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The Chocolate Maker's Wife: A Novel

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  678 ratings  ·  166 reviews
Australian bestselling novelist Karen Brooks rewrites women back into history with this breathtaking novel set in 17th century Londona lush, fascinating story of the beautiful woman who is drawn into a world of riches, power, intrigueand chocolate.

Damnation has never been so sweet...

Growing up in an impoverished household with a brutal family, Rosamund Tomkins is both
Kindle Edition, 608 pages
Published August 20th 2019 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published February 18th 2019)
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Patricia I would think 14 and older would enjoy it. Teens are very mature today. Only a mature reader would pick up a book as long as this.
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
In 1600s England, Rosamund Tompkins is the illegitimate daughter of a nobleman working as a servant in a country inn. Her stepfather is abusive, and she works under him at the inn, so when the Restoration under Charles II is happening, its not on her day-to-day radar.

Sir Everard offers her a way out and into a new life, one where she will be part of a luxurious London chocolate house where only the wealthiest men come to eat sweets and drink.

Rosamund thrives in this environment. She is talked
Veronica ⭐️
The story follows 17 year old Rosamund Ballister in a Cinderella style tale when she is married to Sir Everard Blithman and taken away from her home where she is treated like a servant and abused by her step-father and step-brothers. However Sir Everard has plans for Rosamund and those plans are mainly as a source of revenge.
Sir Everard is kind and courteous. He encourages Rosamund to take an interest in his new chocolate house. Drinking chocolate was
✨ Gramy ✨

This book commences with hints of abuse and cruelty that reside in the depths near hell, if not inside of it. And then the profanity was introduced. After only one chapter, I was disheartened to discover that there were more disreputable characters in the story than reputable ones. Personally, I feel the unnecessary cruelty is abominable and I don't feel the need to relive it for someone else.

I soon checked other reader's reviews to either confirm my reluctance to continue the read or determine
Bookish Ally
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I cant decide whether I really liked this book or not. Its based off historical characters and happenings ~ I liked that. I learned something by reading it~ I liked that. Main character had a decidedly modern perspective ~ I didnt like that.

At times I felt too much happened in this book, but then, it was like this at the time this book was set- too much was going on.

Bit of a mixed bag ~ 3.75 stars
Theresa Smith
Chocolate had seeped into her blood.

As you all know by now, historical fiction is my best and favourite. Ill read all sorts of genres within an historical setting that Id not even crack a cover open for with a contemporary one. This year is already shaping up to be an incredible year for historical fiction. Two months in and Ive read so many great titles with even more beckoning from the pile on the bedroom floor. Even though I like all historical fiction, I do have some favourite eras and one
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 raised to 4 out of 5. Set against the background of Restoration England [Charles II, latter part of 17th century] an enjoyable historical romance novel about a young woman, Rosamunde, whose mother sells her into marriage to a lord, Sir Everard Blithman, [Did such things really happen back then?] who rises from poverty and degradation to become an assertive and canny businesswoman, managing a chocolate house--we'd probably call it a café--where men come to enjoy the new drink, chocolate, ...more
Davida Chazan
This is the story of Rosemund, a woman who was both literally and figuratively pulled up from the gutter to become Lady Blithman, the Chocolate Maker's Wife. See what I thought of this historical, culinary, women's fiction novel in my review here.
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read Karens, The Locksmiths Daughter, I was eager to see what her latest novel would cover. With a somewhat different approach, Karen takes you on a marvellous journey to 17th century Restoration London. This book is absolutely laden with historical detail! What I found here is that research dominates as Karen deftly weaves a tale of fiction around a mass of London history of the time.

What is not covered in this book is the question (apart from the history of chocolate obviously)? You
Jennifer (JC-S)
Today, my lady, you also became a chocolate makers wife.

The setting for this novel is Restoration London, between 1662 and 1667. London in 1662 is still
coming to terms with the return of Charles II to the throne: theres both frenetic gaiety and puritan sobriety. And by 1667 London will endure both the Great Plague and the Great Fire.

