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The Making of a Duchess

(The Sons of the Revolution #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  1,233 ratings  ·  134 reviews
Julien Harcourt, Duc de Valère, still searches for his brothers in France, raising suspicion of British Secret Service. Duke Northrop orders governess Sarah Smith, surname for her orphan status, to pose as Seraphina, the Duc's intended, and prove Julien a traitor working for Napoleon. Sara disagrees and follows Julien from London ballrooms to Paris dungeons. Plus preview. ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 2010 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Feb 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Romance readers. Julien is worth it.
One thing that worth my 5 bright shining stars:
Julien Harcourt

Because all of the following reasons:
*Everything he has done and he would do for his mother,
*He is everything a father wants from a son,
*He never give up in finding his brothers,
*He makes his own fortune,
*He knows how to treat a woman,
*When he (view spoiler) (Use your imagination) This point is worth 6 stars,
*He's one of the best romance hero. Period.

Things that I really like:

- The
Aug 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Sara Smith is put into an impossible situation: she must spy on Julien Harcourt or else. This task is for King and country, but she is not accustomed to lying and spying. It's not her thing. Sara goes about her task the best she can, but the Duc is an imposing, irresistibly cute gentleman. It is hard for the both of them to ignore the sparks that fly between them, whenever they spend any amount of time together.

Julien has fought hard to take care of his mother and rebuild the family fortune that
Allison (The Allure of Books)
The Making of a Duchess by Shana Galen is the first of the Sons of the Revolution trilogy, featuring three brothers who all suffered to varying degrees from the French Revolution (the book is set in England years later). This book had a lot of things going for it – interesting character descriptions and an intriguing premise. Unfortunately, the book’s execution left a lot to be desired.

One of the biggest disappointments was the plot twist at the very end – it was way too easy to figure out. I wo
Beanbag Love
Mar 12, 2012 rated it liked it
I picked this up for the low price and I can't say I was disappointed. Galan isn't as good as Heath, Long, or Kleypas, but it was diverting nonetheless.

The story concerns a governess names Sarah who is yoked into working as a spy for the Foreign Office by her employer. It's a completely absurd premise, of course, and things fall apart quickly. Of course, the guy she's spying on -- Julian Harcourt, duc de Valere -- is hot. He's also fairly scarred from the French Revolution and has priorities tha
Sophie Jordan
Jul 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I've loved all Shana Galen's books, but THIS book is her best yet -- and much different fare from other historical romances. A breath of fresh air. Lush, sexy, smokin' chemistry between the h/h. Very layered, multi-dimensional characters -- I was riveted from the first page! ...more
May 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Long ago, when I was a reader for big name Hollywood talent agency, we would talk about scripts that were "on the nose." I haven't really come across "on the nose" as a literary critique term, but if any book embodies the concept, it's this one.

In screenwriting, "on the nose" refers to dialogue that baldly expresses what the character is thinking or feeling, rather than leaving it up to the audience to interpret the emotion via cues and context. It's boring, it lacks subtext and subtlety, and i
Jan 22, 2022 rated it it was ok
DNF. I skimmed to the end. Loathed the heroine. Didn’t believe the plot.

But the writing was good, just this story was clearly not for me.
May 29, 2010 rated it liked it
The story opens with a young boy running for his life and leaving nearly everything and everyone he loves behind. It's a brutal look at what happens when the mob mentality strikes and both the guilty and the innocent are caught up in the violence. I was quickly swept up in the story of what happened after that young boy becomes a man. What happens when the same young boy who ran for his life is now a wealthy and powerful man.

