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Dreaming in Chocolate

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  618 ratings  ·  199 reviews
A story of love, hot chocolate, and one little girl's wish for her mother that will make your heart swell.

At twenty-seven, Penelope Dalton is quickly ticking off items on a bucket list. Only the list isn’t hers. After her eight year-old daughter Ella is given just six months to live thanks to an inoperable brain tumor, Penelope is determined to fill Ella’s remaining days w
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 6th 2018 by St. Martin's Griffin
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KIKI I doubt it. The ending of the story had a great closure. Although the characters' fate were left for us to imagine, I think it's better that way. Make…moreI doubt it. The ending of the story had a great closure. Although the characters' fate were left for us to imagine, I think it's better that way. Makes the story so much bigger. (less)

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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  618 ratings  ·  199 reviews

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Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 stars

I really enjoyed this magical book! Will one need to suspend some disbelief while reading this book? You betcha! Does Chocolate have healing properties? I would like to believe yes!

This is a feel-good book! But wait! How so? The daughter has an inoperable brain tumor and has 6 months to live. How can this be a feel-good book? That is where the magic of this book happens. Penelope is a single mother raising her eight-year-old daughter, Ella, on her own. Penelope owns a Chocolate Cafe wit
I have enjoyed Susan's other books, so I was pretty excited to get into this one.

I really liked Penelope and Noah. She's reluctant and he's charming and together they have a hint of chemistry. I'm sure there would be a lot more if Penelope would let it happen. I think Sabina was my favorite character and of course Ella stole every scene she was in. It was absolutely adorable seeing her trying to play matchmaker.

One of the things I love most about Susan's books is that the magic is right out in
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
*** ARC provided by the author for an honest review **

I thoroughly enjoyed this story from beginning to end. A small town in western North Carolina is home to a magical chocolate shop owned by a young woman and her mother.Embraced by the town, there is even a festival that gives the residents the opportunity to make a wish for their future after having some magical hot chocolate.
The drama is that the shop owner Penelope is having a crisis of faith. Despite the entire town wishing for a heal
Donna Shaw
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
A touching story about love, magic and chocolate. Penelope is attempting to fulfill Ella's (her dying daughter) bucket list. Ella's natural father, Noah, is unaware that she exists as he left town before she was born. Ella's list includes having a dad and family. This story is about magic and believing, sweetened with marvelous chocolate. ...more
May 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, fantasy, food
This book wasn’t for me, many of the storylines, such as the romance and the magical chocolate fell flat for me.
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Narrated by Brittany Pressley, I became nervous as I first began to listen. Apparently, the cover blinded me to the synopsis.  I missed the fact that Penelope Dalton's daughter, Ella has an inoperable tumor and six months to live. I almost set the audio down. I wasn't sure my heart could take it. But I grabbed some truffles and continued to listen for a spell figuring I'd get out if it got to emotionally messy.  I am so glad that I kept listening because Crispell delivered a heart-warming tale f ...more
Sharon Huether
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
A magical tale of a mother ( Penelope) and her daughter. ( Ella).
Penelope has a bucket list for Ella since her days are numbered.
She feels the magic is in the Chocolate and the wonderful recipes found in the old desk.
I received this book from the author for my honest review.
Wit & Wonder Books
*** ARC provided by the author for an honest review ***

Love and hot chocolate are at the center of Susan Bishop Crispell's Dreaming in Chocolate, along with circumstances no mother should have to face.

Penelope Dalton is a single mother working alongside her own mother in a chocolate café. The café is a place of magic and wonder, filled with chocolates, caramels, toffee, and hot chocolate. Most of what is sold is believed to have healing powers. But Penelope no longer believes in the magic, not
Linda Zagon
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What an intriguing concept Susan Bishop Crispell, Author, of “Dreaming in Chocolate” has whipped up. Who doesn’t love chocolate, or wishes for that matter? The genres for this story are Fiction, Women’s fiction with an essence, and tad of magic mixed in. The chocolate have a certain magical quality. There is an old apothecary table that has opinions and offers suggestions and recipes. What else can you add to the mix?

