Duchess Author:Josephine Edgar They call her Duchess, even though Viola Corbett is really an illegitimate shop-girl. But nobility is more than bloodlines, and the tall, auburn-haired Viola has something most real duchesses lack: a stunning beauty and grace tht awe the other shopgirls -- and bring the gentlemen of turn-of-the-century London to her feet. — Four men are in ... more »love with Duchess: Sam Hardcastle, the gentle Leeds shop-owner who has to send her away to London; Lord James Staffray, the dashing young officer who has everything -- money, prestige, adventure and an irresistible longing for Viola; Arthur Netherby, the cruel, tormented owner of the "live-in" store where Duchess works; and finally, Count Eugene Erhmann, the worldly Austrian who foresees that the lovely girl will become a magnificent woman.
But Duchess wants only one man, an aristocrat whose family will never consent to marriage. Nothing can make her more than a common shop-girl in their eyes -- nothing, and certainly not her past: her splendid, needless affair; her illegitimate child; and her scandalous trial for murder.
Yet Josephine Edgar's Duchess is more than a common shop-girl and her story much more than a simple romance. It is the haunting tale of a society rules by conventions -- and the beautiful, passionate woman who shattered them all.« less
This is an excellent Regency adventure/romance w/emphasis o the former. A very independent young woman making her way in the very cold world of upper crust London. I believe the term "adventuress" might apply to Viola but she moves full speed ahead - breaking hearts at every opportunity & her leisure never includes repenting. Happy reading.