Tuesday, March 12, 2013

On Cinnamon: A Review of The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand

The Chocolate Thief (Chocolate, #1)If I had to sum up my thoughts on this book in one sentence, it would be: Delicious book, terribly sub-par romance. Let me explain.

Our heroine, Cade Corey, is the heiress to America's biggest chocolate company (I believe Corey is meant to be analogous to Hershey). She's very involved in the family's business, but it's always been her dream to branch out from that and see some of the world--namely, Paris. She has this idea to create a line of gourmet chocolates for her company, and to associate the line with one of France's most beloved small chocolate shops. She's shocked when her top choice, Sylvain Marquis, turns her down flat. But he is as tempting as his chocolate is, and she finds herself obsessed with him.

 The chocolate in this book is described in such a way that even someone who doesn't love chocolate will end up craving it. The hero seduces women with chocolate. He uses chocolate to relate to Cade, to lure her in, and to keep her captivated. I could easily see why Cade would want to sneak into his shop and revel in his chocolate convection.

Cade is the big downside of this book. I was quickly irritated with her entitled rich girl attitude and her belief that she can literally buy anything. When the Parisians refuse to sell to her, they come off as a bit snobby, but I was mostly in their corner--this heroine needed to learn a big lesson and be put in her place.  It just takes such a long time for that lesson to sink in, for her to get the idea that money can't buy her happiness, and after a point I really couldn't sympathize with her on any level.

The sexual chemistry between Cade and Sylvain is smoking, but the romantic chemistry is somewhat lacking. I have to give the author points for the scene or two where they did show a level of mutual understanding, but over all I've read much better matches.

Overall, while I was reading this book I absolutely had to have chocolate--good, dark chocolate that completed the sensory experience of this book for me. That aside, however, I was really unimpressed with the plot and frustrated with the character development. I plan to read more of Laura Florand's books, and I'm hoping that with different characters I will like them better. 3.5 stars for this one.

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