Julien Harcourt is a man with a life mission. He desperately wants to
May 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, fiction
From My Blog...[return][return][return]A seemingly simple request leads to a delightfully fun, quirky, and fast-paced game of charades in The Making of a Duchess by Shana Galen, the first in her trilogy I am thrilled to announce. How does one describe a novel such as this without giving away the points that make the novel so delightful?[return][return]In 1789, Julien and his mother escape the peasant uprising, making 13-year-old Julien the duc de Valere. He and his mother escape France and head ...more
Niki (mustreadalltheromance)
First of all, I love Shana Galen's writing and that she gives us a nice long story. This one has us following Julien and his mother as they escape the violence of the French Revolution and start anew in London. Julien is constantly trying to live up to his role as a leader of the family, right his father's mistakes and find his lost brothers. Sarah is put into a desperate situation by her employer in which she and Julien are thrown together. Both were strong and well-developed characters and I l ...more
Aug 19, 2021 added it
I wasn't sold on this one at first bc deception storylines always stress me out, but this one resolved that quickly enough that it wasn't a big sticking point and I ended up reading this all in one go :) ...more
Amanda Winkworth
Sep 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well written non-traditional Regency
An Odd1
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: x-rate, romance, action
Just because spy "The Widow" "ample bosom .. beautiful .. catlike in her repose" p 23 fails to show for secret meeting with Sarah, could she not still be alive? "What happened to the Widow?" p 194. Safe from untrustworthy Northrop "accepted into the highest social circles" p 21? Easy killing is scary.

(view spoiler)
Feb 16, 2012 rated it liked it
A sweet romance that was a fast read. This book didn't blow me away but I was charmed by the main characters. Sarah was sweet, unassuming and incapable of lying. When she is essentially blackmailed into spying on Julian, it was an obvious disaster. Julian, obsessed with finding the rest of his family in war torn France, was instantly attracted to Sarah. The obvious does occur.

In order to enjoy this story, I had to suspend a great deal of disbelief about this time period (well, knowledge based o
Feb 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is the first historical romance that I recall reading set in the early 1800's but I really enjoyed it. Julien was a dashing and hunky hero and Sara/Serafina was an elegant and complex heroin. I really enjoyed the whole British upstairs/downstairs aspect of the story as I used to watch the television show years ago when I was a teenager. Yes I'm a sucker for the poor girl being rescued by the dashing knight in shining armour.

This is a beautifully told romantic story that will have you sighin
Oct 31, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: paperback-porn
I am officially a romance novel snob. After talking books with my mom and her friends, I have come to the conclusion that ravishment novels only have joy for me if they have an awesome plot as well. Hence my love for Kathleen E Woodiwiss and Charlaine Harris.

That being said, this book was lacking in a lot of ways. I loved the concept of the plot, however I hated the length and the lack of detail to plot development that the book had. While the book itself wasn't written too poorly, it was modera
Dec 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
1. Pacing issues, ahoy! (Get it? It's a pirate pun because the missing brother is a PIRATE? I would say spoilers except there are 3 books in this series and the third clearly has a pirate on the cover. SO YEAH IT SPOILED ITSELF.)

The awkward spy-Sarah stuff managed to get dragged out for faaaaar longer than it should have been. Then, all 3948 plot-lines get wrapped up in the last 3 chapters? WHAT? Here's a quicky summary:
• Julien finds his missing brother in France...
• ...and rescues him from an
Jun 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
The Making of a Duchess is set during a fascinating period of history, the French Revolution, and the period shortly thereafter. I was captured by the start of this novel with thirteen-year old Julien Harcourt, duc de Valere, trying to escape with his life from a mob of peasants. The novel then flash forwards towards the future when an older Julien Harcourt is trying desperately to find his missing brothers in Napoleon ruled France.

Julien’s life is complicated when the lovely Serafina, another
Grace Elliot
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sarah is a governess working for Lord Northcott, but when her employer summons him to her study she finds a new career unfolding - as a spy.
I bought this book as the blurb appealed to me, but I was a little wary because the plot had the potential to be weighted down with angst. Happily, this was not the case. The author skilfully handled the storyline without it being cliched. Sarah turned out to be a pretty hopeless spy and was found out early on. She was refreshingly honest with Julien, and i
Frances Shellings
So many twists!!!

