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Matters of the Heart
Hope Dunne has carved out a name for herself as a top photographer, known the joys of marriage and motherhood and the heartbreak of loss. In her chic SoHo loft, Hope is content with her life, finding serenity and beauty through the lens of her camera. She isn’t looking for a man or excitement.
But these things find her when she accepts a last-minute assignment to fly to London at Christmas and photograph one of the world’s most celebrated writers—an Irish-American author known for novels of thrilling literary darkness.
To Hope’s surprise, Finn O’Neill exudes warmth and a boyish charm. Enormously successful, he is a perfect counterpoint to Hope’s quiet, steady grace—and he’s taken instantly by her. He courts her as no one ever has before, whisking her away to his palatial, isolated Irish estate.
Hope finds it all, and him, irresistible. But soon cracks begin to appear in his stories: gaps in his history, lies and bouts of jealousy unnerve her. Suddenly Hope is both in love and suspicious, caring and deeply in doubt, and ultimately frightened of the man she loves. Alone, thousands of miles from home, her mind is reeling. Is it possible that this adoring, attentive man—like the characters in his novels—is hiding something even worse? The spell cast by a brilliant sociopath has her trapped in his web, too confused and dazzled to escape, as he continues to tighten his grip on her.
Eleven years have passed since Alexa Hamilton left the South behind, fleeing the pain of her ex-husband’s betrayal and the cruelty of his prominent Charleston family. Now an assistant D.A. in Manhattan, Alexa has made a name for herself as a top prosecutor while juggling her role as devoted single mom to a teenage daughter.
But everything changes when Alexa is handed her latest case: the trial of accused serial killer Luke Quentin. Alexa prepares for a high-stakes trial…until threatening letters are addressed to her beautiful seventeen-year-old daughter, Savannah. Alexa is certain that Quentin is behind the letters—and that they are too dangerous to ignore. Suddenly she must make the toughest choice of all—and send her daughter back to the very place she swore she would never return to: the place where her marriage ended in heartbreak…her ex-husband’s world of southern tradition, memories of betrayal, and the antebellum charm of Charleston.
Now, while Alexa’s trial builds to a climax in New York, her daughter is settling into southern life, discovering a part of her family history and a father she barely knows. As secrets are exposed and old wounds are healed, Alexa and Savannah, after a season in different worlds, will come together again—strengthened by the challenges they have faced, and with Savannah now at home in the southern world her mother fled.
A novel that will catch you off guard at every turn, Southern Lights is Danielle Steel at her electrifying best.
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