This was a …… delicious read. And not just because it had chocolate in it. None of that cheap, mass produced, barely call-it-chocolate chocolate. No, I’m talking about hand-crafted, artisan chocolate made by handsome men with silky hair.
I loved the premise of the book. A rich heiress (and chocolate anarchist when on vacation) with a strange obsession for a certain chocolatier’s talented hands. An incredibly talented, self-important, world-famous chocolatier with a soft spot for a beautiful, rich heiress. Don’t you just love it when a book lives up to its blurb? That ought to be on a tee-shirt somewhere.
Sylvain was adorable; he was perfect in every way. It’s not even the chocolate talking. Okay, it could be the chocolate talking. Sylvain was the perfect blend of arrogant man, with an incredibly hidden insecure side to him. It was endearing to see his close ones warn him about not getting hurt. With any other hero, the comments would’ve just been shrugged off. But with Sylvain, they held more than a grain of truth. He was willing to admit (to himself, at least) that he had had his heart broken countless times before but was helpless against the pull he felt towards Cade. It made him more human, more relatable. We’ve all been there; fallen hard for someone and tried to talk ourselves into not getting too attached.
There are times when a writer who captures a heroine’s perspective so well, fails to write the male’s perspective just as effectively. This is not one of those times. The point of view for both Cade and Sylvain was so wonderfully different and gave great insight into how differently they both think. Sylvain’s POV was hilarious: his one-track mind, strange fantasies, rich-heiress luring plans, fool-proof seduction techniques, irrational jealousy and uncharted love-making skills. I loved him.
Cade Corey was also a good character but there are a couple of things that I wish had been different. For someone who is used to handling multi-million dollar deals, she seemed more than a little unsure and lacked confidence. It added to her appeal as the little victim whom the mean chocolatier refused to talk to, but for a woman who is used to successfully dealing in the corporate world, it seemed a little off. The other thing I didn’t like: her secret desire to give up the management of the Corey Chocolate. I feel it would’ve been even more dynamic if she had been a suit by day and secret chocolate devour-er by night. I did not like the fact that she (spoiler alert) becomes Sylvain’s part-time apprentice. Maybe its the drama-fanatic in me, but I would’ve liked it better if she had been a sharp businesswoman who likes what she does (making billions) but also likes chocolate (and a certain chocolatier) and is least bothered about who would have a problem with that.
The secondary set of characters were also delightful – on both the Corey side and the Marquis side. In the initial part of the book, there is a mention of other chocolatiers in Paris. There isn’t much by way of description of any of them; except maybe Dominique Richard (who happens to be the oblivious second male lead here. Or so Sylvain thinks). But even that one sentence about each of those men is enough: next book hero-material.
Laura Florand has a beautiful style of writing; like silky chocolate, at times velvety smooth and sweet, at times dark and erotic. The tension between Cade and Sylvian was so evident in every conversation and meeting. The sex scenes – especially the first one – were so steamy. And inventive. I thought the stair case thing was kinda strange (but what do I know?). Her description of Paris, it’s streets and people, their arrogance and superiority, their derision of anything American……. makes me want to go there so bad. I thought the book was very well written and now I have a new favorite author. That is the next best thing to chocolate.
Normally, I would be utterly disappointed after finishing a lovely book like this one. But it makes me giddy with happiness just thinking that there are SEVEN books in this series. So much chocolate. Yesssssssss, my preciousssssssss.
Except those couple of things about Cade’s character that I wish had been different, this is actually a pretty fantastic book. I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves romance, egoistical men and chocolate.