I think my reading life would be super boring if I never met (sadly just online and not yet in person) Angie of Angieville because she gives the best recommendations. She writes these lovely reviews that make you want to read the book that she’s talking about as soon as you can. Seriously, there’s even a button for her recs:
So when I manage to recommend a book that she ends up liking, I feel like giving myself a pat on the back. Here she is to tell us what she loves about Laura Florand’s books.
It’s especially fitting that I write this post for Chachic’s Laura Florand event, as it was she who inspired me to give these delightful books a try in the first place. I remember judging the first couple of Amour et Chocolat books by their adorable silhouette covers (one of these days I will learn my lesson), and so I went in expecting something light and fluffy and charmingly Parisian. I was almost immediately surprised to find out there was quite a bit more going on under their benign covers. And rather intensely going on at that. Sylvain is Parisian. And Cade is (at times) charming. But nothing — right down to the obscenely dark chocolate Sylvain creates — is light and fluffy.
So much of the wonderful gravity Laura Florand imbues her characters with is present in their meet-cutes, which almost always weigh in on the devastating end of the “cute” spectrum. They are often smashed over the head with their attraction to one another, yet Ms. Florand neatly avoids any irksome instalust by matching up such intelligent, talented, and professional people, and by providing them with deep backgrounds, conflicts, and motivations. All of this is not to say that the swoon factor isn’t there. On the contrary, the swoon is off the charts. Particularly as it is paired so beautifully with master craftsmen who are at the top of their game, who know how to woo, and who are not afraid to use every last swirl of chocolate and spin of sugar to do it.
But the real ace in the hole is the writing. Each of these decadent concoctions could so quickly fall flat if they weren’t rendered in such lovely prose. When Philippe calls Magalie’s name, when she frustratedly explains the wishes she stirs into her chocolat chaud. When Dom pushes past his disbelief and realizes he means that word Jaime can’t find, that word that means warmth. Well. In those moments, I care about them so much. Those moments, those passages are so well-crafted they linger in my mind and resurface as bright spots in my day months later. These are books worth hugging to your chest, worth owning so you can pull them out as needed to read and reread and — in their pages — wander Paris, falling in love with each lovely step.
Merci, Angie! I wholeheartedly agree that Laura’s books are the type that are worth hugging to your chest. They’re the kind of books that feel like comfort reads even if you’re reading them for the first time.