For What It's Worth

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Review: The Chocolate Heart (Amour Chocolat #5) by Luara Florand


16101234No 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. 
~ Goodreads | Author | Amazon
Source: E-ARC provided by the publisher for my honest review
Release Date:
November 26, 2013 from Kensington Publishing

Review:
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.

But….

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.

12 comments:

  1. Great review! It sounds like it has a really great balance of the seriousness and comic relief. I am definitely interested in meeting Patrick, he sounds hilarious!

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    1. I loved him. Florand has teased that there may be news on the PAtrick front coming soon!

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  2. Does sound like a lot of angst, but glad you enjoyed

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    1. There really is and I don't know why but I was ok with it this time around.

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  3. Okay, you have me intrigued. I'm not one for angst either, but you say it works here. I gotta know! Oh I am adding this one to my wishlist.

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    1. Start with The Chocolate Kiss. It's more whimsical and fun.

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  4. I saw the cover, I read the synopsis and I thought - Not for me. Until I read your review. I can tell how much this book has gotten to you and it actually sounds really good. Of course, I would be gobbling up the desserts and getting fat. I really like the sound of Patrick too.

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    1. I don't think you would like this Pam. The dessert descriptions were fantastic though.

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  5. With 'chocolate' in the title this had to be a winner.

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    1. I think that's my favorite thing about this series - the food descriptions!

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  6. Terrific review Karen! I haven't heard of this series. It sounds like a nice, serious romance. I love the funny guys in the middle of the stress. I think the filing of being contained and wanting control is fantastic and relatable.

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  7. I love the name of the series and I love food themed contemporary novels. The downside is it makes me crave for all kinds of things and you know women and craving, it's one of those urgent things. When it strikes we must have instant gratification. LOL

    This sounds like my kind of series to follow although the princess bit might not work for me the best but the dude sounds decadent.

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