Monday, April 27, 2015

review || THE AUSTRALIAN { blog tour }

The Australian by Lesley Young

Publisher: Self-Published (3/27/2015)
Series: Crime Royalty Romance, book 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Organized Crime
Source: Tasty Book Tours
Purchase links || amazon || add to goodreads


Charlie Sykes takes everything and everyone at face value—and believes life would be a lot easier if everyone else did, too. Aussie Jace Knight, international hotelier and purported playboy, has never met anyone like the absurdly literal and beautiful American who applies for his personal assistant position. The trouble is, how do you pursue a woman whose definition of flirting comes straight out of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary? That, and he’s not the only one after Charlie. Seems Mr. Knight might not be a reformed criminal after all.

Soon, Charlie’s immersed in a whirlwind of international espionage that takes her from the hip streets of Sydney to the majestic Great Barrier Reef and the wild, desolate outback. A dangerous trap’s being set, but how will Charlie protect herself and prevent a tragic betrayal, when she can’t even sort out what her heart’s telling her?

about Lesley || Lesley Young is an award-winning Canadian journalist by day, and compulsive novelist by night. Her debut novel, Sky’s End (Soulmate Publishing, 2013) hit #9 on Amazon’s sci-fi romance paid best-seller list in its first three months of release. Not too long after that, she started dreaming up quirky heroines who lose their hearts to extremely powerful, imperfect heroes, while on dangerous adventures abroad. She called it the Crime Royalty Romance series, and kicked it off with The Frenchman, which landed her an agent at Spencerhill Associates. Lesley’s never sure who or what will pop up in her imagination next. The Irishman? The Spaniard? The Englishman? She’s taking requests!

{ excerpt } .
“Look me in the eye.”
I did as he asked.
“Now ask me.”
“Are you,” I caught my breath, “involved in criminal activities?” I sounded very quiet. Not myself.
I felt a burn in my nose, and my eyes grew blurry. He blew air out of his nose and stepped closer, but I stepped back, needing space to stay the course.
“Don’t,” I said.
“Don’t what?” he asked, tenderly.
I flashed on him again, surprised. His face had grown lighter, calmer . . . maybe as he took in my sadness. He had uncrossed his arms, and tilted his head to the side.
No. I knew what he was trying to do.
“Seduce the truth away,” I answered, remembering how he had reassured me in Port Douglas with physical affection.
His mouth popped open.
“I deserve better.”
He flinched, and, after a moment, glanced away.

{ review } .
I have to be honest... 

After reading THE FRENCHMAN, I was a bit sad that this series wasn't going to be truly connected because I really, really loved Louis and Fleur. Like, really loved them (however.... there are slight offhanded comments that link the stories).

But, again... gotta be honest...

I really liked THE AUSTRALIAN. This series idea that Lesley has is working, and it's working well. In this part of the series, we have businessman Jace Knight; he's in need of an assistant.

We also have Charlie Sykes, an American who needed a change of pace and because a movie she'd watched when younger depicted Australia in such a way that spoke to her, she ups and moves herself and her cat, Miss Moneypenny, to the land down under. In need of a job, she looks into the assistant job.

The fun thing with Charlie (besides her name, of course) is who she is -- Charlie has a 'disorder' known as PDD-NOS, or pervasive development disorder not otherwise specified. So what does this mean, for the non-disorder knowing folk? Essentially, it is a high functioning form of autism, and let me tell you--

Lesley writes it well.

Have you seen Bones? Do you know how Brennan is always speaking so scientifically and literally? Well, multiply that by ten, and you have Charlie. Everything Charlie thinks and does is done in a very literal way. She thinks of emotions in terms of colors (and when she loses that, she feels as if something is missing); she has to remind herself when someone is being sarcastic; she thinks in terms of time by literal terms of time -- not six years, but six years and eighteen days. And sex? Well, that's straight up mating in her world.

She's a little bit awkward to read; I found myself feeling like I was reading from my nursing text books, but I think that means Lesley wrote her extremely well (and I've said that already, but shhh, sorrynotsorry). Beyond that, though? It's not often that these types of people are being written about. Everyone is always writing about broken people in terms of PTSD, or other physical or mental/emotional issues. I love that there's a happily ever after out there for Charlie's type of person.

So that's Charlie and her awkward self. Then there's also Mr. Knight Jace -- I really liked him. I liked him because he didn't treat Charlie as an inferior. He didn't roll his eyes or talk down on her. He did learn, though, that when they had conversations, he had to be honest with what he wanted (and had to speak of it), and she had to actually have the conversation -- not just take everything for it's face value, because in a world of innuendos and sarcastic comments, she just didn't always understand things. 

I especially liked Jace during his quieter moments, with little games such as "what I like you more than." I felt that these moments are ones that Charlie wouldn't normally engage in -- Jace is just good for Charlie.
What I liked most about Jace, though, was that he would make Charlie hold eye contact. He learned that one quickly, and I just felt as if that allowed him to see her fully, to understand her fully, but equally have her face her insecurities. 

In the end, this was another great effort and full see-through on Lesley's part. I can't wait to see where else her CRIME ROYALTY series takes us!

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