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The Chocolate Heart (Amour et Chocolat) Paperback – November 26, 2013
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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The latest in Florand’s (The Chocolate Thief, 2012) Amour et Chocolat romance series about Parisian chocolatiers is set at a luxury hotel and features its sexy and controlling pastry chef, Luc Leroi. Summer Corey has been summoned to Paris by her mogul father to temporarily oversee the hotel in exchange for him funding a satellite for the remote South Pacific island where she’s been teaching and hiding out for several years. Sparks fly between Corey and Luc from the moment she arrives at the hotel, but she is so broken by being called a spoiled brat her entire life that she’s not willing to relinquish her heart. Luc, meanwhile, must check his ego to win her trust. The book’s theme of submitting to sweets and other seductions makes it racier than Florand’s previous novels. But all the elements of her successful recipe for reading pleasure—headstrong heroine, dashing hero, sinful desserts, and sultry situations—come together in another deliciously entertaining offering. --Aleksandra Walker
"Florand's long-standing love affair with Paris comes alive in her charming descriptions of the city and the delectable desserts her hero concocts. ...[a] delightful story full of sizzling sexual chemistry and a stellar cast of secondary characters." -- RT Book Reviews
"Florand outdoes herself with this exquisite confection... painstakingly crafted and decadent as the sweets it portrays, leaving the reader longing for just one little taste." - Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
Chocolate, Paris, and a Greek god for a hero; this delectable confection has it all! - Library Journal STARRED REVIEW
All the elements of [Florand's] successful recipe for reading pleasure--headstrong heroine, dashing hero, sinful desserts, and sultry situations--come together in another deliciously entertaining offering. - Booklist
As usual, my review for one of these books cannot possibly scratch the surface of the emotions Ms. Florand wrings from the reader. This is the most angsty of all her Amour et Chocolat books and no surprise, I think it is the best. - Fiction Vixen
I always walk away besotted and impressed by [Florand's] languid, graceful prose. Of course the setting of Paris, the chocolate-making heroes, and deeply complex heroines draw me in - but Florand's writing always, always, clinches the deal. - Ivy Book Bindings
A beautifully written addition to the series. - Random Book Muses
A page turner that would pierce your heart with its poignancy and laughter, tempt your senses with delicious pastries and chocolates and the city that is Paris. - Deluged with Books Café
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Anyway, back to The Chocolate Heart! I really liked it. Like The Chocolate Touch, it was a harder read. The writing is still beyond gorgeous and I just love revisiting Laura Florand's Paris and her intense, emotionally draining men. What made it difficult was what also made it very good: Summer and Luc were profoundly damaged by their childhoods, slow to believe that they each held value to the other, and very, very slow to open up. Yes, it was frustrating to have those blocks between Luc and Summer, but I also felt it was true to their character and good of Florand to not make it "easy" for the sake of the reader.
I honestly don't know what I can say at this point without becoming even more redundant. The entire series is a gorgeous experience. It's full of passion and angst and sexy and romance. Funny moments, sad moments, heartbreaking moments and moments so beautiful, so beautifully expressed that I'm brought to tears. It's been a wonderful experience. If you're looking for intense and beautiful, Amour et Chocolate is definitely the series to read.
Her eyes flickered to his with a flash of pure hunger.
Yes! Triumph licked him, thorough hot licks of her mouth on his skin. Oh, yes, I can make you hunger for me.
And then her smile turned her whole beautiful, luminous, delicate face into something so impossibly wonderful that his hands- his hands- almost shook with the need to grab it to him, to crush it to him, and never let it get away.
"You're so beautiful." Water streamed off him, that lean body of his all wild, taut muscle, his face burned clean of anything but passion.
He kept saying that as if she really was. She slipped her hands up those slick shoulders. "Let go,"she whispered. "Lose control."
His body shook in hard, long spasms that drove him deeper into her. "Hold me while I do," he whispered. "Hold me together. Don't let me go."
So she wrapped her arms around him as hard as she could and held on.
And he let all the wildness out.
"I could kiss you until there's nothing left of you," he whispered.
Where the words should have woken that visceral fear of being reduced to nothing in someone else's life, instead an image grew of herself: golden, strong, glowing in his arms like a precious star. "No, you can't."
His thumb traced over her lips. "Don't underestimate how long I can kiss you."
A soft smile, almost as contained as one of his, full of an astonishing amount of confidence. "Don't underestimate how long I can last."
Luc gave that tiny,contained grin of his and admitted: "I wouldn't mind having a fountain built to me. And"--his voice got all funny again--"I have a really powerful vision of you with four black-haired kids in lavender fields." He took a deep breath and watched her.
She got all funny. As if her whole being had disappeared into a burst of butterflies, fluttering upward, outward. It felt dizzying and tickling and terrifying and lovely.
The second half of the book is very fulfilling and there is a simply divine and heartfelt epilogue. Again, I am always impressed by the lilting psychology of this series and the romance tucked into the very realism of what it means to be human and what love really is. Oh and Paris, chocolate, and sexy chefs.
The first part of the book hurts a bit in both good and bad ways. Luc and Summer have a terrible time really seeing each. It is hard to believe in the love at first sight that is part and parcel of this series because of the blindness that goes on for far too many chapters. They are both cruel to each other and themselves.
There are well founded reasons for how each of them behaves but I would have liked more true seeing than we get or at least an obsession that didn't seem just physical at first.
All the details of who they each are captivate but there are several threads left dangling for me that I would have liked traced out (his father, her mother in detail, the nanny, the seducer).
However, the book swings up and up and up until its wonderful closing making it a very good read.
May I say one more time Yea! Epilogue!
The story is a passion for chocolate, love & life itself. It lifts your spirits & has you feasting on the food of the GOD's. It weaves you into the characters lives & makes you hungry for more. Your imagination will soar & your passion will increase your wanting more of a well told tale. It takes you on a travel journey through romantic France, Paris & the country itself.
It gets your senses aroused with hunger until the chocolate web with a beautiful heart encased in it is finished & the characters are satisfied & so are you. Chocolate everywhere!!!! What could possibly be better?
I have read Laura Florand's CHOCOLATE series.....Terrific!!!! I will be on the lookout for her books in the future. Thank you for sharing these melting chocolate experiences. Enjoy!!!!
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