There is something eminently satisfying about reading Laura Florand's stories. I wasn't expecting to like The Chocolate Thief as much as I enjoyed theThere is something eminently satisfying about reading Laura Florand's stories. I wasn't expecting to like The Chocolate Thief as much as I enjoyed the other books in this series, but the Parisian setting and the abundant chocolate won me over. The Chocolate Thief isn't my favorite book in the Amour et Chocolat series, but I did gobble up with almost as much enthusiasm as I did the rest. It was kind of fun to go back and learn about Cade and Sylvain's story after having met them in subsequent books. The Chocolate Thief shows the promise of all the elements I love in the later books, but doesn't quite achieve that glorious peak of perfection....more
Read solely for Laura Florand's story. I think I loved it almost more than any other story. The heroine is one I like in small doses, so that makes heRead solely for Laura Florand's story. I think I loved it almost more than any other story. The heroine is one I like in small doses, so that makes her perfect for a short story. Elle is effervescent and a trifle dishonest but lots of fun. The summer in Paris setting set me aching to travel--heck, to live in the City of Lights, even if it means renting a garret apartment no bigger than a bathroom. And, heck, if it means landing a French chocolatier, well...isn't that the dream?...more
HOLY COW. I ate this book up like it was MADE of chocolat instead of ABOUT chocolate. I mean–seriously! IThis review was first posted on Ruby's Reads.
HOLY COW. I ate this book up like it was MADE of chocolat instead of ABOUT chocolate. I mean–seriously! I think I started it on a Thursday night and finished it on the following Friday–and it only took me that long because I had to go to work. *Glares at work.* It was a stay-up-until-my-eyes-burn-with-sleep kind of read, which is surprising since I haven’t read much contemporary romance in the last couple of years. Even though I really enjoyed The Chocolate Kiss (book 3) it didn’t compare my love of Dom and Jaime’s story.
To start with, I need to warn you that there’s clearly some backstory that I missed out on. I haven’t read The Chocolate Thief, but I know enough about it to understand that Jaime is the sister of the female half of the couple featured in that book. I don’t think I necessarily had to have read Cade and Sebastian’s story, and nothing is really spoiled, but events are Mentioned. I actually think not knowing Jaime’s history (which I assume occurred during the events of Thief) enhanced things for me, but I guess I’ll never really know for sure.
Florand is a master at creating alpha heroes that are also incredibly vulnerable. And romantic. And sexy. Dominique goes to see his therapist for lessons on how to be in a relationship, for heaven’s sake. And he feeds Jaime dark chocolate repeatedly. (The Chocolate Kiss focused on macarons. Dom’s specialty is dark chocolate–which, honestly, is just another mark in its favor as far as I’m concerned.) Sex, food and Paris are so intrinsically linked in a Laura Florand novel that each book is a sensual overload. I mean, I’ve always wanted to move to Paris, but Laura Florand has me packing my bag and running for the nearest international airport.
Despite the fantasy of a holy trinity (chocolate, Paris and love) The Chocolate Touch, doesn’t end with a perfectly tidy happily-ever-after. Yes, the main couple ends up together (these are romances, after all), but both Dom and Jaime have issues that are too complex to be resolved in the span of one novel. And while there’s part of me that enjoys the fantasy that Love Cures All, I like these unresolved endings better. I wouldn’t buy it if getting married cured Dom of all his anxieties over being loved and and an engagement ring isn’t going to make Jaime forget the awful thing that happened to her. Love can help–but it can do all the healing.
Even if you’re not a contemporary romance fan, I highly suggest you run out and buy something by Laura Florand. I promise she will not disappoint....more
Delightful, fun and quick. I enjoyed almost every minute of it. I admit that I felt the part where the main characters, Magalie and Philippe, took turDelightful, fun and quick. I enjoyed almost every minute of it. I admit that I felt the part where the main characters, Magalie and Philippe, took turns refusing to try the others' food started to get old. Then, thankfully, they made progress. Loved the love story, but also Magalie's personal storyline....more
Die for Me has been at the top of a lot of lists of highly anticipated titles for 2011. It'This review was first posted on http://www.rubysreads.com.
Die for Me has been at the top of a lot of lists of highly anticipated titles for 2011. It's a debut by a new author, it's both a paranormal and a romance, and it has an exotic, foreign setting. These are winning elements in my mind, but put together, in this book, the finished product isn't as successful as I'd like it to have been. Now, I'm a hardcore romantic. When I read a book, the romance has to work for me in order for the book itself to work. But that doesn't mean a great romance is enough to carry the weight of the whole story. I'm certain there are exceptions to this, but I'm not going to go there right now. I bring this up because Die for Me revolves around the romance between Kate and Vincent and, in my opinion, the rest of the book suffered. Kate tells the story in first person, but I don't feel that I know that much about her outside of her relationship with Vincent. I have no idea what her school is like, for instance, and I was disappointed not to get a taste of Paris from the writing. Most of all, I felt that without those other aspects of Kate's life, she was not a particularly vibrant character. I wasn't even a big fan of their romance, though this was due in large part to the push-pull "I love you, but I can't bear to be with you because I don't want to lose you like I did my parents" stuff. Another thing that I struggled with was that I really, really expected people to have lived so long to have greater wisdom. I mean, there are things that some people will never learn no matter how old they get, but pretty much everyone with a tad of wisdom learns a thing or two about communication. The best example that I can think of is when Jean-Baptiste tells Kate's new friend, Charlotte:
"...but because of the circumstances I leave it up to you, Charlotte, to break the news to your brother that I have asked you both to leave."
(Gasp--end of chapter--which is the literary equivalent of the commercial break.) I object to this kind of manufactured cliffhanger. Jean-Baptiste isn't kicking Charlotte and her brother out, he's sending them away so that Charles (the brother) can recuperate. He also isn't saying they have to leave forever, so all this is is Jean-Baptiste finding the most dramatic and hurtful way to break the news to Charlotte. Which, I must add, doesn't really jibe with his character's "wisdom of the aged" personality. Finally, my biggest problem here was the world-building. This is a hard topic for me to address because I think world-building is incredibly difficult and I don't doubt that it represents a challenge for any author who attempts it. With that in mind, I'll try to keep my critiquing as constructive as possible. By definition, paranormal fiction messes with what we know of as the rules of our world. It alters them--sometimes in big ways and sometimes in small. But the thing is: in a paranormal world, the rules change--but there are still rules. I think Amy Plum played fast and loose with the world-building in Die for Me. No sooner does she introduce a rule, than there's an exception. For example: Vincent tells Kate that when a revenant is "volant," he or she can't communicate with a living person. Not much later we find out that, for some reason, this rule doesn't hold true for Kate and Vincent. I find that this is an element of Die for Me that I can't get past. It irritated me long after finally closed my Kindle. This book was not my cup of tea. I don't doubt that Amy Plum will find her audience. I just know I'm not it. ...more