French Silk was first published in print in 1991 and you can tell. There is no mention of DNA testing, cell phones, and the internet isn’t (or only barely) mentioned. That alone is not enough to mean I won’t enjoy a book; I mention it because it’s a reminder just how much things have changed in the 22 years since the book’s release.
As to the story, well, the kindest thing I can say about it is that it wasn’t to my taste. The characters were almost universally irritating, the plot slow and ponderous and often ridiculous (especially when it comes to the operation of the DA’s office). I only finished it because I’d promised to review it. But I felt every torturous minute of the 15+ hour listen. Even Renee Raudman’s narration wasn’t enough to elevate my experience.
The story goes something like this:
Rev. Jackson Wild: Somebody shot me! (Dies).
ADA Cassidy (who doesn’t like his first name and doesn’t use it – it’s not as effective as, say, Roarke however. Just thought I’d mention that.): I need to investigate this case even though I’m not a police officer, to further my career in the DA’s office and redeem my past sins.
Claire Laurent: I have a lingerie company and for reasons which make NO SENSE whatsoever, Rev. Wild targeted me for pornography. (Proceeds to lie ABOUT EVERYTHING).
ADA Cassidy: You’re a murderer but I want to sleep with you Claire!
Claire: Lie, lie, lie. I’d like to sleep with you too. Lie, lie, lie. Isn’t it fortunate that you always question me alone and usually late at night?
Yasmine: (friend and business partner of Claire): I’m gullible as all get out and actually believed the sleazy congressman when he told me he’d leave his wife for me. Also, I am a psycho.
Ariel Wild: I’m the widow of Rev. Wild and now I’m going to be obnoxious and annoying and TAKE OVER THE WORLD OF TELEVANGELISM and keep accusing Claire of murder because it gets my face on the TV more often.
Local Paper: The DA’s office tells us everything. We know who they’re investigating and why. And we print it. Seriously, there is NO confidentiality in that office whatsoever.
ADA Cassidy: I apparently have no other cases and even though it is entirely inappropriate to continue my involvement in this case, I will. Also, I will travel interstate and spend the weekend with Claire just to ask her 2 questions. And Claire? You’re a murderer and I still want to sleep with you.
Claire: Lie, lie, lie. Yes, let’s have sex! Lie, lie.
The truth is revealed.
ADA Cassidy: I always knew you weren’t the murderer! Let’s get married!
If only it had taken as long to listen to as it did to type that out.
I picked, very early on, the reason for all of Claire’s lying but I didn’t pick the actual murderer so there’s that at least.
Renee Raudman is one of my favorite narrators. But, during the listen, one of the characters sounded like Dolittle from the Kate Daniels series and many others sounded like they were from the Edge series (both by Ilona Andrews). Those books were all GOOD. So, apart from the weird disconnect I felt when listening to Dolittle romancing Yasmine (and, may I just say, EW!), the voices served to remind me that this book was NOT GOOD. Renee Raudman is a great narrator. Her narrations of the previously mentioned series and of Lisa Kleypas’ Blue-Eyed Devil are stellar and I’d recommend those to anyone who enjoys romance and audiobooks.
The sex scenes (they’re steamy but not overly explicit) were well done – Raudman delivers the tone and urgency of passion. There was one New York character who sounded a bit like a caricature to me the accent was so broad but that may be due to the fact that all of the other accents were a New Orleans drawl.
If you like stories that meander like the lazy Mississippi, this might be for you. But, for me? Not so much.
Book Content: D+
Steam Factor: Glad I had my earbuds in
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
French Silk was provided to AudioGals for review by Brilliance Audio.