Enter Rosamund Tomkins. Born into poverty and treated badly by her mother, step father and step brothers, Rosamund seems condemned to a life of drudgery in her step
Lyn Quilty
A long read that dragged at times for me. The characters were quite stereotyped and the plot too predictable for my liking. The heroine and her laugh and riveting beauty became irritating after a while. What I did enjoy were the descriptions of the plague, the Great Fire of London and the politics and social habits of the times. I am full of admiration for the author's efforts at researching the period in which the novel is set. Ok for an escapist holiday read.
Leanne Lovegrove
Loved this latest historical fiction by Karen Brooks - a compelling saga with a strong female character who makes chocolate!
This is a massive read, at 552 pages plus extras it is a huge undertaking. I have to say that it took me a while to become completely engrossed in this novel, not because I wasnt enjoying the story, because I was, but because I got rather annoyed with being told over and over how our heroines beauty and laugh and smile were so wonderful that everyone around her was completely changed when she shone any of these things upon them. It got to the stage I actually started rolling my eyes. As the ...more
Rachael McDiarmid
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book and its leading lady. Set primarily Restoration London it covers quite a bit of historical ground and we see Rosamond develop from a strong, sensible woman living in poor circumstances to married life to an important man and having an occupation in the chocolate house. Of course all is not what it seems. And through the course of the book we see her go through a lot, personally and professionally. The book covers the plague, the Great Fire of London and more. Rosamond is a ...more
I didn't mind this book. It's not great literature, but the plot is pretty good. It has enough interesting twists and turns to keep you interested. Many of them are well telegraphed, but the interesting mix of fact and fiction makes it interesting nonetheless. Happily, not all of them are well telegraphed so there are a few surprises in the plot for the reader.

I think the one flaw is that the heroine is near perfect, but I'm not surprised given the genre of the book. I would say that it is a mix
Dawn Hough
Well this is going to go down as one of my all-time favourite books. Set in the mid of the 1600's at the time of the plague and great flood this historical novel has it all - from tragegy to social ethics - to the rights of women - to love - to ambition, fear and heartache. I am normally a fast reader, but I found myself deliberately slowing myself down to savour the story. Couldn't recommend this enough - I'm already investigating other period novels by this author. An absolute find.
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Chocolate Maker's Wife by Karen Brooks, I thoroughly enjoyed ~ reading about Chocolate Houses and Chocolate in the 17th Century.

It was extremely well-written.

The scent of chocolate and spices lingered throughout the book!

Damnation never tasted so sweet...

Test your tastebuds in this new novel, The Chocolate Maker's Wife by Karen Brooks.
Donna Hines
"The important thing is not to get swallowed by the darkness. To remember, even when the shadows grow long and you fear they will consume you, there's still light in the world. You just need to find it."
The setting is during London's Restoration under Charles II and progresses from being dirt poor to marrying a wealthy and powerful man &for Rosamund the illegitimate daughter of a noble man it was quite fascinating to follow her journey especially after escaping her abusive stepfather.
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book a lot. I honestly got a copy because of the word "chocolate". Yet, this book is more than just about "chocolate". Ms. Brooks weaves a lovely story about empowerment, equality, enduring loss, survivor, love and a rich history of chocolate. Fans of time period piece books as well as fans of this author's will enjoy reading this book. I know I sure did.

