Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Silver Spoon #1

First Comes Love

Rate this book
Xavier Parker gets what he wants.
Richer than God. Hotter than fire. Colder than ice.
Father of my child.
And he has no idea.

As London’s top restauranteur, he has the golden touch, but he rules his world with an iron fist.
Now he’s back in New York with two objectives:
Open the newest hotspot in the city.
And win back my heart, five years after he broke it.

I’d run in the opposite direction, but it’s been so long...
And Xavier knows my recipe.
Passion. Pleasure. Just the right kind of pain.

Imagine his surprise when a little girl opens my door instead of me.
A stubborn, button-nosed four-year-old whose shiny black hair and bright blue eyes look just like his.
There’s a secret in this house, and he won’t stop until he figures it out.

Because Xavier Parker gets what he wants.
And now that includes his daughter.

First Comes Love is the exciting first book in a secret baby romance trilogy from Nicole French. Follow her and put the book on your TBR for updates on a LIVE release!

400 pages

First published June 21, 2022

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Nicole French

33 books1,054 followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Nicole French is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She's also a hopeless romantic, low key fashion addict, and total bookworm.

Keep up with Nicole French and receive your FREE copy of one of her books when you subscribe to her newsletter: bit.ly/NicoleFrenchNewsletter

When not writing, she is hanging out with her family, playing soccer with the rest of the thirty-plus crowd in Seattle, or going on dates with her husband. In her spare time, she likes to go running or practice the piano, but never seems to do either one of these things as much as she should.


Follow her on Facebook for weekly snippets and other news about her newest projects:


Other social media links:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nfrenchauthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authornicol...
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/nfrenchauthor/

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
717 (47%)
4 stars
460 (30%)
3 stars
231 (15%)
2 stars
55 (3%)
1 star
41 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 201 reviews
Profile Image for Paula.
587 reviews16 followers
July 11, 2022

This is NOT a standalone which should have been noted so that I didn't waste my time! Apparently it continues in the next book in the Fall under "Then Come Lies"

Hero is engaged to OW when they first meet & fall in love and doesn't tell heroine. He breaks up with heroine through an email by telling her he is going back to his Fiancée because she is very sick and needs him. He then asks OW to marry him for real (they were supposedly "Fake" engaged but Author flip/flopped on this as she couldn't make up her mind whether it was fake or not, along whether he loved the OW romantically or not.)

Hero f***ks around with OP while heroine remained frozen during separation (though she said she "fooled around" a little with heavy petting sessions). She also lies to everyone through this s**tfest.

Hero finds out he has a daughter whom he loves immediately but doesn't ask her mother (heroine) to marry him and be a real family until the very end? For someone who didn't love the ex Fiancée, he had no problem asking her to marry him (and no, don't give me the BS how the OW was dying and he did it because he cared about her. Lol. Find a specialist. Save her life that way. (Stupid tropes).

It ends on a semi HFN but story continues in the next book which I will be skipping....