Kudos to Susan Bishop Crispell for adding a colorful cast of lovable characters
Under the Covers Book Blog

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I've not read much women's fiction, I don't tend to gravitate towards it; however, after being captured by the beautiful cover, the mention of chocolate and the hint of magical realism I decided to branch out and give it a try. Unfortunately it didn't work out as well as I was hoping.

My expectations going in, is tha
Arlena Dean
Title: Dreaming in Chocolate
Author: Susan Bishop Crispell
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five

"Dreaming in Chocolate" by Susan Bishop Crispell

My Thoughts.....

It was quite interesting the way this author puts together this fictional story of "Dreaming in Chocolate' that has a mix of magical realism that deals with the healing powers of its chocolates. We find the story somewhat sad in that...well let me say Penelope Dalton is a single mother who works with he
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book surprised me. It was a simple story about a single mom with a dying child who has made a bucket list. Simple right? not so much. Also involved is a magical table that gives the mom and her mom recipes that are magical. Want to know what someone thinks, try the caramel - make a wish - the chocolate does it every time. When the dad comes back into the picture, it gets complicated, as Penelope does not want to risk her heart again. Plus the child, Elle, is delightful. She brought quite a ...more
Janice Cafarelli
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I won this book on Goodreads.. Once I started reading this book chapter after chapter I became more involved. But suddenly the book ended leaving me wanting more and with many unanswered questions.. Perhaps a book 2????
Penelope owned a Chocolate Shoppe with her mother that was said to have magical candy recipes but when Penelope's dearest wish didn't come true she began to doubt their powers until Noah came back to town..Could she dare to hope again??
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I have read by this author, but I loved this book. It is a charming story about chocolate, magic & love. This is the perfect book to read during the holidays. It will make you want to have a cup of hot cocoa & curl up in front of the fire while you read it too! Not to mention, how can you resist the title of this book?!?
Set in a small North Carolina town, the story focuses on a chocolate café, The Chocolate Cottage, the magic it conjures with the help of an ancient apothecary cabinet and the bucket list of an eight year old girl. Penelope and her mother Sabina have mixed and dispensed the magical chocolate as well as other ‘normal’ confections for years: providing clarity, courage, hope and showing true love to their customers, and culminating in a Winter Solstice festival where their “Kismet” hot cocoa is avai ...more
Booksandchinooks (Laurie)
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press #partner for an honest review. This is a beautifully written book with very likeable characters. I am not a reader of books with components of magic so I had to overcome my skepticism and just enjoy the book. Penelope and her mother run a shop that sells chocolates and hot chocolate. There are various magical benefits to some of the chocolate that they sell. This is well known around the community and the townspeople come looking for ch ...more
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This story returns to wishing and magic bakery items. Penelope's daughter, Ella has a brain tumor and doctors aren't very optimistic. Penelope is doing a bucket list for the two of them with the help of her mother but Ella has one request of her own. A dad who will love both of them. Ella's dad is back in town and she has picked him to fill the bill. The story ending is open, hopefully another book will bring a bright and happy ending. I enjoy Ms. Crispell's both because she adds just a hint of ...more
Margaret Yelton
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dreaming in Chocolate was such an amazing and sweet story. Well written, with a storyline that pulls at your heartstrings. What do you do, when your child is dying? You do your best to make all her dreams come true. I read this book in a couple hours, and would recommend it to anyone
Orly Konig
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A delightful book that will have you reaching for chocolate and wishing the magic was real! Susan Bishop Crispell has whipped up a confection that will melt your heart and leave you rooting for all of the characters.

And I really want that apothecary table! :-)
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Woman (Penelope) owns a magical chocolate shop, yet can't cure her own daughter's (Ella) inoperable brain tumor.

I very much enjoyed this story about Penelope, a mom who has tried everything to save her sick daughter, Ella, from an inoperable brain tumor. And hello, who can resist plain chocolate, let alone magical chocolate?!? Penelope owns the Chocolate Cottage which sells...

