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Although I liked this novel right enough, as a long-term reader of Danielle Steel I felt it was not quite up to snuff.
I think recently our Danielle has gone a little off the boil, in that she has written so many novels that all of her newest efforts are pretty much of a muchness and are somewhat 'writing-by-numbers'.
Occasionally though, a glimpse of her previous form shows through and Second Chance (while no 'Message from Nam' or Palomino') is one of those titles.
The story centres around Fiona Monaghan, a hot shot editor of a New York magazine. She is strong, confident and her own woman, which is why she is unmarried and happy about into her late 30's. She leads a bohemian lifestyle with her pet bulldog and a houseboy who borrows her clothes and does not have any desire to form a relationship.
That is until John Anderson, and ultra conservative widower walks into her office and catches her eye. the two quickly become close and after a week in Paris for fashion week they are moving in together and Fiona is grudgingly making space in her designer-stuffed closets.
After a disastrous meeting with John's daughters and a spoiled partners dinner, Fiona and John see that their relationship is not as easy as they had hoped and see no other way than to go their separate ways. A devastated Fiona gives up her life to run away to Paris and become a writer in the place where she had been so happy.
As she begins to heal and starts to move on, she is suddenly faced with a difficult decision - John comes back into her life - can she forgive what has gone on between them and make it work this time?
The story is formulaic and the characters are not especially engaging, but for a good summer read this book is ok. It is easy to pick up and put down without losing the thread of the story and that's the best one can say.
If I was to make a recommendation it would be to read some of Ms Steel's earlier work - Palomino, Message from Nam, Fine Things and The Promise being particular highlights.
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