Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: Better Than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts

Title:  Better Than Chocolate
Author:  Sheila Roberts
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Pages:  400
Published:  September 2012
Publisher:  Harlequin
Source:  NetGalley
Buy Links:  Amazon, Kobo, Book Depository

Synopsis:

Sweet Dreams Chocolate Company has been in the Sterling family for generations, ever since Great-Grandma Rose literally dreamed up her first fabulous recipe. But now it looks as if they're about to lose Sweet Dreams to the bank—and that would be a disaster, not only for the family but for the town of Icicle Falls, Washington. Can Samantha, the oldest daughter and new head of the company, come up with a way to save it?  After Samantha does some brainstorming with her mother and sisters, inspiration strikes. They'll have a chocolate festival! Time's running out, but the Sterling women are determined and the town's behind them, so everything's bound to go smoothly….

Or not. Events seem to be conspiring against Samantha, and her mother's attempts to help aren't helping. To make matters worse, the fate of her company is in the hands of her archenemy, Blake Preston, the bank manager with the football-hero good looks. It's enough to drive her to chocolate. But Blake's also enough to convince her that (believe it or not) there's something even better than chocolate.

With the death of her step-father, Samantha Sterling has become the CEO of Sweet Dreams Chocolates.  Unfortunately, Sam hasn’t been left with a well off company, but rather one that is slowly sinking.  The sad part, is that no one had any idea and now she’s been left to clean up the mess.

With the help of her sisters, she recruits her now widowed mother to help save the company and try and bring Sweet Dreams Chocolates back to life.  With some brainstorming, they Sterling woman come up with the idea of a Chocolate Festival – to coincide with Valentine’s Day.  Can they round up the support from the local community to make it work?  Or will it flop?

This was a really cute read.  How can you not like something based around chocolate?!  I really liked Sam, she was a strong character who only wanted to bring back the company to it’s former glory.   At times it seems like she’s bitten off more then she can chew, and Blake doesn’t seem to be helping (at least in her mind). 

Blake Preston is the new bank manager, and unfortunately the one that has to tell Sam no to an extension on the company loan.  He feels like the bad guy, and he really wants to help – but his hands are tied!  Does he defy the bank policies and help out a local company or let his bank take the company and sell?

These two characters butt heads a few times throughout the story, and it’s amusing.  They have some fun banter and keep each other at arms length – despite the attraction!  I enjoyed the humour of some of the events, and how things worked out through the story.

Will I recommend this book?  It’s a fun, cute, quick read.  It’s definitely a light read for a cold rainy afternoon.  Would I read more by this author?  Yes, I actually have the next book in the Icicle Falls books “Merry Ex-Mas” waiting to be read – maybe on a cold rainy afternoon this week!

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