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French Kissing

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Anna Mitchel has been writing letters to her French penfriend, Alexandre Tourville, for fifteen years, but hasn’t seen him since an exchange trip when they were at school. But when Alex, now a successful photographer, has the opportunity to work in London, Anna offers him a place to stay but is astounded that the small, geeky boy she remembers is now tall, broad-shouldered Anna Mitchel has been writing letters to her French penfriend, Alexandre Tourville, for fifteen years, but hasn’t seen him since an exchange trip when they were at school. But when Alex, now a successful photographer, has the opportunity to work in London, Anna offers him a place to stay but is astounded that the small, geeky boy she remembers is now tall, broad-shouldered and gorgeous, and has just broken up with his long-term girlfriend. Anna’s female friends are soon swooning over Alex’s Gallic charm, and Anna’s boyfriend Nick is becoming extremely jealous of their friendship. Then Alex has to return to Paris to oversee the hanging of his photographs in an exhibition, and invites Anna to accompany him so that he can show her the city he adores...


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Anna Mitchel has been writing letters to her French penfriend, Alexandre Tourville, for fifteen years, but hasn’t seen him since an exchange trip when they were at school. But when Alex, now a successful photographer, has the opportunity to work in London, Anna offers him a place to stay but is astounded that the small, geeky boy she remembers is now tall, broad-shouldered Anna Mitchel has been writing letters to her French penfriend, Alexandre Tourville, for fifteen years, but hasn’t seen him since an exchange trip when they were at school. But when Alex, now a successful photographer, has the opportunity to work in London, Anna offers him a place to stay but is astounded that the small, geeky boy she remembers is now tall, broad-shouldered and gorgeous, and has just broken up with his long-term girlfriend. Anna’s female friends are soon swooning over Alex’s Gallic charm, and Anna’s boyfriend Nick is becoming extremely jealous of their friendship. Then Alex has to return to Paris to oversee the hanging of his photographs in an exhibition, and invites Anna to accompany him so that he can show her the city he adores...

30 review for French Kissing

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Worstall

    Hugely enjoyable, beautifully crafted and sizzling with romance! I loved the comedy moments (the ghastly Mrs Cooper sticks in my mind...) and the descriptions of Paris made me want to book a mini break as soon as possible.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Terry Tyler

    Well, this was a pleasant and undemanding afternoon's reading! Light romance/romcom is not a preferred genre of mine, but there was something about the blurb that appealed to me. Anna Mitchel, London girl, has been writing to French penfriend Alexandre since she was eleven. Now, they're in their late twenties, and Alex has come to visit. Anna's boyfriend Nick is not pleased about the sudden appearance of this sexy Frenchman, and Anna is disturbed by the fact that all her friends fancy him. Then t Well, this was a pleasant and undemanding afternoon's reading! Light romance/romcom is not a preferred genre of mine, but there was something about the blurb that appealed to me. Anna Mitchel, London girl, has been writing to French penfriend Alexandre since she was eleven. Now, they're in their late twenties, and Alex has come to visit. Anna's boyfriend Nick is not pleased about the sudden appearance of this sexy Frenchman, and Anna is disturbed by the fact that all her friends fancy him. Then there's the girl back home, who Alex is still in love with.... This book is very well written chick lit, with a bit more substance than your average zany-cupcake-and-kitten-heels type novel. I didn't actually like Anna very much—I thought she was rather selfish and lacking in self-awareness, especially concerning the way she treated Nick, and her attitude towards Izzy and Beth. At the same time as being annoyed with her, though, I noticed how excellent the characterisation is; each character is clear and well-defined. Being annoyed with a character means that he/she has come alive, after all! The last third of the book is set in France; there is much description of Paris, etc, but it is not intrusive and is artfully woven into the story. I guessed the outcome only about half way through, which is good for a chick lit book - in the past, I've guessed it in the first chapter! And there's a nice unexpected turn of events at the end, too. This is professionally presented and I'd have no hesitation in recommending it to lovers of the light romance; I haven't got anything negative to say about it at all.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jacqueline

    This is a novel with a beautiful cover and a delicious French twist. Anna has been writing real letters to her French penfriend Alexandre for fifteen years, since they met on their school exchange. He was a weedy, geeky guy who over the years she has shared many things with, but they haven’t met up since school. As soon as I read the penfriend concept of this book in the synopsis I knew this was a book for me. I have fond memories of writing to my French penfriends and I’m sure I’ve even got the This is a novel with a beautiful cover and a delicious French twist. Anna has been writing real letters to her French penfriend Alexandre for fifteen years, since they met on their school exchange. He was a weedy, geeky guy who over the years she has shared many things with, but they haven’t met up since school. As soon as I read the penfriend concept of this book in the synopsis I knew this was a book for me. I have fond memories of writing to my French penfriends and I’m sure I’ve even got the letters stashed away in a box somewhere. When Alex writes with news he has been offered work in London, Anna invites him to stay with her until he is settled. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that life is about to get tricky for Anna. Alex is now tall, gorgeous and single, her boyfriend Nick isn’t happy and her friends are hanging around her flat like bees around a honey pot. Alex’s presence certainly gives Anna lots to think about and that is before he invites her to Paris for a photography exhibition. However, as in all good chick-lit it takes more than a handsome Frenchman to make a plot. There are twists, circumstances, disappointments, surprises, tears and frustrations. I loved it all and the warm squishy glow it left me with too. Thanks Lynne.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Erin Green

