Romancing the Weekends:  Better Than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts

PJV Quickie: Better than Chocolate got off to a great start – I was interested in the characters and the cute little town. Then, it just kind of stalled… I was interested in the hero and heroine’s stories, just not necessarily together.

Better Than Chocolate

 

Title: Better than Chocolate
Author: Sheila Roberts
Type: Romance
Published: September 25 , 2012 by Harlequin MIRA
Source: Publisher

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Review

Sweet Dreams Chocolate Company has been in Samantha Sterling’s family for four generations.  She loves the company, not only is it her legacy, it’s also a local institution that employs several of the townsfolk in Icicle Falls, Washington.  When her father died, the company was in great shape…then her mother met and married a really nice guy with no head for money, who, she is just finding out, ran the company into the ground.  Now that he’s dead the company is finally Samantha’s, but she’s got less than 90 days to pay the loan or the bank will own Sweet Dreams and sell it to a sleazy competitor.

Blake Preston has come back to Icicle Falls to take a job as manager of the local bank.  The previous manager had a soft spot for a sad story and now the corporate office is cracking down on loans.  When Samantha comes into his office asking for an extension, Blake’s hands are tied.  While he understands her situation, he’ll lose his job if he extends her loan.

When Samantha comes up with the idea of a chocolate-themed festival the weekend before Valentine’s Day, the whole town is behind her.  It seems as though fate is working against her though, and what she could really use is a Valentine’s Day miracle.

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I was looking for something light and sweet, so when I saw this was a book about a chocolate festival – yes!!!  I sat down to read, and the next time I looked up I’d read 100 pages!!  After that though, the book kind of got stuck…  between Samantha trying to raise money to pay the bank, take care of her recently widowed and very depressed mother, reassure her employees the company was sound, and throw together a winter festival, there was a lot going on!!

Samantha was really antagonistic towards Blake, but I feel like he didn’t really make an effort to explain his position to her either.  Samantha spent most of the book being angry at him, so I had a hard time when she suddenly turned it around after she found out what he had done for her.  Their HEA felt like it was just tacked on at the end of the book and left me feeling like I was given a big box of chocolates that someone had already gone through and taken my favorite pieces out.

I enjoyed the secondary characters, even the ones I don’t think I was supposed to like, they were a nice foil to Samantha’s problems and overall the book had a nice small-town feel…a little quirky and fun.  I was interested in Samantha’s sister Cecily’s story with the local bar owner and would have liked to see something happen there, but absolutely nothing did.

Recommendations

Readers who like an enemies-to-lovers story, a self-reliant and single-mindedly determined heroine, and fans of sweet romance without any sexy bits.

Other Novels you might like, similar to ‘Better Than Chocolate’:

Sweet Talk by Susan Mallery

Fortunate Harbor by Emilie Richards