Monday, February 4, 2013

Review: The Chocolate Kiss by Laura Florand

The Chocolate Kiss by Laura Florand
The Chocolate Kiss by Laura Florand is one of those novels I just cannot help but to talk about. I know this is primarily a YA blog but this book is just so, so wonderful I have to tell more people about it. Do you like Paris? Do you like chocolate? Do you like steamy romances with two characters who have such great dialogue that it sparks off the pages? Well then, you must, must, MUST read The Chocolate Kiss.

Synopsis: Welcome to La Maison des Sorcieres. Where the window display is an enchanted forest of sweets, a collection of conical hats delights the eye and the habitues nibble chocolate witches from fanciful mismatched china. While in their tiny blue kitchen, Magalie Chaudron and her two aunts stir wishes into bubbling pots of heavenly chocolat chaud.

But no amount of wishing will rid them of interloper Philippe Lyonnais, who has the gall to open one of his world famous pastry shops right down the street. Philippe’s creations seem to hold a magic of their own, drawing crowds of beautiful women to their little isle amidst the Seine, and tempting even Magalie to venture out of her ivory tower and take a chance, a taste…a kiss.

Parisian princesses, chocolate witches, patissier princes and sweet wishes—an enchanting tale of amour et chocolat. (Goodreads.com)

Magalie loves the stability her life in Paris gives her. She loves her job and she loves her aunts. After a lifetime of growing up on two continents, she relishes the opportunity to burrow into her tower home and make it her own. So, when Philippe decides to open a pastry shop just down the street, she is worried it will put her aunt's small shop out of business. Thus begins her first confrontation with Philippe and one of the best romances I have a feeling I will read all year.

I like when characters conflict, when they spar and spark off each other in a way that leads to emotional tension in the story. This is not conflict for the sake of conflict but rather a genuine (if steamy) courtship. Philippe just wants Magalie to try one of his macarons at first but the more she resists, the more he wants something else from her. Let me just say, this story is passionate! All those wonderful things you've heard about the passionate nature of the French? Philippe has it in spades!

I liked Magalie's vulnerability, her determination to make herself happy. She has very mixed-up feelings about falling in love and being part of a relationship because of her parents' unusual marriage. Those feelings play out as Magalie wants to give into Philippe and his feelings for her but also how she holds back. She does not want to lose the home and life she has built for herself and you definitely understand why as you get to know her backstory.

This story is filled with romance! Added to that is the delicious descriptions of the macarons, of Magalie's chocolat chaud and of Philippe's determination to woo her. Also, these two behave like adults which isn't always the case in romance books. Magalie knows she is throwing up barriers in their relationship but she also doesn't want to lose Philippe so she has to make hard choices about her future. I liked how strong she is. There is a great balance in her character of vulnerability and fortitude.

The setting of Paris is simply scrumptious as it lends itself so well to Philippe and Magalie's love story. This is one love story you are going to want to read again and again. This is actually the second book in Laura Florand's series. I haven't read the first one yet but I think I may just have to given how much I enjoyed The Chocolate Kiss. And just so you know, the steam level in this book isn't at erotica level but it's definitely more than a Debbie Macomber book. I found it to be just right.

The Chocolate Kiss, add it to your adult romance reading stacks.

Other reviews:
Dear Author reviews The Chocolate Kiss
Fiction Vixen reviews The Chocolate Kiss
The Brazen Bookworm reviews The Chocolate Kiss

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