Monday, February 22, 2010

Review: Lessons in French by Laura Kinsale

Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (Jan 26 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1402237014
ISBN-13: 978-1402237010

From the Publisher:

Laura Kinsale's unique and powerfully written love stories transcend the romance genre. In this, her first new book in five years, she delivers a poignant, funny, sexy, Regency romance sure to delight her many fans and attract a whole new readership.

Trevelyan and Callie are childhood sweethearts with a taste for adventure, until the fateful day her father discovers them embracing in the carriage house and, in a furious frenzy, drives Trevelyan away in disgrace. Nine long, lonely years later, Trevelyan returns. Callie discovers that he can still make her blood race and fill her life with excitement, but he can't give her the one thing she wants more than anything—himself.

For Trevelyan, Callie is a spark of light in a world of darkness and deceit. Before he can bear to say his last goodbyes, he's determined to sweep her into one last, fateful adventure, just for the two of them.

Poor Callie is down in the dumps, having been engaged then left hanging three times. She now has quite the self-esteem problem. Along comes Trevelyan, with whom Callie has some interesting history, just in time to liven things up in her life. But Trevelyan has had his own issues recently, making him a wanted man.

There are elements throughout where you just want to shake the two of them and get them discuss things. But, we have to endure some of the characters' stupidity in the name of suspense and fun. The two of them do seem well paired with Callie, the shy one and Trev, the bold, brash one. Sadly, it seems that the society of those times will erect every barrier possible to keep them from being together.

The book goes from extremes of proper English court (while the story takes place in a country town, the rules of society still apply) to the mischief that happens behind closed doors. We see some sadness as we learn Trev fought with Napoleon only to be captured by the English, though his loyalties always remained true. He was just a victim of circumstance while trying to stay alive to recapture a lost dream.

From the cover, I was immediately expecting Lessons in French to be a cheesy romance novel. What I wasn't prepared for was the quick wit in Laura Kinsale's writing. I very much enjoyed this book, with its crazy cow in a kitchen scenario and the main characters resorting to disguising themselves to make things happen. I have never as much cared about the outcome for a fictional animal as I did for Herbert (when you read it you'll see what I mean.)

Lessons in French is a fun romp through Regency Romance, for sure!


Mary said...

I've read many positive reviews for this book and can't wait to get my hands on a copy : )

Jackie said...

Mary - Yes! Get a copy. I don't think you'll regret it, lol.

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