Customer Reviews for

Making of a Duchess

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Set during the French Revolution - a fun and exciting romantic escape!

The Making of a Duchess grabbed me from the start. It opens in France during the time of the French Revolution. Julien is the eldest of the Duke's three sons and he wakes up to the sound of peasants attacking their home. He runs to help his brothers and his mother bu...
The Making of a Duchess grabbed me from the start. It opens in France during the time of the French Revolution. Julien is the eldest of the Duke's three sons and he wakes up to the sound of peasants attacking their home. He runs to help his brothers and his mother but is surrounded by angry peasants -- some of which he's known all his life. Although Julien is able to escape, the violence and hatred of that night marks him forever.

He and his mother are able to rebuild their lives in England, but Julien cannot forget his brothers who might still be in France. Despite the danger, Julien plans visits to France to search for his brothers and help them escape. Julien is deeply committed to fighting the Revolutionaries who have taken so much from him and his family. When a young French aristocrat -- whose family barely survived the Revolution -- writes his mother, he is willing to marry the young woman. The mingling of noble French blood will be one more victory against the thousands of people that have tried to eradicate his family.

The young woman, Sarah Smith, is actually a governess who has been manipulated by her employer into acting as an amateur spy. Her mission is to pretend to be an escaped aristo and to find proof that Julien Harcourt is spying for France and against England. Her "handler" is brutal and mean -- and clearly dangerous.

As Sarah tries to fulfill her mission, she can't find proof of Julien's disloyalty. Instead, she is drawn to his sense of honor and kindness. But if they work together, they must still find a way to overcome the hostility and accusations from the spymaster that is Sarah's employer and handler.

The book is such a fun read. Each part develops the characters of Julien and Sarah so that I found myself cheering for them and hoping that they'd quickly find a way out of their dilemma. The plot twists, drama, and suspense all come together and make the most of the drama of the French Revolution. The Making of a Duchess is a thoroughly fun historical romance!

ISBN-10: 1402238657 - Mass Market Paperback
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (June 1, 2010), 384 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

posted by gl on July 20, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Silly characters, cliched plot

I'm annoyed that I paid for this book. I tried it because B&N suggested it was similar to Joanna Bourne. It isn't. Don't let the gripping first chapter fool you; the balance of this novel is neither engaging nor particularly well-written. The heroine is one of the " too...
I'm annoyed that I paid for this book. I tried it because B&N suggested it was similar to Joanna Bourne. It isn't. Don't let the gripping first chapter fool you; the balance of this novel is neither engaging nor particularly well-written. The heroine is one of the " too stupid to live" types. Drafted as a last minute spy, because somehow every other female operative in England is busy, she bumbles her way through an attempt to impersonate a French aristocrat. In the first few hours of her mission, she 1) fails to speak with a French accent, 2) forgets hugely important details of her cover story (like the fact that her "father" is supposed to be dying), and 3) becomes so nervous that she vomits into the furniture. I guess her incompetence is supposed to be cute? The hero is little better; he ogles her figure even as he helps her up from vomiting (ick) and refers to her as "the chit" in his internal monologue (double ick). The plot is about as engaging as the lame, two-dimensional chacters. 40 pages in, I had already guessed the "surprise" ending.
My advice: skip this in favor of a romance that doesn't insult your intelligence and that of women everywhere.

posted by 17274266 on May 19, 2013

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