    Ebook. I have been meaning to read this book since it was first published in 2015. Finally, during lockdown amidst travel restrictions, I settled suspecting I would be taken on a journey due to the characters’ connections to France. I wasn’t disappointed. I loved the inclusion of long-time pen pals - a concept which was huge when I was a teenager. I loved the snippets of French included within the text, as it adds a beautiful yet natural flare to the characters Anna and Alexandre. I won’t give an Ebook. I have been meaning to read this book since it was first published in 2015. Finally, during lockdown amidst travel restrictions, I settled suspecting I would be taken on a journey due to the characters’ connections to France. I wasn’t disappointed. I loved the inclusion of long-time pen pals - a concept which was huge when I was a teenager. I loved the snippets of French included within the text, as it adds a beautiful yet natural flare to the characters Anna and Alexandre. I won’t give any details of the plot as I enjoyed the book without knowing any more than the basics. A treat during these harsh times when we can’t travel in real life. A lovely read, I’m sorry I didn’t read it before now; maybe that was fate enabling me to indulge and appreciate the various settings even more. 5 stars

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bookmarked

    The story starts with letters written by the awkward and inexperienced hands of two children: Anna from London and Alex from Paris. At first, they don't know what to say to each other. Anna is practising her French, Alex his English, but with time, intimacy of friendship grows between them. This is reinforced when they meet face to face and spend some time together. They are mates. They can trust each other. They have the purity of true friendship between them. Then, years later, Alex arrives in The story starts with letters written by the awkward and inexperienced hands of two children: Anna from London and Alex from Paris. At first, they don't know what to say to each other. Anna is practising her French, Alex his English, but with time, intimacy of friendship grows between them. This is reinforced when they meet face to face and spend some time together. They are mates. They can trust each other. They have the purity of true friendship between them. Then, years later, Alex arrives in London. He is no longer a pimply teenager - he is a handsome young man with a broken heart. Anna's friends compete for his affection. Anna's boyfriend is jealous of him. And the reader begins to think that Nick is right even though both Anna and Alex would swear there is nothing going on between them. Because there isn't, except... Lynne Shelby weaves the intricate lace of their transforming friendship with great insight. Her characterisation is vibrant, but realistic. She shows their vulnerabilities, changes of heart, their self-discovery and their doubts with subtlety and without making things too obvious. You know how it is going to end. You will them in the right direction, but there are twists and turns along the way, which keep you on the page. The atmosphere of bohemian Paris is expertly created. The reader feels drawn into the city. Reading the book, I felt this could be another You've Got Mail waiting to be made into a movie.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Barker

    A stand-out romcom from Lynne Shelby. I loved this book. It's well-paced, the characters are beautifully rendered, her evocation of setting is excellent. Fun, flirty, heartfelt. A must read! A stand-out romcom from Lynne Shelby. I loved this book. It's well-paced, the characters are beautifully rendered, her evocation of setting is excellent. Fun, flirty, heartfelt. A must read!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sammy Vowles

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It was really good read. It was light and funny at times. You knew they would end up together in the end but how it came about was lovely.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Susanne Baker

    I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun light hearted read, filled with interesting and likeable characters. I enjoyed seeing how the friendship between the main characters grew and blossomed. There were plenty of little twists and turns and I loved the trip to Paris! A real page turner of a book. I will definitely read more of Lynne’s books in the future.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Suze Lavender

