A Discreet Gentleman of Discovery by Kris Tualla
An excerpt from the book:He looked at Brother Arn and jabbed a finger at Mikkel: Now!
The monk bobbed an uncertain nod, but he began talking and making signs over Mikkel. The pinned priest squirmed and protested, growing increasingly panicked. But Brander was a big man, and the weight of him held the smaller man to the ground.
When Brother Arn finished and looked up at him, Brander held out the note that asked about confession. Arn shook his head sadly.
Brander shrugged. The priest had his chance.
He leaned over Mikkel. The monk’s jaw was clamped tightly closed, but Brander had enough experience with recalcitrant witnesses to know what to do. He pinched the man’s nostril’s closed and held one lozenge over his mouth.
The monk had to breathe sometime.

Tualla, Kris. A Discreet Gentleman of Discovery. USA: Desert Breeze Publishing, 2011. Print

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The Review

This book is Historical Fiction, Romance, and Suspense and is intended for mature audiences.

The story follows Brander Hansen, a deaf and dumb man on his road to redemption. Denied his title when he was a boy, he travels with his valet/cousin Niels solving mysteries under the guise of Lord Olaf Olsen. While trying to solve a string of opium related murders, he meets a woman named Regin whose husband is under investigation by Brander. Brander, not knowing of her name or her relation to her husband, falls in love with her. The book follows their rocky relationship and Brander's increasingly dangerous case as it all comes to a satisfying end.

The book is about overcoming obstacles and not letting yourself be discouraged. You need to fight for yourself and others when no one will. These points, while not prominently stated are the underlying morals of the story.

The book is set in chronological order, each chapter being a new entry on a new day, the format is not really constant however. In the beginning of the book, each chapter alternates between Regin and Brander in different locations until they meet. After that the format switches to each characters perspective. Every chapter is set in the characters perspective with the audience knowing everything, showing his or her thoughts. As I read the book, something slowly became apparent, the book is not driven by dialogue. Because the book is written more often in Brander's perspective, who is deaf and dumb, there is little to no talking in his chapters, as he signs, lipreads, or we see his thoughts. People around Brander also write down what they want to say or sign. It actually is very enjoyable.

As I stated before, this book is about overcoming obstacles, which is not actually clearly perceived on the first read. I feel that the book is not a traditional love story as Brander is deaf and dumb which adds new obstacles in his and Regin's growing relationship. Regin is also married and then betrothed to another which just complicates everything. While certain parts of the book seem light and innocent, however the book is intended for mature audiences as the substance matter can be dark and explicit, there is also mentions of abuse and death. The writing style for this book, at times, is all over the place, jumping from romance to horror and back again. Despite this, it has a certain flow that no other book can seem to replicate.

About the Author

Kris Tualla is a gifted author, weaving detailed and beautiful stories. She mostly focuses on historical romance and suspense and many of her books have simular themes and underlying virtues. She is an active member of Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Historical Novel Society.

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