Making of a Gentleman

( 63 )

Overview

Praise for Shana Galen:

"Galen's signature sense of humor, expertly blended with deep emotions, will hold readers captive right to the end." -Romantic Times

"Lively dialogue, breakneck pace and a great sense of fun." -Publishers Weekly

Twelve years in prison has stripped him of his humanity...

Armand, Comte de Valère has lost the ability to interact with polite society, until...

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Making of a Gentleman

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Overview

Praise for Shana Galen:

"Galen's signature sense of humor, expertly blended with deep emotions, will hold readers captive right to the end." -Romantic Times

"Lively dialogue, breakneck pace and a great sense of fun." -Publishers Weekly

Twelve years in prison has stripped him of his humanity...

Armand, Comte de Valère has lost the ability to interact with polite society, until his family hires him a beautiful tutor, and he starts to come alive again...

Saving him is her only chance to escape a terrible fate...

Felicity Bennett vows she'll do whatever it takes to help Armand fight back the demons that have held him captive for so long...

With Felicity's help, Armand begins to heal, until a buried secret threatens to destroy their growing passion...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Galen's second Sons of the Revolution Regency romance (after The Making of a Duchess) hooks the reader from the start with a unique plot. Felicity Bennett is hired as a tutor to Armand Harcourt, the comte de Valère, who has spent the last 12 of his 23 years in a Parisian prison following the French Revolution. Armand seems to have lost the ability to speak, and his brother, Julien, believes the pretty young governess might be able to help him recover. As Armand begins to make progress, the attraction between him and Felicity becomes intense and sultry. Their personal growth lags behind the development of their relationship, but Galen compensates for the one-dimensional characters with plenty of mystery, intrigue, passionate romance, and a knack for bringing the historical setting to life. (Oct.)
RT Book Reviews
The second installment of the Sons of the Revolution trilogy showcases Galen's talents for emotionally powerful romances that enchant readers... Galen gives her story wonderful twists and marvelous characterization that make it a standout.
— Kathe Robin
Night Owl Romance
Fantastic historical romance...
From the Publisher
"Fantastic historical romance... " - Night Owl Romance

"The second installment of the Sons of the Revolution trilogy showcases Galen's talents for emotionally powerful romances that enchant readers... Galen gives her story wonderful twists and marvelous characterization that make it a standout." - RT Book Reviews

"Galen has created a wonderful hero." - Fresh Fiction

"You really can't help but become invested in the characters and their plot to overcome their respective pasts on the journey to a future together. " - The Romance Studio

"Get this book and sigh with us all... Love conquers all. Bravo Shana Galen!" - Aisle B

"This is the ultimate in a wounded hero... This is a DELIGHTFUL historical romance! I HIGHLY recommend it to historical romance fans." - Moonlight to Twilight

"Talk about a mysterious man and one filled with sooo much animalistic passion... Absolutely beautiful." - The Book Faery

"Galen brings her characters and their stories to life with passion... The aspects of the French Revolution gives the reader a refreshing change." - Debbie's Book Bag

"Once I began reading, I was hooked... the plot is well done and the characterization is charming." - Luxury Reading

"This was a delightful book full of enjoyable characters" - Broken Teepee

The Barnes & Noble Review

From Eloisa James's "READING ROMANCE" column on The Barnes & Noble Review


At cocktail parties I often find myself face-to-face with a man bent on proving that romances give women unrealistic expectations about the male sex. After reading one too many, he'll explain earnestly, she might dump a perfectly acceptable man simply because he can't talk about emotion as fluently as do romance heroes. His eyes shift uneasily as he makes his argument, well aware that he himself is no Prince Charming. Next time around, I have the perfect comeback: I've discovered some wonderful novels that depict the harshest challenge of all: falling in love with a man who, for one reason or another, is unable to understand emotion, let alone express it.

