Love at first sight. It is the subject of countless romance novels, blockbuster Hollywood movies, and the desire of legions of men and women who wonder if they will be the recipients of this unspoken phenomenal experience. Love at first sight is a moment when time stands still, eyes lock and futures are altered. It is a moment forever seared in your memory. Danielle Steel’s passion for romance is hotter than ever in her latest novel, FIRST SIGHT.
Timmie O is an international brand founded and guided by the famous principal designer Timmie O’Neill. She is the CEO of the most important men’s and women’s ready-to-wear lines in the United States, with subsidiary companies in Europe. A perfectionist who is creative, efficient and driven, she enjoys all of the perks that her hard work, long hours and international travel have made possible.
"Steel’s audience has come to admire the strong, creative women who overcome personal tragedies and fears with their Midas touch. She shows the reader how to move forward with grace and style, pursue your passions, and believe in the twists of fate that just may surprise us."
Timmie accomplishes the pinnacles of her successes with the help of her trusted assistants, David Gold and Jade Chin. David and Jade are also close friends who know that Timmie was abandoned at an orphanage at the age of five, left by her husband for another man, and devastated by the death of her only son from a brain tumor. Timmie suffers from the fear of another broken heart and focuses on work, not love. The closeness among this group has contributed to the worldwide success of the Timmie O brand.
Passion is the number one “must have” in a woman’s designer handbag. Passion defines us, whether it is a passion for fashion, a career, a coveted possession, or another person. A woman recalls the moment that love at first sight strikes, and her life reflects her passions. Steel has built a literary dynasty based on her passion to create compelling romantic liaisons between dynamic couples who are destined to meet. Located in the heart of Paris, the Plaza Athénée is a perfect summer destination for FIRST SIGHT readers to indulge in. “Elegant opulence suited her to a tee,” but even Cristal champagne cannot erase Timmie’s loneliness.
Timmie jetsets tirelessly between the fashion capitals of the world: New York, London, Milan, and her home away from home, her beloved Paris: “Victory in Paris was what mattered to her most.” Timmie’s personal style, “her vintage mink jacket, wearing a large diamond bracelet on her wrist,” was a casual chic any woman would die to possess. The staff at Paris’s famed Plaza Athénée treated Timmie like a queen when she arrived for her annual fashion show, and the reader feels pampered just reading about the luxurious suite’s décor and special treats waiting for Timmie O. “There was no place on earth as wonderful as the Plaza Athénée, in her opinion.” Its lobby is the epitome of love at first sight, and the book’s cover with the hotel’s signature bold red invites the reader with one theme: passion.
Timmie’s idyllic trip to Paris is interrupted by a severe bout of appendicitis, and luckily she has the name of a Parisian doctor from a friend. When Docteur Jean-Charles Vernier, illustrious professor and doctor, arrives impeccably dressed in an elegant dark blue suit and white shirt from a dinner party, Timmie “couldn’t help observing that he was a very good-looking man, with deep blue eyes and still-blond hair.” The stressful situation and kindness of Jean-Charles allows Timmie to “bare her soul” to him about her unhappy and traumatic childhood, bouncing from foster home to foster home. As Timmie peers into his blue eyes and admires his style, she wonders why all the good men are married.
It turns out that the good doctor is unhappily married, and an invitation from Timmie to attend a Paris dinner party hosted by Timmie O at the Plaza Athénée reunites them, resulting in an affair to remember and covet. They act like giddy teenagers, falling in love between Timmie’s Bel Air and Malibu hideaways. Jean-Charles erases Timmie’s loneliness and gives her hope that “Mr. Right” has finally come along.
Timmie’s love life has included a string of slightly younger, spoiled men who use her to further their careers for six months or more and eventually move on. Timmie is deluded by her desire for Jean-Charles into believing his promises to leave his wife. But when the excuses begin and continue over many months, Timmie must face the reality that the gift of love is all that remains of her love affair with Jean-Charles.
Steel’s audience has come to admire the strong, creative women who overcome personal tragedies and fears with their Midas touch. She shows the reader how to move forward with grace and style, pursue your passions, and believe in the twists of fate that just may surprise us.
Reviewed by Hillary Wagy on July 19, 2013