Sunday, June 13, 2010

Review -- The Making Of A Duchess

The Making Of A Duchess
By Shana Galen
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: June 1, 2010

A very dangerous attraction...

Julien Harcourt, duc de Valere, 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...

Sarah Smith grew up an orphan, never knowing who her parents were, but sometimes having vague flashbacks which she attributes to nothing more than daydreams and wishful thinking. She makes her way as a governess, and she is currently in the employ of Sir Northrop, caring for his young son and daughter. When she is summoned to Sir Northrop's library, Sara wonders what she has done, but never could she have imagined what awaits her. Sir Northrop works for the Foreign Office training operatives, and one of their spies has been wounded leaving a gap that he wants Sara to fill. She is to pose as Serafina Artois, daughter of the comte and comtesse de Guyenne, who escaped France during the Reign of Terror, but who are actually dead. Sara's mission: to get close to Julien Harcourt, duc de Valere, and obtain proof that he is a spy and a traitor.

Julien and his mother barely escaped France when he was just thirteen, running from their chateau as the peasants burned it down around them, and escaping to England to his mother's family. His father and younger twin brothers were not so lucky. Word reaches Julien and his mother that his father was taken to Paris and guillotined, but they never find out the fate of his brothers, Bastien and Armand. Julien refuses to believe they are dead, so when he is old enough he begins traveling to France to find any information he can about his brothers. What Julien doesn't realize is that these frequent trips to France---when Napolean is rumored to be raising an army---have Britain's Foreign Office labeling him as a suspected traitor. Now, when Julien is planning his next trip, Mademoiselle Serafina Artois arrives, and he can practically see the wheels turning in his mother's head: beautiful young lady, who is the daughter of old friends from France + unmarried son = a big society wedding. Once Julien meets Serafina/Sara, he thinks a wedding might not be such a bad idea.

Intrigue, mystery, deception, snappy dialogue and a fabulous cast of character make this a book that's not to be missed. Julien and Sara caught my attention from the first page and watching their "dance" of courtship and love had me cheering and sighing in equal measure. Their love scenes are steamy and watching their journey from infatuation to love tugs at the heart strings. Ms. Galen has started off this series with a bang; The Making of A Duchess is the first in the trilogy about the Harcourt brothers. So if you fancy a story filled with adventure, charm, romance and wit, this is the book for you!

~ Gannon


  1. Great review Gannon
    I have all of Shana Galen's books love her writing and this one is on order I am awaiting its arrival via the postman can't wait to dive into it and get to meet Julien and Sarah. It has been a long wait since Shana's last book

    Have Fun

  2. Good review, Gannon! I've never read a book by Shana Galen, so will have to check this one out. This story sounds really good.

  3. Gee Gannon, this sounds like another wonderful book from Shana. I love her stuff!! Great review!

  4. Oh wow, another "new" author for me! Gotta love it, I may never get work done in the house again.

  5. Great review, Gannon! I'm a fan of Shana's books and am so happy she's back. I have this one in my TBR pile and can't wait to get to it! :)

  6. Helen, I hope your book arrives soon!

  7. Deb, I think you'll really enjoy your first book by Shana.

  8. Buffie, if you love Shana's books, you'll definitely be a fan of this one!

  9. Gotta love it, I may never get work done in the house again.

    Dianna, I know how you feel! LOL

  10. Andrea, you may need to move this one to the top of your TBR pile. ;-)

  11. And yet another book to add to my tbr overflow! Thanks, Gannon! :)

  12. And yet another book to add to my tbr overflow!

    Always happy to help, PJ! LOL