Christine Feehan's Water Bound probably depicts the most difficult of these relationships, because neither partner is comfortable with intimacy. Rikki Sitmore is a sea-urchin diver with the paranormal ability to make water obey her. What she doesn't have is the ability to read facial expressions; she's a high-functioning autistic. The man she saves from a rogue wave, Lev Prakenskii, is an assassin who is, he thinks, incapable of emotion. He suffers from an extreme form of PTSD that makes him a danger to Rikki: if startled, he instinctively attacks. Feehan deftly describes a kind of raw novelty in their every kiss: "He tasted passion. He tasted emotion. He tasted a world he'd never imagined, one he could never enter." Water Bound is a paranormal suspense, with a couple of baddies running around. But the heart of it is quiet and joyful, as two very lonely, very unusual people fall deeply in love.

Jack Wyndham, Earl of Gracechurch, is as damaged as Lev, though for different reasons. Eileen Dreyer's Barely a Lady spins a fascinating story about a marriage gone horribly wrong. Five years ago Jack divorced and ruined Olivia Grace, accusing her of adultery and leaving her penniless. She has every reason to wish him dead, and yet when she finds him on a battlefield, badly wounded and suffering from amnesia, she saves his life against all her better instincts. Like Feehan's romance, this novel is less about the machinations of evil men (though they exist), than about the slow blossoming of a very damaged man. The real problem standing between the pair is not Jack's fractured mind and body: it's that trust, as Jack finally realizes, involves faith. And until he keeps faith with Olivia, even in the face of the worst accusation of all, she won't have faith in him -- and he'll lose everything that might make his life worth living. Like Lev, Jack has to learn to accept the reality of his own violent past. But he, too, finds that love is a great healer. Barely a Lady is a deeply emotional, deeply moving novel that will make you believe in second chances.

Armand, Comte de Valère, in Shana Galen's The Making of a Gentleman, also shares a good deal with Feehan's hero. Lev is incapable of emotion because he was taken from his family as a young boy, and trained to be an assassin; Armand doesn't speak and can't bear to be touched, after having been kidnapped at age eleven and held in captivity for years. When his family hires a tutor in a desperate bid to push him toward civilized behavior, Felicity Bennett is horrified by her new charge: he howls rather than speaks; he wears no shoes or stockings; his mind is broken. The story of how Felicity woos Armand with music, teaching him to speak and follow "The Rules" is fascinating. You'll find yourself rooting for Armand, who knows immediately that he wants to marry Felicity, no matter her station in life. But she wants love, and he doesn't understand the emotion. The tale of how he learns that love is wanting to be with her in the morning and do anything for her smile…well, it will make you smile too.

Several of these novels look squarely at the side effects of being a soldier. Former Navy SEAL Sax Douchett, in JoAnn Ross's The Homecoming, finds himself dreaming of Afghanistan every night, unable to break free from his memories. Sax has come home to the small Oregon town where he grew up, bringing with him the wisecracking, sweet ghosts of three wartime buddies: Jake the Snake, Cowboy Montgomery, and Randy. After Sax's dog finds a human bone on the beach, Sax encounters the local sheriff, Kara Conway, a girl that he didn't have a prayer of winning back in the day. But now they've both changed. He's a bad boy turned American hero (with all the complications that implies), and she's the widow of a soldier, raising a small son named Trey. The Homecoming is a rueful, complicated tale about the power of love: not just the love between Kara and Sax, but the love between Sax, Jake, Cowboy, and Randy. When his teammates tell him they're finally free to move on -- "SEALS don't leave men behind," but Sax isn't stuck in the Kush anymore -- I dare you not to get a lump in your throat. At the end of this novel, Kara, Trey, and Sax have all learned to say goodbye to beloved, lost soldiers:  the love that binds them will carry them into a new life together.

Barring that little ghost problem and some terrible dreams, Sax is essentially a wounded man who merely needs to heal. But like Feehan's Rikki, the hero of Kristan Higgins's All I Ever Wanted is a person who has to be loved for himself, as personalities aren't "curable." Higgins's novel offers an utterly charming and hysterically funny account of falling in love with a social misfit. Callie Grey is turning thirty, and getting desperate -- desperate enough to pack up her cheerful dog Bowie and haul him down to the new (single) vet with a pathetic excuse. Ian MacFarland has, in Callie's words, "just a splash of Asperger's," along with a strong antipathy to what he terms Callie's "emotional diarrhea." I laughed aloud over and over as Callie learns to spell out every emotion so Ian can understand it, and Ian learns that a messy, emotionally challenging life is not the end of the world. It's rather wonderful to watch him discover that the one thing he's always avoided -- an emotional, impulsive woman -- may, in fact, be all he ever wanted.

