by Laura Florand
Publisher: AOS Publishing
Publication date: January 14th 2014
My rating: 5 stars
Romantic Times acclaims Laura Florand's work as "sensuous and sumptuous", nominating her for Best Book of the Year, and NPR says it's "explosive, sensual . . . and utterly sweet". Now, in her sixth book in the internationally bestselling Amour et Chocolat series, Florand takes us into a top Paris restaurant’s pastry kitchen and into the hearts and irresistible temptations of its chefs in The Chocolate Temptation.
She hated him.
Patrick Chevalier. The charming, laid-back, golden second-in-command of the Paris pastry kitchen where Sarah worked as intern, who made everything she failed at seem so easy, and who could have every woman he winked at falling for him without even trying. She hated him, but she’d risked too much for this dream to give up on it and walk out just so he wouldn’t break her heart.
But he didn’t hate her.
Sarah Lin. Patrick’s serious, dark-haired American intern, who looked at him as if she could see right through him and wasn’t so impressed with what she saw. As her boss, he knew he should leave her alone. The same way he knew better than to risk his heart and gamble on love.
But he was never good at not going after what – or who – he wanted.
He could make magic out of sugar. But could he mold hate into love?
The Chocolate Temptation was so, so lovely! The Amour et Chocolate series continues to bewitch and seduce me, and has become one of my all-time favorite adult romances series to date.
Patrick is the second to Luc Leroi, the head chef in the pastry kitchen of Hotel de Leuce in Paris with coveted and prestigious three Michelin stars. The pressure and pace in the kitchen is grueling and only the best-of-the-best work there. Yet, Patrick runs things with charm and an easy going grace, a calming and uniting force. He makes perfection look effortless, but if you look close enough you can see his intensity and need for absolute control. His one weakness, the little, quiet, and focused intern Sarah, is so utterly tempting without even knowing it. She may be his undoing, because Patrick is slowly losing his fight resisting her.
But, oh, God, I want her, I want her, I want her. I can’t stand this anymore. I can’t. The ache of it was going to swallow him whole.
Sarah won a sought after internship working under Patrick who makes perfection look easy, confounding and frustrating her. Sarah’s need to be perfect drives her. After all, she gave up a promising career as an engineer to follow her dream of being a pastry chef, so failure is not an option. In spite of all her efforts and drive, Sarah still feels like she falls short. It doesn’t help that Patrick is a distraction who could break her heart if she let him. He’s like a sun kissed god, so gorgeous. His gestures of care and constant flirting are like little stabs to her heart, because they mean something to her, and they may just be automatic and given without much thought by Patrick. Because he treats everyone like that, right?
I just loved Patrick and Sarah’s story! It felt intense and introspective, and I was tightly wound, (in a good way) while reading this. These two were so guarded and cautious about revealing the depth of their feelings. I was happy that they each gave in incrementally, slowly revealing more and more. For all of Sarah and Patrick’s insecurities there were no frustrating setbacks and even when there was a misunderstanding they dealt with it maturely and with care.
This romance was of the slow burn variety. Laura Florand masterfully teased and built up tension with seemingly innocent scenes such as a hand massage or a quiet, dark walk home, turning them into something utterly sensual. Oh, my heart, Patrick! I loved every time he called Sarah “Sarabelle” and just how overcome he was by her:
“Merde, qu’est-ce que tu es jolie,” he said and kissed her. How pretty you are. “So-so-so-so pretty,” he breathed hotly into her mouth, and a hand rubbed hard up her back to the clasp of her hair, releasing it to spill over their faces. “Oh, God.”
There was more to their romance, though, a deeper story for each of them. Sarah had a lot of inner struggles reconciling her dreams with her love and consideration of her family. Patrick was worried about letting his desires and dreams be known for fear they’d be yanked from him.
The Chocolate Temptation is fifth book I’ve read in the Amour et Chocolate series. Each story hits me in different but profound way. Laura Florand’s prose is beautiful without being over the top, gorgeous, really. I have fourteen pages of highlighted quotes on my kindle if that’s any indication. If you haven’t picked up this series yet, what are you waiting for? It’s a MUST for any romance junkie.
Amour et Chocolate Series:
(Click on title for Goodreads description)
About the author: Laura Florand is the international bestselling author of the Amour et Chocolat series (The Chocolate Thief, The Chocolate Kiss, etc). Her books have been translated into seven languages, received the RT Seal of Excellence and starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, and been recommended by NPR, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. Four of her past five books have been recommended reads by Dear Author and two have been Sizzling Book Club Picks by Smart B*, Trashy Books.
Laura was born in a small town in Georgia, but the travel bug bit her early. After a Fulbright year in Tahiti, a semester in Spain, and backpacking in New Zealand and Greece, she ended up living in Paris, where she met and married her own handsome Frenchman. You can find out quite a bit more about those crazy adventures in her memoir, Blame It on Paris. She is now a lecturer in Romance Studies at Duke University. Contrary to popular opinion, that means she studies and teaches French language and culture, rather than romance. Fortunately, French culture includes French chocolate, research to which she is very dedicated. You can catch some glimpses of that research in the books, on her blog, and on her Facebook site, where you are welcome to join her and other readers!
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