July 29, 2013

Book Review: The Chocolate Touch by Laura Florand

At First Sight: Dominique Richard has made a name for himself in the competitive world of Parisian Chocolatiers, and now he's regarded as one of the best chocolatiers in the world.

He has fame, a great reputation and all the women he could want, even if his staff walks all over him most of the time, and his social skills are a bit lacking - something that is put in evidence when he becomes fascinated by a woman who keeps coming to his salon -a.k.a. shop - every day, somedays even twice.

Said woman is Jamie Corey, who is in Paris recuperating from a traumatic event and hanging out with her older sister Cade, doing nothing all day but wandering Paris and visiting Dominique's shop.

At first, she's very put off by Dominique, and quite unsure of why he keeps paying her attention when he visits the shop - she even withholds her last name, since her family is rich and in the chocolate business - but soon they start to enter a relationship neither of them is sure they can handle. 

Second Glance: All right, I'm going to say all the good stuff first: The Chocolate Touch was a fun read over all, and I didn't feel as lost in the whimsy as I did with The Chocolate Kiss (Which I sometimes felt was whimsical just to be contrary and annoy me, but I digress). The characters and motivations were a lot easier to understand and navigate.

And the descriptions of Paris and awesome chocolate stuff were great.

But the book still didn't work with me. Part of it is the style, I think I'm ready to say that Laura Florand's style isn't for me. It's too wordy and whimsical in a way that just sets my teeth on edge (and I love whimsy, you can ask anybody, but this type doesn't work for me).

The other part was particular to this story and is that I didn't like Jamie all that much, her particular hang ups really rub me the wrong way - she has an hero complex and acts like she can push people away because she was hurt before, and has kind of a low self-esteem. Dominique sells himself a little short too but I found him way easier to like.

Dom had to overcome lots of things to become who he is, and he's afraid he'll turn into someone like his father, but he's actually a pretty decent guy, and you can tell that right from the start - which is why I was annoyed he couldn't see it for the longest time, and that he sold himself so short on that regard.

Still, over all I liked him. I even liked the other characters from previous books, though I don't understand why some of them were mentioned, since they didn't really bring much to the story. I understand Cade and Sylvain, since they are related to Jamie, but Magalie and Philippe? not so much.

Bottom Line: If you like Ms. Florand's style, go for it, Chocolate Touch will be fun for you. If you like a more for straightforward style of storytelling, then maybe this one won't be for you. I do think that if you're a chocolate lover, you owe to yourself to give this series a chance, at least once. 

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