Remember your dating days – or maybe just last week – when some guy you were sure looked like forever just faded his way out of your love life? Didn’t matter what he’d blurted in the thrill of the moment or texted you when he was drunk w/his idiot friends. You thought he was commitment material and he thought you were –
Well, you never knew, did you? Because he didn’t front you a measly clue when he 86d you with a cold “It’s not you, it’s me,” or a colder zilch returns of your calls and emails or perhaps even a frigid-in-the-extreme brutal BlackBerry brush-off.
The “I’ll love you forever. Goodbye.” scenario wasn’t invented in the digital age. Imagine the mortification of a chick jilted for no reason in the 1800s, when women still pretty much were defined by – and quite often looked forward to – the prestige and security afforded solely by matrimony.
Now picture a woman of that society engaged and dumped by three fiancés, none of whom bothers with excuses before he hies himself from her side with embarrassing alacrity. That woman would be Lady Callista Taillefaire, refreshingly down-to-earth and fetchingly indomitable heroine of Laura Kinsale’s warm, humorous and perfectly charming “Lessons in French .”
Even during engagement number three, 27-year-old Lady “Callie” still wouldn’t have minded being married. Yet the aspirations of the intelligent and affable heiress always have run much closer to taking good care of everyone around her, and dreaming of the day her prize bull Hubert captures the silver cup at the local agricultural fair.
Nearly a decade earlier, Callie dreamed mostly of happily ever after – and was caught by her father in a shocking state of youthful, passionate intimacy – with Trevelyan d’Augustin, her marvelously handsome and clever best friend, the son of impoverished French émigrés. Callie’s heartbroken when Trev turns his back on her after the incident, giving no excuses for his subsequent flight to France.
Nine years later, Trev’s returned and is shocked to find Callie unmarried, his mother dying, and things on the home front in disarray. He realizes the years he spent in France living dangerously and participating in activities he’s not yet ready to speak of may not have been worth what he’s given up – or what his absence may have cost those he loves.
Yet even when Trev makes it known to Callie he’s hanging around awhile and he’s way hot into her, Callie’s not ready to toss aside everything for him simply because he’s still gorgeous and they remain wildly attracted to one another.
Trev knows even if Callie could spend all her time making mischief and having adventures with him, he can’t possibly do forever because of his murky past. And he's not sure Callie'll have him anyway; there’s one thing he can’t change about himself that Callie seems to hold against him no matter how he begs her to see past it.
”Lessons in French” has been eagerly anticipated by Kinsale fans for five years. But folks who are new to romance – or simply haven’t yet tried Kinsale – may find not just a classically romantic and elegant read, but also an author whose backlist is just waiting to be devoured and beloved.
Tell us about your favorite Kinsale books and why they rock. Do you have any break-up stories that would put Callie’s to shame? What do you like about a heroine who’s more down-to-earth? What do you like about her interacting with a totally hottie hero who’s totally into her?
Laura Kinsale begins her “Lessons in French” cybertour today. You can visit with her and swap comments at RomanceBuyTheBook.com.
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