Also, I kept waiting and waiting for the "romance" part to pop up 'cause after all, this is SUPOSSED to be a romance right? Yeah, no. I'm sorry but a few pages at the end where they have hot sex and exchange ILY's does not a fictional romance make.
And so for a month, there had been no restaurants. No burgeoning Parker Group. Not even a Lucy, the girl I was supposed to marry. I might not have remembered I was in New York at all if it hadn’t been for the Bronx accent that emerged whenever Francesca was close to coming. Good God, that husky shout of hers still woke me in my sleep from time to time. With my cock the size of a cricket bat too.
I’d considered getting back in touch over the years. Francesca was studying English Literature, after all. One well-placed phone call, I could have gotten her into Oxford or Cambridge. I could have gotten her anything she wanted. But all good things come to an end. I’d broken enough hearts, after all. I couldn’t break another. Not Francesca’s. Not Lucy’s. Certainly not my own.
There would be no Francesca Zola this time around. This time I was the hottest entrepreneur under forty this side of the Atlantic, not a fledgling chef desperate to impress his daddy. My entire name was riding on this expansion. I wanted New York. I wanted it bad.
Women I could find anywhere. But the perfect restaurant? The perfect meal? That was the holy grail.
He shrugged. “Just Louise Fernsby.”
I scowled. “That witch? Let me guess—another rant?” Jagger nodded. “Fucking brutal, man. Wish you hadn’t dumped her after one night, eh?”
I scowled. “A one-night stand by definition is for one night. I thought she was just a girl looking for a good time, not the newest food critic for the Times. Or daughter of its bloody owner. She told me her name was Lulu, for fuck’s sake.”
Jagger just grinned good-naturedly. My mistakes with women—this one in particular—were legendary, but he only ever laughed with me, not at me.
I shook my head. “You’re an idiot.”
“An idiot who gets some anytime he wants. Not that you have that problem.”
“Aren’t you married?” I demanded.
Xavier recoiled like he’d tasted something horrible. “Married? Fuck, no. Why would you think that?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe because the last thing I heard from you was that you broke up with me to go back to your fiancée. Your email, I prodded. “‘Dear Francesca, so sorry I can’t see you anymore, blah blah, my fiancée is dying.’ Or was that all more bullshit?”
“Lucy. Fuck, that’s right—that was just when you and I…”
“You forgot? My God. You really are a sociopath, aren’t you? Is Xavier Sato even your real name?”
“It’s not what you think.”
“Oh, it’s not? Because from my perspective, you were engaged but decided to have a little fun on this side of the pond before the big day.”
“I was a different person then. I can explain if you’ll just—”
“Explain what?” I was on a roll now. No need to stop. “That you seduced me for a few weeks? Cheated on your sick fiancée? Fucked around on both of us and made me believe you lo—”
“All right. Why don’t you start with her name?”
“I—her name was Lucy.” His throat tightened. “Lucy Douglas. Our, ah, fathers were close. Neighbors, actually.”
“So what happened?”
“Lucy and I were mates, is all. Said we were engaged to get her parents off her back, but we never actually planned to marry. She died shortly after I returned home. She was sick. Cancer.”
“Poor girl,” I said unsympathetically. “And I suppose she died thinking you loved her too? While you were off sleeping with me.”
His head snapped up. “Not that it’s really any of your business, but I’ll have you know I never cheated on her with our little fling.”
“Not my business? That’s right, I forgot, I was just some piece of ass you were hitting on your way back to England, right?” “You really haven’t changed. Still a heartless bastard.”
“We were never more than friends. We only said we were engaged to get her parents off her back. It’s just when I found out she was sick, I couldn’t leave her. Not for a piece of ass, as you put it. Not when she was dying.”
“Luce and I met after Mum died.”
“My friend,” Xavier corrected me. “She was nice, Ces. Not much of a looker, to the point where the others made fun of her. She was sick a lot of the time, you see. Something called mast cell activation disorder. It was why her cancer spread so fast. I didn’t care. She talked to me like a normal person, which was more than I could say for anyone else. Explained the rules of games I didn’t know, helped me learn the people worth talking to, and those who weren’t. Lucy kept me from making a total arse of myself. Turned out to be my best friend.”
“So you fell in love with her.”
“No,” he repeated when my eyes, prickling with irritating tears, met his. “Ces, I was not in love with her. Nor was she with me. We were friends. Best friends. And so when her parents kept trying to marry her off to any idiot who’d take her hand—and her inheritance—I offered to fill the role. At least until she met someone she actually wanted.”
“Better than you?” I scoffed.
“I’m glad you still think something good of me, Ces,” Xavier said bitterly. “It’s probably the only nice thing I ever did anyway, agreeing to marry her. Got my father off my back, too. Turns out the only thing Rupert Parker liked more than forcing his errant heir to heel was that heir marrying a rich heiress. Suddenly, everything was about the wedding. And I could do what I damn well pleased.”
“Like screwing me?”
The tears pricked harder. This wasn’t making me feel better. It was making me feel like the other woman. The slut who ruined everything.
“Like falling in love.” Xavier’s soft, deep words floated across the table. “Or so I thought.”
“Look,” Xavier said, once I’d finally set down my cup. “I should’ve told you about Lucy from the beginning,” he said. “She knew all about you. She did. It’s why she wouldn’t let me marry her. We were going to call off the engagement when I got back. But the day I was supposed to see you last, Luce called me with the news. She’d been tired, thought it was because of the wedding preparations. But turns out it was a brain tumor. Cancer. Stage four. Terminal, of course, but made worse by her syndrome. The doctors gave her nine months,” Xavier replied. “She lasted six.”
