Book Blitz: Giveaway+ Excerpt + Guest Post - Frenchman by Lesley Young

Book & Author Details:

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.

Purchase: Amazon


As we neared the yacht, I could see only lights from a few windows of the cabin area. Near the bow, men were lingering, smoking. I was shaky as I walked across the sloped plank, and it wasn’t from the cold wind coming off the sea.
Louis’s entourage joined me on the deck. I was struck by how much larger the entire boat seemed once you were on it. My escorts pointed in the direction of the lit cabin with encouraging nods. Just outside the doorway, looking down into the deep inset cabin, I spotted Louis sitting at an elaborate bar, sipping a highball.
He was poised, on the edge of a stool, in black dress pants, one long, thick leg stretched out, the other bent underneath the stool. The sleeves of his blue dress shirt were rolled up, which, I noted, might be a habit of his. He spun the whiskey around in his hand, watching the golden elixir reflect light. I wondered if he was trying to read his fortune in that glass, he stared so intently at it. I recalled the night we met, at the bistro, how he gave off animosity. But now I knew better: it was power.
He glanced up and watched me step down into the cabin. His silent magnitude left me breathless. He took in my dress quickly, eyes steady, and when he broke into a smile, my heart skipped a beat.
“You came,” he said in English, standing up, looking ginormous in the tiny room.
“Bien sûr,” I answered. Why would he think I wouldn’t?
He was already near. It was odd: his face was sketched with relief. He reached for my hand and pulled me to him, brushing his mouth close to mine with a mere greeting. He paused, hovering near, suddenly shifting his lower half up so close I could feel the heat coming off of him. He clamped his lips down on mine with two-ton force. I was crushed under all his intensity
as he nudged my mouth open and tasted me. My heart was beating a mile a minute. I kissed him back, tasting the whiskey on his tongue, smelling his cologne and natural musk. We lingered a moment, before he pulled back and, clasping both my cheeks, planted two more soft kisses on my lips.
My chest hurt from a strange new kind of anxiety, high-pitched, full of woe. Dread closed in on me. I’d never felt so exposed standing before one human being before. And realization that he could desecrate me with a mere cold shoulder sank in.
And maybe that was his point. But why?
“Is that what you want? Do you want me to go?” I whispered, trying to keep my voice steady.
I swear a universe of emotion flickered in his eyes, but it presented itself so quickly, and was hidden from view, I wondered if it existed at all.
I waited.
He shrugged. As if I was asking him what color tie he wanted to wear.
I gasped. The floor opened up beneath me, and, as I fell, I knew it then. He was the keeper—the keeper of our connection. And he’d decided to punish me, without explanation, to prove a point that he refused to explain.
I recalled thinking once that he was a rotten man. What had happened to that idea? It was suddenly clear and present again.
I rushed into my dress, zipping it up on the way to the door. I stumbled because tragedy lay before me.
Was I going to leave?
My heart was up in my throat, and tears ran down my cheeks.
Why was he so mean?
I didn’t understand!
I was steps from his door. Yes. I was running home. To my mother. Like the child he clearly thought I was. The lump in my throat ached, as with one last gasp of disbelief, I pulled on the handle, desperate for him to stop me and desperate to get away, but . . . the door wouldn’t budge.
I tugged again.
His hand was above me, holding it closed. The tattoo glared down at me. He’d moved—fast. To stop me.
He didn’t want me to leave after all.
I didn’t know whether to be relieved or terrified or angry.
I felt, only, numb.
When he stepped into me, my body moved of its own volition as close to the door as possible.
Seems he’d gotten what he was so desperate to have. I was scared of him.
He buried his face in my hair, and my chest burned. Tears of hurt streamed down my face. What had just happened? My heart was pumping so fast it was going to burst and spray black everywhere, and I didn’t even know why!
“Fleur,” he whispered.
No. I shook my head, but his body had drawn close and followed mine as I tried to shift away against the door.
“Fleur,” he whispered.
I paused. We stood there, barely touching, me trapped in a standstill of . . . hope. So much hope. Pure hope. It was a field of azure bluebells on a Texas highway promising to bud every spring without tending or mercy. I didn’t know what he wanted from me, not by the way he had said my name, or in general, anymore, and I didn’t care, not as long as he wanted me.
Slowly, gently, he pulled me into him, and I let him.
I let him.
And . . . time began again.


Guest Post 

How to write a negative book review

Romance novelist Lesley Young suggests ways to deliver the bad news with compassion (even after you’ve tossed the book across the room)

I think sometimes book bloggers forget that authors are readers, too. We know what it’s like to go into a story and come out frustrated or just plain appalled. The trouble is, your advice isn’t going to resonate with us if it’s laced with a lot of negative emotion. And yes, I realize how the opposite does not apply. I love reading reviews for The Frenchman or Sky’s End where the blogger is so excited she’s making typos.

Bottom line: if you are a book reviewer, it’s because you love to read. And if you love to read, you probably want to support the industry. So know this: authors live, learn and grow based on feedback (or they should). So next time you’re exasperated by a novel, may I suggest applying the following to make your post worthwhile.

*Don’t focus on how the book made you feel, but why it made you feel that way.

Here’s the difference: A waiter serves you breakfast. You dig in, and . . . you are disappointed. When your waiter returns to ask if everything is okay, do you say: These eggs taste awful! I don’t why you would cook them like this!”? Or do you say, “These eggs were not seasoned properly and served cold. Next time please try to season them.”? If you pick the former, I’ve got news for you: no one likes a complainer. You turn off your readers if a bad attitude shows through your writing. So if you were upset at the ending, for example, explain why. In doing so, you may realize the author had a reason for ending the book the way she did. Or, you may not. Either way, you’re opinion will be better respected.

*Couch your comments in ways to improve, instead of pouting.
When I shop for books on, I always read the 1-star and 2-star reviews. So I’ve read thousands of negative reviews, and the truth is .00001% actual had any real impact on my buying decision. Why?
Imagine you are shopping for a women’s magazine and one cover article is “15 Ways You’ll Never Lose Weight” and another cover article is “15 Ways You’re Guaranteed to Lose Weight!” Which one are you going to pick?

You don’t help readers get value from your reviews (or authors) when you’re a Negative Nancy. So pick the top two or three things you don’t like about a book and write a review that focuses on how you would have changed those things. E.g.: I wish the Alpha hero had been less mysterious, kinder to the heroine and didn’t swear so much. When you think through aspects of the book, you may just realize that you don’t like Alpha heroes. In which case, I would say, stop reading those kinds of books and don’t post the review.

*Do not not write a negative review.
Many book bloggers don’t even bother writing bad reviews because, well, who wants to waste time reading a review of bad book? It’s not like the movies—where you only get
to choose among eight in the theatres on the weekend. There are millions of books out there, so you probably want to boost your following by showcasing only good reads.

But there is real value in reviewing less than stellar books! I don’t know about you, but I still like the odd Great Sex, No Plot book. Or, Hot Alpha, Wimpy Heroine book. Or, Great Book if You Can Live With The Poor Grammar book. Where do I find great reviews for those categories? I would go to a book blog with fun, fair reviews of those categories—all the time.

I’ll wrap this up by stating the obvious—you only do yourself and your book blog a disservice when you rush off a review. Take the time to you compose your thoughts, and articulate them with compassion. It takes an author over a year or more to write a book. And whether you liked it or not, you owe them a thoughtful, kind commentary.

Please share your tips for writing negative reviews. You can read all of my good (and a few poor bad reviews) for The Frenchman at, and for Sky’s End at

And please stay in touch at, @LesleyYoungBks and

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.

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