Customer Reviews for

Lessons in French

Average Rating 4
( 60 )
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(15)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    From the first book I read by Laura Kinsale I was drawn to her world of complex, intense and offbeat protagonists and plots.

    Although there were occasional "light" moments, funny or comical were never words I have used in connection with this wonderful author until Lessons in French. Trevelyan Davis d'Augustin is an endearing, but failed hero who time and again has had to find his way out of a pickle caused by his temper or impulsivity. His solutions are often over-the-top intricately staged distractions under cover of which he makes his escape. His childhood best friend, the intriguingly named Callista Taillefaire, as solidly earthbound as Trev is out-of-bounds, could be convinced to join in many of his escapades until Trev was forced to leave. During the ten years without Trev, Callie's interests turned to animal husbandry, raising prize bulls, mucking about in the farmyard while other young ladies were mucking about at balls. But now her cousin Jasper is the head of the family with a wife whose purpose is to push the two Taillefaire women out of her house and into marriage (or spinsterhood). Lady Callie is a self-effacing heiress, and her claim to social fame is that she has been jilted 3 times. She copes by retreating into daydreams. But even those don't help when Jasper loses Callie's prize bull, Hubert, in a wager and she realizes that nothing is hers. Into this mix returns Trev, whose maman is gravely ill, and the two friends fall into familiar patterns. Puzzling to Trev is why the three jilts. Is it blackmail, as he's led to believe? Is Callie's fortune intact? Why won't she believe that he loves her and that she's beautiful. Callie wonders what happened to Trev. Is he married as the scandal sheets say?
    Their final escapade is to retrieve the bull, but it's also time for Trev to stop hiding under beds, in closets, or even in plain sight. It's time for Callie to come into her own, to speak her mind and rescue Trev. In the Author's Note, Kinsale explains that she wanted to write "light" with this book. Amusing, sometimes downright silly secondary characters help her to this end.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2013

    An enjoyable romp

    This was an enjoyable romp. The characters were delightful. I also liked that the only conflict were the misunderstandings between the characters. I liked how that both were hung up on their own perceived inadequacies and didn't want to be rejected, which felt realistic.

    P.S. This is the same review I submitted to GoodReads.

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  • Posted November 1, 2010

    I loved it~

    Although it may be a little shocking for new readers of romance, I loved it from the beginning to the end. The story weaved so beautifully and the love was so relate-able that any reader may love to read it once they grasp romance novels. The setting is unique, yet somewhat homey, allowing everyone to read it with enjoyment. It made me want to enjoy the same kind of love.

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    Offbeat as always.. This is why I love reading Laura Kinsale.

    The thing about a Kinsale story is how the tale is not typical and the characters not basic. They have huge flaws, and the story is never simple. I thought the style could have been a bit better as compaired to past writings. At some points I had to stop and see if I missed something on the page before that got me to the next point. The secondary chararters needed a bit more flushing out. The cattle had better story lines to explain why they did what they did which impacted the main plot and charaters. Some had so much potental but were not used in the end... the valet, the cook... The tale is solid, and not disapointing to those who love to read her work. Yet as I have in some of her tales, I am not wishing I could relive their story myself.

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  • Posted February 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    My first, but won't be my last Kinsale

    I adored this love story. It was enchanting and completely charming! Lessons in French is not an overly dramatic or emotional love story, but it does have humor and LOTS of heart. It's like a good romantic comedy...sometimes it makes you laugh, sometimes it makes you tear up, but at it's core it's all about the love story between the hero and his heroine. It was exactly what I had been craving and didn't even know it.

    Callie sees herself as the plain, thrice jilted spinster heiress destined to raise her cattle, dependent to live on the generosity of her family, and having to settle for being a doting aunt instead of a mother to her own children. She is a daydreamer, who believes she is no longer meant to experience love, but instead has settled into a life of routine and daily existence. Finding small pleasures in small things so as not to be disappointed in the life she leads.

    Trev is a dashing French Duc, though impoverished and just barely pardoned from hanging due to a crime he didn't commit. Not that he is innocent, mind you. He's done what he had to to survive in the cold hard world following the French Revolution and Napoleon's War. He's handsome, charming, witty, and cunning with more than his share of the Devil's luck.

    When Trev returns each remembers why they fell in love when they were both so young. Trev brings excitement, misadventures, and desire to her life. She loves that he can make her smile, and feel alive. Trev uses his self deprecating humor, and anything else he can think of to make Callie smile. He loves it when she smiles; it brings radiance to her unique beauty. Each feels that they are not worthy of the other. Callie believes she is too plain, and not sophisticated enough to be his Duchess. Trev doesn't want to taint her goodness with his life of lies and deception. He's penniless and she's a great heiress. Neither can resist their attraction despite their altruistic intentions.

    Trev and Callie's love story doesn't come easy, and while I knew they would eventually get their HEA, I didn't quite know how the author was going to overcome all of the obstacles she gave them to triumph over. There were tender moments, sad moments, and many funny moments that made me smile and sometimes laugh out loud: it was a journey well worth taking.

    I loved both Callie and Trev, they were such great characters...really ALL of the characters in this story were well written. Some may discount it as not as compelling a love story because their tale wasn't angst ridden, and had bouts of humor...therefore making it a lesser book, but I have to disagree. It actually reminded me what I liked about a few of Julia Quinn's Bridgerton novels and The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever. Not to say that all of these books are alike, but they gave me the same kind of sighworthy happiness while reading them.

    This was the first book I've read by Laura Kinsale, and most definitely won't be my last. In fact I've already bought one of the books from her backlist, and hope to be able to read it soon. I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end. When reading "the end" I found myself with a small self-satisfied smile...and I can't always claim that.

    Ratings: 4.75 stars....while it does have a few love scenes this book is more of a tender romance

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