Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Review - The Making of a Gentleman by Shana Galen

The Making of a Gentleman is the second in Shana Galen's Sons of the Revolution series and picks up the story a few months after Book One, The Making of a Duchess (which I reviewed in June) concluded. Readers of Book One will remember that Julien needed to rescue his brother Armand, who'd been locked away in a French prison for twelve years. As a result of his imprisonment, he has lost the ability to speak and interact with polite society, so Julien and Sarah decide to hire someone to help him. What they don't tell Felicity Bennett, a well-educated woman in need of a position, is that her pupil is a grown man. Felicity has a secret of her own - a reprobate betrothed who is blackmailing her to free her from their marriage agreement.

Their first meeting leaves them both shaken, but drawn to each other and Felicity decides to stay to help Armand, despite his peculiar ways and haunted aspect. For his part, Armand finds Felicity is the one person who can touch him without pain and soon finds himself needing to be with her as much as possible. When a threat from his past resurfaces, he is even more desperate to protect this woman who is helping to free him from the prison of his mind. But will her past be the undoing of them both?

As with Making of a Duchess, Ms. Galen has brought together an engaging heroine and a tortured but noble hero in a rivetting story with lots of twists and turns. The setting is impeccable, with just the right amount of detail while the characters, major and minor, sparkle. It's wonderful to see Julien and Sarah's relationship continue, yet they don't overwhelm the developing romance between Armand and Felicity. The pacing is perfect as the narrative moves between Armand and Felicity and the subplots involving their secrets.

My only quibble is that one plot point involving Felicity drags on for just a little too long, but this was merely a minor annoyance as the rest of the story is fresh, intriguing and full of the right combination of romance and adventure. This book was a delight from start to finish and I can hardly wait to read the concluding volume which promises to bring all three brothers together again. I highly recommend that fans of historical romance find and read this book.

Teresa Basinski Eckford

This review first appeared on my Thoughts from Lady Tess blog on October 10, 2010

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