Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Lessons in French Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2010
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Often flat and uninspired in its interactions, this by-the-numbers 1820s romance relies on complicated subplots and the heartstring-tugging tale of reunited childhood sweethearts. Lady Callista Taillefaire has been jilted three times and is resolved to devote herself to raising cattle, particularly her prize-winning bull, Hubert. When her lost love, Trevelyn, returns from nine years away, that resolve is firmly tested, but no sooner is their romance rekindled than he is convicted of forgery and forced into exile. Readers may enjoy the history lessons in several creaky but soundly constructed tales of Trevelyn's wartime experiences with another of Callie's former suitors, but Kinsale neglects to fill in the background details for Trevelyn and his unsavory valet, ex-boxer Jock, preferring to follow romance conventions with monotonous regularity. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Lessons in French was a lesson in life, love, and laughter for me... This wonderful novelist has been "missing in action" for the past five years and I, for one, am elated that she's returned. " - Once Upon a Romance
"Heartbreaking, poetic, and desperately hopeful -- Lessons in French just might be Laura Kinsale's best yet. A Night Owl Romance Reviewer Top Pick" - Night Owl Romance
"One of the most beloved authors of the genre returns with a lighthearted, joyous love story... [Readers] will delight in the engaging characters, Kinsale's sparkling sense of humor and the pure joy of reading a romance crafted by a master. " - The Romantic Times
"The characters crackle with energy and life." - Coffee Time Romance
"Playful and amusing." - Romance Reader at Heart
"A classically romantic and elegant read. " - Barnes and Noble Heart to Heart
"A lighthearted romantic romp. " - Mrs. Giggles
"From one of the genre's much-admired historical authors... a worthy valentine for the season. " - BookPage
"Kinsale takes us on a journey of intrigue. " - Affaire de Coeur
"Lessons in French has everything a reader is looking for in historical romance. " - Thoughts from an Evil Overlord
Top Customer Reviews
- strong male character who is definitely flawed, unsure, and 3 Dimensional. It's in her heroes that her strength lies - they aren't cookie cutter ciphers but do things that are unwise or even self destructive (just as a normal person does). You don't have the usual historical hero who is wealthy, knowledgeable, self assured, super intelligent, a 'rake', and utterly perfect - and then falls for random spirited girl. Instead, you have a 'wounded' man who finds a light at the end of the tunnel with someone who can understand his pain.
- female lead who isn't the prototypical "spitfire" who says and does dumb things just so she can be rescued from her own 'spirit.' Instead, Kinsale often gives her heroines quiet strength and dignity. That's what really draws me to Kinsale's protaganists - that sensibility. The heroes and heroines play the same game we all have to play - not knowing the true feelings of the other or why they do what they do.
- Obsessive love. It's complete and unconditional and Kinsale is really good at making the reader feel the depth and commitment (and reasoning) that the male character is so in love with the female character.
- A lot of pathos and depth to the characterization of many of the people in the book. No one is purely bad or good and many are just doing what people do normally - be selfish or unobservant. Kinsale is wonderful at plumbing psychological depths and characters don't act irrationally just to create a 'situation' that moves a plot.
- The book is well written and not given to lazy or sloppy sections.
For this particular book, the story moves over a short one week time period which suits the plot of two people who really cared for each other but were separated by circumstance. At times, it does feel a lot like an Austen book since the banter can be very witty and makes sense for a couple in their late 20s who once shared a close intimacy. And you do get the feeling that neither are quite sure of what time has done to change the other.
In all, the book is a very enjoyable read. It's not one of Kinsale's challenging works (the English of For My Lady's Heart or 'plot in letters' in My Sweet Folly). Instead, it is lighter and more pleasant, with a great supporting cast of characters and two protagonists that are deeply developed and not cardboard cliches of the genre. I give it one star less because of a plot point that I really thought was ridiculously coincidental and could have been constructed differently to achieve the same effect.
I don't read romance much any more and Kinsale is the only romance author whose books I still buy. As soon as they are announced, I put them on preorder on Amazon. I know that whether she challenges me or makes me smile, I can always look forward to a well written story devoid of usual hoary cliches that can really turn one off of the genre.
There's something about stories of first love that we romance readers can't help but be drawn to. Add to that a second chance at love and we just have to find out what happens. Will they finally get their HEA (Happily Ever After)? For Callie and Trev the road to HEA is filled with one detour after another. It's an adventure of laughter, love, friendship, narrow escapes, hiding from the law and waking up in the arms of your true love.
It's been nine years since Trev left. In those nine years Callie has had three fiancés along with three broken engagements. She is now twenty-seven and unsure of her future. She has recently come out of mourning for her father, the late Earl of Shelford. With her cousin Jasper now the earl and his wife Dolly wishing for both Callie and her younger sister Hermione gone from Shelford Hall, Callie no longer feels welcomed in her own home. It looks as though Callie's hope lies in her sister marrying someone willing to allow Callie to live with them. Not exactly the brightest of futures. Then Trev comes back and her world is turned upside down as she is once again caught up in his adventures.
Callie is a wonderful heroine. She's practical but has this fantastic whimsical side where she daydreams of romantic and humorous scenes of her life as she would imagine it. A fairy tale of sorts with her in control of the outcome. She also has wonderful sense of humor that she shares with Trev. Their banter and joking with each other goes back to their early years together. Another side to Callie is her love of animals, specifically Hubert her large but docile bull. Callie shows that she isn't afraid of hard work and getting her hands dirty when taking care of Hubert. Then something happens to Hubert and Callie is trying so desperately to hold on to her composure, to keep the tears at bay. It's one of those moments it's obvious why Trev loves this wallflower so.
Trev was an amusing, devil-may-care hero. He returns because of his love and concern for his mother. He doesn't expect to find Callie unmarried and still there. He has no plans to stay long but with Trev, plans tend to change and as he and Callie renew their friendship he finds himself pulled towards this woman who he thinks is out of reach. Trev seemed to enjoy becoming involved in plots of intrigue and adventure. When he wasn't engaged in daring plans he was caring for his mother and trying to be a friend to Callie. His love for both of these women came through, making him both vulnerable while still giving him that air of danger. Trev is far from perfect. He makes mistakes and acts rashly with some less than stellar outcomes. But even when he is engaging in some reckless behavior, his love of life and of Callie makes him hard to resist. There were moments when I couldn't help but laugh as I thought, "Oh, what has he done now?"
Kinsale's quick wit and way with words comes through in the dialogue and descriptions of the village, the people and the emotions that make this a fun, boisterous story. Any problems I had with the plot or storytelling were minor. The ending wrapped up a little too neatly with problems that had seemed insurmountable, swiftly taken care of. Then there was Trev's French mother, who I enjoyed but it became a bit annoying when she would get the English word wrong when using phrases and clichés. It was cute the first few times, after that, not so much.
Lessons in French could certainly be called lighter fare than what Kinsale is more widely known for. I would call it an enjoyable love story full of laughter and adventure. Here's to hoping we don't have to wait too long for the next Laura Kinsale release.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A quick entertaining read for lovers of historical romance.