Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Making Of A Duchess by Shana Galen

Sarah Smith is a governess in Lord Northrup's house.  An orphan, she is grateful to have the job although she feels untettered and without a family to anchor her.  Her contentment is cruelly ended when her employer reveals that he works for the Foreign Office to catch spies, and that due to the injury of another operative, he needs Sarah to pretend to be Comtesse Sarafina de Guyenne.  As the comtesse, she will move in with a French noble family that Northrup has suspicions about.

Julien Harcourt, duc de Valere, has built a life in England.  He and his mother escaped from France during the Revolution while his father was caught and eventually guillionted.  His two twin brothers were never heard from again, and Julien has brought himself to the attention of the English government by his secret journeys back to France.  He is looking for evidence that his brothers still live, but the English suspect him of being a traitor.

Sarah moves in and begins the deception..  She is skeptical of her mission's success, as she has no idea how to play the role of a comtesse.  Even worse, as the days go by, she finds herself attracted to Julien.  Can Sarah discover the truth before Lord Northrup becomes too impatient?  Is Julien a hero or a traitor to his adopted land?  Will Sarah's love be returned or is Julien playing her for a fool?

Shana Galen has created a romance sure to find favor with readers of this genre.  The love scenes are steamy and authentic, and the characters are well written.  The fact that the reader learns something of French history is an added bonus.  This book is recommended for romance readers.

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