In my last romance review I wrote about how romance novels can return you to the feeling of falling in love. I stand by that. But sometimes they can also return you to the feeling of realizing things aren’t going to work out the way you wanted. It isn’t the fault of the book, it’s what I as a reader bring to this particular table. I’m not going to go into my personal history (which doesn’t involve Paris, witch craft, or a happy ending), I’ll just say that this particular book hit my feels.
The Chocolate Kiss is book 2 of Laura Florand’s Amour et Chocolat series of contemporary romances set in Paris and revolving around chocolate. In The Chocolate Kiss, Magalie makes delectable hot chocolate (chocolat chaud) at her aunts’ shop Le Maison des Sorcieres. She doesn’t consider herself a witch, but she does stir a wish for each customer into her chocolate. Phillipe Lyonais, is Paris’ premier pastry chef and opens his patisserie down the street from Magalie’s shop, threatening Magalie’s feeling of economic security. They get off on the wrong foot and stay on the wrong foot for a long time. They battle it out, each trying to get the other to taste their offerings.
In the book, the magic of communicating wishes and feelings through food is literal. It’s a charming device, and one with which I connected. When I cook for people, I do put my emotions into the food. It doesn’t translate to the consumer, but I do invest the food I am making with my feelings about the people for whom I am cooking. I have put my heart on a plate and had it rejected.
I can’t say Laura Florand is making any great social or political statements. Philippe is arrogant, domineering, and surprisingly vulnerable. Magalie is insecure, self-protective, and remarkably strong.
Thank you Mrs. Julien for lending me the first two books and to Malin for encouraging me to read them.