“Jesus,” I whispered.
“I had to go back, Ces. I couldn’t leave her to go through all that on her own. I told her I’d marry her too. I’d stick with her, through thick and thin, just like she did with me. But she wouldn’t let me. And then when she died…a part of me died too. For a while, anyway.”
“All right. You want sex? I want love. Who is the greatest love of your life?”
Xavier shrugged. “That’s easy. No one.”
Immediately, I deflated. No one? “Come—come on. I thought we were being honest.”
“I am being honest. I’ve never been in love.”
I balked. “Never?”
“Never. And since we’re telling the truth, I don’t even know if I’m capable of it. Love, I mean.”
“What about Lucy?” I pressed. “You were willing to marry her, after all. Didn’t you love her at least a little?”
But again, he just shrugged. “I cared for her. I wanted to do right by her. But love? No, I don’t think so.”
I mulled for a long moment. It didn’t make sense. He was willing to throw his life away for a woman, but he didn’t love her? Not even as a friend?
“You said you loved me,” I whispered, more to myself than to him.
“I guess I did. I’m sorry for that.”
I reared back as if stung. “You’re sorry?”
His eyes were so dark a blue, they almost seemed black. “Yes. I am sorry.”
“Because, what?” I asked. “Because you didn’t mean it? Because you were just trying to get me into bed?”
“Well, I’d already gotten you into bed, Ces,” he pointed out. “We were young, if you remember. And I liked you, Ces, I really did. Maybe even thought I did love you at the time. But now that I’m older, I know that you can’t feel that after just a few weeks. If you ever feel it at all. I don’t really think it was love in the first place. Infatuation, maybe. But not love. I’ve only ever known one person I loved that way. My mum. And now she’s dead, so…”
“You broke my heart, Xavi,” I said, unable to keep my voice from cracking. I swiped at the tears leaking out, one by one. “I was in love with you, and I thought you loved me too. I would have done anything for you. I would have married you if you’d asked—yes, even after just a few weeks. But then you just…well, you know what you did.”
I shook my head, wiping again at a few more insistent tears. I sounded insane. Stupid and naive. But of Xavier exhaled forcefully through his teeth. “I—I know. But it’s not the same thing. This is—this is my daughter, Ces. Not some tawdry love affair. She’s more important than a broken heart.”
“I don’t know you anymore, Xavi, last night notwithstanding.”
“That’s absurd. You just said you loved me.”
“And you said it was nothing but a tawdry affair.” I shook my head.
“I was thinking that a woman as beautiful as you ought to have men trailing out the door,” he said carefully. ��That it’s a bloody miracle you’re not married or at least taken. But I was also thinking it makes sense that you’re waiting for the right one.”
“And I suppose that’s you? Because that would be totally inappr—”
“No,” he cut me off quickly. “It’s definitely not me.”
“You deserve that fire.” He took a deep breath, then stood next to me. “Take that date. I’ll take care of the kid. If you’re all right with it, I mean.”
I balked. “You want to babysit?”
“It’s been five years,” he said. “I’ll call you if anything goes wrong. I’ve had a life, and you deserve one too. I just want to know her, Ces. Let me try.”
I knew it was wrong to be jealous of a dead woman, but I couldn’t help it. So much of Xavier’s life had been affected by one of the few people he said was a true friend. He said he didn’t believe in love, but I did think he had loved her.
“It started with Lucy. I told you we stuck together that Season. I was useless in society, and she was sick a lot and not much of a looker. But her parents treated the Season like it was the nineteenth century, you know? But she couldn’t even get through most of the events without feeling poorly. And she hated most of the men who ever tried to talk to her anyway. Fortune hunters, all of them.”
“You also remember, her parents gave her an ultimatum. Dad said I should help her out.” Xavier’s eyes narrowed, as if he wanted to go back and shout at the man. “He made it sound like it didn’t matter if we didn’t love each other—that would come, or maybe it wouldn’t—but in the meantime, we could remain friends. Take care of each other as we grew old. Continue the way they had been. That we would stay a family.” He shrugged. “I guess I believed him. So I talked to Luce, and she agreed to get engaged for our parents’ sakes. She’d stay at her family’s estate and run things. Help my dad when he wanted. I could keep working on my business in London. We decided that if neither of us found anyone else before we were forty, we’d get married for real.”
“Sounds great for all of you,” I remarked, unable to keep the sour taste from my mouth.
“Well, it was. Until I met you.”
“So I went home, ready to tell Lucy all about you,” Xavier continued. “She would have been happy for us, Ces, I know she would have. But when I got there, she was too far gone for even a conversation, much less a wedding or anything else I promised her. Six months later, she died. After all, it was Luce that kept me there, Ces. Not Rupert Parker. And now that they’re both gone, I’ll never go back. They can’t make me be the Duke of Kendal. No one will.”
“As it happens,” Xavier said through his teeth, trying to be civil the same way a lion might try to charm a mouse. “I have plans to move to New York while I expand the Parker Group in America. The first restaurant opens next week in Soho. It’s called Chie. That’s Japanese for wisdom.” Xavier said, meeting my grandmother’s sharp gaze straight on. “That’s why I chose it. I wanted the first step in this country to remind me every day of why I’m really here. It’s not for a business. It’s for my daughter.”
Profile Image for G.
459 reviews131 followers
July 2, 2022
Loved it
Profile Image for Jacqueline.
1,628 reviews148 followers
June 29, 2022
Secret love child stories are my guilty pleasure and I know this author writes angst well so I was straight into this one.

