Read Zoya Online

Authors: Danielle Steel

Tags: #Fiction, #Contemporary Women, #Sagas, #Romance, #Contemporary

Zoya

“GENUINELY TOUCHING…. GG IS THE MISGUIDED READER WHO SKIPS A SINGLE PAGE.”

People
magazine
“THE PLOTS OF DANIELLE STEEL'S NOVELS TWIST AND WEAVE AS INCREDIBLE STORIES UNFOLD TO THE THRILL AND DEUGHT OF HER ENORMOUS READING PUBLIC. THIS ONE IS A PERFECT EXAM PLE.”
—United Press International
From the shattering onset of the Russian Revolution in 1917 to New York in the turbulent eighties, witness the dramatic events that transformed the history of the world and the life of an unforgettable woman …
ZOYA by DANIELLE STEEL
A Literary Guild Dual Main Selection
“A LITERARY PHENOMENON … AMBITIOUS … PROLIFIC … AND NOT TO BE PIGEON HOLED AS ONE WHO PRODUCES A PREDICTABLE KIND OF BOOK.”

The Detroit News
“STEEL IS ONE OF THE BEST.”

Los Angeles Times
“THERE IS A SMOOTH READING STYLE TO HER WRITINGS WHICH MAKES GG EASY TO FORGET THE TIME AND KEEP FLIPPING THE PAGES.”

The Pittsburgh Press
Books by Danielle Steel
DATING GAME
JEWELS
ANSWERED PRAYERS
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 HOPE STREET
FINE THINGS
THE WEDDING
WANDERLUST
IRRESISTIBLE FORCES
SECRETS
GRANNY DAN
FAMILY ALBUM
BITTERSWEET
FULL CIRCLE
MIRROR IMAGE
CHANGES
HIS BRIGHT LIGHT:
THURSTON HOUSE
The Story of Nick Traina
CROSSINGS
THE KLONE AND I
ONCE IN A LIFETIME
THE LONG ROAD HOME
A PERFECT STRANGER
THE GHOST
REMEMBRANCE
SPECIAL DELIVERY
PALOMINO
THE RANCH
LOVE! POEMS
SILENT HONOR
THE RING
MALICE
LOVING
FIVE DAYS IN PARIS
TO LOVE AGAIN
LIGHTNING
SUMMER'S END
WINGS
SEASON OF PASSION
THE GIFT
THE PROMISE
ACCIDENT
NOW AND FOREVER
VANISHED
PASSION'S PROMISE
MIXED BLESSINGS
GOING HOME
a cognizant original v5 release october 27 201
0Visit the Danielle Steel Web Site at:
www.daniellesteel.com
DELL PUBLISHING
Darling Maxx
Be never too young, never too old,
always strong enough
to live and love and inquire,
ever loving,
always kind.
May life share its many blessings with you, and may its burdens be ever light.
The wind at your back,
the sun in your soul,
and our love in your heart,
now and forever.
For you, and your Daddy,
my heart ever yours,
my love and my life
yours forever.
DS.
Zoya

St. Petersburg

CHAPTER
1

Zoya closed her eyes again as the troika flew across the icy ground, the soft mist of snow leaving tiny damp kisses on her cheeks, and turning her eyelashes to lace as she listened to the horses’ bells dancing in her ears like music. They were the sounds she had loved since childhood. At seventeen, she felt grown up, was in fact almost a woman, yet she still felt like a little girl as Feodor forced the shining black horses on with his whip … faster … faster … through the snow. And as she opened her eyes again, she could see the village just outside Tsarskoe Selo. She smiled to herself as she squinted to see the twin palaces just beyond it, and pulled back one heavy fur-lined glove to see how much time it had taken. She had promised her mother she would be home in time for dinner … and she would be … if they didn't spend too much time talking … but how could they not? Marie was her very dearest friend, almost like a sister.

Ancient Feodor glanced around and smiled at her, as she laughed with excitement. It had been a perfect
day. She always enjoyed her ballet class, and even now, her ballet slippers were tucked into the seat beside her. Dancing was a special treat, it had been her passion since early childhood, and sometimes she had secretly whispered to Marie that what she wanted most was to run away to the Maryinsky, to live there, and train day and night with the other dancers. The very thought of it made her smile now. It was a dream she couldn't even say out loud, people in her world did not become professional dancers. But she had the gift, she had known it since she was five, and at least her lessons with Madame Nastova gave her the pleasure of studying what she loved best. She worked hard during the hours she spent there, always imagining that one day Fokine, the great dance master, would find her. But her thoughts turned swiftly from ballet to her childhood friend, as the troika sped through the village toward her cousin Marie. Zoya's father, Konstantin, and the Tsar were distant cousins, and like Marie's, her own mother was also German. They had everything in common, their passions, their secrets, their dreams, their world. They had shared the same terrors and delights when they were children, and she had to see her now, even though she had promised her mother that she wouldn't. It was stupid really, why shouldn't she see her? She wouldn't visit the others in their sickroom, and Marie was perfectly fine. She had sent Zoya a note only the day before, telling her how desperately bored she was with the others sick around her. And it wasn't anything serious after all, only measles.

The peasants hurried from the road as the troika sped past, and Feodor shouted at the three black horses that drew them. He had worked for her
grandfather as a boy, and his father had worked for their family before him. Only for her would he have risked her father's ire and her mother's silent» elegant displeasure, but Zoya had promised him no one would know, and he had taken her there a thousand times before. She visited her cousins almost daily, what harm could there be in it now, even if the tiny, frail Tsarevich and his older sisters had the measles. Alexis was only a boy, and not a healthy lad, as they all knew. Mademoiselle Zoya was young and healthy and strong, and so very, very lovely. She had been the prettiest child Feodor had ever seen, and Ludmilla, his wife, had taken care of her when she was a baby. His wife had died the year before of typhoid, a terrible loss for him, particularly as they had no children. His only family was the one that he worked for.

The Cossack Guard stopped them at the gate and Feodor sharply reined in the steaming horses. The snow was heavier now and two mounted guards approached in tall fur hats and green uniforms, looking menacing until they saw who it was. Zoya was a familiar figure at Tsarskoe Selo. They saluted smartly as Feodor urged the horses on again, and they rode quickly past the Fedorovsky chapel and on to the Alexander Palace. Of their many imperial homes it was the one the Empress preferred. They seldom used the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg at all, except for balls or state occasions. In May each year they moved to their villa on the Peterhof estate, and after summers spent on their yacht, the
Polar Star
, and at Spala in Poland, they always went to the Livadia Palace in September. Zoya was often with them there until she returned to school at the
Smolny Institute. But the Alexander Palace was her favorite as well. She was in love with the Empress's famous mauve boudoir and had asked that her own room at home be done in the same muted opal shades as Aunt Alix's. It amused her mother that Zoya wanted it that way, and the year before she had decided to indulge her. Marie teased her about it whenever she was there, saying that the room reminded her far too much of her mother.

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