    Anna and Alexandre have been penfriends ever since they were teenagers. They met once when they were thirteen and kept in touch ever since. Fifteen years later Alex is coming to London to work there for a couple of months. He's from France, but he has an English mother. He's a photographer and needs a change of scenery because of a bad breakup. When Anna sees him again she's amazed as the geeky teenager Alex has grown into a very handsome man. Anna and Alex are very close, but they're just friend Anna and Alexandre have been penfriends ever since they were teenagers. They met once when they were thirteen and kept in touch ever since. Fifteen years later Alex is coming to London to work there for a couple of months. He's from France, but he has an English mother. He's a photographer and needs a change of scenery because of a bad breakup. When Anna sees him again she's amazed as the geeky teenager Alex has grown into a very handsome man. Anna and Alex are very close, but they're just friends as Anna has a boyfriend. She an Nick have been together for a while now and while everyone else around her is idolizing Alex Anna sees him as just a friend. A good looking one, but still the friendly guy she exchanged letters with for years... French Kissing is a sweet and fun story about two people who mainly know each other through numerous letters. I love books about letters and really liked the idea behind this one. I enjoyed the story which is lovely and flirty. Lynne Shelby knows how to build tension and how to keep it. French Kissing is a light and entertaining read, the perfect cheer-up-reading-material. Alex is a lovely guy both on the outside and the inside. I liked how women were all battling for his attention. The type of man he is suits the story very well. His English is perfect, but he's still noticeably French, which is a clever achievement of Lynn Shelby. Anna is kind, loyal and generous. Having Alex in her life makes her think about what she wants and where she's going. That was something I really enjoyed reading about. There was one minor detail that could have been better and that was that the editing should have been a bit tighter here and there. The book is absolutely wonderful, so it didn't really bother me, but I did notice. I had a smile on my face after reading this book and loved the ending. I highly recommend this story. Especially if you're a fan of penpalling or used to have a high school pen friend, like me.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Things I liked: 1)The premise is cute. Yes, it's not quite believable, but is sweet nonetheless. 2) The MC has standards, even if she doesn't always stick up for herself at times. What I didn't like: 1) Why must the love interest be super hot? I like nerdy and slightly geeky guys. Why does it seem like all NA, or YA for that matter, heroes be studs? I would've loved it if Alex was still a shy, slightly geeky photographer, with a nice smile and a heart of gold. Is that too much to ask? It would have Things I liked: 1)The premise is cute. Yes, it's not quite believable, but is sweet nonetheless. 2) The MC has standards, even if she doesn't always stick up for herself at times. What I didn't like: 1) Why must the love interest be super hot? I like nerdy and slightly geeky guys. Why does it seem like all NA, or YA for that matter, heroes be studs? I would've loved it if Alex was still a shy, slightly geeky photographer, with a nice smile and a heart of gold. Is that too much to ask? It would have made me like the MC even more if she fell in love with a guy like that. I feel like the only reason she even thought about him in a romantic way was because she thought he was hot. Ugh. OK, sorry...rant over. 2) The ending seemed really rushed. 3) There was no epilogue. 4) I didn't like Alex that much FWIW. There wasn't too much character development for him and he didn't have that many good qualities that I could think of. He was a little too "passionate" (read: emotional and has a tendency to overreact to things) and not in a good way. I found him more passionate talking about his most recent ex than he was telling Anna how he felt about her. 5) The first person narrative was ok and not cringeworthy, but I would have enjoyed a dual pov third person narrative much more...especially when people start talking about emotions and such.

  11. 4 out of 5

    ChillwithabookAWARD With

    French Kissing has received a Chill with a Book Readers' Award www.chillwithabook.com French Kissing has received a Chill with a Book Readers' Award www.chillwithabook.com

  12. 5 out of 5

    A. P.

    Maybe not my cuppa tea The story was pretty cut and dry. Childhood pen pals. Childhood pen pal visits. Turns out to be uber hot. The annoying internal struggle of being friendzoned. Yadi ya blah blah, bam 'I love you'. Anna annoyed me. Because her train of thought was so... ugh. Nick can go kick rocks. Everyone was so... superficial. Alex... I get it. He's hot. Whatever. But he seemed to be the only practical one there. Jeez. No one had their own voice while I read. Just one tone. I was disappointed, but Maybe not my cuppa tea The story was pretty cut and dry. Childhood pen pals. Childhood pen pal visits. Turns out to be uber hot. The annoying internal struggle of being friendzoned. Yadi ya blah blah, bam 'I love you'. Anna annoyed me. Because her train of thought was so... ugh. Nick can go kick rocks. Everyone was so... superficial. Alex... I get it. He's hot. Whatever. But he seemed to be the only practical one there. Jeez. No one had their own voice while I read. Just one tone. I was disappointed, but the concept of the story was not bad. Maybe this writer's style just isn't my cuppa tea.

  13. 4 out of 5

    eme☾

    Compre este libro por comprar, y voy a ser muy corta con respecto a el. La historia es totalmente predecible y es mas de un monton, pero si alguna vez tuvieron la suerte de conocer Paris o Londres, las dos ciudades donde transcurre la historia, se nota que la autora conoce muy bien estos lugares dado que describe calles, paisajes a la perfeccion. Solo por eso, porque me recordo a esas ciudades hermosas, le puse una estrella mas.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carmen Chao

    Simply beautiful I fell in love with characters Ana and Alex... you don't see that type of friendship anymore...... and great friendship turned to the perfect love story. I highly recommend this love story. Simply beautiful I fell in love with characters Ana and Alex... you don't see that type of friendship anymore...... and great friendship turned to the perfect love story. I highly recommend this love story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    MLOW

    3.5

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kerry Richardson

    A very nice feel good story with wonderful characters.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Priscilla Donato

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ines Escalante

  19. 5 out of 5

    Meg Forman

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marie

  21. 5 out of 5

    Raindropping

  22. 5 out of 5

    John Thompson

  23. 5 out of 5

    Arya

  24. 5 out of 5

    Glen Hepker

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennette Brownlie

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nadia

  27. 4 out of 5

    Emma Leathem

  28. 5 out of 5

    Suzy Henderson

  29. 4 out of 5

    Samatha Harris

  30. 5 out of 5

    jennifer mcneill

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