Galen crafts a tale full of rich emotion, adventure, and discovery with "The Making of a Gentleman." Armand Harcourt, comte de Valère, has escaped his French prison, but life in London isn't easy until he meets Felicity Bennett, a talented pianist who is also hired to be his tutor.
The novel opens with Armand struggling to fit into society. He's smart and educated, yet his time in prison has compromised his speech and he doesn't care to be touched. His brother shows patience, but the family hires a tutor in hopes of drawing Armand out of his inner prison.
Enter Felicity Bennett. This is her first job as a tutor. She plays pianoforte very well and Armand is undeniably attracted to her. Very quickly, Felicity breaks through his barriers and awakens his heart.
Armand, however, has been followed from France. The mysterious prowlers make their presence known using sabotage and vandalism. Felicity, also, has her own worries. Her father signed a betrothment between her and a scoundrel named Charles St. John. Charles tries to blackmail Felicity, but she's got no money to buy her freedom.
Armand's family takes him to a dinner party to test his newfound speech and skills without Felicity. Soon, though, she's summoned to play the piano. Armand brashly throws her over his shoulder and departs. The couple make love, but will Armand's pursuers and Felicity's blackmailer derail their burgeoning happiness?
Galen snares the reader on the first page. Her writing is sharp, and her style is easy to read. Galen's distinctive, lighthearted wit shines through. She paints a delightful and vivid setting without lingering. Her dialogue is crisp and charming, easily capturing the essence of the time period.
There's a wonderful blend of discovery, suspense, and adventure that makes for a strong plot and fast paced action.
Galen's characters are engaging, strong willed, and lively. Armand has lived through incredible hardship. Felicity allows him to see another side of life - a kinder, gentler side, but to embrace it, he'll have to find his inner courage. Armand has looked fear in its cold, ugly eyes. He's honorable and fiercely loyal.
Felicity is a delightful heroine, talented, patient, and full of vigor. Charles's blackmail of her is ugly business and she shows true character when she refuses to get the money he demands from Armand's family.
Galen's love scenes are tasteful and sensual, full of rich emotion and compliment the story well.
"The Making of a Gentleman" enchants, entertains, and will leave you wanting more.