Thursday, October 20, 2011

Historical Review: The Making of a Duchess by Shana Galen

FORMAT: Paperback
GENRE: Historical Romance
PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Casablanca (June 1,2010)

A very dangerous attraction...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...

And an even more dangerous secret...Sarah Smith's mission is to find out whether the duc's trips to the Continent are as innocent as he claims, but the way he looks at her is far from innocent...

Their risky game of cat and mouse propels them from the ballrooms of London to the prisons of Paris, and into a fragile love that may not survive their deceptions... (source: back cover)

WHERE TO FIND SHANA: Author Site | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Blogger
WHERE TO BUY: Amazon | Kindle | B&N  | Nook | Book Depository
BOOK EXTRAS: Read an Excerpt
I loved it.
OTHER BOOKS IN SERIES: click on covers to learn more/read excerpts
June 2010
Once a Rogue- 2/2012


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.

She was still a mystery to him. She had refused his marriage proposal, and yet she truly did not seem interested in other men. She was pleasant but formal in her brief conversations with him, and yet at times he caught her peering at him with undisguised interest. Perhaps he might understand better what she wanted if she could show him with her fan. But as she didn't carry a fan, he decided to ignore her.
OVERALL: 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***

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