I enjoyed the build up and the tension. Where it didn’t work for me was the sub plot about his supposed aristocratic roots. I can only assume someone mistook Bridgerton for a documentary. Spoiler alert - it’s not.

Oh and it’s The Lakes or The Lake District, never The Lakes District. As his family was from Kendal he should have known that.

It’s the first in a trilogy but now the secret baby part has been revealed, there’s not much more left unresolved to justify a second or third part so I’m out at this point. Available on ku.
June 25, 2022
This first book in the Silver Spoon trilogy is what I have been waiting for!!! I have been dying to get Frankie's story! We first met her in the Rose Gold trilogy. She is Matthew Zola's sister who is a single mother and lives with him. She got pregnant by a man that was in town for a while. She figures out that she is pregnant on the night that she is supposed to see him for the last time because he is getting ready to fly back to England. But she never sees him again because he sends her an email telling her that he has to break things off because he has to go be home with his sick fiancé.... effectively ending any ideas that she may have had of letting him know that she as expecting.

5 years later he has come back! And he is just as attractive as she remembers....and he is still quite taken with her as well. But you know he has to find out about Sofia... and that is when the drama begins! They have a lot to work trough, because in addition to this bomb, they both still have a lot to learn about each other. Xavier is so freaking swoony though! The things that he says, like knowing when she is imagining herself as a character from one of her favorite books, just be the look on her face! And when his possessive alpha side comes out without him wanting it to was super hot! And the Zola family can always be counted on to bring on the laughs! I am so excited and on the edge of my seat waiting on the next book!!! I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!!

Story 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Spice 🔥🔥🔥
Swoon 😍😍😍😍
Angst 💔💔💔
Profile Image for Diana.
624 reviews176 followers
June 23, 2022
KU READ 4.5 stars
Sometimes I need a good contemporary book that has zero to no sex to cleanse myself from the darkness and sluttiness that is my reading life.
I picked this up randomly after reading the blurb from a newsletter. I read it in one sitting of four/five or so hours. I have never read this author before but I've seen the Legally Yours freebie around so I knew of her. After reading this book, I am tempted to continue reading this author. I was hooked from the start & I enjoyed how the story panned out. I can't wait for the rest of this series & honestly, I may just start The Other Man and read about what happened to Nina and Matthew!
Profile Image for Sandy S.
6,464 reviews163 followers
June 22, 2022
4.25 stars---FIRST COMES LOVE is the first instalment in Nicole French’s contemporary, adult THE SILVER SPOON erotic, romance trilogy focusing on thirty-two year old chef/restaurateur Xavier Sato Parker, and twenty-seven year old, single mother, primary school teacher Francesca Zola. THE SILVER SPOON trilogy is a spin off from the author’s ROSE GOLD trilogy. Francesca is Matthew Zola’s sister.

NOTE: Some of the events of FIRST COMES LOVE cross over with, and run parallel to some of the events of the ROSE GOLD Trilogy.

Told from dual first person perspectives (Xavier and Francesca) focuses on the rekindling romance and relationship between on thirty-two year old chef/restaurateur Xavier Sato Parker, and twenty-seven year old, single mother, primary school teacher Francesca Zola. Approximately five years earlier, Francesca Zola spent one wonderful month with Xavier Sato but early one morning, Xavier ghosted our heroine without looking back. Fast forward to present day wherein Francesca Zola is a primary school teacher and single mother, having given birth to Xavier’s daughter. Francesca tried to find Xavier without any luck, and five years had passed without contact or knowledge. A holiday party would bring Francesca face to face with her past, a past that knew nothing about the daughter she was raising on her own. Xavier Parker aka Xavier Sato is a world-renowned chef and restaurateur but Xavier had another secret, a secret that threatens his rekindling romance with the woman he loves. What ensues is the rebuilding romance and relationship between Xavier and Francesca, and the potential fall-out as the past refuses to let go, threatening the stability of the Xavier’s new found family.

Xavier Parker doesn’t do relationships. He is a businessman with a past, a past Francesca knows nothing about. Having missed the first four years of his daughter’s life, Xavier is determined to make up for lost time but secrets threaten Xavier’s tenuous hold on the woman he loves, a woman who is not prepared for upcoming fall-out.

The relationship between Francesca and Xavier is one of second chances; a rekindling romance in which a lack of communication and issues of trust have plague our couple for several years. Francesca was unable to locate the man with whom she had fallen in love but Xavier walked away, without looking back. The $ex scenes are limited but edgy and intense.

We are introduced to Francesca’s siblings : Matthew (Rose Gold series), Lea, Kate, Joni and Marie, as well as their Nonna Sofie; Francesca’s daughter Sofie; Xavier’s friend and COO Jagger Harrington; and art teacher Adam Klein.

FIRST COMES LOVE is a story of secrets and lies, miscommunication and broken promises, second chances and love. The premise is captivating and intense; the romance is seductive; the characters energetic and determined. FIRST COMES LOVE ends on a bit of a cliff hanger-you have been warned.

Profile Image for Mairead.
142 reviews38 followers
July 21, 2022
I wouldn't normally write a long review for a book that I haven't particularly enjoyed but I wanted to for this one.

Firstly, It wasn't a terrible book and I don't think it was written all that badly - my reason for the two stars.

BUT, there were bigger issues.

The characters were incredibly unlikeable - Both the H and h didn't have any redeeming qualities and it made it hard to finish the book because I wasn't rooting for them to be together at all. Actually, they were both quite rude and mean?

Another issue was that I went into this, believing it was a standalone and it most definitely isn't - unsurprisingly I won't be reading the next book.

Although, my biggest issue comes in the portrayal of Xavier - Here comes my British rant.

Xavier is meant to be a man from South London (Croydon more specifically). There wasn't so much a big issue with the English portrayal of Xavier, except there were multiple small issues. For example, saying that a man from Croydon would support a football team that is very much a North London team is really strange (This is coming from someone who has grown up in North London my whole life). There was also the issue of portraying South London accents as posh - Very few London accents are posh, and if they were it's more likely to be North or West London.

