Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Review of The Chocolate Rose by Laura Florand

And yet more contemporary romance! Laura Florand's Amour et Chocolate books are a bit like quiet, modern fairytales set in Paris, where food artists make impossibly brilliant and delicious things with chocolate. They aren't books to read if you're on a diet, because you will want chocolate, and if you're like me you will eat all of the chocolate.

Jolie is trying to talk pastry chef Gabriel Delange out of suing her father, who used an image of a lovely pastry rose on the cover of his new cook book--a rose that he has been passing off as his own work, despite the fact that it was Gabriel's personal creation. Jolie argues that he father's health is fragile and that Gabriel should not be a bully. Gabriel has a serious grudge against her father, though, and is determined not to let up. Taking advantage of the situation, Gabriel concocts a scheme that will force Jolie to work with him in writing a cookbook. After all, Gabriel has a hard time in the dating pull, and Jolie is more than a little attractive.

The second book was so magical that somehow, I expected the same sort of tone from this one. What I got instead was a more petty seeming drama and a tone of conflict similar to the first book. It works alright in it's own way, but it's just not what I prefer. I got impatient with Jolie constantly defending and protecting her father, who's deflated ego seemed to rule her life and actions. I found her very smart and enthusiastic, but her motivations were to irritating to keep her relatable.

Gabriel was charming but far more forgettable than the heroes of the previous books. I finished this book at the end of May, and already his character has faded to almost nothing. I know that he's meant as the "beast" of the piece, that he roars and throws things and traps Jolie into staying with him, because that's the only way he can hold onto a woman long enough to woo her.

As I said, this book lacked some to the enchanting qualities of the previous installment, but it's nonetheless an appetite inducing indulgence. If not perfectly memorable, it is at least perfectly readable and quite tasty. 3.5 stars.

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