[ARC REVIEW] “Forbidden French” By: R.S. Grey

The newest book by R.S. Grey is here, and I’m so excited to have been sent an ARC by Rachel and her team! The book is available now, and is free to read in Kindle Unlimited.

What is Forbidden French by R.S. Grey about? (Synopsis)

A slow-burn romance filled with wit, angst, and forced betrothals.

Once upon a time, Emmett Mercier was the golden boy of St. John’s Boarding School. The crown prince of his father’s vast business empire, unapologetically attractive…oh, and fluent in French.

At school, I kept a picture of him hidden beneath my pillow, a tiny token of my adolescent infatuation, but I might as well have been worshiping a distant demigod. He was hardly aware of my existence. I was far too young, and he was far too consequential—until one day we found ourselves alone together in the dark library and struck up a friendship…of sorts.

But in the years since leaving St. John’s, I’ve no longer bothered yearning for Emmett. What a useless dream. I would have gone crazy trying to keep up with his jet-setting life. Which Parisian hotel is he calling home now? Is there some new lithe model draping herself across his lap today?

My negligence comes back to bite me. I’m ill-prepared the day he strides into my art gallery. There’s only a mere trace of the boy I once knew. Self-assured, handsome, intoxicating—Emmett is more man than I can handle.

There’s no room for him in my gilded cage. My life is planned to a T. From where I go to how I dress, it all depends on the calculated whims of my grandmother. Soon, I’ll even dutifully walk down the aisle toward a man of her choosing.

Emmett can’t stand my obedience. Now that we’ve rekindled our friendship, he’s intent on unearthing my heart’s true motives.

And therein lies the problem: I was doing just fine without him, but now that he’s rattling the bars of my cage, I’m forced to acknowledge the truth.

Once upon a time, Emmett Mercier was all I wanted. The midnight wanderings, the whispered nothings, the unbearable longing—they etched indelible marks on my soul. Even now, after all these years, my heart is only fluent in one language.
Forbidden French.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars


I always get so excited when I see that Rachel is releasing a new book, because I know that I’m going to enjoy the time I spend with it — and “Forbidden French” is no exception! I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who read and loved C.W. Farnsworth’s “Fake Empire.”

This is kind of a slow-burn romance, and I’d classify it as ‘she falls first, he falls harder,’ which was really sweet to see. The first part of the book takes place in the past, when Emmett is graduating from their boarding school and Lainey is only thirteen. Although she has a crush on him, there’s nothing romance there, which is good. This does a good job of showing Lainey’s character growth when we meet her in the second part of the book, which takes place roughly 12 years later. The work she does at the art gallery in Boston is so cool, and I loved getting to see her intelligence shine through whenever she talked all about the art.

It’s easy to paint Lainey’s grandmother as the “villain” of her story. Lainey became an orphan when she was about 12 or 13, although it seemed that her grandmother had done more to raise her before that than her own parents had. She’s constantly burdened by the expectations that her grandmother places upon her, but we get to see that relationship transform as well. Her grandmother really does have her best interests at heart, she’s just misguided in her approach. Lainey finds herself in arranged marriages because of it, for better or for worse.

Although “Forbidden French” is technically a standalone, it does take place in the same world as her previous book, “My Professor,” so it was fun to see some scenarios from Emmett’s POV that I remembered from the other book. We see and hear mentions of a few of the characters from that book, but I’ll admit it would’ve been nice to see an interaction between Lainey and Emelia, Emmett’s sister and protagonist of “My Professor.” With that being said, I’m glad we got to see more of Emmett’s brother, Alexander, in this book, and I’m holding out hope that he gets his love story next! It also would’ve been nice to see Lainey get to show up her bully of a roommate from school that her and Emmett were together. Petty? Yes, but I still would’ve enjoyed it.

I loved Emmett’s persistence when trying to woe Lainey later on in the book. Although this continued efforts would’ve come across as sort of creepy if she didn’t return his feelings at all, I believe that if she really told him not to keep coming around, he would’ve left her alone. It was nice to see him in the position of pursuing her, instead of the other way around. I liked how she held her ground and demanded the respect that she deserved, and didn’t settle for less than that.

As with all new adult books, I recommend it for 18+ due to some of the sexual content. Overall, I think this is another great book from Rachel, and I’m already excited for the next one!


Reviews of R.S. Grey Books:

Scoring Wilder

The Summer Games: Settling the Score

A Place In The Sun

The Duet 

The Design

Make Me Bad (ARC)

Coldhearted Boss – (ARC)

His Royal Highness – (ARC)

Doctor Dearest – (ARC)

Love The One You Hate – (ARC)

The Trouble with Quarterbacks – (ARC)

Date Me Like You Mean It — (ARC)

To Have and to Hate — (ARC)

King of the Court — (ARC)

Enemies Abroad — (ARC)

My Professor — (ARC)

Playlists for R.S. Grey Books:

Scoring Wilder ♪

The Summer Games: Settling the Score ♪

Make Me Bad ♪

A Place In The Sun ♪

The Duet ♪

The Design ♪

Coldhearted Boss ♪

His Royal Highness ♪

Doctor Dearest ♪

Love The One You Hate ♪

The Trouble with Quarterbacks ♪

Date Me Like You Mean It ♪

To Have and to Hate ♪

King of the Court ♪

Enemies Abroad ♪

2 thoughts on “[ARC REVIEW] “Forbidden French” By: R.S. Grey

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