French Lessons by Natalie VivienFrench Lessons by Natalie Vivien is a wonderful audio book.

It is the story of Vida, a doctor who has lived an ordinary, unexciting life in Chicago. Then she receives an unexpected letter from France about an aunt, she didn’t know she had, dying and leaving her a chateau in the French countryside.

Vida travels to the chateau where she learns of a mystery in her mother’s past. She also finds an unexpected friend in Renee, a woman who is both confusing and all too beguiling.

As Vida learns more about her family secrets it becomes clear that she could be destined to make the same mistakes as her mother.

The Characters

There isn’t a large cast in this novel which kept the story clean and easy to follow. The intrigue was around the mystery of her mother’s past and the romantic element between Vida and Renee.

A supporting role was played by the housekeeper at the chateau, a lovely woman who wormed her way right into my heart.

The Writing Style

There was a magic in this story, a little bit of the romance of the French countryside mixed with good food, a great mystery and an undeniable passion between the leading ladies.

The Narration

I enjoyed the narration by Stephanie Murphy was good. I am no expert in English and French accents but she seemed to pull it off nicely. She had a great rhythm and flow to the story and I found it easy to listen to her.

The Pros

It was wonderful. I liked the plot, the characters, the delivery and the pacing. All in all it was well worth the listen.

The Cons

I was a little sad when my time in France came to an end but very happy that I had gone on this journey.

The Conclusion

The story was charming and light, exactly the kind of thing you want when you are having a busy week. It was not taxing at all, it just swept me away and kept me entertained. It is a fantastic audio book and I strongly suggest you give it a listen.

Excerpt from French Lessons by Natalie Vivien

“Oh…” I fling an arm over my face and roll onto my side, muttering, half-asleep, “It’s too bright…”

“Ah, well, yes – that brightness is called morning. I don’t know if you’ve got morning where you come from, but here they arrive with startling regularity, I’m afraid.”

“What? Who…” I peer beneath my elbow at a hazy figure standing at the foot of the bed. “Hey, who…” I try again, though my still-dozing brain can’t seem to gather up the necessary words to finish the sentence.

“Who, indeed,” the figure replies, moving around the bed frame now to pause just beside the headboard and lean down near my ear. Soft coils of hair brush against my cheek, whispering over my pillow-imprinted skin. “I’d like to ask you the same question,” she breathes, her exhalations warm upon my face.

She, yes, because I realise now that the intruder is undeniably a woman, though her voice is deep, husky and low. A perfume, like champagne and strawberries, drifts over me, and I wake fully, turning to meet a golden brown gaze – and a pair of soft, curving red lips, smiling mere inches away from my own startled mouth. “Um…hello,” I croak, raising my head from the pillow.

“Hello,” she grins, drawing back only slightly, sliding her hand over the wooden roses as she arches one sculpted brown brow. “Well, you don’t look like Goldilocks, but someone’s been sleeping in my bed. Do you have a name?”

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Bits and Bobs

  • Publisher: Rose and Star Press
  • Narrated by: Stephanie Murphy

Natalie Vivien Online 

Note: I received a free review copy of French Lessons by Natalie Vivien. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.