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Once A Gentleman Mass Market Paperback – 12 Jul 2004


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books; New title edition (12 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060565144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060565145
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.4 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,513,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Candice Hern is the award-winning best-selling author of historical romance novels set during the English Regency, a period she knows well through years of collecting antiques and fashion prints of the era. She travels to England regularly, always in search of more historical and local color to help bring her books to life. Her books have won praise for their "intelligence and elegant romantic sensibility" (Romantic Times) as well as "delicious wit and luscious sensuality" (Booklist). Her award-winning website (candicehern.com) is often cited for its "Collections" of Regency antiques, as well as Candice's Regency World, including an illustrated glossary, a detailed timeline of Regency events, illustrated digests of Regency people and places, and much more. It is the only author website listed among the online resources at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, and has been referenced by the Museum of London.


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 May 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
'Once a Gentleman' has a good start, showing the character of Prudence's unrequited love for Nicholas. He on the other hand sees her nothing more than his sister's friend.
The plot is quickly jumped into when after only one scene together, the next time Pru and Nick meet is when her father and brothers tell him he must make an honest woman of her.
From then on we have Nick, upset he has to marry someone who he doesn't want, yet unwilling to blame Pru; a perfect gentleman.
Unfortunately this gentleman is unimaginably awful at reading her body language; when she gasps at his touch, when she shivers at his kisses, when she tells him she 'is ready' for his advances, dear Nick decides he is moving too fast for the little woman and must slow down! And boy is he slow.
The chemistry between the two barely exists aside from when our gentleman decides to forge ahead in being from his point of view ungentlemanly-for goodness sake how ungentlemanly are you being by touching your wife who appears to be VERY willing! Exasperating.
The plot is padded out-a lot. Primarily with the whole 'I want her,' 'I'm moving too fast-back off time' then repeat. This problem could have been alleviated by Hern developing their relationship a little more before their forced marriage.
It's not a bad romance, but neither is it extraordinarily good.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 19 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
a superbly romantic read 29 April 2004
By tregatt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Not very many authours can write a quiet and elegant romance novel that revolves around a couple forced to marry and not fill it with swirling and overpowering emotion (be it anger, hate or passion) so that you rather loose sight of the original plot premise, the forced marriage. But Candice Hern succeeded admirably here, I thought. A word of warning however, if you're more in the mood for a romance novel that fairly reeks of sexual tension and passion, you might want to give "Once a Gentleman" a miss. If on the other hand you're in the mood for a book about a couple that are compelled to marry, where the heroine is in love with the hero, but where it takes the man a while to fully appreciate and fall in love with his admirable wife, that is written in a more restrained vein, then you definitely will enjoy "Once a Gentleman."
Nicholas Parrish as always seen Prudence Armitage as a mousy but intelligent friend -- the good sort, but definitely not the type he would ever consider marrying. And yet, because he unintentionally ends up compromising her, that is exactly what happens. Now newly married man Nicholas Parrish has to consider the best way to go about making his marriage to shy and demure Prudence work. To start with, he'll be the very picture of a patient husband and not press her for marital intimacies until she's ready. What Nicholas didn't know, however, was that Prudence has been in love with him for quite a while now, and that she is more than willing to be "true" wife to him. But Prudence also realizes that she's not the type of wife Nicholas would have chosen for himself if he had had the choice. Will Nicholas and Prudence be able to make their marriage work? Or will continue to blunder about in misconception and misapprehension forever?
I think what I liked most about "Once a Gentleman" was that both the hero and heroine are nice, likable people -- it's nice to read a romance novel where you like both the main characters and where you don't spend a lot of time wanting to brain either. Another thing I really liked was that the authour didn't take the path of turning her heroine into a sudden supermodel with a few snips of the hair and a new wardrobe. Yes, Prudence does get a new hairstyle and more attractive clothes, but she suddenly doesn't become the Season's latest sensation with hordes of Regency bucks panting after her, thus making the novel another one of those where the hero learns to appreciate his wife via jealousy. Prudence remains the shy, reserved young lady that charmed me from the very beginning. And this allowed for the authour to add a little humour to the bits where Prudence tries to flirt with Nicholas only to have things go terribly wrong. It also made things seem terribly realistic. If you know nothing about flirting, and are not used to it, to suddenly acquire the prowess of a siren seems rather unrealistic, and yet you always see this in most books! Also nicely done was the gradual manner in which Nicholas grows to love and appreciate his wife (and to learn to be a little less proud and self absorbed). Nicholas has a lot of less admirable traits to get rid off, and the authour shows him coming to grips with his less admirable side in a very believable manner. "Once a Gentleman" doesn't have a very complicated plot. Rather, it focuses completely on the relationship between a husband and wife. It is a somewhat quiet read, but a rather romantic one at that.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Lovely Romantic Read 17 Jan. 2005
By M. Rondeau - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
For all the years Prudence Armitage had worked for Nicholas and his sister at "The Ladies Fashionable Cabinet", he'd never really gotten to know, the shy mousy looking young woman who diligently worked by their sides. Rather he took her for granted, almost like a second sister. Now that his sister had left for an extended honeymoon, Prudence assumed Edwina's editorial duties. Late one evening Nicholas casually mentioned that she was working too hard, putting in too many hours, and assured that she was leaving soon he continued out the door for a night of entertainment. However, the next morning when he was rudely awakened by an enraged father and a horde of `viking-like giants' demanding satisfaction for ruining his daughter and their sister who had never arrived home the night before - Nicholas realized they were speaking of Pru who'd fallen asleep at her desk! Being a true gentleman, he would of course, do the right thing and offer her marriage though it was the furthest thing from his mind with Prudence being the least likely of candidates.

