REVIEW: Dangerously French – Lula Duval

Dangerously French - Lula Duval

Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Action-Adventure, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay, Lesbian

Reviewer: H.L.

Get It On Amazon

About The Book

Love and death should never mix.

I was chosen to protect the only heir to the Lebottier empire. I’m highly trained and skilled, and I’m the best man for the job. 

But I hadn’t planned on the fact that protecting the entitled troublemaker would put my patience to the test. Emile Lebottier reveals himself to be quite a challenge to deal with.

Now, not only do I have to survive being stuck in a room with the most irritating man I have ever met, but I also have to make sure nobody murders him. If this weren’t enough, I need to fight back the growing attraction that I’m feeling for the little devil.

Because loving him could kill us both.

*Dangerously French is an enemies to lovers, mystery/adventure MM novel with forced proximity, a lot of sass, some violence, and a beautiful HFN. No cliffhangers.*

The Review

his book was a journey, and this is going to be a strange review. I went into Dangerously French expecting to read a sexy bodyguard romance set in France. What I got was… well, it was exactly that, but this isn’t what you’d traditionally consider a “good book.” However, that doesn’t make this a negative review.

Emile-Auguste Rasputin Lebottier is the disgraced, ignored son of a hotel magnate. When his father is murdered, Emile is the heir-apparent of his father’s fortune and company – but also the next target of the assassin. To protect him, he is given a bodyguard, Sky, with the cover story that they are engaged to be married. But Emile decides to take matters into his own hands and solve his father’s murder himself, so he can go right back to his endless nights of partying, drinking, and meaningless sex. 

The book is definitely well-written in sections. The sex scenes were hot, it was well-paced and well-edited, and it had some genuinely good plot turns involving a murder-mystery, an inheritance, intrigue, conspiracies, the Italian mafia, corporate/hotel espionage, gun fights, romance, betrayal, and a secret mother. 

It is also one of the most crass, sleazy, immature and ludicrous books I’ve read this year so far – and yet, I had an absolute blast, in the same way one would enjoy watching “The Room”.

Emile is the worst person to ever exist. He’s rude, immature, an absolute asshole, hateful, insulting, and lives off his father’s money to sleep around every single night. The excuse for his personality essentially boils down to “my rich daddy was a strict asshole so I rebelled by becoming a drunk pill-popping, coke-snorting, sex-addicted party animal.” The man learns his father and a half-sister he never met were both murdered, and his reaction is demanding to know if that means he inherits his father’s fortune and assets. He whines and snaps for his new bodyguard and other characters to shut up about fifty times in a row and always has a low-hanging insult to lob at them, for no other reason than because he’s an asshole. Emile is written to be disliked, by the readers and the other characters, but it’s so cartoonishly over-the-top that it loops all the way back around to hilarity – and astonishment that he hadn’t already BEEN murdered years ago.

Sky is the worst bodyguard to ever exist. He’s so dumb, it’s hilarious. He does such a bad job at his job that Emile nearly dies at least three times due to his incompetence and negligence. He loses his taser gun to Emile (who stole it out of his luggage while he was sleeping). He loses his phone to Emile (who threw it in a vase of water while failing to negotiate for the return of the aforementioned taser gun). He sleeps on the job, loses track of his charge on the job, fantasises about going into Emile’s room to “pin him to the bed…but sex without consent sucks.” Dude! Two days into knowing each other, Sky and Emile are already in love (for…some reason), which tracks because they’re both super horny, all the time. All they think about is sex, choking on dicks, and drilling asses.

Both Emile and Sky continually make the most comedic, impulsive, stupid decisions that that throw them into easily avoidable situations. No one acts like a real human person. The climax of the book, much like the rest of it, is truly insane – an absolute riot. I can’t know for sure if it was intended that way, but regardless, I enjoyed every single page. I was on the edge of my seat with my jaw dropped, unable to tear my eyes away from the never-ending insanity.

So who is this book “for”, exactly? I guess it’s for people who just want to read a hot, trashy gay porn novel. It’s for people who want an entertaining book that involves a buff bodyguard and his sexy, Draco-Malfoy-type charge, complete with a fake betrothal, kissing-to-avoid-attention, and an enemies-to-lovers gay romance set against an actually decent plot. 

Or it’s for people like me, who will be completely and utterly entertained by how unrefined, over-the-top, and hilariously bonkers it was. It’s a sexy bodyguard romance set in France, but don’t go into it with a serious mindset. Just sit back and enjoy the wild, ridiculous ride. I for one had a marvelous time. 

The Reviewer

H. L. is a Jewish Australian writer of LGBT+ fiction. She holds a Master of Arts in International Relations (2015) and a Bachelor of Media in Communications and Journalism (2012), both from the University of New South Wales.

She has been writing stories since she was old enough to hold a pen. She is the author of M/M fantasy romance novels Heart Of Dust and Soul Of Ash, Books 1 & 2 of the Death’s Embrace series.

She has had two speculative short stories published: “The Collector” in the 2014 Future Times Award Collection A Tick Tock Heart, and “Entente” in the 2020 Twisted Stories Award Collection Just Alice.   

 

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