I’ve made no secret about how much I adore Laura Florand’s books. There is something about her writing that works for me. I feel like everyone should be giving her books a try and then I challenge them to not fall in love. In my 2014 Most Anticipated books, I listed anything from Ms. Florand but hopefully Patrick. Thankfully she heard me and then wrote Patrick just for me. Allll for me. Don’t try and tell me different. 😉
Patrick Chevalier is the dashing, devil may care, lovable, happy go lucky, second to head chef Luc Leroi from The Chocolate Heart. Patrick and Luc have been together for many, many years. Luc rescued Patrick from their foster home when he was 15, gave him a place to stay and made him train. Since then Patrick as become known as the best. He has the MOF (Meilleur Ouvrier de France) collar and jobs offers left and right. Everyone knows he could leave Luc’s kitchen at any time and have his pick of jobs but Patrick and Luc have a special relationship that neither man wants to give up.
Sarah is an intern in their kitchen, working for Patrick. Her internship is one of six months time and she only has 1 month left. For the first couple of months she was dazzled by Patrick. She couldn’t look away from his energy, his aura and his confidence. He was always there.
He fed her and he teased her, showering her with careless affection in that comfortable way he had with everyone. Easing her tension so she could survive the pressure she was under. Until he was all she lived for, all that got her through the day. And she hated him for that.
Eventually Sarah fell for Patrick and after months of witnessing his causal flirtation with everyone in his path she knew he would never return her feelings.
The day Sarah told Patrick she hated him was the day everything changed. Something about hearing those words made Patrick turn it on. After months of holding back for Sarah so she could learn and grow without being under his shadow he couldn’t take it any longer and he goes after what he wants. He knows how to work people and he never wanted it to be like that with Sarah but he doesn’t care, he just wants her to be his.
She was something he had tricked and twisted and gone all out for to get, using his humor as a decoy for his ruthless will to get what he wanted. He had stolen, she had not given.
Patrick and Sarah are both flawed people who work hard to not let their past overtake their dreams. Sarah’s mother pushed her to be the best because she wanted her to have everything and when she made the decision to no longer be an engineer and to train as a pâtissier, Sarah felt like she let her family down. But this was her dream and she wanted to do one thing for herself. In her mind, she is never good enough, especially when compared to the great Patrick, but she will work as hard as she can to be good enough to open her own cake shop.
Patrick…what can I say about him? Ms. Florand writes the most amazing, flawed yet perfect hero. I have been harboring a secret passion for Dom from The Chocolate Touch (ok, maybe it isn’t THAT secret) but Patrick managed to come along and shove him out-of-the-way. Patrick is the absolute pinnacle of a romance hero. He has such overwhelming love and feeling for Sarah and he tries to show her in the best way he knows. He takes care of her, feeds her, guides her but he has trouble laying it all out there. His mother was a beast and took everything that he loved. He actually wanted to be an engineer too but his mother took science from him and forced him into being a chef. Yes, he is good at what he does but his childhood dream still casts a pallor over his accomplishments.
Fuck, now he just wanted to kill…anybody. Anybody she has ever tried to slow down. Mine. She’s mine. “No. No.” He sounded like a caveman.
“No practice. Only on me.” Oh, that was so articulate and laid-back, all right.
He rolled over onto her, pinning the hand he held above her head. “Only on me,” he insisted. “Sarah. Me” Great, what was he going to grunt next? You Sarah, Me Patrick?
Her eyes had gone wide again, so dark, so impossible for him to read, please tell me what’s going on behind your eyes, I- he kissed her suddenly, on that mouth he craved so much, and brought his hips to hers, because this practice idea was the last straw, she was his, and he wanted make her his now.
The Chocolate Temptation runs concurrent to The Chocolate Heart so the reader is able to see Patrick’s story play out along with Luc’s. There are scenes in Temptation that allow better understanding for what happens in Heart and I thought the way they were written gave excellent insight into each relationship. The reader is not only involved in Luc/Summer and Patrick/Sarah but we see how close Patrick/Luc are too and how much they mean to each other.
“You’re really foster brothers?” she murmured, and then her face flamed. She couldn’t believe she had just asked Chef Leroi a personal question. She couldn’t even ask him professional questions.
“Is that what he told you?” Luc Leroi asked blankly. “Is that how he thinks about himself?” The idea clearly dumbfounded the chef, and Sarah quelled a strong urge to hit him.
Chef Leroi have his head a slight shake. “I’ve got fifty foster brothers. He’s my second.” His right-hand man. He actually flexed his right hand and looked at it, when he said it. “He’s- Patrick.”
I could go on and on about this book. The writing is so descriptive and captivating that you are transported to Paris and right in the middle of this love story. I bounced between clutching my chest for the feelings and smiling like I couldn’t contain myself. The end was heartbreaking and happy at the same time and I wanted more. Each book in this series is wonderful but I think Ms. Florand has an absolute winner on her hands with this one. If you are going to buy a book or two in January, give this one serious consideration. I can already tell you it will be in my top books for 2014. Final grade- A
“I hope you’re proud to be all of you. And I’m pretty sure you deserve a lot better than this.”
His hand tightened on hers. “No. There isn’t better, Sarah. If I deserve you, then I’ve gotten my third star.”