I read this one because of Tasha/heidenkind. Go, blame her. ;p
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
La Vie en Chocolat: oui, c’est possible.
Dominique Richard’s reputation says it all—wild past, wilder flavors, black leather and smoldering heat (they of course mean his kitchen owen). Jaime Corey is hardly the first woman to be drawn to all that dark, delicious danger. Sitting in Dom’s opulent chocolaterie in Paris day after day, she lets his decadent creations restore her weary body and spirit, understanding that the man himself is entirely beyond her grasp.
Until he touches her. . .
Chocolate, Dominique understands—from the biting tang of lime-caramel to the most complex infusions of jasmine, lemon-thyme, and cayenne. But this shy, freckled American who sits alone in his salon, quietly sampling his exquisite confections as if she can’t get enough of them—enough of him—is something else. She has secrets too, he can tell. Of course if she really knew him, she would run.
Yet once you have spotted your heart’s true craving, simply looking is no longer enough.
Imagine you are a top chocolatier, with that tell-tale MOF (Meilleur Ouvrier de France) collar, and an owner of a highly successful chocolate salon in Paris. Additionally you are young, relatively rich, pretty good-looking and your career is skyrocketing. Your employees like you, pretty women crawl all over you like ants and your customers always return for more, despite exuberant prices. What else could you need? Hmmm…Let me think. A sports car? A Harley-Davidson? A bespoke suit from Armani? A trip around the world? Or maybe a rich, American princess with a well-developed social conscience and scars to prove it? Isn’t an American princess a crown for your every achievement? That rare bird: rich enough to be sophisticated but American enough to feel the need to socialize with lower classes. She so conveniently walks into your salon, sits there for hours and seems to enjoy it enormously, never even using her i-pad (what a bliss). Mind you, she is properly emaciated so there is no thread she would put on weight too much…
It wasn’t a bad romance book as far as I am concerned but it was a tad too fairy-tale-ish for my tastes. The Beauty and the Beast in chocolate. A big, bad beastly boy, all black leather, scarred hands, dark eyes and an attitude to match, finds a fragile, freckled princess of his dreams. From that point virtually nothing happens, plot-wise. Not. A. Thing. The boy turns from a womanizing stud into a cuddly, over-protective teddy bear who constantly begs the princess of his dreams to never leave his side. It happens in an instant. His princess proves to be far more rebellious and socially-conscious than he could have imagined and yet she is so in need for a strong, manly arm, defending her from bad, ugly people who love nothing better than to exploit kids and women in exotic countries, far, far away. Soon she cannot imagine a life without her chocolate Beast. All is very well – as sweet as vanilla chocolate caramel dusted with sugar powder. Unfortunately too sweet for me and not especially real.
By the way it was never exactly explained why Jaime walked into that particular chocolate salon when her future brother-in-law owned one of them as well and she could eat there for free. One of the mysteries of the universe I suppose ;p.
Oh and the cover – not bad but hardly representing my ideas of how the two protagonists looked. The boy is too delicate, the girl – too robust and without a hint of that freckled complexion. Still la Tour Eiffel seems great as usuall ;). Imagine it or not, it used to be called ‘a pissing giraffe’. People can be so stupid.
Too sweet. Worse than part six which I read as first. Oh well. My meh monster should be featured I suppose.