Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Laura Florand - The Chocolate Temptation

She hated him.
Patrick Chevalier. The charming, laid-back, golden second-in-command of the Paris pastry kitchen where Sarah worked as intern, who made everything she failed at seem so easy, and who could have every woman he winked at falling for him without even trying. She hated him, but she’d risked too much for this dream to give up on it and walk out just so he wouldn’t break her heart.
But he didn’t hate her.
Sarah Lin. Patrick’s serious, dark-haired American intern, who looked at him as if she could see right through him and wasn’t so impressed with what she saw. As her boss, he knew he should leave her alone. The same way he knew better than to risk his heart and gamble on love.
But he was never good at not going after what – or who – he wanted.
He could make magic out of sugar. But could he mold hate into love?

Comment: This is most recent installment in the Chocolate and Amour series by author Laura Florand. This book wasn't long in the pile because the author surprised me a lot in her first books and despite the title before this one was a let down, I still had hopes for this one!

This is Patrick and Sarah's story. Readers who read the previous book, The Chocolate Heart, will recognize them, as they work with and for the chef from that book. In fact, Patrick could be already at his own restaurant but he's with Luc still, and Sarah is one of the interns.
Apparently, there's only a professional relationship between Saran and Patrick, but is it? Despite the indifference Sarah shows, are her feelings deeper? Despite the friendly manner of Patrick's behavior, does he have stronger feelings for Sarah?

Based on the relationship I saw in the other book about these two, I had such high hopes for their story and I thought it would be amazing to watch. However, it wasn't as brilliant as that and when the author's style surprised and enticed me at first, now I find myself a bit bored with it because it's too "out there" and doesn't let me focus on the story itself.
I'll explain.
This author has a writing style very peculiar, the reader has access to all the characters' thoughts and inner struggles. This sounds refreshing at first, but after five books, I kind of wanted things to spread over the character's actions and surroundings, for instance, more about their work, about their lives, instead of so much narration about what they feel and went through and even more, not as much voice about what the other must think they really are.
I know this is a valid way of storytelling and like I said, in the first books is so new and different from what I used to read, I found the stories marvelous. But now it seems there's too much narration and not as much story development, even when they do things. Maybe it's the story itself that "demands" this bolder style which doesn't please me as much, or maybe it's me alone, and that can't be solved.

The relationship between Sarah and Patrick is the complete focus of this novel, with interesting points about their family history and how some family members influenced them.
Sarah is a fascinating character, she has done some things that went against her more cautious side, namely coming to Paris to study pastry and she has a dream about food. I think she is the kind of person we all wished we could be, letting almost everything to pursue a dream, no matter for which reason.
Patrick has a more exuberant behavior in a way. He is the type to make jokes and make everyone comfortable and at ease. He has dreams too but we only discover the reality of those in the end of the story and I confess it was a surprise.
Their romance is based on little moments at first until they become intimate. After that, it's practically only one scene after another of indecisions, of fear of saying the bad thing, they both lack some confidence in the what is becoming between them which can be seen as annoying because despite being real in real life for sure, and who knows in some books as well, but in this case it felt a bit suffocating.

In the end, there's a HEA but I wasn't totally sold on the love between them nor was I convinced it was true love, everything just seemed unappealing. I'm afraid my opinion of the series has been decreasing with each book, although the first three being quite good, in particular the first. This didn't have a supporting environment as interesting or polished, I think.
Grade: 6/10


  1. Sigh... I wish I could like these books! I have the first one of the series and can't get past the first 5 chapters. I didn't like the novella I read either. I don't know what it is about them that don't do it for me. :(

    1. I think it might be the writing style. It was great in the first two books because it was new and the plot was fresh enough to surprise the reader. But as the stories moved along it got repetitive and too focused on the inner thoughts of the characters and not in actual action, so...I'm afraid to say it got boring....