- Mothers and Daughters
- Tropes
- Cinderella
- Deb Ball
- “Love” at First Sight
- Thoughts.
- First Danielle Steel Book - mildly impressed
- FAST read
- Read in One Night
- Great Story Arc’s
- Mildly Predictable
- Highly Enjoyable
- Great Historical Palate Cleansers After a Major Slump

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Great story.

The year is 1958 and the Palace of Versailles will be hosting an event that will definitely make history in the summer of 1959. A very select group of Debutantes both French and American will be presented to international society and royalty. Of the 40 Americans invited, four women are given the chance of a lifetime. But not all of them want to go.

Amelia Alexander, is the daughter of a widowed mother who has given her everything, not knowing the price her mother has paid in exchange. Amelia attends Barnard College and wants to go to law school afterwards. She's not looking to get married at just 19 years old. She already debuted in NY a year ago, but agreed for the sake of her mom, Jane, to go.

Samantha Walker, daughter of a wealthy widower, Robert, who lost his young wife and son in a near fatal car accident 14 years ago. Sam was in a coma when she was only 5 years old, she was left with a limp and some balance issues as a result from the accident. Now she just wants to spread her wings, but her overprotective father is too afraid to let her out of his sight. She attends NYU but lives at home with her father; his decision. Robert thinks this would help Sam by attending the ball. She never debuted in NY, she didn't want to. But going to this ball might be just what she needs.

Felicity Smith, goes to MIT, her family is from Dallas, Texas but she has never fit in. Her family is extremely wealthy but none of that means anything to her. Being invited to the ball is her worst nightmare. She's overweight and her only concerns is studying. She makes a deal with her mother to go only to please her.

Caroline Taylor, is the daughter of two Hollywood legends, she can't wait to go. But right before she leaves her older, actor boyfriend dumps her making her miserable and leaving her with a parting gift in return.

Immediately all 4 girls bond and become friends. But no one expected to fall in love. Jane and Robert also find themselves falling in love as well.

A beautiful story.

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I knew this was going to be shallow just based on the blurb, but wow, I had no idea how shallow. I get that this book was set during an era where things were far different than they are now. But wow, this was brutal to read. Things also didn't match up for me - some characters were clearly from the late 50's, while others seemed much more modern and living in today's world. I liked all the characters, but I just can't get past the archaic storyline and mismatched writing. I typically give this author a lot of slack, but I just can't do it here.

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The Ball at Versailles by Danielle Steel is vintage Steel and a wonderful read, despite the fact, as in most romance, the reader knew the outcome very early in the book. In this case there were four outcomes. For some reason, someone in France had determined that there would be a debutante ball held at Versailles for the first time ever. Also, they had determined to include twenty-five American girls, apparently chosen at random from lists of recent debutantes. Included were four who became friends: Amelia from New York who was in college and intended to go to law school; Felicity, from Dallas, who was a science nerd who attended MIT and was less than debutante material; Caroline, the daughter of a famous actress and successful director and hailed from Los Angeles; and Samantha, who was the daughter of a single father, a successful, overprotective man, also from New York. This is the story of the several days celebrations that were part of the ball and some of the aftermath. Their stories are, at once, heart-wrenching and inspiring. And, they became fast friends. As did the single parents of Amelia and Sam, who themselves fell in love.

A friend once told me she stopped reading Danielle Steel because all her books were the same. In essence, that is true, but it is also exactly why I read them. There are few surprises, although there are twists and turns. They are heart-warming and always have a good end. They explore the human condition in a way no other author quite does. It is a good read. It made me feel good while I was reading it and when I finished it. Is there a higher recommendation for a book?

I was invited to read a free e-ARC of The Ball at Versailles by Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine, through Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #Netgalley #RandomHousePublishingGroupBallantine #DanielleSteel #TheBallAtVersailles

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Is the Ball At Versailles a love story? There is more than one love story. Is this a romance novel? Not precisely. This is a coming-of-age story about 4 very different young women. Their journey from being on separate journeys to going to the ball at Versailles to the events that follow is chronicled. Will they find their happily ever after stories?

