Phoebe Von Bergen is the daughter of a German count. She has traveled from Germany to America with her father to purchase Sapphires. All of her life, Phoebe has believed that her mother died in a tragic accident at sea. Her father always told her that her mother died while crossing the Atlantic to America. After her mother's death, she was sent away to a boarding school. Growing up she always had everything she wanted and then more.
As she accompanied her father to America, Phoebe was pleased at the sights that she had seen. When they arrived in Helena, Montana, Phoebe and her father meet many people. Phoebe begins to see a harsh side to her father. In fact after arranging for an elaborate dinner party, the chef suddenly quits. He tells Phoebe that her father insulted him and then hit him.
Phoebe has large amounts of time to herself as her father takes care of his business dealings. During this time Phoebe wanders the hotel grounds and meets Ian Harper. Ian is a lapidary and befriends Phoebe. Phoebe also manages to run into her own mother. During this time she realizes that her father has always lied to her about her mother's disappearance. Her mother actually had to run away from her father because he beat her many times and she feared for her life.
As Phoebe gets to know her mother, she realizes that her father is not as wonderful as he seems and that he is indeed dishonest not only in his business dealings, but also with his daughter. When she least expects it, her father has arranged for her to marry a wealthy (and very old) gentleman. He arranged this purely for his own gain.
Phoebe needs to make some decisions. Will she follow her father's orders and go back to Germany and marry? Or will she stay in America and further her relationship with Ian? She ultimately decides to confront her father, which leads to a very frightening situation for her.
I enjoy reading books by Tracie Peterson. I love how the complete plan of salvation is clearly woven into each work of fiction. This book is no exception. There is just enough suspense to keep the reader guessing what will happen next and how the problems will be solved.
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