Wednesday 10 October 2012

Book ~ "Better Than Chocolate" (2012) Sheila Roberts

From Goodreads ~ 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.

Chocolate ... yum!

Samantha's step-dad, Waldo, was running the family-owned business and running it badly.  When the book begins, Waldo has just died.  Samantha has taken over running the family business and sees just how dire things are.  The bank is going to foreclose on the loan, Waldo hadn't paid his insurance premiums and Samantha's mother, Muriel, is going to lose her house. To try and save the company and bring tourists to the town, they quickly organize a chocolate festival.

I enjoyed the writing style.  I liked the characters for the most part, though I had some issues.

The new bank manager, Blake, is someone Samantha went to high school with.  He is just doing his job in turning her down for an extension.  She takes it personally, gets a hate on for him and is rude to him every time she seems him.  In my opinion, that's a bad move.  Instead she should have been sucking up to him rather than trying to antagonize him.  She's lucky he remains nice and supportive.  If they had just sat down and had a conversation, there wouldn't have been any misunderstandings or assumptions on Samantha's part.  But we needed conflict, right?

Samantha doesn't sound like she'd be much fun to be around.  She takes on everything and everyone lets her ... so when does she have time for fun?

I found Muriel a bit wimpy.  She was very dependent upon her two late husbands and let them handle the finances so she was clueless.  When Waldo dies, she goes into a fog of grieving and leaves Waldo's mess to Samantha to deal with.  Eventually with time and the help of her support group, she finds herself.

It's a cute story ... the ending wraps up quickly with a happy ending.  There are some recipes at the end.  This is part of a series dealing with the residents of Icicle Falls.


Teresa said...

Looks like you had one full long weekend. With lots of reading and fun times with sister Sarah.

Masshole Mommy said...

I think my mother is reading this right now.....maybe I will have to borrow it when she is done.

Knit and Purl Mama said...

I totally want to read this one, it looks good! :)