Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Crime Royalty Romance, #1
Publication Date: December 4th 2014
Review Copy: ARC
Reviewed by: Lynsey
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.
READER WARNING: This novel contains explicit sex.
I was first introduced to Lesley Young's work last year when I read Sky's End, an absolutely brilliant Sci-Fi romp through the stars with some hothothot aliens and enough sexual chemistry to boil ectoplasm. It was exactly my cup of tea: action, thrills and spills, mystery, a fiesty heroine and a dash of romance. Loved it! So it was on the strength of that alone that I agreed to try this book out, despite the fact that erotica isn't really my forte. I'm not even sure The Frenchman needs to be labelled erotica. Although it definitely contains blush-inducing, explicit sex scenes, it was nothing stronger than the likes of, say, Kresley Cole's IAD series, and that's just classed as romance, so... I'm not sure. I wish I had a plethora of other, similar books to compare its eroticness to on a scale of one to OH-MY-GOD-YES! for you. Sadly, I do not. All I can say is - it was freakin' HOT!
The book is written in first-person, which I've found works really well for me. Any fans of Samantha Young or Jaime McGuire will also appreciate the intense immediateness of the first-person romance. All the feels, all the sensations, as though you are the heroine. It's pretty heady stuff! And I also love the way it makes the hero more mysterious. We have to play at guessing his feelings and the motivations behind his actions, which is always fun.
And what a mysterious young man our Frenchman is! Louis Messette has certainly got a lot to hide. He's also sinfully sexy, almost intolerably arrogant, explosively passionate, and just downright irresistible. Honestly, there are times when you'll try and resist him - when he's being an out-and-out arse-face - but it's futile, so don't waste your energy.
As for Fleur, she's a bit of a late bloomer in the sex department. Still carrying around her V card in her early twenties, she sees the trip to France to reunite with her long lost Mother as a chance to rectify that and start a new, exciting life. Has she picked the right person in Louis? Does his kind of excitement need to come with a safety warning? You'll just have to read the book to find out;)
To sum up, if you like your bad boys bad, rich, dangerous, and demanding in the bedroom, then you really can't go wrong with this read. The international flavouring hits just the right spot, and there's enough background plot to keep this mystery-lover turning the pages way into the wee hours. Awesome!