Saturday, March 26

Making of a Gentleman by Shana Galen

Book 2 in the Sons of the Revolution Series

How unfortunate. I was so excited to read this book, and it turned out to be a flop. Miss Felicity Bennett, the poor daughter of a deceased vicar is to become Armand Harcourt’s, the Comte de Velére, tutor. She has been hired to teach him how to speak. Armand has been in prison for about half his life and his just recently been rescued by his brother, Julien, the duc. He will not speak to anyone, and has not spoken in years. Miss Bennett is supposed to coax it out of him, as well as teach him how to be a polite member of society (which never happens, so... in essence... she's a failure).
Upon first meeting the Comte, Miss Bennett finds herself enraptured by his wild good looks, and he finds himself equally attracted to her. He loves her music and her… ah… yellow hair. He sweeps her up into his arms, to… to do what? Ah, the first of many problems. Armand doesn’t know about kissing or making love because he’s been in prison for years and years, ever since he was a boy. So… how on earth does he know what to do? That thought was niggling at the back of my mind, whenever they went at it. How does he know he wants her naked? How does he know he wants her hoo hah if he’s never heard of one or even knows it exists? The illogical, unrealistic nature of it all bothered me.
Second, I get really annoyed at plots that are too simple, too easy to solve. The main problem for Felicity was her betrothed, Charles, who owed plenty of money to debtors. Galen built this huge suspenseful plot around him *BIG SPOILER ALERT*, completely blowing up the situation with mentions of murder and scandal… and then it was solved by Charles getting dragged to debtor’s prison. And the same thing happened with the main suspense surrounding the Comte. Run off to France for a day, sneak off unnoticed, find the treasure - there it is, its been there all along! Amazing! - and goodbye bad guys. *END OF BIG SPOILER ALERT* 'What?' I found myself crying out, 'All this suspense for that shitty little climax?' I felt like I was being cheated. Like Galen got lazy at the end and just wrote off the whole thing with a few sentences. Some of the scenes were also a little confusing.
Thirdly, I hate those stories where the hero only likes something if the heroine does it (I’m not talking sexually). I mean, why is it the Comte can stand Felicity’s touch, but no one else’s, right from the bat? And why does he trust her right away when he distrusts everyone else and hates to leave his back unprotected? It always seems false to me when a writer does that – because it is false. This man who can’t bear anyone’s touch, even that of his gentle mother, suddenly starts picking up this girl and hauling her away over his shoulder (literally, he does this! What is with the caveman approach?) as if he’s totally okay with the touchy-feely? I, again, felt like Galen was being lazy. It seemed as though she didn’t want to take the time to make them discover and trust one another. As if she wanted to jump straight into love and lust. So, unfortunately, Galen gets a low grade on this one for its disjointed writing, small climaxes, and the unrealistic  behavior of characters.
 I will say this small positive, though. The scene where the Comte tells her he loves her is beautiful and touching. *Sniff*
Favorite quote:
“Therefore, Miss Bennett, I must ask you – what are your intentions toward my son?” (The Dowager Duchess, the Comte’s Mother)

“Sexy”ness rating: Hot…ish.
Overall Rating: D+
Bottom Line: If you like deep suspense that goes nowhere, a tortured hero who at first can’t speak and has never heard of sex (or done it before) but is remarkably good at it anyway, and lackluster romance, characters (primary, secondary, protagonist, antagonist and supporting were all completely flat), and scenes this book is for you! Others… beware. There are very few redeeming moments in this book, and almost no wit. This is not one of Galen's finest.
Pages: 363
Published: August 27, 2010
Genre: Historical

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