Author: Sheila Roberts
As usual when picking up a romance novel I firstly think with a sigh please don’t be predictable, I’ve read enough overly sappy, un-fulfilling, lusty books to fill several libraries and more but the title “Better Than Chocolate” indeed caught my attention. Are there really things out there better than chocolate? Apparently so.
Our leading lady this time is Samantha Sterling and we first “meet” her at a funeral, where she is thinking very un-funereally thoughts. The funeral in question is for her step-father. Samantha tells us that she likes him – he is a nice, decent man – but bad at business. This mightn’t be much of a problem except the business he was managing happens to be the place Samantha works and now has to take over, the long-time running Sweet Dreams chocolate company, founded by Samantha’s Great Grandma Rose. Samantha’s step-father has left a large mess of urgent business matters behind and it’s up to her to begrudgingly fix it, or else close up shop.
Now, you’re curious as to how a man fits into this? The man arrives to us in the form of the new bank manager and he plans on making things just a tad more difficult for Samantha to manage. This is where the predictability starts to settle in. Samantha isn’t impressed with how Blake Preston is helping her and she deeply detests him for it. Naturally, she starts running into him everywhere she goes (although they do live in a tiny town so I’ll let that slide) and she’s always quick with a snarky remark. Blake, on the other hand has a rather wounded approach. Doesn’t she understand that he is truly trying to help her, that he has her best interests at heart, Blake ponders?
While this book might serve well in the predictability factor, it’s not all an unpleasant read. Samantha’s character is quite stubborn and her determination is admirable. There’s a lovely feel of friendliness amongst the small town residents plus we get to see more characters then just Samantha and her family. As far as romance goes, there doesn’t appear to be much of it in the book. The two characters are frequently arguing and don’t get together until the tail end, where things seem to go a little too fast. There is a drunken kiss they earlier shared, but “drunk” and “romance” don’t quite seem to pair together well.
This was my first time reading a novel by Sheila Roberts and whilst it wasn’t a favourite, I still enjoyed most parts nonetheless. I was also most excited to discover a small section of chocolate recipes in the book, as someone who adores cooking/baking I thought this was a warming touch. I would recommend this book to people who are after a quick, light read. Something that isn’t too complex.