Monday, December 24, 2012

The Chocolate Kiss

Chocolate #2

by Laura Florand

Release Date: December 25, 2012

 The Heart of Paris
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 habitues 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, patissier princes and sweet wishes—an enchanting tale of amour et chocolat

Rating: 3.5 Stars

A fun and cute romance novel set in Paris. That simply enchanted me!
Chocolate kiss follows the usual line of Romance Chick-lits, is packed with cliches and very predictable.
BUT who cares?! If it stars a tawny, blue eyed, tall, well built gorgeous french dude that creates this for her

Honestly he had me at french dude… but a man that makes macaroons? the best in Paris?
That alone should be sufficient to give 5stars…. ;)

It's a sweet and fast read. With many aspects that I really enjoyed. But its nothing new or amazing. To be honest the food writing parts reminded me of Chocolate. And as I said before it was utterly predictable. The love scenes - for those of you who enjoy the more smutty reads- are not mind-blowing or amazing, in fact they are rather forgettable.
The character building is alright, I guess. Though to be honest I found it quite hard labored and pulled together. All the explanations on why Magalie has commitment issues, are a bit long drawn. And after the scene with her mother at the train station- I kinda was irritated by it. I honestly didn't care much why she has them! I am aware that this is the authors attempt to give the story and its characters depths, but I think it was a unfruitful,clumsy and utterly unnecessary attempt. This novel shines on the sensual writing and I for one would have been happy with a totally lighthearted affair.

While I kinda enjoyed the french words and sentences that were thrown in- I am wondering how readers who neither know french nor Paris will feel about it. I always find it a tricky thing to write the book in a language that the characters aren't actually speaking. I get why Florand chose to go the route she went, to give it more of a Parisienne identity- but at times it feels a bit distracting. So I am wondering if that approach is not more distracting than helpful.

Despite all this and the fact that I wouldn't bother watching this a movie- I was grinning through most of the book. And felt positively enchanted by it after finishing.
I loved the banter and fight between Magalie and Philippe. I liked that neither of them were pushovers or would give in, but neither couldn't let go as well.
The scenes of Paris are beautiful- especially Paris in the snow.
The parallels to Rapunzel is really clever- though I might be biased slightly, it always was my favorite grime's tale and living high up in a tower in  Île Saint-Louis is definitely  a hell yes from me.
The best part no question were the food scenes. I enjoyed every second of it. I do have a thing about macaroons, so that might have something to do with it. Florand's descriptions of the food making are beautiful, seductive, tempting and sensual. And what are to be truthful a big My favorites are the descriptions of the macaroon making. Though all of the food scenes are thoroughly scrumptious! As I said I have a thing about macaroons and those passages had me yearning for a trip to Herme or Sprungli, pondering over those white peach macaroons I had last summer and considering baking some for myself….
A little remark on Philips scrumptious Isphahan like creation- rambutan is incredibly smelly, who on earth would keep that in their fridge in Paris? why on earth would anybody put up with its smell not to speak of the fact that it doesnt taste like much? i know that the idea was to replace the litchi in Ispahan. But rambutan? Uhm, sorry but my nose is part of the entire eating experience and i don't think Florand will be creating an amazing new macaroon flavor anytime soon.
The idea of the magical ingredient made me grin every time- because i really believe that it exists , the smile from the bottom of your heart as you stir the chocolate chaud. That's the secret ingredient in all wonderful meals!
If there were a place like La Maison des Sorcieres, I would spend every afternoon of my life there! More so I found myself wishing to own a place like it!

I haven't read the first book in the series, which I definitely will do. And I am looking forward to the next installment as well!

ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you!

View all my reviews

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