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Forever Gentleman Paperback – July 11, 2016
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Forever Gentleman is a historical novel set in Victorian London and blends the author's love for architecture, music and history as it steeps its story in the sights, sounds, and flavors of the era and follows Renaissance man Nathan, whose struggles as an architect and a musician bring him in contact with the ladies and lords of high society.
Nathan's gifts bring him love in unexpected places; but they also are challenged by his economic misfortunes and by threats that give him clear choices between romance or seeking safety in another country.
From the squalor of Debtor's Prison to judges, courtroom dramas, and the beckoning possibilities of a new life that takes his beloved piano concertos to new heights, Forever Gentleman is about a young man finding his place in society and the social trials and snafus (and romance) that confront him along the way.
Readers who like atmospheric, sweeping historical sagas cemented by the personal goals, observations, and challenges of protagonists who interact on many levels will relish Forever Gentleman's special ability to turn out a rollicking good read while remaining true to the history and influences of its times.
It's a romance, it's a mystery, and it's a history all wrapped into one satisfyingly beautiful production, and is highly recommended for anyone who appreciates a depth and attention to detail that results in a powerful story line.
5-stars! Forever Gentleman by Roland Colton is a historical fiction novel chronicling the fortunes, and misfortunes, of Nathan Sinclair. Nathan is a talented architect, and sometimes musician, living in London in the 1860s. Yet, all is not well for young Mr. Sinclair. He faces a debt thanks to a client who has been unable to pay, leaving him at the mercy of a loan broker. Still, Nathan does not despair, though he desperately seeks to pay off his debt. Then, while giving an impromptu concert at the home of a wealthy aristocrat, Nathan runs into a startlingly beautiful woman. Little does he know, his encounter with Jocelyn Charlesworth will change his life drastically, and force Nathan to choose between true love and the fulfilment of all his wildest dreams. All the while, outside forces and unexpected encounters threaten the life of our main character. Will he manage to come out of it on the side of honor, or greed?
It has been some time since I found myself swept away in a piece of historical fiction. Mr. Colton brings his readers directly into the world of the wealthy and the poor, delineating the distinctions with great dexterity. I loved that the main story was told from Nathan's perspective, as I could really get into his head. Still, the ending surprised me and deviated from what I usually expect in historical novels of this type. I wasn't sure if I liked Nathan at times, as he seemed to seek fame more than honor, but this gave him a flaw. I appreciated that he wasn't perfect, and it made me empathize with his plight. Forever Gentleman by Roland Colton is not a novel to rush, but each page is to be savored as he paints a delicate picture of Nathan's life, while still keeping the plot balanced. Easily one of the best books I have read so far this year.
From the Author
Writing Forever Gentleman was a love affair for me, intersecting my passions for music, architecture, art, and the French language. In this regard, I have attempted to weave a tapestry of my passions as a backdrop to a story of romance, mystery and suspense.
As the book began to take form, I became committed to historical accuracy and spent thousands of hours researching life during the nineteenth century, including poring over numerous journals, newspapers and publications from that era. My objective was to immerse the reader in the sights, smells, and sounds of Victorian London, including authentic references to concerts, plays, and other venues referred to in the book.
The novel endeavors to portray Victorian London at its best and worst--a city of beauty and brilliance, but also a city steeped in filth and despair. Every effort has been made to describe the genius of the timeless music that accompanied this distant, melancholy world. While many of the compositions in the book are well known, sadly, other beautiful works have all but disappeared from the concert stage.
It would give me great pleasure if Forever Gentleman inspires readers to search and discover some of these abandoned compositions.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top customer reviews
As the plot develops, the author does an extraordinary job of character development. Each of the main actors in the plot is given a unique, well-developed personality that is believable and gradually revealed to the reader through superb dialog and interaction with the other characters. The dialog in the novel is entertaining, never forced, and the occasional use of French adds to its believability and charm. This, in turn, allows the author to effectively engage the characters in a number of wild plot twists while staying true to their core personalities and values. He thus pulls off the difficult feat of combining memorable characters with surprising plot developments that still manage to maintain historical accuracy and believability. Characters of particular note include Nathan, Regina, Jocelyn, Sedgwick (my favorite) and the Duke of Wilmont.
As you may suspect, the novel becomes a real page-turner, mostly because of its romance, its memorable characters, the intrigue and suspense of the plot, and the surrounding atmosphere and mystery of Victorian-era London. Forever Gentleman offers the reader a supremely engaging story and an insightful history lesson at the same time. I highly recommend it!
Most recent customer reviews
The story line here captured me so immensely, I lost track of time, and reality, on several...Read more