This is a book I discovered while reviewing for Readers’ Favorite. I wanted to do a feature because I enjoyed the novel so much!
Attorney and pianist Roland Colton has just released his debut historical romance novel, Forever Gentleman, published by Anaphora Literary Press. Told in a style reminiscent of nineteenth-century authors, Forever Gentleman is a sweeping saga of suspense, romance, mystery, and music.
In Forever Gentleman, readers travel back in time to experience Victorian London at its best and worst—a city of beauty and brilliance, yet steeped in filth and despair. Nathan Sinclair, a struggling young architect and gifted pianist, lives in the two vastly different worlds, mingling in high society while dwelling in suffocating debt and poverty. While performing at a gathering of London’s elite, Nathan meets Jocelyn Charlesworth, a breathtakingly beautiful but temperamental celebrity heiress. He is smitten, though she publicly humiliates him; their paths intersect again later, and they form a tentative friendship centered on their mutual love of music. Meanwhile, Nathan makes the acquaintance of Regina Lancaster, a woman of remarkable inner beauty, despite her pedestrian appearance. He must decide whether to follow his heart and pursue Regina, or flee England altogether to avoid imprisonment from a miserly creditor.
In his darkest hour, Nathan is offered a tantalizing proposition that might change everything, but that comes at considerable risk. Nathan must play his role perfectly, or he may lose his reputation, livelihood, and very life to the powerful echelons of Victorian society. Full of unexpected twists and turns, Forever Gentleman races towards a thrilling climax that will determine Nathan’s ultimate destiny.
“I’ve always been fascinated with Victorian-era London,” said Colton. “Since I’m a musician and live part-time in Europe, I decided to merge my interest in music and European history and created Nathan’s to illustrate the cultural forces at work when England was deeply divided by poverty and wealth. Nathan’s love of music and his struggle to find love and a place in society mirror the social issues many young people face today; I’m hoping readers will find his story as fascinating to read as it was to write.”
An experienced trial attorney and musician, Roland Colton attended the University of Utah on a baseball scholarship, graduating cum laude in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1978, where he received scholarships and awards for academic excellence. An avid pianist and composer, Colton performs for public and private gatherings around the world. He resides in Southern California and France. Forever Gentleman is his first novel.
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Author’s Website: http://rolandcolton.com
Reviewed on behalf of Readers’ Favorite
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.