The incomparable Danielle Steel breaks new ground as she takes us to nineteenth-century England, where a high-born young woman is forced out into the world--and begins a journey of survival, sensuality, and long-sought justice.Angelique Latham has grown up at magnificent Belgrave Castle under the loving tutelage of her father, the Duke of Westerfield, after the death of her aristocratic French mother. At eighteen she is her father's closest, most trusted child, schooled in managing their grand estate. But when he dies, her half-brothers brutally turn her out, denying her very existence. Angelique has a keen mind, remarkable beauty, and an envelope of money her father pressed upon her. To survive, she will need all her resources--and one bold stroke of fortune.Unable to secure employment without references or connections, Angelique desperately makes her way to Paris, where she rescues a young woman fleeing an abusive madam--and suddenly sees a possibility: Open an elegant house of pleasure that will protect its women and serve only the best clients. With her upper-class breeding, her impeccable style, and her father's bequest, Angelique creates Le Boudoir, soon a sensational establishment where powerful men, secret desires, and beautiful, sophisticated women come together. But living on the edge of scandal, can she ever make a life of her own--or regain her rightful place in the world?From England to Paris to New York, Danielle Steel captures an age of upheaval and the struggles of women in a male-ruled society--and paints a captivating portrait of a woman of unquenchable spirit, who in houses great or humble is every ounce a duchess.
The Duchess Review
- June 28, 2017Jennifer ManleyWhat a great story!By the time I was finished with this I felt emotionally drained from reading about this one woman's life. So many ups and downs especially downs but when she triumphed boy did she ever. But going through her losses with her just wrung me out. I have read Steel all my life but I have to say that for some reason I related to this woman I felt her pain and suffering and I felt her joy and love and happiness. Steel just did a magnificent job with her character and she came alive f What a great story!By the time I was finished with this I felt emotionally drained from reading about this one woman's life. So many ups and downs especially downs but when she triumphed boy did she ever. But going through her losses with her just wrung me out. I have read Steel all my life but I have to say that for some reason I related to this woman I felt her pain and suffering and I felt her joy and love and happiness. Steel just did a magnificent job with her character and she came alive for me and jumped right off the page into my heart. I was hooked from the beginning and heartbroken when it ended. Thanks again Danielle Steel for sharing your talent and heart and soul~Your loyal readermore
- July 1, 2017Sam Still ReadingI don’t think I’ve read a Danielle Steel novel since I was a teenager. My Nan and Mum used to read them on holiday, so I did too. Maybe I was too young or I didn’t pick the right book but I didn’t go back. Fast forward quite some time and Danielle Steel is again appearing on the shelves – or maybe that I just haven’t noticed until now. When I received The Duchess in the mail, I was intrigued by the gorgeous hat on the cover and that it was historical fiction. (I didn’t know Danielle Steel wrote I don’t think I’ve read a Danielle Steel novel since I was a teenager. My Nan and Mum used to read them on holiday, so I did too. Maybe I was too young or I didn’t pick the right book but I didn’t go back. Fast forward quite some time and Danielle Steel is again appearing on the shelves – or maybe that I just haven’t noticed until now. When I received The Duchess in the mail, I was intrigued by the gorgeous hat on the cover and that it was historical fiction. (I didn’t know Danielle Steel wrote them too). Anyway, I picked it up and enjoyed the experience immensely. It might be set in the 1830s, but there is intrigue, danger and scandal for everyone involved.The duchess referred to in the title is Angelique, and she’s not a duchess, but the daughter of a duke. Both she and her father know that when he dies, her half-brothers aren’t going to look out for her. The duke gives Angelique a secret stash of money to see her safe, but not even he could have predicted the cruelty that occurs on his death. Angelique is quickly thrust out of her childhood home, not having any rights to inheritance nor protection. She’s forced into service, working for friends of her half-brother. But her employers don’t know the truth (they think Angelique is a poor cousin). Working as a nanny is difficult at first, but Angelique is practical and while not accepting of her situation, willing to do her best. But even that turns ugly and Angelique is left with nothing. She flees to Paris to try one last route of employment, but a chance meeting with a young girl sees her starting her own business. It’s not conventional for a young single girl, but it might just work…I thought The Duchess was a great light read with its mixture of scandal as well as commentary on how women were treated during this time period. Angelique is entirely dependent on the whims of her family to support her and in her various roles, she must make up fake, ‘respectable’ pasts to be accepted on to the fringes of society. I found the dialogue quite stilted initially, but once Angelique moved into service I either got used to it or it improved. The plot also seemed a bit uneven with a bit too much time spent on Angelique’s life as a nanny but very little on a later romance. (I did wonder at this point whether there was going to be a sequel as I really didn’t think it could be wrapped up in the remaining pages. I was wrong and it’s actually a very just, sweet ending). But overall I enjoyed it. The scandals and unfair situations were breathtaking and Angelique’s responses to them were clever and original. Would I read another Danielle Steel? You bet. I can see why my Nan loved them and why my mother is asking if I’ve finished with The Duchess yet. They are great escapist novels, perfect for holidays or those weeks where everything is so busy you just want to escape from the real world for half an hour. I liked how the plot was unique, not fitting the standard fare of ‘penniless girl finds love and another protector’. Danielle Steel isn’t afraid of putting her characters in a difficult place, physically and emotionally. If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to search the family bookshelves…Thank you to Pan Macmillan for the copy of this book. My review is honest.http://samstillreading.wordpress.commore
- June 30, 2017LynI loved this book! I read it in one day! From the Stunning "Duchess" on the cover; to the beautiful settings and heartfelt story within, Angelique is hard to forget. Her journey is amazing. Ms Steel knows how to tell stories that will touch our hearts. This, like everything else she writes, is Magnificent!more
- June 30, 2017KathyI haven't read Danielle Steel in awhile because they were all running together for me. I read this on the recommendation of a friend. I really enjoyed it! I love period pieces. This is in the 1830's. I couldn't put it down. Done in a day.
- July 1, 2017BettyA great read!A good story of a young woman who had it all, lost it all, and won it back. I enjoyed the whole story.
- July 1, 2017PrinzessbtrflyI really enjoyed this story, i haven't read Danielle Steel in years and she's still a pretty damn awesome writer!
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