Croydon was also incorrectly spelt a few times too.

Of course if you're not from England (or London maybe), you wouldn't have noticed these things but I am and I did.

And, I suppose that none of these things are major issues but for me, they did detract away from the book itself.

Profile Image for baby yoda.
52 reviews153 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
August 20, 2022
- cringey writing
- unbelievable storyline
Profile Image for Kirsty & Erin Muir.
1,140 reviews64 followers
June 26, 2022
I first read Nicole's Spitfire series and Quicksilver series years ago when I first got in to reading romance in a big way. I remember devouring them. I loved the world of billionaires and fiesty heroines, luxury and drama that Nicole created and this latest offering in First Comes Love was no different.

Nicole packs a lot of storyline and character development into this really enjoyable read. This was a one sitting job for me, and I haven't done that in a while, I just couldn't put it down. I was captivated and intrigued by these characters.

I know they're not everyone's cup of tea but when they're done well I love a surprise baby trope. If you're a fan and looking for a new surprise baby trope, pick this up! Though be warned it's the first in what I'm guessing will be a 3 part series and while It doesn't necessarily end on a cliffhanger this is not Xavier and Frankie's complete story. There is definitely more to come and I can't wait!
Profile Image for Kari Hansen.
9,149 reviews55 followers
June 26, 2022
From the moment that Francesca met Xavier the sparks flew and the passionate and romantic time they spent together may have been short, but it changed the course of her life. The way and the reasons for ending their relationship were devastating but he had left her with more than memories and their daughter became her world.

It’s been years since Xavier walked out of Francesca’s life but when he sees her again the chemistry and connection between them is stronger than ever. He is a successful chef and businessman with secrets, but he is about to realize that Francesca has a secret of his own and he is determined to reclaim Francesca and the daughter he never knew he had.

This is the first part of Francesca and Xavier’s story, and these captivating characters leave you wanting more of them and their story.
1 review1 follower
June 27, 2022
ARC provided on exchange for an honest review:

I love a good secret baby romance trope, and this book doesn't disappoint. Xavier is the perfect mixture of alpha male and clueless man in such an adorable fashion that you can forgive his arrogance because you can tell he cares about frankie so much.

I can't wait for the next book!!
87 reviews
June 27, 2022
4/5 ⭐️

I absolutely loved Nicole's Spitfire and Quicksilver series so I was looking forward to this new trilogy for ages and it did not disappoint! The chemistry between Xavier and Francesca Zola is wheeeew! The sexy, wealthy, British chef fell in love with the quiet shy bookworm and never truly fell out of it even after all these years. Five years after their initial meeting Xavier shows up to the same party Frankie was dragged to and everything changes. This first book felt short in some ways so I hope in the next few books we get to see more of their story unfold. I am not going to lie, so far this series has not been my favorite, BUT Nicole does such an incredible job at bringing characters to life and her writing makes you want to keep reading so I am hoping that after reading the entire series I'll be able to change my mind. I usually love books with more steam and this one doesn't have much of it, but the story of Xavier, Frankie, and their daughter, Sophie was so fun to read. Seeing their relationship develop and evolve was so heartwarming. The way Xavier treats Frankie and Sophie will have you falling in love with him. If you're looking for a book with characters with great chemistry and wit then this is the book for you!
Profile Image for Cali Gal’s.
1,079 reviews139 followers
March 9, 2023
Wow! This story tackles so many elements if is mind boggling. I love surprises, family drama, and social class differences. This also is filled with Americans who meet the British. You have to read it to understand.

I love the family aspect of this story but plan for a lot of secrets. Plan to feel passionate about all the characters in a variety of ways. I hate to admit I didn’t realize this was part of an interconnected trilogy but after learning this it made sense why so much is going on. This author has a lot to tell.

This book you need to pay attention to cause it is the details that leave you wondering. Eek. Yes so I like this book and its filled to the brim storytelling. I can’t wait for the next book so I can know even more. Wink

Happy Reading Everyone!
Profile Image for Valeen Robertson (Live Thru Books Blog).
5,044 reviews167 followers
July 1, 2022

Amazon US / Amazon CA / Amazon AU

Francesca spent a month falling in love with Xavier Soto, the gorgeous Japanese Brit who rocked her world. Then he up and ghosted her with an email and she's not seen him since. Well, after her brother (Matthew from the Rose Gold series), drags her to a party, she comes face to face with her past. The past who doesn't know he's a father. Yikes.

Xavier's spent his years since his tryst with his Ces amassing a culinary empire. He's known as a cold man without a heart, and he mostly revels in his reputation. Then he comes face to face with his past and he wonders if perhaps he has a heart after all, if it's been in her hands this whole time. But she's got a secret that he's going to have to accept if he wants to be with her. And he's got his own secrets...

