The Frenchman by Lesley Young
(Crime Royalty Romance #1)
Publication date: December 2nd 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance
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.
5 reasons why you should experience an alpha hero from France
Please welcome author Lesley Young makes the case for why Frenchmen make for good romance novels reads!
Obviously I am totally biased here, since my novel The Frenchman is set in France and features a hot, Alpha hero from Toulon (to up the ante I also made him a super fit rugby player and utterly rude). Anyway, I took my job quite seriously and researched the heck out culturally significant romantic facts. I mention a few here (the rest are based on one bout of firsthand experience in my youth).
Seriously, is there a sexier accent, especially delivered in a soft, deep, hoarse murmur, at least, prevalent in romance novels? Oh sure, the old Scottish brogue will give you the odd pang, but it’s hardly as elegant, slick and let’s all agree — exciting. If I had an Amazon.com gift card for every book I read with, “Aye, ya wee lass...”
2. Fashion sense
Frenchman have some. Should I leave it at that? I know us novelists tend to dress our North American heroes quite snazzy, but readers know better. I like to think that’s another reason why The Frenchman is so realistic—you think maybe you could meet a truly debonair man just like Louis Messette in real life. . .
3.You’ll know when he’s into you
Little known fact: Frenchmen don’t play games. They’ll call you the day after your first date, eager to set up the next one. Date three he’ll call you his girlfriend. Week two he might say he loves you! While my Frenchman, Louis Messette, didn’t play it straight, when he made up his mind about my heroine Fleur Smithers, he was ALL IN.
He’ll look you straight in the eye and always mean what he says, with emphasis. Yup, um. . . what was I writing about? Oh yeah, I made sure Louis held true to this truism, ack! (sorry, I got distracted there).
5.They invented the phrase je ne sais
Yes, they are so overwhelmed with adoration for you that they are unable to quite articulate why. This doesn’t mean your Frenchman will be complimenting you all the time (it does happen!) so much as openly admiring you—in all the ways that make your heart race.
Tell me if I delivered on these pluses in The Frenchman. Thanks for the opportunity and please stay in touch on Facebook, @LesleyYoungBks and LesleyYoungBooks.com.
After a moment, when I steeled my resolve, the door opened.
A man with salt and pepper hair, a nasty scar above his lip and astute eyes, scanned me. “Oui?” he asked rudely.
I hesitated, but then thought, I’m all in.
“Je suis pour voir Louis.”
He scanned me much more carefully, and his dark eyes stopped at the cash in my hand. After his eyebrows rose, ever so slightly, his face relaxed and a side hitched up. He shrugged and opened the door wider.
I stepped into another foyer, encased in a marble, circular partition. With one last wave of jacked-up energy, I barreled around the wall, quickly scanning the, holy massive, space, hesitating only to admire the incredible view provided from floor-to-ceiling windows everywhere. Gorgeous kitchen, too. I sucked in a waft of cooked chicken. God I missed meat. Pausing to get my bearings—this was an extremely large suite—I followed the faint sound of the television sports game. There was the living room. I spotted a giant flat screen against a wall, blinds tugged down around it.
My heart was going a mile a minute, my hands shaking. I couldn’t turn back now. I stepped down the two stairs, powered across the empty dining room area, into the living room space, aiming straight for the middle, where . . . my eyes scanned quickly . . . there were others present, two, I think, standing behind one sectional.
There sat Louis, legs wide apart, on a giant leather sofa, a remote in one hand and an empty plate of chicken bones beside him. He was in a pair of track pants and nothing else. To say he was shocked, when he realized the girl standing in front of him was not a cute American announcer suddenly on his TV screen, was an understatement.
“Fleur,” he exclaimed sitting forward, absolutely no fat bunching at the waist.
“What the hell is this?!” I shouted at him, waving the cash.
I watched red sprout in his cheeks as he glanced around at the chilled room, and back on me. His eyes took in the money, and my other hand on my hip. He stood up to his full, mighty height, extra slow, his eyes steady on me.
But I wasn’t intimidated. Not in the least. He was way out of line.
“You know what? In America, you pay—” I shook the wad of cash at him “—after you’ve finished the transaction.” I threw the money at him but it didn’t get very far. It kind of fluttered to the floor.
Holy cow. Did I really just say that? That is not what I had meant to say. It just came out.
Waves of regret rippled through me as he pulled his head back, and his lips bunched up, contemptuous. Disgust spread on his face like ink.
And who could blame him? There I was, standing in his living room, lamenting the fact he had not bopped me. Oh sweet mercy.
Lesley Young is a genre-defying author of unforgettable heroines who experience thrilling life- and love-altering journeys. Her debut novel was Sky's End; her most recent stand-alone series, Crime Royalty Romance, includes The Frenchman and The Australian. She loves to hear from readers.