Based on the name of the story, I thought the young women would be spending a lot of time at the ball but most of the story is about the before and the after. I enjoyed how the author showed each of the young women developing and growing. Caroline is living a secret life, and she is forced to face the consequences. Felicity loves going to MIT, but she has some personal issues to overcome. Samantha is protected by her father after she almost died when she was younger, but she longs to be treated like she’s strong and capable. Amelia has had a good life being raised by her mother after her father died. Amelia’s mother, Jane, gets her own story. The journey was sweet and I loved how each of them found happiness at the end.

The book flowed as each of the young women discovered who they are and what they want for their futures. The love stories are all fast and furious but they all make sense. If you are looking for a book that is set around 1960 that focuses on a group of women coming of age and finding love for themselves.

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I really enjoyed this book and I am not surprised because Danielle Steel never disappoints. This story puts an interesting twist on the experiences, expectations, excitement, and outcomes of the decisions for four debutants during their presentation to society.

It’s the summer of 1959 and four American debutantes have been honored with the opportunity to travel to Paris and make their debuts at a renowned cotillion being held at the Palace of Versailles. This is an event that will make history and ultimately change the lives of the selected debutants - will they be good or bad changes?

I found this story to be thought provoking and a story that led to a lot of emotional turmoil on my part. Overall I highly recommend this book for both seasoned lovers of Steel’s work or a beginner book for those just finding her!

5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📚Disclosure: I received a review copy of this #book from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, Delacorte Press via #Netgalley. All thoughts, opinions, comments, and interpretations of the story are my own and bias free. I did not receive any money in exchange for this review. Thank you to the publisher/author for allowing me the opportunity to review. Reviews are usually cross-posted to social media, goodreads, bookbub, and blog. 🦄

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to review this book.

I tried, but I just can't read this. I got one chapter in before I decided to DNF. The writing and story are stale and boring. I think she did a similar version of this book a few years ago.. I forget the name of that one, but I think it was called Coming Out or something to that effect. I truly think it's time for Ms. Steel to step away from the keyboard and retire, and I say that as a loyal reader who has read nearly every book she's written.

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This is a story about four young women who get to participate in the 1st Ball of Versailles to include American women. The stories follows them before, during and after the ball. It shows how there relationships grow due to this once in a lifetime opportunity. There is drama and romance. I throughly enjoyed this book as I do all of danielle Steel’s books! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read and ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I've always loved Danielle Steel novels and this one doesn't disappoint. It was a quick easy read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I've always wanted to visit Versaille and this books provides so much detail I felt like I could have been there. Thank you for the opportunity to read!

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1957

This is the first year that the President of France has decided to host a ball at Versailles for 250 French debutantes and 40 American debutantes to be presented to society. The “cream of the crop” will be invited.

Jane Alexander works at a publishing house in New York City and her daughter is a freshman at Barnard. Jane comes from a good family and is a widow, but she works hard to give Amelia a good life. She receives an invitation for Amelia to be presented at the ball. At first uncertain, Jane finally convinces her daughter that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and she agrees.

Charlotte and Bailey Smith live in Texas and are very wealthy. They have two daughters, Araminta, spoiled and not interested in attending college. Her younger sister, Felicity, is tall and attends MIT with a goal to earn her doctorate. The two girls do not get along. When Felicity is invited to attend the ball, she is unwilling as she feels awkward. But to please her parents, she agrees.

Caroline Taylor is the daughter of Josh Taylor a producer-director in Los Angeles. Her mother is Betty Wade, a movie star. Caroline is pleased to receive an invitation to the ball, but a devastating incident right before leaving for Paris has upset her.

Robert Talker is a very wealthy man living in New York City with his daughter, Samantha. A tragic accident years ago left him a widower, his son killed, and Samantha injured. He is quite protective of her. She receives an invitation and while hesitant at first finally agrees to attend the ball.

When these four young ladies meet up at the teas and receptions leading up the ball, they form an instant friendship.

Danielle Steel has really outdone herself with this delightful story! I loved the relationships that grew from this very ball. The characters are perfectly created and so real. In addition, the author stayed true to the time this occurred. One of my favorite of her books. Don’t miss this one. It’s fabulous!!