Slow burn second chance left off on a cliffhanger. I loved being back in Matthew's world only from Francesca's POV. She's amazing - a strong, big-hearted teacher and single mom. Now that Xavi's back in her life, she has to decide if she'll let him not only into her world, but more importantly into her daughter's. I understand why she never told him, after all he ghosted her and she wasn't able to get a hold of him after. What I didn't understand or like was Xavi. Yep, I didn't like him or think he was good enough for Francesca and Sofia. But they loved him so I guess he gets a pass. The cliffhanger wasn't a doozy so much, but it did make me anxious for Then Come Lies. I hope Francesca and Sofia get all the love and happiness they deserve.

ARC provided by Wildfire Marketing Solutions for an honest review.

Review: Live Through Books Blog.

Blog | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Bookbub
Profile Image for Maddie (Bookaholic_Dreamer).
653 reviews41 followers
June 26, 2022
3.9 ⭐️

First Comes Love is my first read by new to me author Nicole French. It’s the first book in her Silver Spoon series, which follows the story of Francesca ‘Frankie/Ces’ Zola and Xavier Sato Parker through dual perspective.

It needs to be said/known my whole wanting/needing to read this book was because of the Pregnancy trope. Since it happens to be one of my favourites tropes to read, that was all the information needed for me to know this book was going to be read by me at all costs.

This story was unexpected to say the least, especially after reading the blurb.
You could tell Nicole French put a lot of time, thought and effort to make the story what it was. And the proof was the narrative, which was made up on many components almost to the point of the story bursting at the seams. Particularly when you took into account all that was going on, alongside the information divulged throughout.
There was family drama, and not just when it came to Frankie and Xavier and their daughter Sofia. It also included Xavier and Frankie's family too, though mostly Frankie’s, given her family were secondary characters in the book.
Mysteries were put forth from behind the secrets being alluded too, some of which ended up being disclosed by the end. But not before creating suspense, that had you waiting in anticipation considering the buildup of it in regards to knowledge that was being hinted too.
You could say that was Nicole’s way of keeping you intrigued with falling in further, wanting to receive the answers that had yet to be revealed.

With two characters like Frankie and Xavier, who are complete opposites coming from completely different backgrounds and countries, it did lead to a lot of tension and intense moments.
Especially given the big difference between where they stood in social standings. Creating and causing serious situations and events to take place, within the journey of their Second Chance Romance.
Yet it’s what gave their story a genuine and realistic feel to it, the fact that they took their time in rebuilding their relationship. Though mostly on Frankie's part given what she had endured all alone.
It resulted in their journey being a bit of a whirlwind, given their constant push and pull, back and forth. On top of trying to navigate their complexity relationship, seeing as they were flip flopping on trying to get on the same page. Leading to some entertaining moments, watching the two attempt a civilised relationship.

Unfortunately it wasn’t all smooth sailing for me, mostly as there just seemed to be some issues that stopped me from enjoying it to its fullest potential.
The fact that it felt quite wordy IMO is ultimately what led to its downfall for me. Even more so when you took into account how it would lead to a few times of repetition. Though mostly when it came to Frankie and her thoughts IMO.
The repetition coupled with the wordiness is what caused my attention to wane, resulting in constantly stepping away to take breaks. Plus at those times it's what made the narrative at times feel like it was at a standstill, causing you to wait for when it would forge ahead.

Overall First Comes Love was a good read. And regardless of my issues, Nicole French still managed to win me over as a reader.
Plus with a cliffhanger ending that surprised me, having not expecting it since the blurb had me thinking it was a Standalone.
Safe to say Nicole has me looking forward to reading the next book within Frankie and Xavier’s Silver Spoons trilogy, to see how the story will continue to play out.

*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Alex Mullinix.
51 reviews
June 23, 2022
4.25 Stars
2.5 Spice

Favorite Quote: "Honestly, there is no better way of knowing a woman than reading her favorite books."

First Comes Love is the first installment in a planned trilogy, so Francesca and Xavier’s story is just beginning.

Francesca is a middle child of six, of an Italian-Puerto Rican family in the Bronx that was raised by their grandmother after their father died and mother spilt. Xavier is a British-Japanese chef based out of South London that is broody and mysterious. When their worlds collide there are fireworks, but it doesn’t last long before the realities of their differences start to take their toll.

This was a slow-burn romance, which isn’t my favorite, but it really worked with this book. F & X’s story begins after a torrid month hotness, in which Frankie fell head over heels for Xavier. But he has to cut the trip short and get back to London for reasons that SHOCK Frankie. She is left broken hearted and has discovered she is pregnant. Fast Forward five years and Xavier is back in the States, runs into Francesca, and feels the same as he did back then. But this time, Xavier isn’t the only one harboring secrets.

Xavier has his sight fixed on the woman he couldn’t get out of his head for five years, but Frankie isn’t as receptive to his charms.

While First Comes Love does end with a Happily for Now, the ending is a slight cliffhanger. (Maybe only noticeable when you squint).

I am excited, and nervous, to see where their story goes in the rest of the trilogy.

It may be because I am in the middle of finally reading all of the romantic classics, but I LOVED all of the Austen and Brontë references. Especially Jane Eyre because as of right now, that one is my favorite.

