The Duchess by Danielle Steel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It seems a bit far fetched. 18 year old Angelique is the beloved daughter of the Duke of Westerfield and yet he does NOTHING to ensure her safety after his death other than give her a large sum of money and the jewelry he bought specifically for her and her Mother. I understand about the estate being entailed and that there was nothing her could do to force Tristan to treat his half sister decently, but really no family friends that he could entrust his daughters well being too, no marriage plans for his lovely daughter to ensure her future.
The Duke dies and Tristan who has always been jealous of his half sister forces her to go into service with some of his friends as a nanny. He claims Angelique is his cousin, so he won't appear such an ass. Angelique actually enjoys the job as a nanny until a guest in the family's home tries to force himself on her, she fights him off but he tells her employers she tried to seduce him and they fire her without a reference. Without a reference she can't get a job in England, so goes to France to try to find a job there but discovers without a reference she can't get a job there either. After finding Fabienne hurt on the streets Angelique decides to open a high end brothel with the money her Father left her, it's a huge success and she meets many important men. Then one night a shooting at the brothel ends that chapter in Angelique's life and she leaves for America. On the ship she meets a handsome young man and after a whirlwind courtship she and Andrew wed. Unfortunately his Father was one of her former clients and he opposes the marriage as he was in love with Angelique and is jealous that she choose his son over him. After Andrew's death he forgives Angelique for marrying his son and ask to have a relationship with his grandson, Phillip (who is the future Duke of Westerfield as Tristan has no sons and his younger brother died)
When Angelique learns that her family's estate is for sell due to the debts Tristan and his wife have accrued she arranges to buy her family's home and takes great satisfaction in turning Tristan out.
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