Rosamund needed to go away from her family. They were kind of poison to her. Therefore, it was great that Sir Everard
Anita Tymkiw
I was really taken with this book the moment I started it. Its set during an interesting time in British history but also a reminder of the many social constraints in place for women of the time. I was charmed by the Chocolate House and loved the insights on the introduction of chocolate to Britain. The concoctions that could be served were fascinating and made me want to step back in time in order to have been among the first to experience such a novel and tempting drink as it would have been ...more
Beth Sponzilli
Ive had my eye on this author, as Ive been trying to get a hold of another of her books. I settled on this one and I was glad I did! 1660s London with the events of the plague and The Great Fire embedded in a story of a girl who rose from the ashes to find a home among a chocolate house. A kind of mystery unfolded through out and kept you wondering. I look forward to her other books. ...more
Mellie Antoinette
DNF at ch 16 which is a shame given the beautiful cover. 😒
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had such high hopes for this one, but The Chocolate Maker's Wife left me feeling conflicted. I liked it, but I didn't love it, and some things I didn't like at all.

What I liked:
- I loved learning about the history of chocolate.
- I always enjoy novels that have a romantic thread woven into the story.
- There are some timely viewpoints in here on religious tolerance, race, and the role of women,
- For me, what truly rescues this book is its historical setting. The second half of the 1600s was a
Jill Smith
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rosamund Tomkins enters the world smiling. The midwives believe she will have a charmed life. Her early life living with her strict but caring grandmother Lady Ellinor Tomkins, at Bearwood Manor, are happy days. She laughed a lot then.

The story opens nine years after her grandmother dies and her mother Tilly, who had deserted her at birth, came back to reclaim her. Tilly and her husband run an Inn, Rosamund is put to work cleaning, running and serving at the Inn. Her step brothers Fear God and
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Set in 17th century England, the author's research of and familiarity with the time shows through and is impressive. The writing, less so. The story is OK, with an intrigue plot that has elements of mistaken identity, damsels in distress, an attempt to empower a woman in a very 21st-century way, illicit affairs, evil stepsons, decrepit and stingy husbands, unnatural mothers, etc. Some historical characters play roles, most notably Samuel Pepys.

I found a lot of the dialogue unrealistic, but a
Jacki Anderson
Very drawn out. Bookclub ladies were not too impressed 6/10
Originally published at Reading Reality

The story of The Chocolate Makers Wife is every bit as lush and decadent as the bittersweet confection that she learns to make and most definitely promote and sell in her role as the young, pretty wife of an older man who owns both a revolutionary chocolate house and an entire bubbling vat of deep, dark, but not so luscious secrets.

As ubiquitous as chocolate is in the present day and as much as its taste, aroma and flavor are loved or even craved, once
Rosamund is of age and desperate to leave her abusive home, but the how causes consternation. All but sold to nobleman Sir Edward Blithman, Rosamund doesnt know if she will be treated better or worse than in her family home. Charming and beautiful, with a way that brightens the room, shes also capable and competent, and able to mix the new delicacy, chocolate, with flair. Strangely enough, with the chaos in England during this time, it was a chance for women to be freer with conditions, many ...more
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rosamund lives with her mother, stepfather and stepbrothers at an inn where she is severely mistreated. One day as she is trying to escape her stepbrothers she encounters Sir Everard Blithman when his coach almost runs over her. He is struck by her close likeness to his first wife and in this he sees an opportunity. One that he does not explain to Rosamund. But he does offer to take her away from her miserable life. Her mother insists that he marry her before she will let her go he agrees and a ...more
I must confess that Im still dipping my toes into Historical Fiction and that, at times, I still find it tough to get into. It requires that I constantly remind myself of the fact that there wasnt always space for women in our world, the way that there is now. Otherwise Id want to wring the necks of many a male lead. That being said, I was a little wary about The Chocolate Makers Wife. This book is quite long. I hoped that the focus on chocolate houses, and my interest in them, would help with ...more
Lynn Pernezny
Within this book is a good story in an interesting time period, but the tangle of plot threads, an overabundance of characters, the author's determination to include every last bit of research that she's gleaned on the English Restoration and the introduction of chocolate (plus its preparation) tended to overwhelm the main story. In my opinion (and it's strictly mine), this book would have benefitted from judicious editing.

At the opening, Rosamund is a young woman at the mercy of a cruel
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