These romances tackle the most difficult men of all -- those who are unable to express emotion, whether because of physical and mental trauma, or a twist of personality. These aren't fantasies about easy love or the perfect man. They will strengthen your belief in the most wonderful aspect of the human spirit: the capacity to love deeply and truly, even when one's beloved is walking a different road than the rest of us.




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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402238666
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/1/2010
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 697,499
  • Product dimensions: 4.39 (w) x 6.89 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Shana Galen is the author of 5 Regency romances and 2 light women's fiction novels. She is a three-time Rita Award finalist (RWA's most prestigious award for published romance fiction). Shana teaches 7th grade English, is active in RWA, and lives with her family in Houston, Texas.

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Read an Excerpt

"Your aunt is the particular friend of a woman who is like a mother to me. When she recommended you, I knew we must hire you. And it was fortunate for us that you could arrive on such short notice. We want you to get started imme-What is it Grimsby?"

Felicity turned to see the taciturn butler standing in the doorway. "A question for you, Your Grace."

"What is it?"

"I am afraid it is from the workmen in the nursery."

"Ah. Can you tell them to wait?"

"Yes, Your Grace." The butler took a step backward and then paused. "Though they did say it was a matter of some urgency."

The duchesse sighed loudly and rose to her feet. Felicity quickly followed, noting as she did, the slight rounding revealed when the duchesse's gown had tightened over her belly. The duchesse was expecting. "I'm sorry." The duchesse spread her arms sympathetically.

"I'm sure this will take only a moment or two."

"Of course." Felicity took her seat on the sofa again and tried to sip her tea. It was very good, much better than what she had been used to at home. Of course, she and her father were lucky to have tea, she reminded herself. Her aunt Robbins had six children, and with eight mouths to feed, tea was the last thing her cousins worried about.

Felicity smiled, thinking about her aunt and uncle and their big happy family. When Felicity's father passed away, her aunt had offered her a place in their home, but Felicity did not want to be a burden. And then when Charles appeared, waving that marriage agreement, her options became even more limited. Nothing but money would make him and that loathsome document quietly disappear. Oh, she could refuse to marry him, but then she would be in a worse predicament than she was now. How would she survive? No respectable man would marry a woman so scandalized. And who would hire one with such a reputation? Her aunt, seeing Felicity's dire situation, had helped her secure this position. Felicity looked about the drawing room again, marveling. Who would have thought she would end up here?

She allowed her eyes to rest on some of the impressive paintings and ran her hand over the expensive fabric on the sofa. But what she really wanted to do was to play that beautiful pianoforte. And, coincidentally, here she was, all alone. And there it was, waiting to be played.

She angled her body so she could better admire the instrument. It was very fine-definitely much better than any she had ever played before. Far better than the one she had learned on-an ancient instrument that had been her mother's.

Her mother had been her teacher, as well. But that was years ago. Now both her mother and the pianoforte were no more. Her mother had died of consumption, while the pianoforte was sold two years ago to cover some debt or other.

The clock on the mantel ticked away, and still the duchesse did not return. The longer Felicity sat staring at that pianoforte, the more her fingers itched. Surely it would not hurt anything to study the pianoforte more closely.

Felicity rose, one eye on the drawing-room doors and one eye on the pianoforte. When she was beside it, she reached out gingerly and brushed her fingers along the spine and the raised fallboard. The wood was smooth and cool to her touch. When she pulled her fingers away, not a speck of dust lingered.

Cautiously, Felicity circled the instrument, admiring it but watching the drawing-room doors. She did not think the duchesse would mind if she simply looked at the instrument.

But playing-well, that was something else entirely, Felicity thought, even as she sat on the plush bench before the black-and-white keys. It was considered quite ill-mannered to play someone else's instrument without first asking permission.

Felicity stroked the keys, caressing them individually. In her mind, she heard the sound each would make, and still, without pushing down the keys, she began to play her favorite sonata. She was not even certain of the title of the piece. It was something her mother had loved to play and something Felicity had not heard in a long time.

