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The Chocolate Rose (Amour et Chocolat, La Vie en Roses) Paperback – April 23, 2013
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A shorter, but just a sweet, tale that will not disappoint Florand's numerous fans. Jolie Manon is a kind, giving character with a healthy dash of modernity and sex appeal, while Gabriel Delange is a socially inept, brutally frank Adonis of the kitchen. Their sparks are instantaneous, despite the legal complications that lies between them, and the explanation of kitchen hierarchy is fascinating to learn about. Nothing about this brief tale is boring, and the only true criticism is that it is over far too soon.-- RT Book Reviews
Gabriel falls hard and fast and he is the one who has to persuade Jolie to take a chance on love. He is the more vulnerable character, and it is a nice contrast to his beastly side. This book is so romantic and sexy, and the inclusion of all the cooking and food scenes makes it really fun. -- USA Today, Recommended Read
Each time I open one of Ms. Florand's books I am captivated by her imagery, the life she brings to these huge personalities and her creative way of telling a story that revolves around food. With only two books read I can easily say I am turning into a huge fan and cannot wait for the next one. -- Fiction Vixen
"[Florand] has a way of making you feel like you are in France. Making you feel like you are in Gabriel's frantic, fantastic kitchen watching him work and trying to taste his food. She makes the setting come alive and she integrates not only the setting but Gabriel's profession which is so much a part of him into the story and into the romance. Speaking of the romance, Laura Florand writes such great chemistry. In both the Rose and the Kiss, the hero and heroine start out as enemies of sorts, but she uses those raw emotions to propel their sexual tension into new heights." -- Smexybooks
About the Author
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Find Laura on the Web
Laura Florand burst on the contemporary romance scene in 2012 with her award-winning Amour et Chocolat series. Since then, her books have appeared in ten languages, been named among the Best Books of the Year by Romantic Times and Barnes & Noble, received the RT Seal of Excellence and starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist, and been recommended by NPR, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. In 2015, NPR gave her the enormous honor of naming her Chocolate Kiss to its list of the Top 100 Romances.
After a Fulbright year in Tahiti and backpacking everywhere from New Zealand to Greece, and several years living in Madrid and Paris, Laura now teaches Romance Studies at Duke University. Contrary to popular opinion, this means she primarily teaches French language and culture and does a great deal of research on French gastronomy, particularly chocolate. For more information, please see her website: lauraflorand.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
Laura's Chocolate series features extremely handsome chefs/patissiers in Paris (one would think that all chefs in Paris are handsome, emotionally vulnerable gods if one read too many of her books in a row) who find their love match...usually an American, or half-American, or American-educated woman.
This book is a bridge between her Chocolate series and a new series featuring a dynasty of rose-growers in Southern France.
The hero is a big, growly (literally his growls make the heroine stand at attention, so to speak) intense patissier who makes magic out of chocolate, nitrogen, gold dust, and pistachios. The heroine is a food writer who happens to be the daughter of the patissier that fired the hero and stole some of his recipes.
Sparks ensue. And kissing in jasmine-laden arbors in tiny alleyways, and desserts are described, and of course the main issue of contention is a fabulous-sounding rose-chocolate dessert that the hero hasn't made since leaving the heroine's father.
I don't know reading Florand is more fun because of the whole-hearted way the heroes woo the ladies, or because of the foodie descriptions and depictions of the hectic, cutthroat world of patissiers and chefs after Michelin stars.
I just know that when I open a Florand book, I'm going to be entertained, I'm going to fall in love with both the couple and their food, and I'm going to get a glimpse of other characters both featured in prior novels (really, one would think Paris is entirely populated by patissier/chocolatier/chefs and their American wives) and soon to be featured in their own novels.
Gabriel's such an Alpha male, he reminded me of a big, cuddly lion, smooshing his face lovingly into Jolie's embrace. So full of life and passion.
And Jolie was his perfect foil, so opposite his big wide life, reserved, cautious, guarded. She was exactly what Gabriel needed in his life. He definitely was beautiful.
Great writing, fast paced, three dimensional characters, and authentic dialogue. Will read more of this author's works.
The Good: There's a leading man that is truly both strong, hard, and utterly male and a complete soft hearted, ooey gooey mess. It's a fine line of hating him and loving him. He's exactly that kind of guy I love reading about. The story itself is cute and still hot. The pacing is one of the best I've read lately. I laughed, I groaned and I liked every minute of it. The peripheral characters were strong enough without being completely whitewashed or overshadowing the story. I got a happily ever after that didn't leave me rolling my eyes.
The Bad: The overuse of the same French words over and over. It's seriously horrible. I almost gave up five chapters in because I didn't want to read them anymore. It was overkill. We know the setting, the characters, we didn't need those words to remind us and they weren't even good French words! For that alone I have to deduct a star. I'm not sure how I felt about Jolie. She annoyed me a lot because she was so one dimensional. Having one flaw isn't complex. She was just flat to me. All of her emotions were the same no matter the actual circumstance. It's a bit repetitive in description. Might have liked to see more of the peripheral characters, if only because I know they appear in other stories. There are times that the heart, the sugary sweet in the love story was too much. I need more bite to the story to fall in love with it completely. This one is heavy on the chocolate and I'm a salt girl. It's also a little light on plot. Their love and the inevitable outcome is set up way too early. There's not enough conflict or intrigue where the romance is concerned. There are missed opportunities for witty banter and real conflict.
It's a good romance story though. Give it a whirl.