Friday, March 6, 2015

The Frenchman ~ Review

Title: The Frenchman
Author: Lesley Young
Publication Date: January 2015 (Originally: December 2, 2014)
Pages: 276
Genre: Romance, Crime, Adult Fiction

Rating: 3 stars

Summary: Fleur Smithers rarely veers off the straight and (excruciatingly) narrow. So moving to the seaport town of Toulon to live with her newfound biological mother—an inspector with the French National Police—for one year is a pretty major detour.  
Son of France’s crime royalty family and international rugby star, Louis Messette, is devoted to his sport, famille and nothing else. But the carefree American he meets one night changes everything. She sparks a desire in him like no other. Possession takes root. She will do as he commands.  
Bit by bit Fleur slips into the Frenchman’s realm of wanton pleasure agreeing to his one condition: that she keep their affair secret. She serves up her heart without reservation in the hub of the glittering Côte d’Azur, and the along the soulful Seine in Paris, unaware of the danger she is in. For her new lover’s family business will pit her against her mother, the police woman sworn to bring down the Messettes. And by then, far more than Fleur’s heart will be on the line. 
Louis (loo-e), I'm afraid to say, didn't capture my heart. He's arrogant, gruff, demeaning, and untrustworthy. I am not saying that he didn't have his moments. But for a good 90% of the book, my lips were curled in a grimace.

I have a feeling that this novel is supposed to take after 50 Shades of Grey, which I've yet had the pleasure of reading. (Sarcasm, my dears. The snippets I've read of 50 Shades makes me want to put it through an industrial shredder.) Let's take a look at the parallels, shall we? The MC is a virgin, the Love Interest is involved in something "bad" and the MC believes their fantasy that her love is good, no matter what discriminating evidence is thrown their way. Not a bad recipe for a book, tbh, but I feel like it could have been just a tad more original. And nicer. At least Christian Grey was polite. 

This novel's Mary Sue, or Fleur, wasn't terrible. In fact, I liked her quite a bit in the beginning. But once Louis' reputation became harder and harder to ignore, I lost a lot of respect for her. Even when Louis practically tells her that he's part of a crime family, she ignores it believing he's "innocent." Puh-lease.

Things do look up in the end when she finally accepts who Louis really is. You think, finally, she gets it. She's going to be stronger for it. She's gonna be ok. Sadly, this makes her act, in my opinion, a little crazy and she makes some, again in my opinion, stupid, stupid decisions.

There were some other elements going on that is mentioned in the summary. I wish that the book had a little bit more to do with Fleur's budding relationship with her mother. But honestly that whole part felt like a plot device for the author to exploit in regards to creating some sort of antagonism for Louis and Fleur. Pretty much every character was a plot device for them, now that I think about it. Le sigh.

I don't believe I will be continuing with the series. As I understand it, it won't be a continuing story of Louis and Fleur (though the book is left open to do so), but will introduce a new international couple. Might check out the blurb and see if it catches my attention.

Provided by the publisher via Roger Charlie for an honest review. Thank you!