Gently, Felicity increased her pressure on the keys until the music was more than just a figment of her imagination. She pressed lightly, dampening the tones she heard, but it did not matter. The music was beautiful. She closed her eyes and pictured her mother's hands on the worn keys of their instrument at home. She pictured her mother's face as she played each measure of the piece.

Here was a difficult section. Her mother's brow furrowed in concentration.

Here was a lively section. Her mother smiled, and her fingers seemed to fly over the keys.

Felicity's own fingers flew over the keys, as well. She was vaguely aware she was playing the instrument at full volume now. She was aware, but she no longer cared. Whatever scolding she might receive was secondary to the music. She could think of little else. The very notes themselves snared her and held her captive. She must finish the sonata. She could not breathe if she did not hear the next note and then the one after that.

She played with her eyes closed, knowing the sonata so well she did not need to look at her racing fingers. Even after all this time, she made no mistakes. Once she heard a piece, she rarely did. And then when the piece was almost complete, her back prickled. She opened her eyes and stared straight ahead.

A man stared back at her. He stood just inside the door of the drawing room, his hands fisted at his sides. His shirt and breeches were of the latest fashion, but he wore no tailcoat or waistcoat, and his shirt was open at the throat. Even more surprising, he wore no stockings or shoes. His clothing was clean and neat, but his hair was in disarray. It was long and free of any binding. The brown locks were clean, though, and they fell over his shoulders.

It was his eyes that stilled her fingers. They were the deepest and darkest blue she had ever seen and framed by long, thick lashes and a dark slash of brows. There was something in those eyes that sent a shock straight through her.

Not a shock of fear, though the man was big enough and powerful enough to be a threat, if he chose that course.

The shock was that of recognition. This man loved music as much as she. Felicity could see it in his face, in his eyes. And the shock of seeing her own passion reflected back at her froze her hands.

Suddenly, the music ceased, and silence washed over the room.

Felicity stared at the man, and he stared back. And then he began to howl.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 63 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(25)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 63 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 19, 2011

    Great story

    I enjoyed this as much as the first book. Is there going to be one in the other twin,who is a pirate. That would be great! Love love her novels.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2012

    My heart broke

    I could have wept for the male lead; his story was so heartbreaking, but as always, Shana takes one characters heartaches and proves how love can conquer all!

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  • Posted October 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Must Read!

    This is the second book in The Sons of Revolution series. It's in typical Shana Galen fashion: adrenaline pumping danger, a handsome hero, a headstrong heroine, an air of mystery, a touch of intrigue and toe curling smexing. A must read.

    Top Reasons to Read This Book:
    Silent, brooding, sexy, virgin hero with a dangerous past? Check. Pianoforte playing, marriage contract breaking, fall for her charge governess heroine? Check. Overprotective older brother? Check. Man claiming to be the husband of the heroine? Check. Bad guys who want the treasure that only the hero knows where it's at? Check and check.

    Armand Harcourt had been locked away in a French prison, forgotten until his brother Julien (hero of The Making of A Duchess) breaks him out and brings him home to England. Armand shies away from touch because it is too painful and refuses to speak because it could cause trouble. He's determined to stay mute to keep his family safe from those who might find out that he alone, is the keeper of a 12 year old secret. His family wants to help him learn to become a functioning member of society and decide to hire a governess to teach him.

    Enter Felicity Bennett, bent on repaying back the man her father sold her into marriage to. She takes up the position of governess and to her surprise, she would not be teaching a child but a grown man who somewhat frightens yet intrigues her with his behavior. She is determined to earn the money but the man shows up and demands the payment soon or the family will find out she is betrothed. Felicity has a penchant for playing the pianoforte and can play a tune, only hearing it a time or two. Her music soothes the beast in Armand. Felicity sees two strange men digging in the gardens and this ushers in the heart pounding, adrenaline pumping, knuckle clutching events into motion. Armand soon realizes that those men are after him and the only way he can keep his family and Felicity safe is by staying up all night guarding their home. His family and Felicity want him to come clean with the secret and at first he denies any knowledge of the treasure.