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Excellent Danielle Steel novel. Reminds me of some of her older works and loved the period (1959), young women about to face the world as it was beginning to change. Great diversity between the four families and strong FMC with the Danielle Steel guaranteed HEA!

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Thank you Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley for sharing this story with me. I felt like I was at the The Ball at Versailles! Four college students meet at a dance in Paris and become life long friends.
I have read Danielle Steel for over 40 years and she continues to tell wonderful stories. Reading a Danielle Steel novel is like coming home.
I loved the story and the characters and loved the ending! This was a quick and easy read that I enjoyed quite a bit. Going into a Danielle Steel novel you know it will be an easy light read that can give you a couple of hours of escape. I would recommend this book to others if they enjoy Danielle Steel. She continues to produce sweet good reads!

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Vintage Danielle Steel which I appreciate. Four young women have the Chance to dance the night away at Versailles, set in 1959.
Some of the characters are more developed than others and I had to look up a few items mentioned, like an electric typewriter, to see if they were available in 1959.
I liked the richness the culture and just the ambience of the book.
I tend to just float along with the story when it’s a DS.
Anyone looking for a nostalgic read should pick this one up.

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The Ball at Versailles by Danielle Steel takes us back to 1959 when four young ladies get the opportunity to be presented to Paris Society at a ball to be held for the first time at the Palace of Versailles. It is an invitation only issued to forty American young women. Amelia, Felicity, Caroline, and Samantha are the four young women we get to follow along with their parents (and one mean sister). I was quickly drawn into The Ball of Versailles. I found the story to be easy to read. I liked that each young woman had a different personality and background. It was interesting to get a behind the scenes look at being a debutante at an exclusive event. This ball is happening at a time when women are getting more options. Women no longer need to be presented to society to find themselves a husband who will take care of them. Women can attend college and have a career. The four women experience a special night that will end up changing their futures. A parent or two may end up making a special connection. The author captured the time period. I enjoyed the descriptions of Paris, Versailles, and the clothes. Each lady not only gets a once in a lifetime evening at a gorgeous venue, but they also learn some lessons along the way. This event can bring out the best or the worst in a person. The ladies get to traverse the rocky road of love and heartbreak. I did feel that the story lacked depth, and there is a repetition of details (I got it the first five times). That said, I still enjoyed reading The Ball at Versailles. It is a story that provides a break reality. I have read all of Danielle Steel’s books (been reading them since I was twelve), and I look forward to each new release. The Ball at Versailles is an appealing tale with a distinctive invitation, swanky dresses, a nasty sister, a misunderstood scientist, lifelong friends, and lasting love.

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The Ball at Versailles by Danielle Steel is another one of her captivating and enchanting stand-alone novel. The story begins in the summer of 1959, where the Palace of Versailles will host a historic first dusk-to-dawn debutante ball, for international and royalty. Invitations were sent to a select group of French and American debutantes to attend the ball. The story revolves around four young American women, who are offered a lifetime opportunity, with some anxious to attend, and some being pushed by family; but the trip will open the door that will change their lives forever, as well as a wonderful friendship. We will meet Amelia, Felicity, Caroline and Samantha, as well as their family.

Amelia Alexander is planning on going to law school, and sees this invitation as something she feels is not her style. But Amelia is very close to her mother, Jane, who is widowed, recently lost her job as an executive publisher; but Jane is determined for Amelia to have a chance to go to Paris and attend the Ball. Amelia at first hesitates, but decides to accept the invitation to the Ball a Versailles.

Felicity Smith, who comes from a wealthy Dallas family, is uncertain about attending the ball. Her older sister constantly torments her, especially since she is a bit overweight. Her mother and father are thrilled about the invitation, and Felicity decides to accept, in order to get out of her sister’s shadow. She is also hoping to find someone, who will like her as she is.

Caroline Taylor is the daughter of two Hollywood legends, and immediately accepts the opportunity to attend the Ball. A short time before she needs to leave, her boyfriend (an actor) dumps her for a younger girl, breaking her heart and putting a cloud on the event. She keeps this a secret from her parents, and together they attend the Ball. Unfortunately, Caroline gets sick, and has a hard time preparing for the ball, which turns out she may be pregnant.