She's an orphan raised in a school to be a governess. When her employer demands she takes on an incredible task.
He ran for his life with his mother at the age of thirteen when the peasants rioted on his families country home. He has never forgot the pain of leaving his brothers behind. And he vowed to find them. With France and England at war he has to sneak over when he gets a lead. If found he would be imprisoned or worse face the guillotine.
Can she do the job set to her with
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting journey of intrigue

I wasn't sure that I was enjoying this story until I was so enthralled that I couldn't put it down. The premise and the heroine were just not quite right to me at first and the Duc's responses to her were incredible. But the story draws you in and as Sarah's ineptitude turns to sensibility you can't wait to see where this tale will take you. Now I can't wait to read the next story in this series!
Lisa Hutson
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read these books out of order. It was not a huge problem. But if you can, I would read them in order. It builds up the family, the personalities. What a love story. A total love story. Very sweet. Fate and destiny bring the right people at the right time. This couple is perfect. Love this story and now, having read the rest, I will add the whole series is wonderful. You will not be bored.
Lassarina Aoibhell
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm trying to figure out how to review this book, and it's hard, because there were definitely things that bothered the hell out of me about this story, but overall I enjoyed myself so much that I just want to slap 5 stars on it, because I fell in love with every chapter and I'm super excited to chase down the remaining books in the series and devour them too.

The love story here is entwined with a spy story in which no one knows what they're doing and everything goes wrong in a charming way; I a
Lita Acevedo
Oct 03, 2019 rated it liked it
I really liked this story and would give the story itself 5 stars. However, I cannot give this book 5 stars because of it's errors. There were several lines

that were broken

just like this one. I realize that could be a formatting issue due to conversion to digital or ebook format. However, it should not be sold in that condition.

The author is a former English teacher, so I cannot let this next one pass. She uses the term Turkey when describing carpets. Are the carpets made out of turkeys? I do
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another good book by Shana Galen.

Sarah is asked by her employer to spy on Julien Harcourt. He claims he is a spy.

Sarah presents herself as Comtess of Guyenne. Sir Northup is the spy and killed her parents.
They have sparks and a growing attraction. They go to Paris to find his brother.

They find Armand and they get married.

They find their love during all this. Julien has to see if he can find is other brother.

This is good that in spite of all they both went through, they found their Love.
Alaina Patterson

For the full review - which actually talks about the plot and characters, and is not completely Alaina's latest identity crises - follow the link to That's What She Read.

Guster Reading Challenge
"The Prize" / Parachute
Read a book about someone who has lost themselves
Nov 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
wow. that was disappointing! the pilot was ridiculous (well, so was the plot in book 2 but not as). Julien wasn't much more developed in his story than when he was a 2ndary character. Sarah was inept and while she knew it, it didn't make it any more interesting for the reader to have to suffer through her ineptness. and of course, there was insta-lust only this time it was just the standard variety, unlike book 2.

I was so hopeful.
May 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sarah is put into a tough position. She must spy on Julien to prove that he is a traitor and in contact with France during the French revolution. In order to do that, she must become an aristocrat.

The story was ok, but the romance was a bit dull and the storyline was weak. Honestly, Julien made this story for me. He was a fantastic hero.

I have the last two, so I will get to them, I'm sure that we will see these two characters again.
Shirley Hamlod
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a really good start to this series of 3 books. The beginning of the book is brilliant and reminds you of the harsh realities of the French Revolution. I love the characters and the plots and subplots are good. Great!
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Shana Galen is three-time Rita award nominee and the bestselling author of fast-paced, witty, and adventurous Regency romances. Kirkus says of her books, "The road to happily-ever-after is intense, conflicted, suspenseful and fun," and RT Bookreviews calls her books “lighthearted yet poignant, humorous yet touching." She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven year ...more

Other books in the series

The Sons of the Revolution (3 books)
  • The Making of a Gentleman (The Sons of the Revolution, #2)
  • The Rogue Pirate's Bride (The Sons of the Revolution, #3)

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