    All the while, Armand begins to talk, a word here, a phrase there. Felicity begins to see Armand as more than a pupil. His touch, his gaze, his presence does something to her. She know she must not lose sight of why she's there: the money to pay back Charles, the man her father sold her to. But with Armand, everything seems right with the world even if two treasure hungry men and one slimy wannabe dandy are after them.

    Oh, and virgin hero alert! This book was sweet, sensual and tinged with danger. A fun, fast paced, heart pounding read. I will have to go back and read The Making of a Duchess since snippets of Julien and Sarah in this book have made me curious of their love story. Ms. Galen has a way with words. She makes the hero and heroine likeable and the villians boo-worthy. After reading this, I realized it's my first virgin hero book. What a difference in the storytelling when it comes to The Sexiness.

    ***I won 3 copies of this book from giveaways***

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  • Posted September 13, 2011

    Great Story

    Yes, read this , I'm looking forward the the third book, book 1 and 2 did not disappoint.

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  • Posted November 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I was really looking forward to this one

    The story begins with Armand, the hero of the story, acting as a savage...unable to express himself with words, he's angry, frustrated and has problems interacting with his family let alone the London society befitting his rank as a Duc's brother. His heroine, Felicity is hired to be his governess/tutor in hopes that she can make progress where others have failed. She's desperate for employment after her father's death leaves her in dire straits. With nowhere else to turn, and a fiancee who blackmails her for money she doesn't possess she agrees to take on the role even after she learns she is not to tutor a young boy, but a man.

    I couldn't wait to read The Making of a Gentleman after reading The Making of a Duchess...it promised to have a tortured hero to die for, however the hero, Armand, didn't live up to my expectations. Many times in the story Armand refers to the unspeakable horrors that he endured during his time in prison...and unfortunately that's what they were unspeakable...as in they weren't really discussed or revealed to the reader to give more insight into his emotional healing. The reason for his silence and refusal to speak was explained, but it was hard for me to find his reasons believable as an adult, living a continent away from the danger he feared. It also seemed that his fear of speaking, as well as his avoidance of touch from anyone other than Felicity, and need for open spaces, were the only long term effects of his imprisonment that were satisfactorily resolved.....like his preference for sleeping on the floor. Did this affect his relationship with Felicity at all? I felt that many of his emotional hindrances were only briefly touched upon and in very little depth which kept me from feeling what he went through while in prison, and how he struggled to overcome what twelve years in solitary confinement can do to a person.

    While I had a hard time understanding Armand, I felt that Felicity, his heroine, was a wonderful character. She is truly in a rock and a hard place, and the twists and turns that the story takes, makes it harder and harder for her to find a way to have love and happiness, mostly due to Ms. Galen's well written villain who is a devious, deceitful person that is so vile that you love to hate him...but never fear this story does have a happily ever after and the villains get their due...even if I did feel that they got off a bit easy :) Not quite sure what the says about me that I wanted their punishments to be harsher...

    In the end I felt that while The Making of a Gentleman was a good story, it had the potential to be a great story...one that would stand out among a crowd of similar plots because of it's hero Armand, but his character wasn't explored in the depth that I wish he would have been. I could have very easily done without the treasure seeking plot (although I do have to say that this part of the book was well written, with some nail biting scenes), reduce the villains to just the fiancee, and focus more on Armand and his healing process...his integration with his family and society. Is it worth your time to read? I would say yes...there was enough of the book that was good that you will enjoy reading, but it probably won't end up a "keeper".

    Ratings:
    Overall: 3.25 stars
    Sensuality level: 3.0

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Gentleman is engaging, enchanting and full of adventure

