Review: The Making of a Gentleman by Shana Galen

Sunday, October 31

Title:  The Making of a Gentleman*
Author:  Shana Galen
Series: Sons of the Revolution series book #2
Genre:  Historical Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Format:  mass market paperback & e-book
Date/Year:  October 2010

*This book was provided to me by the publisher for review

Summary from the publisher:

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…

My Musings:

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 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 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 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 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".

Overall:  3.25 stars
Sensuality level:  3.0

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