Sunday 29 March 2015

Five Recommended Reads for Chocolate Lovers

I love reading books. (You may have already noticed this).

Do you know what goes well with books? Chocolate!

So here are five guaranteed calorie-free reads to melt your heart, not your diet.

Chocolat by Joanne Harris

When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud denounces her as a serious moral danger to his flock - especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial.

As passions flare and the conflict escalates, the whole community takes sides. Can the solemnity of the Church compare with the sinful pleasure of a chocolate truffle?

The book has a slightly darker edge than the famous film starring Johnny Depp. I love it for the range of eccentric characters that populate Lansquenet, as different to each other as the chocolates Vianne sells in her shop. A magical and deliciously decadent read. If you enjoy it, there is also a sequel: The Lollipop Shoes.

The Chocolate Run by Dorothy Koomson

Amber Salpone doesn't mean to keep ending up in bed with her friend Greg Walterson, but she can't help herself. And every time it 'just happens' their secret affair moves closer to being a real relationship, which is a big problem when he's a womaniser and she's a commitment-phobe.

While Amber struggles to accept her new feelings for Greg, she also realises that her closeness to Jen, her best friend, is slipping away and the two of them are becoming virtual strangers. Slowly but surely, as the stark truths of all their lives are revealed, Amber has to confront the fact that chocolate can't cure everything and sometimes running away isn't an option ...

The Chocolate Run is one of Dorothy's lighter novels, definitely romantic comedy, and I love the way Amber compares everyone she meets to a different chocolate. As well as the romance, this is also a novel about friendship. (And the cover is beautiful!)

Chocolate Wishes by Trisha Ashley

In the picture-perfect Lancashire village of Sticklepond, Confectioner Chloe dispenses inspirational sweet treats containing a prediction for each customer. If only her own life was as easy to forecast - perhaps Chloe could have foreseen being jilted at the altar…

But when a new Vicar arrives in the village, the rumour mill goes into overdrive. Not only is Raffy Sinclair the charismatic ex-front man of rock band 'Mortal Ruin', he's also the Chloe's first love and the man who broke her heart.

Try as she might, Chloe can't ignore this blast from her past. Could now be the time for her to make a wish - and dare to believe it can come true?

The thing I like best about Trisha's books is that she creates these wonderful little villages populated by lovable but completely eccentric characters. As well as Chloe and her chocolate wishes (like fortune cookies, with little messages inside), we meet her warlock grandfather who runs a museum about magic, her younger brother who's just growing out of an extreme Goth phase, and the new vicar who was once a rock star - and Chole's ex ... One of my all-time favourites!

If you enjoy this, you'll also love Chocolate Shoes and Wedding Blues. (Both books are now available in a box set called The Chocolate Collection.)

The Chocolate Lovers' Club by Carole Matthews

For Lucy Lombard, there's nothing that chocolate can't cure. From heartache to headaches, it's the one thing she knows that she can rely on - and she's not alone. Fellow chocolate addicts Autumn, Nadia and Chantal share her passion and together they form a select group known as The Chocolate Lovers' Club. Whenever there's a crisis, they meet in their sanctuary, a cafe called Chocolate Heaven. And with a cheating boyfriend, a flirtatious boss, a gambling husband and a loveless marriage, there's always plenty to discuss ...

This is another book about friendship as much as romance. Although there are some absolutely hilarious bits, Carole has a gift for mixing humour with life's more serious moments. I just wish there was a Chocolate Heaven near me ...

If you enjoy this, there's also a sequel, The Chocolate Lovers' Diet, and The Chocolate Lovers' Christmas is on its way ...

The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan

As dawn breaks over the Pont Neuf, and the cobbled alleyways of Paris come to life, Anna Trent is already awake and at work; mixing and stirring the finest, smoothest, richest chocolate; made entirely by hand, it is sold to the grandes dames of Paris.

It's a huge shift from the chocolate factory she worked in at home in the north of England. But when an accident changed everything, Anna was thrown back in touch with her French teacher, Claire, who offered her the chance of a lifetime - to work in Paris with her former sweetheart, Thierry, a master chocolatier.

With old wounds about to be uncovered and healed, Anna is set to discover more about real chocolate - and herself - than she ever dreamed.

How can you resist a book about chocolate and Paris? A delicious treat of a book and the descriptions of chocolate-making will certainly make you hungry - but a word of warning, have a box of tissues to hand!

Related Posts:

Five Books Which Romanced Me
Five Books Which Chilled Me

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