    Galen crafts a tale full of rich emotion, adventure, and discovery with "The Making of a Gentleman." Armand Harcourt, comte de Valère, has escaped his French prison, but life in London isn't easy until he meets Felicity Bennett, a talented pianist who is also hired to be his tutor. The novel opens with Armand struggling to fit into society. He's smart and educated, yet his time in prison has compromised his speech and he doesn't care to be touched. His brother shows patience, but the family hires a tutor in hopes of drawing Armand out of his inner prison. Enter Felicity Bennett. This is her first job as a tutor. She plays pianoforte very well and Armand is undeniably attracted to her. Very quickly, Felicity breaks through his barriers and awakens his heart. Armand, however, has been followed from France. The mysterious prowlers make their presence known using sabotage and vandalism. Felicity, also, has her own worries. Her father signed a betrothment between her and a scoundrel named Charles St. John. Charles tries to blackmail Felicity, but she's got no money to buy her freedom. Armand's family takes him to a dinner party to test his newfound speech and skills without Felicity. Soon, though, she's summoned to play the piano. Armand brashly throws her over his shoulder and departs. The couple make love, but will Armand's pursuers and Felicity's blackmailer derail their burgeoning happiness? Galen snares the reader on the first page. Her writing is sharp, and her style is easy to read. Galen's distinctive, lighthearted wit shines through. She paints a delightful and vivid setting without lingering. Her dialogue is crisp and charming, easily capturing the essence of the time period. There's a wonderful blend of discovery, suspense, and adventure that makes for a strong plot and fast paced action. Galen's characters are engaging, strong willed, and lively. Armand has lived through incredible hardship. Felicity allows him to see another side of life - a kinder, gentler side, but to embrace it, he'll have to find his inner courage. Armand has looked fear in its cold, ugly eyes. He's honorable and fiercely loyal. Felicity is a delightful heroine, talented, patient, and full of vigor. Charles's blackmail of her is ugly business and she shows true character when she refuses to get the money he demands from Armand's family. Galen's love scenes are tasteful and sensual, full of rich emotion and compliment the story well. "The Making of a Gentleman" enchants, entertains, and will leave you wanting more.

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  • Posted October 10, 2010

    Salvation Through Love

    Shana Galen's THE MAKING OF A GENTLEMAN, the second book in her SONS OF THE REVOLUTION series, is the riveting tale of a brutalized man and his salvation through love. This tale of three brothers separated by the atrocities of the French Revolution continues with the story of second brother, Armand. After rotting for twelve years in a French prison, Armand must relearn how to live a normal life. Although his body has healed, his demons so terrify him he can no longer speak--until he meets Miss Felicity Bennett. His desperate family has hired her as a tutor to guide Armand on his tortuous journey back into the world. The lovely Felicity reaches him through her music, her tolerance and also with her touch. After the abuse Armand has endured, even a kind touch pains him--but not Felicity's. Unfortunately, deadly mystery surrounds them. Two men stalk Armand and he cannot remember why. Felicity harbors secrets of her own, ones that can separate her and Armand even as their growing attraction draws them closer. Armand is my favorite type of hero--a good man whose suffering has made him a better man. Ms. Galen does a masterful job of showing the world from the viewpoint of a man stripped of his humanity and how his perception changes as he heals. I enjoyed this book even more than THE MAKING OF A DUCHESS, which I liked very much. When does the next book come out? ARC provided by Sourcebooks

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  • Posted September 27, 2010

    AN AMAZING HISTORICAL REGENCY ROMANCE!

    THE MAKING OF A GENTLEMAN by Shana Galen is an amazing historical romance set in 1801 London, England and France. It is well written with depth, details,fast paced, and a page turner. It is the second in the Sons of the Revolution Regency romance but can be read as a stand alone. It has a unique but interesting plot, romance, sensuality, betrayal, secrets,trust, mystery, intrigue, wit, getting past scars and healing both physically and mentally. The hero, Armand, is husband, lost interest in polite society, was in prisoned for twelve years in France, been beaten both physically and mentally. He doesn't speak due to his fear of being beaten. He loves music, has forgotten how to be polite, acts animal like at times and his feared by those other than his family who meet him. This family hires a beautiful tutor, Felicity, who has secrets of her own, loves music, needs money, betrothed to someone she loathes. Felicity is drawn to Armand from the beginning as Armand is drawn to her.Armand must face his past to save his future. Together they break through the secrets, betrayal and find trust and true love.This is a delightful, witty, emotional story of true love, trust and healing. I would highly recommend this book especially if you enjoy emotionally charged romance. I would also recommend getting the first in this series The Making of A Duchess.This book was received from the publisher for review and details can be found at Sourcebooks Casablanca and My Book Addiction and More.

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