I loved Lesley Young's The Frenchman and she once again delivers the goods with The Australian! Check out the excerpt and my review to see why I think so, plus enter the giveaway!
Charlie Sykes takes everything and everyone at face value—and believes life would be a lot easier if everyone else did, too. Aussie Jace Knight, international hotelier and purported playboy, has never met anyone like the absurdly literal and obliviously beautiful American who applies for his personal assistant position. The trouble is, how do you pursue a woman whose definition of flirting comes straight out of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary? That, and he’s not the only one after Charlie. Seems Mr. Knight might not be a reformed criminal after all.
Soon, Charlie’s immersed in a whirlwind of international espionage that takes her from the hip streets of Sydney to the majestic Great Barrier Reef and the wild, desolate outback. A dangerous trap’s being set, but how will Charlie protect herself and prevent a tragic betrayal, when she can’t even sort out what her heart’s telling her?
I slid into a soft leather upright, and put my satchel on the floor beside me. Mr. Knight said nothing.
I waited, calmly, expecting him to peruse my prominent breasts, especially since my nipples were no doubt peaked through my thin blouse and bra. But, he did not, which I greatly respected. Instead, he openly appraised my face, and finally, smiled.
“So Miss Sykes, what brings such a beautiful yank to Sydney then?”
“My looks are not at all pertinent, Mr. Knight.” His smile dropped. “I chose Australia spontaneously,” I offered, having enough sense not to share the Muriel’s Wedding detail. “I simply moved here to start fresh.”
He leaned forward in his chair, examining me much closer, eyes narrowed. “There are only a few reasons why a woman such as yourself leaves America for down under . . . Miss Sykes.”
I waited for his assumption.
“You’re running from someone. An ex? Husband? Boyfriend?”
I did not like the way he eyed me just then.
“Incorrect on all counts,” I informed him. “I have never had any of those. But I do not believe my sexual history, or lack of it, is pertinent to the job interview.” As I spoke, his full lips had popped open and his eyebrows had hiked farther up, creating strong lines in his forehead.
“Here we go,” I thought, frowning. Something I was doing was confusing him. Of course, I had no idea what it was. My tone of voice? Something I had said? It was like trying to figure out an alien alphabet. I cleared my throat. “However, you can be rest assured I am in Australia for no reason other than a desire to live life, finally, and that I have no intentions of leaving.” I did not want him to think I was not capable of a long-term commitment to the company should things work out.
★★★★ 1/2 stars
I love it when I read a book and am totally surprised by what I discover in between the pages. I absolutely loved the first book in this series, which has totally unrelated characters and can be read on its own, so you know I was really excited to read this book. My excitement and eagerness was totally justified.
I devoured the book. That's the only explanation I have for how fast I read it. It was like the only speed I had for reading this book was supersonic. The story was that compelling and so where the characters. I absolutely loved Charlie. Charlie is someone one who is a straight shooter. The nuances of life and people totally escape her. She takes everything at face value until she sees otherwise or someone tells her of course. That's not to say she's oblivious, but she's just not hard wired the way the majority of the population is. I liked Jace too. He was a little hard to read, especially initially regarding his intentions towards Charlie. However he seemed to be on the straight and narrow and even when I learned more, my opinion of him didn't change much. I liked how protective he was of Charlie.
There is some violence in the book, but it wasn't too graphic. It enhanced the story as opposed to being gratuitous and superfluous. Of course it's a given with a book featuring organized crime. Speaking of violence, one thing I really didn't like was how Jace and Charlie had sex for the first time. I felt like it wasn't fitting with Jace because he knew Charlie was different and unique, but he treated her badly. While I know being extremely sexually frustrated can mess with your brain, it didn't seem like Jace would've acted the way he did, even being that worked up. One doesn't become the Boss when s/he can't keep control over all urges. Of course I didn't even know they were working their way to having sex. I liked how I was kept guessing about Charlie and Jace being romantically interested and involved. Their interactions never gave much away, even though they always left Charlie hot and bothered.
Lesley Young has done a fantastic job at giving readers a story with a new twist and that would be Charlie. I've mentioned previously Charlie is a straight shooter and so very literal. This is the first time I've read of a main female protagonist having anything like Asperger syndrome. Now it's not said directly she has this austism spectrum disorder, but I have medical knowledge and the signs she showed were definitely related to this disorder. That totally blew my mind in a good way. It made me love this book even more. I can't wait to see how I'm blown away by the next book in this series. It'll be sometime before it's available, but the waiting will be worth it!
*Thank you to the publicist for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*
Lesley Young is an award-winning journalist by day and a compulsive romance novelist by night. Her most recent series—Crime Royalty Romance—features unforgettable heroines who fall in love with dangerous men while on adventures abroad. Her fast-paced novels are rich with intricate plots, sizzling romance and gripping character development. You'll root for her characters from page one!
AUTHOR MEDIA LINKS:
Existing Book Links
The Frenchman (#1 Crime Royalty Romance)
The Australian (Crime Royalty Romance #2)
Sky’s End (#1 Cassiel Winters Series)