Monday, June 17, 2013

Laura Florand - The Chocolate Kiss

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 habitués 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, pâtissier princes and sweet wishes -- an enchanting tale of amour et chocolat.

Comment: After such a wonderful first book, I was very eager to get my hands on this second one and I was more than hopeful to get a story as addictive and fun as the previous one, The Chocolate Thief. I bought the book the same month I read the other book and now I finally had the chance to pick it up.

This time, it’s the story of a character we knew about in the other book but who never made an appearance, if I recall correctly. Phillipe Lyonnais is a pastry chef, the best of course, and he just opened another store in Paris, very close to the Maison de las Sorciéres, where Magalie works with her aunts. Magalie doesn’t this to happen because she fears the clients will stop to go to their shop. She confronts Phillipe and the battle begins. They clash all the time but we know there’s more to it than just business differences…

I’ll say it right now, I don’t think this story was as beautiful and sweet and strong as the other one. I think one of the best things about The Chocolate Thief was how the characters looked more alive and better explored in terms of personality and inner thoughts, or just more likable at some point, that in this one I just wasn’t as marveled by them. Phillipe was quite intriguing and I really liked him. Magalie, on the other hand, felt stricter and I kind of approve of people to be cautious, but somehow in this book I wanted her to enjoy the playing more, to not feel like a capitulation when she and Phillipe finally got together. It’s hard to explain, but in general, the main relationship wasn’t as great as I imagined.

The story was good. This I expected and it was delivered. I felt Magalie’s fears for the future of her aunts and herself and why she acted impulsively at first and how she felt forgettable, I mean, in the beginning her character was very intriguing and I wanted to know what she was thinking. Until their relationship got more intimate, I was very amused by how Phillipe and Magalie would “fight” and meet and try not to feel the attraction, or better, tried not to show they were feeling it. Then Magalie finds out some things she wasn’t aware of and that sort of helped her decisions further. I get that, I do, but again, I don’t think she was that fun to read about from then on. Maybe I’m being too harsh, I mean, if it were me in her position, if I were to meet someone like Phillipe I guess I’d find it too good to be true as well, but well…in romances, we kind of want out heroes and heroines to be more understandable, right? Ok, let me get one thing clear, I didn’t dislike Magalie, I just think her character wasn’t as easy to care about as was Cade in the first book, that’s all. It’s the character’s build up and the author knows best, but personally I’d change her a bit, just a tiny bit…

The end was cute. Not fairy-tale-like-beautiful like the other – I guess I can’t help but compare them, as I truly loved The Chocolate Thief and all about it – but still able to make me smile and be happy for them. I think in a way, they got what they wanted and it was so cute to see them in a happy mode and with happiness in their future. I hope all the author’s books are like this.
Now, I can’t help but be really eager to read the next one, I already pre ordered it!

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