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Matters of the Heart Hardcover – June 2, 2009

3.6 out of 5 stars 152 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Hope Dunne is one of the best photographers in the world, so naturally National Book Award winner Finn O’Neill wants her to do the portrait for his next book cover. Hope goes to London, expecting a photo shoot that lasts a couple of days, tops, but soon succumbs to Finn’s devilish good looks and endless charm. The trip to love is short, and Finn soon talks Hope into staying at his Irish family’s ancestral home. But Ireland isn’t the paradise Hope imagined. Discovering that Finn has told her one untruth after another, Hope has to accept that he is a sociopathic liar. To make things worse, Finn’s thoughtful attentions turn to obsession, and he flies into jealous rages with little or no provocation. Hope knows things could be dangerous in Finn’s country mansion, that she should break free, but he has snared her with good times and great sex. Hope and Finn each have the sort of emotionally packed backstory Steel’s readers expect, while the isolated-woman-in-danger theme gives the novel a modern gothic feel. Steel’s fans will be delighted by this story of a woman seduced by a man who is too good to be true. --Shelley Mosley


"A dramatic and increasingly dark yarn glittering with enough luxurious settings... to keep the glam-fixated reader happy" -- Wendy Holden Daily Mail --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; 1 edition (June 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385340273
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385340274
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #702,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Foust on July 17, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While an avid reader, I rarely write reviews but was disturbed after reading this book. I feel the author was attempting to show how manipulative and devious a sociopath is, but had her character stay with the man for far too long. I feel it sends a dangerous message to both men and women. In the story, Hope is shown to be a strong woman. She is a woman who has lost much, but has been able to move through the pain and loss. I realize that a true sociopath can manipulate anyone, but as a message for young women, in particular, I think Hope should have left Finn the first time he was abusive. I think it sends a poor message that a strong, 44-year-old woman would stay with a man after he had been both mentally and physically abusive.
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Format: Hardcover
Well, the big news is that this book lacks the usual repetition Steels' last books always have. Who knew it would take her 100th book to break the cycle? We'll see if it continues.

This is a predictable story. Since the book jacket and in my opinion the above copied reviews from other sources have given you all the details to the story, not much is a surprise. I found myself disliking Hope because she is such a weak woman. It was irritating to me that the story dragged on on if Hope stays with Fin when all the signs of this man not being good were plain as day. The ending is just as predictable.

I read the book in a day. Its a fast read. Get it from the library for free, certainly not worth paying for.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've read and/or listened to many Danielle Steele books over the years. I take her stories in spells - sometimes stepping away from them for years, then returning to them again. Let's be honest, they're fairly predictable. You know they'll either take place in San Francisco, France, New York or London. That never changes. You know it will be a happy ending. But at least you can relate to and become interested in the characters in her novels. Many times I've thoroughly enjoyed her books from beginning to end but this one was the worst. As a side note, if you listen to books on CD regularly as I do, you come to appreciate the phenomenal readers that are out there for these books on CD. Danielle tends to choose men to read her novels which is fine, but this one was HORRIBLE. He sounded like a very old man which felt strange and awkward to me and he also used very little emotion in his voice and read very slowly and monotone. I'm listening to another book on CD right now and the reader is breathtakingly good. For those of us who rely on that, it's a gift when you get it.

The characters of Hope and Finn were just not believable at all. I know I didn't form any kind of attachment at all to Hope or Finn which made this story even less believable. No woman would ever stay with a man as long as she did. He showed signs of being a sociopath in the early part of the book, then we had to endure waiting and waiting and waiting while Hope pondered, considered and wondered what on earth she should do next. He would slam her against the wall and then she'd tell him she loved him two hours later? I think not. There was no thread of a realistic human experience. A reader wants to root for the character(s) but in this story, by the end, I didn't care what happened to either of them.
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Format: Hardcover
Ever since MOMA showed an exhibit of her photography when she was thirty-eight, Hope Dunne has become famous. She was recently in India and Tibet, but now is back in her Manhattan Soho loft just before Christmas. Hope enjoys her lifestyle though at times misses the intimacy she once had when she was married for over two decades to sexagenarian Paul who suffers from Parkinson's disease; but Hope especially misses her late daughter. She captures that combination of serenity and passion though a camera lens.

Her agent Mark Webber asks if she would like to do a shoot of popular Irish-American author Finn O'Neill; she agrees. She meets her assistant on the job Fiona Casey and they travel to Ireland together. Hope finds the bodacious warm Finn a delightfully charming opposite of her quiet manner. He seems attracted to her and overtly displays his feelings as he tries to sweep her off her feet. At his remote estate, she falls in love only to begin to unravel his tale of omissions and lies, but mostly it is his jealous rage when there is no remote reason bothers her. She realizes she is acting schizoid as her heart tells her to trust Finn, but her brain tells her to flee back to Manhattan before it is too late. She wonders if he is an overly concerned somewhat possessive lover, a sociopath, or worse.

This is a typical Danielle Steele contemporary character driven thriller that fans of the author will devour once Finn enters the picture as the audience will wonder if he is a villain or hero; if he is a hero than Hope is paranoid. The story line is filled with angst, perhaps too much as everyone carries tons of baggage even secondary players like Robert. Yet readers will relish Hope's dilemmas she believes she has found love but fears she has found obsessive love; either way she understands it is MATTERS OF THE HEART dictating to the mind how to feel and act.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was a little surprised at the reviews of this book. I thought it was very realistic story about a sociopath and his prey. A previous review said that Hope should have left much sooner, but how would you know how you would react in the situation, being manipulated on a regular basis, always confused and terrorized. I think it was a true depiction of how a person in this situation would react after what they are up against. It is disturbing but it is true and most likely hits home for people that are in the same type of situation. It doesn't get more real until you are there and have gone through what she went through. Hope is a very honorable, admirable person and came out of it stronger, whereas some people are not so lucky. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, read it in 2 days and feel a little more knowledgeable about the subject, thanks to Danielle Steel's beautiful storytelling. She never fails to deliver.
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