There were a couple of points that I couldn’t help but tear up and cry. The struggles Francesca endures with her self-esteem, single motherhood, and past problems with her mother, really pulled at my heart strings.

Sofia is the most darling little girl. I never want to see her get her heartbroken over what may or may not happen in the next book.

I freaking love a secret baby romance. This one was perfect. I also LOVE that it is set up for a trilogy. I am looking forward to how their story continues.

Secret Baby
Second Chance

Profile Image for Caitiebelle.
336 reviews27 followers
July 16, 2022
I could not put this down. I read it all in one sitting, and I can say right now that I need it to be November so I can continue this fantastic series!

This is the first book I have ever read by this author and I am amazed!

Secret Baby tropes are my guilty pleasure!

This is a bit of a slow burn, the first book is def the book that builds up everything, and halfway through the book, I expected this to either be a duo or a series, because it was evident by the way things were going, that it wouldn't end at the end of the book.

However, I did go into this book very blind and I have never read any of the other books in this universe. I also had no idea when starting that this was a series.

Normally I'm not a huge fan of "slow burn" and OW drama, but this book is amazing and I spent so much time enjoying it. I was angry at the heroine, I understood H, I was angry at H at times and understood the heroine etc, it's an amazing book!

I as I said, could not put it down, and I highly recommend it. Don't let the OW drama scare you, I promise you, it will all be explained and it's not actually as bad as you first believe. ;)

I also loved that our dear Hero is English! :D And the author is writing that very well indeed. :D

Gosh I can't wait until November when the 2nd book comes out, because this does end on a cliffhanger, but it's so worth it!
32 reviews4 followers
July 19, 2022
I normally read romantic suspense but the blurb caught me and I wanted to read. I liked the characters of Ces and Xavi. The story progressed and seemed logical in the setup of the plot. Overall I liked this book. Conversations felt real life to me, Reactions sometimes seemed inflated but overall still believable. I would have given the book 5 stars if it weren't for the fact that it's a part 1 of who knows how many to finish Ces and Xavi's story. At least it didn't end in a cliffhanger (or if it was meant to be a cliffhanger, it was very slight), however the narrative made sure that the reader knew there were issues that won't be resolved until later. This story isn't done yet in this one book.

I don't mind that authors do this. As an author myself, it's hard sometimes to limit a story to a particular word count so you make the story a two or three part story. What I mind is that it's not brought up on the cover page (part 1 of ###). This was brought up that it was a series but not that this is a continuation of the book 1 story which was left incomplete. To me a series is same world, and sure the same characters can be in it, maybe an overlying story arc that takes many books to be resolved, but not a part one of two or three to get this characters HEA. So will be knocking this down to 4 stars
19 reviews2 followers
June 27, 2022
Nicole French has done it again! First Comes Love is the completely addicting first installment of the Silver Spoon Trilogy. After meeting Frankie and her daughter, Sofia, in Nicole's Rose Gold series, they now finally get to tell their own story.
Frankie was a young college student with her future all planned out. She was going to finish and school and become an English professor. That was until Xavier suddenly appeared one night and changed her whole world for more than just the four weeks they spent together. Frankie thought she had found love until Xavier suddenly disappeared with only an email saying goodbye. Though unbeknownst to Xavier, a broken heart wasn't the only thing he left with Frankie after their time together. Five years later, their paths unexpectedly crossed again and Frankie knows keeping her secret is not going to be possible.
First Comes Love is a story of second chances filled with tension, passion and strife. The emotions are raw and palpable as Frankie and Xavier navigate this new reality. As always, the character development is so thorough and the story telling so well done, it seems as if the story is unfolding in front of your eyes instead of on the pages of a book. I know I will be very impatiently waiting for the next installment to arrive!
Profile Image for Hundred Acre.
199 reviews3 followers
March 27, 2023
In the UK we have a saying about the upper classes being born with a silver spoon in their mouths - showing their wealth and privilege from birth. Nicole French's First Comes Love which is the first in her Silver Spoon series suits this title for more than one reason.

Xavier is that more than one reason. He is wealthy, he oozes power and charm, he is also a restauranteur. See. Perfect. This is his story but it is also the story of Frankie and her little girl, a little girl whose father is Xavier, unknown to him...

This story is absolutely full of twists and turns, of will they's and won't they's. It is the story of two people finding one another again, rekindling their love for one another and it is a cliffhanger too so don't expect resolution.

I love the way that Nicole writes, her style immerses us in the lives, the hearts and souls of the characters, she brings light, love and hope - plus a little bit of angst - into our lives with her books and this one is no exception. Her stories are intricately woven, well written and demanding (quite rightly) of our attention. I can't wait to see how this one evolves.
139 reviews3 followers
June 26, 2022
It’s been a while since Nicole has released a book and this one is worth the wait.

First Comes Love is the first book in The Silver Spoon trilogy and it is a great start.

We had already met the main characters in Nicole’s previous Rose Gold series and it was joyous to get more from these characters.

