Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Book Review# 34: The Mistress: Danielle Steel


Natasha Leonova’s beauty saved her life. Discovered starving on a freezing Moscow street by a Russian billionaire, she has lived for seven years under his protection, immersed in rarefied luxury, while he pursues his activities in a dark world that she guesses at but never sees. Her home is the world, often on one of Vladimir Stanislas’s spectacular yachts manned by scores of heavily armed crew members. Natasha’s job is to keep Vladimir happy, ask no questions, and be discreet. She knows her place, and the rules. She feels fortunate to be spoiled and protected, and is careful not to dwell on Vladimir’s ruthlessness or the deadly circles he moves in. She experiences only his kindness and generosity and believes he will always keep her safe. She is unfailingly loyal to him in exchange.

Theo Luca is the son of a brilliant, world famous, and difficult artist, Lorenzo Luca, who left his wife and son with a fortune in artwork they refuse to sell. Lorenzo’s widow, Maylis, has transformed their home in St. Paul de Vence into a celebrated restaurant decorated with her late husband’s paintings, and treats it as a museum. There, on a warm June evening, Theo first encounters Natasha, the most exquisite woman he has ever seen. And there, Vladimir lays eyes on Luca’s artwork. Two dangerous obsessions begin.

Theo, a gifted artist in his own right, finds himself feverishly painting Natasha’s image for weeks after their first meeting. Vladimir, enraged that Lorenzo’s works are not for sale, is determined to secure a painting at any price. And Natasha, who knows that she cannot afford to make even one false move, nevertheless begins to think of a world of freedom she can never experience as Vladimir’s mistress. She cannot risk her safety for another man, or even a conversation with him, as Theo longs for a woman he can never have.

From Moscow to the Riviera, London, and Paris, The Mistress is a riveting tale of vast fortune, cruelty, creative genius, and daring courage, as uncompromising individuals chart a course for collision.

My Review:

I have always been a fan of her writings. She has written great books and has a impeccable style of narrating stories. The stories she writes have emotions and somewhere down the story we all connect and accept somewhere. I loved her Sisters, Apartment, Power play, and The Big Girl to name a few.

The book starts decently, characters are developed slowly, and the backgrounds of the characters are etched so as to give a glimpse of why they are what they are. I felt the story moved at a very slow pace, with too many details given in between regarding their dressing, brands and the likes.

Even if you skip a few pages and read you will still be able to relate and not miss much. Somehow I felt the character of Natasha could have been better. She sounds very reserved and too much goody. I mean not being able to stand up for her own sense didn’t sound great. I didn’t like the way the story ended, was very abrupt and ruthless. As if she’s a toy and he could throw her when he wishes. No explanation or even sympathy was shown to her as to how she felt. No justification to his behavior. Sounded more like a business deal between a powerful man and powerless. No value to her feelings, emotions etc.

The book could have been better in terms of ending and character development. Not a great one from such a wonderful author. I was expecting a better story.

I would rate it 3/5.

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