"Espresso truffles that gave a jolt of energy. Jasmine tea caramels that calmed frenzied nerves. Spicy hot chocolate t
Suze Lavender
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Penelope and her mother own a chocolate café. They sell all kinds of delicious treats and hot chocolate. There's something special about their shop, they have a magical apothecary table that gives them any recipe they could ever need. The inhabitants of Malarkey buy the chocolate for various reasons, but a lot of them want to find true love. Penelope used to love her business, but she's having doubts. The table hasn't granted her biggest wish and this breaks her heart. Can she still put her trus ...more
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: southern-fiction
This is a novel about a mother, daughter and granddaughter in a small town in NC. Mother and daughter own a chocolate shop and the chocolate they make has magical powers. We all know about the healing that chocolate brings us but this chocolate has even more magic!

Penelope is 27 years old and an unwed parent of her 8 year old daughter Ella. Penelope no longer believes in the magic from the chocolate because even magic can't find a cure for Ella, who has a brain tumor and 6 months to live. Ella i
Like the perfect chocolate candies it describes, this book manages to deftly balance its component parts so that nothing overwhelms. Readers aren't required to commit entirely to a tale of a young child with an incurable disease, a romance between two lovers fighting their fate, or a widow choosing an altered state rather than face her loneliness. Each of those stories alone has their strengths and pitfalls, when combined with a magical desk that produces recipes for, yes, magical candies, then ...more
Amy (TheSouthernGirlReads)
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-s

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for the #free Netgalley copy.
This is for real the sweetest ( I mean that literally) book I have read in a long time. I loved this little story based right here in my home state of North Carolina.
The story begins many years ago when boy meets girl. Girl drinks magical hot chocolate to "see" her true love. Boy freaks out and leaves town. One minor problem. Girl is pregnant with their child. Fast forward eight years. Penelope is running a magic chocolate shop wh
Thank you, Netgalley, for this arc!

This book was fun - I loved all the chocolate and the fun, festival, family-friendly atmosphere! My heart broke for Sabina, Penelope's mom, as she continued to grieve for her husband. I'm not quite sure why Penelope was so hard on Noah. Not telling him that they had a child together, and then highly doubting he was going to stick around in town. I loved the scene toward the end where Noah babysits Ella and they bake cookies together. The ending, to me, ended a
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I want a magic apothecary table!

When I picked this book up, I wasn't sure what to expect. But I loved every minute of it. The writing has an almost dreamy quality that matches the tone of the book. The characters tug at your heartstrings from the beginning. It was so good, I kept wanting to slow down and really savor it so it wouldn't end, just like a steaming mug of rich hot chocolate.

Dreaming in Chocolate was a delight from start to finish. Can't wait to read Crispell's other books.

***I recei
Eileen (BookCatPin)
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had really enjoyed Ms. Crispell's debut, The Secret Ingredient of Wishes, last year so naturally when I heard about her sophomore book I knew I had to read it. Dreaming in Chocolate is a heartbreakingly honest read.

I'm not a fan of magical realism but Dreaming in Chocolate presented the magical aspect in a simple way. The thought of magic working in real life took some getting used to but I loved how the magic of the chocolates were portrayed as a possibility only. One had to want it for it co
Elaine - Small Farm Big Life
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women-s-lit, novel
Dreaming in Chocolate is the perfect mix of Practical Magic and The Good Witch. I absolutely loved it! This is a quick read that is a heart-warming story of three generations of women who run a chocolate shop that serves up magical treats in the small town we all want to live in. 

"As far as hole-in-the-wall towns went, Malarkey took the cake. Nestled in a valley in the Appalachian Mountains, the town was one where people found themselves in one of three ways - they were born there, they knew som
Susan Ballard
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dreaming in Chocolate
By Susan Bishop Crispell

Chocolate, romance and a bit of magic - sounds like a wonderful combination, right? It’s all in this charming book.

Penelope and her mom run a cute little hot chocolate cafe in a small town where everyone knows everyone. Yet there is something a little special about their cafe, or shall we say magical. Their hot chocolates and candies are special gifted recipes from an old apothecary table.
In addition to running the cafe, Penelope is trying to be t
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Susan Bishop Crispell earned a BFA in creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Born and raised in the mountains of Tennessee, she now lives twenty minutes from the beach in North Carolina with her husband and their literary-named cat. She is the author of The Secret Ingredient of Wishes (2016) and Dreaming in Chocolate, which releases on Feb. 6, 2018. As you might expe ...more

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