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Estelle: Better than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts

Better than Chocolate by Sheila RobertsBetter than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts
Publication Date: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 400
Keywords: sisters, small business, small towns, romance
Target audience: Adult
Format read: ARC from Little Bird Publicity (Thanks!)

Summary: With little time to act, Samantha and her family are forced to come up with a solution when they find out their chocolate business is in trouble.

You know that feeling when you want a chocolate bar and you reach into your shoulder bag and all you find is granola? Sure, the granola still fills your appetite but it’s just not the same.

That pretty much captures how I felt reading Better than Chocolate.

I was expecting to be swept up in some big, epic romance but, instead this novel focused on Samantha and the struggling chocolate business that has been in her family for generations. After her step-father unexpectedly dies, she finds out the business owes a huge amount of money to the bank. When she receives no help from the new bank owner/that popular football player from high school, Blake, she and her sisters decide to hold a chocolate festival by Valentine’s Day in hopes of saving the company.

Even though this book is more about Samantha’s determination and loyalty to her family’s legacy, I liked watching her band forces with her sisters and her mom to organize this huge event. Everyone wants to root for the local company, the underdog, when it comes to a bigger company taking over the town. In Icicle Falls, we see the town support the event and tons of creative ideas make it to the table. It was exactly the kind of project I would want to be a part of.

In the meantime, Samantha is sure Blake is anxious for her chocolate company to fail and is intent on making him the big, bad enemy. But of course, he’s super attractive and she can’t stop thinking about him. He’s also conflicted because he loves Samantha’s passion (and her butt) but he knows he can’t help her the way he really wants to. While they are more on each other’s minds than physically spending time together, the sizzling moments only made me want more of the book dedicated to the two of them.

So while romance was more like the icing on top of a scrumptious chocolate cupcake, I did like reading about four women who all had different feelings on careers, independence, and love and took different routes to get to where they were. The fate of their family company caused them to face certain truths, and make crucial life changes and that was nice to see.

Better than Chocolate will make you crave the delicious morsels featured in the book, but also leave you wanting more. After 400 pages it wraps up a little too perfectly, totally softening any tension, and falls together in too much of a fairy tale fashion. Though the trend of setting books in cute small towns with tons of charm? I’m so on board with that. Book me a ticket!

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August 6, 2013 - 2:05 pm

Review: Better Than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts | Gone with the Words - […] Estelle @ Rather Be Reading – “Better than Chocolate will make you crave the delicious morsels featured in the book, but also leave you wanting more.” […]

February 14, 2013 - 1:44 am

Review: Better Than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts | Gone with the Words - […] Estelle @ Rather Be Reading – “Better than Chocolate will make you crave the delicious morsels featured in the book, but also leave you wanting more.” […]

October 28, 2012 - 8:47 pm

Estelle: Shelve It from Rather Be Reading Blog (10/28/2012) - […] Courtney Cole + Dear Teen Me: A Letter From Estelle + Dear Teen Me: A Letter From Magan + Review: Better than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts + Helping Books of Wonder in NYC  + Review: All You Never Wanted by Adele […]

October 27, 2012 - 3:57 pm

elena - if i want chocolate just reading your review, i can’t imagine actually reading the book! although it’s not the perfect book by any means, it does sound pretty cute. a delicious review, e!

October 27, 2012 - 12:14 am

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - This book sounds incredibly cute! I adore the fact that it’s about chocolate, which is one of my favorite things in the whole entire universe. And I can always get down with a story of an underdog business struggling to survive and a small town coming together to make it happen!

October 26, 2012 - 6:23 am

Lori - I adore books set cute little towns. I think it’s my love of Stars Hollow coming through. This sounds great. I’m sad to hear there’s not more romance. Like Melissa, I’m sold from the cover alone.

October 24, 2012 - 3:12 pm

Estelle - Amber, thanks for commenting today. I hope you do look into the book. Let me know what you think when/if you do!

October 24, 2012 - 3:11 pm

Estelle - Tina, thanks for stopping in! It IS a fun premise! There’s even a few recipes included. Which is a lovely touch!

October 24, 2012 - 3:10 pm

Estelle - Jen, it’s so good to switch up genres. I think you can appreciate your reading so much more! Let me know what you think of this one. 🙂

October 24, 2012 - 3:10 pm

Estelle - Melissa, you are right! The cover is ridiculously cute. There’s another one on GR that is like total opposite but cute too. haha

October 24, 2012 - 3:09 pm

Estelle - Warning!! You will get hungry. VERYYY hungry.

October 24, 2012 - 2:08 pm

Jess @ Gone with the Words - I’m so glad you enjoyed this one as much as you did because I’ll be reading it soon and now I know I’ll mostly likely love it too. 😀 Thanks, Estelle!!

October 24, 2012 - 12:39 pm

Melissa - I hate to admit that I was already sold based upon the cover..but now I really want to pick this one up! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

October 24, 2012 - 10:58 am

Jen - While I’m not so much a fan of the “perfect, fairytale endings,” I do totally love the way you describe this setting. Plus, chocolate? Yes, please. This book sounds adorable. And while I do read primarily YA, there are some days when a good adult book is exaaaaaactly what’s needed.

October 24, 2012 - 10:04 am

Amber - Sounds quite interesting! Might have to look into it!

October 24, 2012 - 9:47 am

Tina - This sounds like a fun book for the fall, I love fast little reads about food, cooking and romance…:) Cute review!

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