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Monday, August 23, 2010

French Kiss by Dee Dawning

French Kiss by Dee Dawning
Publisher: All Romance eBooks
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (78 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Holly

An admissions department snafu at Manhattan's prestigious Juilliard School for the Arts, pairs a lovely African American girl in the same dorm room with a blond blue eyed Frenchman. Maybe it's karma, but sparks of frustration turn into the heat of attraction and within the week the pair becomes a couple. But cruel fate steps in at Christmas vacation, when, after a second snafu, the lovebirds are separated the by an ocean of despair, the Atlantic Ocean.

For LaCherna Smith, life has just gotten much more exciting. She arrives home from dance class to a surprise party announcing her acceptance at the prestigious school for the arts, Juilliard, in New York City.

For a twenty year old, African American girl from Indiana, it is the chance of a lifetime. When she arrives at her dorm, she finds that the school has assigned her a roommate, a French student, also studying ballet. The first shock comes when she walks into her room to find a tall, handsome blond, blue-eyed man there. René Réjane, it seems, is her roommate, and he tells Cher that this happens to him all the time, as the name is often mistaken for the feminine form. He convinces Cher not to ask for a change right away, to give them a chance to become friends, and maybe something more. As they become better acquainted, Cher begins to have feelings for René, feelings he says are reciprocated.

Can these two, oh so different people find common ground in dance? Will the friendship become something more lasting? Can these young lovers overcome the barriers that are thrown in their path for a happy ever after?

Dee Dawning has written a story of young love that all starts with mistaken identity. The two main characters in this story, Cher and René, are thrown together by chance and misinformation. It is how they act on it that makes this story work.

These characters are an interesting couple. Cher is an open-minded young woman, and though she has never been in a mixed relationship, she is open to the experience. And she is very attracted to her handsome roommate. But she is also determined to make the most of her opportunity to get the education she has worked so hard for. I liked that she was not ready to just hop right into René’s arms, and bed, immediately.

I admit, I found René an attractive rascal. He is strong, handsome, and as the story progresses, we find he has a strength of character not always seen in young men today. I loved the scene between René and Cher’s dad when she takes him home for the holidays; the whole thing made me smile. When life, in the form of government bureaucracy, throws them a curve, I love the ways all of Cher and René’s friends and family unite to fix the situation.

I do have to say that I was a little confused with René’s switching back and forth from French endearments and idioms to pure Americanisms, but it wasn’t a major distraction, just a small point I felt slowed me down a bit.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a Dee Dawning story without the hot and steamy side to this relationship, and I did enjoy the adventures these two got up to, in many different locations around the city. There is a happy ever after, but it comes after some very difficult barriers are overcome. It is a different experience, and worth the reading.

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