Samantha Walker, lives with her overprotective father, having lost her mother and young brother years ago. She convinces her father that they should go to Paris, a chance to visit Europe, and enjoy the Ball. Sam wants to make her father proud of her; and together they look forward to the trip.

What follows is the 4 girls will meet each other and over time become friends. Three of the ladies will find someone meant to be for each, having met them as escorts at the ball. I really like the girls, who’s life will change, mostly for the better. I also enjoyed Jane (Amelia’s mother) and Robert (Sam’s father), who found love along the way. The boys who entered the lives of three ladies, Quentin, Willie, Rapheal were also very likeable to their designated women. Carolline, who suffered a bit at the ball, became close friends with the others, and eventually will find the love she deserved.

The Ball at Versailles was a captivating, engaging historical romance story line, with each girl finding love after it was over. I did like how Steel gives us wonderful descriptions, fantastic gowns and decorations. The Ball at Versailles once again is written so very well by Danielle Steel. This was an enjoyable and fun read.

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Whenever I read Danielle Steel, I think of the old Dragnet show and the "Just the facts, ma'am". That's pretty much her style of writing, and it makes the reading quicker and easier. Four young ladies (older teens) in different parts of the country were honored to be selected to take part in the coveted Ball at Versailles. However, not all of them went willingly. The delightful story involved, some love stories as well as some life-long friendships.

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The Ball at Versailles by Danielle Steel is a great historical fiction.
This is a fascinating story that was impossible to put down.
Steel really made these characters come to life and you really feel for them.
I enjoyed how well rounded this story is and kept me glued to the pages.
This book was character driven, with a storyline that sucks you in almost immediately.
She delivers yet again!

I would like to thank NetGalley and Random House, Ballantine & Delacorte Press for the opportunity to read this ahead of its publication date in return for my honest review.

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Beautiful people, beautiful setting what could go wrong! In an era, where a seen and be seen is the phrase of the day this book does not disappoint. Ms still captures the ups and downs of the debutante world as we follow for young ladies and their families as they traverse this time honored tradition but in Paris. Do I have to go? I don’t want to go! Why do I need to go when I’ve already been presented? I don’t even speak French! Are the common threads which these young ladies find themselves contemplating. The hustle and bustle of preparing, brings out different reactions and for one even trauma. The Ball At Versailles is an engaging before, during and after look at the human story and how quickly life can change. I gave it 4 stars.

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I have received an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Danielle Steele is a very successful author. I have seen her books in libraries and shops all my life. Her commercial appeal cannot be denied, so I decided to read one of her novels. I am very grateful that I was allowed to read this ARC.

I won't lie, the cover is what sucked me in. It is gorgeous, and being a big fan of debutantes and midcentury glamour, I hoped this would be my entrance into a fandom spanning decades of readers before me.

Welp.

I'd like to see the author get away with trying to publish a book with this first chapter as an unknown. Ladies and gents, we are in 3rd person POV and 5% into the book before we hit a single line of dialogue. We are subjected to pages on pages of infodumping via "this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened". The old writer's adage of "show, don't tell" appears to not apply here. Despite the dramatic events that were being related, it just got BORING.

Three chapters worth of new characters were introduced in this manner, with a few token lines of throwaway dialogue at the end of each scene-cum-narrative flashback. There was more dialogue as the book progressed, but it was of a kind with the narration...bland. The characters did not have any uniqueness in their voices or motivations.

Beyond my issues with the writing style, the plot was a grade-A, number-one clunker. The ball didn't really effect each character's trajectory in life. Nobody changed what they would have done AFTER the ball from what they would have done BEFORE (with the possible exception of Felicity). Nobody had an arc. Nobody learned anything new. They all got married and lived happily ever after, and if they didn't, it was from events before the ball, not anything that happened in France. You can argue "but they met the guys in France"...
Yeah, and if they hadn't, it was 1959 and they'd still be getting married to some other guys.

I'm so sorry. This was a good idea, terrible execution. It needs to be sent back for a reworking. I'm so disappointed. What a waste of a beautiful cover.

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