Francesca and Xavier had met five years previous to where the book is set and the result was Sofia although Xavier is yet to find out. Frankie had her reasons for keeping that secret and the story revolves around Xavier coming to terms with being a father and his relationship with her mom.

As with all Nicole’s books this one is full of passion whether that be for the characters beliefs, work and with others and she writes it wonderfully.

I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here and no doubt there will be twists and turns with the characters and the plot.

I was given an arc for a honest review.
581 reviews3 followers
June 26, 2022
First Comes Love is the first book in the Silver Spoon series. It's a second chance, single mom, secret baby contemporary romance. This story is well written and has great characters. Frankie is a single mom to little Sophia. She works hard to provide for her daughter, but hasn't been totally truthful with herself or family. Xavier is a chef and restauranteur. His character was unexpected, in a good way! He had his share of secrets and lies, but I love how he worked to establish a relationship with Sophia and Frankie. I really liked how this story flowed and progressed. There are some secondary characters I'm still very curious about and have a feeling they are going to cause some problems down the road. I also love the Zola family. This family is tight knit and I can't wait to get more of them! Just as Frankie and Xavier finally get to a good place this first book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. Can't wait to see what happens next!!
Profile Image for Felicia.
312 reviews7 followers
June 28, 2022
A contemporary, second chance romance featuring a billionaire and a secret baby!

A chance meeting in New York leads two people to fall in love (and lust) although they couldn't be more different. Xavier is a chef from London who comes from wealth. Francesca is from a large family living in the Bronx. Their tryst is cut short when Xavier flies back to London leaving Francesca via email with a shocking surprise. Little did he know, she had a surprise of her own - She was pregnant. Fast forward five year and fate brings them together again. Will their differences be too much? Can they forgive each other for mistakes of the past?

I really liked this surprise baby/second chance read. I love that the author didn't drag out the secret too long and really let the characters explore how they were going to come through this. I also loved all of the classic romance references throughout the story. Be prepared - the end isn't quite a HEA, more like a happy for now as this is the first in a series.
Profile Image for Nicki.
3,628 reviews151 followers
June 27, 2022
It only took a moment for Francesca to fall in love with Xavier, and it only took another moment for Xavier to break her heart and leave her pregnant and alone. So years later when Xavier and Francesca meet at a party the connection is still there but so is the hurt. Will Francesca open her heart as well as her daughter's life and let Xavier back in? Or will Xavier take what he never knew he had and control it like he does everything else in his life? High emotions and intense drama makes this a great read. The reader will instantly want the best for Francesca while at the same time be routing for Xavier to finally get the family he never knew he wanted.
Profile Image for Kathryn Dee at CLiK Books.
763 reviews23 followers
June 24, 2022
First Comes Love (Silver Spoon #1) - Nicole French

Book 1 in The Sliver Spoon Trilogy and I’m all in!

Xavier’s character is sublime and Francesca’s character compliments the story so well. They are a match made in heaven! This book will give you all the feels with wonderfully written characters and a beautifully developed storyline, Nicole French has set the scene for a wonderful series. Seeing the redevelopment of the relationship between Xavier and Francesca and understanding How much Xavier wants to not only be in his daughters life but nut also to be with Francesca was such a brilliant play. Xavier is committed to giving them his everything but secrets from the past have a derailing this relationship. So very much looking forward to reading the next in series I can’t wait to see what happens next for these two.

Thoroughly addictive reading.
Profile Image for Ang C.
724 reviews102 followers
July 23, 2022
Kudos to those who enjoyed First Comes Love, but this book was not for me.
It took me days to suffer through this read, with lots of skimming.
Although the first few chapters were promising, this romance was sorely lacking for me - with unlikable main characters (which I utterly despised), a boring storyline (that seemed to drag on and on), cringe-worthy love scenes (that were so un-sexy), this book was a hot mess.
And to top it off - there's a sequel—a hard pass and no interest in part 2.
Profile Image for Lori Ritondale.
394 reviews3 followers
June 30, 2022
pretty good read!

I liked the book! Frankie family dynamics was probably the best part of the book. I didn’t understand at all why his news upset her at all. The couple had good chemistry and I loved his relationship with his daughter.
1,231 reviews3 followers
February 20, 2023
Great read!

This was quite an engaging story. I enjoy reading about extended families and their interactions, something that plays an important part here. Xavier and Francesca were fascinating people, and watching them work out their lives made for a book I really enjoyed.
35 reviews
June 28, 2022
I hated the h and her selfish behavior.
Seriously!!! He don't belive in love so I will run away and not tell him about his daughter
And when he find out, I will treat him like crap, GAHHHHHH!
I never wanted to say Go Fuck Yourself to a person as much as Ces
Profile Image for Reading with 2 book lovers.
3,036 reviews39 followers
June 28, 2022
Oh what a story, xavi, Frankie and Sofia all made me swoon, laugh, cry and so many emotions. This was a fab story, I enjoyed all the banter from the zolas.
I can't wait for more from these charaters
Displaying 1 - 30 of 201 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.