Since I consider Mandi of Smexy Books an expert when it comes to the romance genre, I love getting recommendations from her. I’m delighted that she’s also a fan of Laura Florand’s writing.
Amour et Florand participants, please give it up for Mandi!
There are so many aspects of Laura Florand’s writing that appeals to me. The way she sets the books in romantic Paris, in busy kitchens or in quaint chocolate shops. The detail she uses not only in describing the setting, but the food that is created in these kitchens is terrific. It’s so easy to immerse yourself in the world she has created. Inside of this world she gives us such rich characters that leads to a full romance. My favorite thing about her books though, is what she does with her heroes. Her typical hero is a big guy who is extremely passionate about cooking, creating pastries or amazing chocolate. He is extremely intense, usually grumpy, and has 100% of his focus on his career. Until he meets his heroine. All of a sudden, that extreme focus, is parted. All of that intense passion has a new target. And instead of that heroine melting like a piece of chocolate in his hand, she resists. She might ignore. She doesn’t look his way. So instead of getting what he wants immediately (as he is used to) he has to work for it. His feathers are ruffled, and he has to find a way to prove to the heroine, he is worthy of her. This big strong man, is being brought down, and I love every second of it.
Dom in the Chocolate Touch knows he is overbearing and aggressive and wants to be a better man for Jamie.
Merde, but this stuff was complicated. He kept trying to pretend she was chocolate because at least he understood that you could never rush chocolate, but since she persistently resembled a woman instead, it was hard for him to treat her like something he could stir with a spoon.
Or when Gabriel is brought to his knees by Jolie in The Chocolate Rose…
“You’re beautiful,” she said involuntarily.
His smile grew wider, a boyish delight. “You mean, this.” He gestured to the marble counter, indicating her dessert and everything that had come before or been served to others.
“I said what I meant.”
His hand froze in the middle of the sweeping gesture. It turned, pressing flat against the marble, and his head bent. She couldn’t read his expression, as he stared down at his hand, so still. It was almost as if he was badly shaken, as if something was rising out of the shaking, warring inside him.
Or poor Philippe from The Chocolate Kiss (my personal favorite) who would make macaron after macaron for his beloved Magalie, and could never understand why she rejected them each time.
He couldn’t believe she had rejected one of his macarons. He had offered it to her fresh from his own hand. Not just his recipe, but made personally by him. And she had refused it.
His Desir. Apricot kissed by pistachio, with the secret little square of pistachio praline hidden inside, like a G-spot. Well, he didn’t call it le point Gin his marketing brochures, but whenever he created, he knew what he was doing: every pastry had to have its orgasm, its culmination of bliss that hit like a complete surprise. That made the eyes of those who bit into it shiver closed with delight.
But don’t fret. Not only do we get fulfilling and satisfying happy ever afters, but all that intense passion, and torment these heroes live with – pays off well in the bedroom too. I can’t recommend this author enough.
Merci, Mandi! I do love how these big, super confident guys turn into marshmallows when it comes to their leading ladies. 🙂