Prudence, was horrified - having been in love with Nicholas since the very first day she'd met him. Yet, married they'd be - the very next day!

With the help of Flora, a retired demimonde and `fashion editor' of the paper, and the Crimson ladies, Prudence, began to reveal qualities that gave Nicholas food for thought. Soon Nicholas was regretting his plans for an`in-name-only'marriage, and was formulating plans to make Pru his wife in all ways.

*** This was a delightful finale to the charming Ladies Fashionable Cabinet trilogy featuring, Nicolas and Prudence. Uniquely stand-alone this was a look at a marriage forced upon two individuals who in appearance were as different as night and day. Nicolas, the too handsome for his own good, charming, outgoing personality while Pru the complete opposite - small in stature, embarrassingly shy, and relatively content to blend into the background while letting others shine. What was unique was that she didn't turn into a swan overnight, rather making the most of her other attributes. While Nicholas did fall in love/lust with her, it was more for the beautiful person he saw, while her looks, which truly were never that bad once she removed all the accoutrements she used to hide them, revealed a more subtle beauty. The humor was charming as Pru tried to put into practice the lessons of flirting and seduction received from Flora and the Crimson ladies - suffice it to say, Pru didn't turn into a seductress. What was really important though, was how Pru came to realize that as `perfect' as she thought Nicholas was, she finally discovered he wasn't and she had gained enough confidence to give him a wake up call when she pointed it out to him. This was truly a divine read, a slow, yet very moving and truly romantic experience. --- Marilyn, for [...]
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Lovely marriage of convenience story 28 April 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Marriage of convenience stories are fairly common in Romance. What sets this one apart is the depth of characterization. Prudence is crazy about Nick. Nick thinks of Pru as a friend, barely notices her as a woman. A compromising situation forces them to marry, and what unfolds is a lovely story in which each of them learns there is more, and less, to the other than they had thought. Nick's slow realization that Pru is a remarkable, and surprisingly attractive, woman rang very true. He is basically a good guy, but somewhat self-absorbed. His growth as a character is more profound than hers. He has further to go to reach a committed, loving relationship. He has to learn to compromise, to give as well as take. Pru's character growth is especially poignant, as she has to come to terms with the knowledge that the man she secretly worships is no idol, but perfectly (or imperfectly) human. She is very shy and reserved, and her behavior, as well as her internal musings, seemed extrememly realistic for a shy person. She can't always speak what she feels, but we hear what she is thinking, and we share her pain and joy and frustration. Sometimes her shyness makes for particularly comic moments, especially when it comes to physical intimacy. When she reaches a crisis that compels her to stand up for herself, to speak her mind, this reader cheered.
This is one of those books that focuses on the romance above everything else. There is no complicated plot. No suspense or mystery. No villain. Just two people learning to love each other. This is Romance at its most pure. And this reader loved it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Awesome... 30 April 2007
By Trixie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love this so much. I have read it twice already. This is the first book that I have read that I can really relate to the character Pru. I am so like her. If I was back in that day an age I would so be Pru. I am very shy (a wallflower), clumsy, easily blush, easily emberrassed, and everything else like Pru. Except I can't play the piano if my life depended on it. And Nicholas is great, I love his charater so much. Except his stubborness about her money is nice (especially in that time when women were nothing but a property), but i think that it kind well got annoying. But in the end he sees his mistakes in it and fixes it. I love this it is a book I can never get tired of reading.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
somewhere between 4 & 1/2 and 5 stars 12 July 2004
By S. Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Prudence has been in love with Nicholas for so long...but the last thing she wants is to marry this man when he does not love her, and to potentially see him come to resent her.
I had tears in my eyes so many times reading this book. Prudence's situation was heart-rending at times. This is a very emotional story; right up there with the best of Mary Balogh in that regard.
Pru is a sweet, shy gal who has managed to survive her boisterous, aristocratic family who take her for granted. It was so fun to watch her try to be flirtatious and seductive--she just couldn't. over the course of the story she grows confident adn strong. Nicholas is a realistic hero with some serious, though not insurmountable, character flaws, including his selfishness and his hypocritical views of the aristocracy versus himself and Pru.
This is a sweet love story about a woman who dreams of an impossible love, only to discover that her dream man isn't perfect but only human, and a man who grows to love the wife forced upon him by discovering who she really is and by learning some unpleasant truths about himself. These two do not love because, but despite...despite their flaws and the difficulties in a relationship. It's a very mature, realistic, and warm story that touches the heart. Perfectly lovely.
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