No one hates Paris--except Summer Corey. The moody winters. The artists and their ennui. The inescapable shadow of the Tour Eiffel. But things go from bad to worse when Summer stumbles into brooding, gorgeous chef pâtissier Luc Leroi and indecently propositions the hero of French cuisine...
Luc has scrambled up from a childhood panhandling in the Paris Métro to become the king of his city, and he has no patience for this spoiled princess, even if she does now own his restaurant. Who cares if she smiles with all the warmth of July? She doesn't eat dessert!
There is only one way to tempt her. A perfect, impossibly sweet seduction.Source: E-ARC provided by the publisher for my honest review
Release Date: November 26, 2013 from Kensington Publishing
For those who follow my blog, you know that this is one of the few series that I consistently rave about. The Amour Chocolat series is like a decadent whirlwind trip to Paris from the comfort of my own couch.
Each book in the series has gotten a little darker. The heroes have always been larger than life and arrogant but the last two books in particular have given them an edge. The Chocolate Heart is SUPER angsty. Not something I usually love in my books but I think it works here.
The push and pull, of the spoiled “princess” - hotel heir Summer Corey and Luc Leroi – a survivor who worked his way from the streets up to become one of the top pastry chefs, was heartbreaking and maddening at times.
Like all the books in the Chocolate series, Luc sees a damsel in distress and feels it’s his duty to be her knight in shining armor. Summer wants to be rescued and enveloped in the darkness and safety of this strong man. I really thought I wasn’t going to like Summer at first. Just like angst overload, I’m even less of a fan of the damsel in distress. But Summer is a strong, brave woman who has just been beaten down and manipulated by her image conscious family for way too long. She really has to fight her way to the light and the future that she wants.
The food takes center stage in the wooing process as Luc tries to tempt Summer with his elaborate, decadent desserts filled with dark promises.
Summer won’t eat them. Not a one.
This was my favorite part of their story. Summer hates deserts because her parents had always used them as a way to make her behave when she was a child. Summer also hates Paris and what it represents for her. Lack of control over her life. She sees all of Luc’s overtures as a punishment, and a way to control her if she gives in, even though Luc is pouring his heart out to her in the only way he knows how.
There are a lot of misunderstandings and miscommunication with this couple but considering their pasts, which are actually quite similar, I can see how they would mistrust each other and be afraid to take that chance.
Just when it was getting too heavy at times, Patrick, Luc’s Sous Chef, would make an appearance. I LOVED him. He’s completely different than any of the other men in this series. He’s a blond, surfer dude type that pokes fun of Luc and calls him on his bullshit. This books really needed a Patrick type of personality for levity.
I was not only happy to be introduced to Patrick but also touch base with a few of the previous couples. It’s nice to see how the men have softened (although they keep up that competitive spirit when it comes to their careers) and how the women took Summer seriously and not just treat her like a beautiful air headed heiress.
Final thoughts: The Chocolate Kiss still remains my favorite book from the series but I would place this one second, despite all the angst. I liked how Summer and Luc really had to struggle for love and decide how much of themselves to sacrifice in the process.