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Making of a Duchess
     

Making of a Duchess

4.1 63
by Shana Galen
 

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A very dangerous attraction...and an even more dangerous secret

Julien Harcourt, duc de Valère, is more than willing to marry the lovely young lady his mother has chosen. Little does he know, she's been sent to prove him a spy and a traitor.

Sarah Smith's mission is to find out whether the Duc's trips to the Continent are as

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Making of a Duchess 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 63 reviews.
gl More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
RomancingRakes More than 1 year ago
***review originally posted at Romancing Rakes*** The first book in The Sons of the Revolution series and it's definitely a keeper. Ms. Galen has a way with throwing the reader into the midst of the action from the very first page. As Julien and his mother tried to get away from the burning barn, I could almost smell the smoke, hear the angry voices of the peasants and feel Julien's adrenaline and fear spike. Oh, the smoke might've just been from my candle but hey, it set the mood. While reading, I may have jumped a few times due to the thumping noises made by my neighbors as I was reading a suspenseful scene. My heart went out to Julien as he lost his father, his home and his family, except for his mother, at such a young age. He never for once, believed his brothers were dead and has never stopped looking for them; his mother has given up hope. The search for his brothers has been brought to the attention of the Foreign Office. Enter the lovely, orphaned governess Sarah Smith. She's never had a real family, she was left on the steps of the Academy. She takes a position as governess to one, Lord Northrop. He coerces her into acting a spy. She becomes Serafina Artois, the daughter of family friends. Sarah is instructed by Northrop to find evidence that Julien is selling national secrets. She is not allowed to return to her post as governess until she does so. As Sarah gets closer to the truth, she must join forces with Julien to help find his brother while trying not to get killed. Julien isn't a fan of Serafina, unlike his mother. She's refused his marriage proposal twice even though their families wanted them engaged. His friend Rigby even brings up that Serafina doesn't speak much Italian even though her family's been living in Italy. There's just so much about Serafina that intrigues Julien but after finding her several times poking around his study, he gets suspicious. After finding out that Sarah isn't really Serafina, Julien tries to keep his distance but well, he's a man, she's pretty and he won't be able to stay away for long. While trying to get out of the country to find Armand, his brother, Julien must keep Sarah safe. Their journey to France not only brings them closer, but they both soon realize that station didn't matter if they were meant to be together. After all, his mother wants him to be happy and Sarah makes him happy. I went backwards reading this series. I started off with The Making of a Gentleman so there was a spoiler or two. No matter, this book had me wanting to know how Sarah and Julien overcame their differences and problems to a happily ever after. Once again, Ms. Galen has captured my attention from the first page to the last with heart pounding action, adrenaline inducing danger, gasp worthy plot twists, and book gripping and spine breaking worthy seduction. I am looking forward to the last book in the series. ***book won from Rants-n-Scribbles blog hop giveaway***
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story captured me right from the beginning and I did enjoy it. I really liked the characters and the plot of the story. I did, however, feel that a few things were a little unrealistic, but overall enjoyed the story and plan on reading #2.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was another great read by Galan. This author knows how to write suspenseful romance novels. I did not love this book as much as other books I've read by her. It felt a bit rushed and lacked the intense chemistry Galan usually creates. Still a great and well written book.
skelley55 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book.  There are components that are unbelievable but this is fiction.  The characters are  interesting and the storyline quick paced.  
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This is not your typical 'romance' novel so don't judge it against the others who tout sex over romance and relationship building. Galen's grasp of what it takes to build a real relationship is dead on. This first book in the Valere series got me hooked on a wonderful family who drew me in to their lives.
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Tamela Bustillos More than 1 year ago
Must read, very good story . Looking forward to book three, this book and book 2 were both exciting to read.