Dare to believe in…
a cognizant original v5 release october 21 2010
DANIELLE STEEL“Steel pulls out all the emotional stops …. She delivers.”—Publishers Weekly“Steel is one of the best!”—Los Angeles Times“The world's most popular author tells a good, well- paced story and explores some important issues Steel affirm[s] life while admitting its turbulence, melodramas, and misfiring passions.”—Booklist“Danielle Steel writes boldly and with practical vividness about tragedy—both national and personal… with insight and power.”—Nashville Banner“There is a smooth reading style to her writings which makes it easy to forget the time and to keep flipping the pages.”—The Pittsburgh Press“One of the things that keeps Danielle Steel fresh is her bent for timely story lines … the combination of Steel's comprehensive research and her skill at creating credible characters makes for a gripping read.”—The Star-Ledger (Newark)“What counts for the reader is the ring of authenticity.”—San Francisco Chronicle“Steel knows how to wring the emotion out of the briefest scene.”—People“Ms. Steel excels at pacing her narrative, which races forward, mirroring the frenetic lives chronicled; men and women swept up in bewildering change, seeking solutions to problems never before faced.”—Nashville Banner“Danielle Steel has again uplifted her readers while skillfully communicating some of life's bittersweet verities. Who could ask for a finer gift than that?”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
PRAISE FOR THE RECENT NOVELS OF
DANIELLE STEELANSWERED PRAYERS“Smooth plotting.”—Publishers Weekly“Steel's fans will be waiting for this one”—Booklist“Answered Prayers may be an answer to yours.”—Times Record News (Wichita Falls, Texas)DATING GAME“A cheerful story full of colorful dating scenarios … you can't stop devouring it.”—Chicago TribuneSUNSET IN ST. TROPEZ“Steel's skillful character development shines.”—The Star-Ledger (Newark)“Entertaining and suspenseful…”—The Kansas City StarTHE KISS“Steel pulls through with skillful plotting, steeping a gentle brew that will once again gratify her legions of fans.”—Publishers WeeklyLEAP OF FAITH“STEEL IS A SKILLED STORYTELLER. [Her] tale provides entertainment and imparts important lessons.”—BooklistLONE EAGLE“THE NOVEL IS BRIGHTLY PACED, and the World War II setting provides plenty of contextual drama.”—PeopleA MAIN SELECTION OF THE LITERARY GUILD
AND THE DOUBLED AY BOOK CLUB
Also by Danielle Steel
JOHNNY ANGEL JEWELS DATING GAME NO GREATER LOVE SUNSET IN ST. TROPEZ HEARTBEAT THE COTTAGE MESSAGE FROM NAM THE KISS DADDY LEAP OF FAITH STAR LONE EAGLE ZOYA JOURNEY KALEIDOSCOPE THE HOUSE ON FINE THINGS HOPE STREET WANDERLUST THE WEDDING SECRETS IRRESISTIBLE FORCES FAMILY ALBUM GRANNY DAN FULL CIRCLE BITTERSWEET CHANGES MIRROR IMAGE THURSTON HOUSE HIS BRIGHT LIGHT: CROSSINGS THE STORY OF NICK TRAINA ONCE IN A LIFETIME THE KLONE AND I A PERFECT STRANGER THE LONG ROAD HOME REMEMBRANCE THE GHOST PALOMINO SPECIAL DELIVERY LOVE: POEMS THE RANCH THE RING SILENT HONOR LOVING MALICE TO LOVE AGAIN FIVE DAYS IN PARIS SUMMER'S END LIGHTNING SEASON OF PASSION WINGS THE PROMISE THE GIFT NOW AND FOREVER ACCIDENT PASSION'S PROMISE VANISHED GOING HOME MIXED BLESSINGS
To my very wonderful children,
who are the answers to my prayers,
Beatrix, Trevor, Todd, Samantha,
Victoria, Vanessa, Maxx, and Zara,
and Nick who was not only the answer
to my prayers, but has my prayers now,
and my heart, as he always will.
I love you all, with all my heart and soul.
with all my love,
FAITH MADISON LOOKED SMALL AND SERIOUS AND STYLish, as she set the table, tossed a salad, and glanced into the oven at the dinner she'd prepared. She was wearing a well-cut black suit, and at forty-seven, she was still as slim as she had been when she married Alex Madison twenty-six years ago. She looked like a Degas ballerina, with her green eyes, and her long straight blond hair, which she had knotted into a sleek bun. She sighed, and sat down quietly in one of the kitchen chairs.
The small elegant brownstone townhouse on East Seventy-fourth Street in New York was deadly quiet, and she could hear the clock ticking, as she waited for Alex to come home. She closed her eyes for a minute, thinking of where she had been that afternoon. And as she opened them again, she could hear the front door open and close. There was no other sound, no footstep on the hall carpet, no shout of “hello” as he walked in. He always came in that way. He locked the door behind him, set down his briefcase, hung his coat up in the closet, and glanced at his mail. In time, he would come looking for her. He would check her small study, and then glance into the kitchen to see if she was there.
Alex Madison was fifty-two years old. They had met when she was in college, at Barnard, and he was in business school at Columbia. Things had been different then. He had been enchanted by Faith's open easy ways, her warmth, her energy, her joy. He had always been quiet and reserved, and cautious with his words. They married as soon as she graduated, and he got his MBA. He had been an investment banker ever since. She had worked as a junior editor at Vogue for a year after graduating, and loved it, and then stopped when she went to law school for a year. She dropped out when her first child was born. Eloise had just turned twenty-four and had moved to London in early September. She was working at Christie's, and learning a lot about antiques. Faith's other daughter, Zoe, at eighteen, was a freshman at Brown. After twenty-four years of full-time mothering, Faith had been out of a job for the past two months. The girls were gone—and she and Alex were suddenly alone.
“Hi, how was it?” Alex asked as he walked into the kitchen looking tired. He barely glanced at her and sat down. He'd been working hard on two IPOs. It didn't even occur to him to touch her or to hug her. Most of the time, he spoke to her from across the room. He didn't do it out of malice, but it had been years since he'd come home from the office and given her a hug. She had no idea when he'd stopped. She'd been so busy with their daughters that she didn't notice, until one day she realized that he didn't touch her when he came home anymore. She was always doing homework with the girls, or bathing one of them, when he came home at night. But it had been a long, long time since he'd been affectionate with her. Longer than either of them knew or cared to remember. There was a chasm between them now that they had both long since accepted, and she felt as though she were looking at him from a great distance as she poured him a glass of wine.
“It was all right. Sad,” she said, as he glanced at the paper, and she took the chicken out of the oven. He preferred fish, but she hadn't had time to buy any on the way home. “He looked so small.” She was speaking of her stepfather, Charles Armstrong. He had died two days before, at the age of eighty-four. The rosary had been that day, and the casket had been open so Charles could be “viewed” by family and friends.