Queue my fangirl squeeing…..another book by Laura Florand!! Ok, I am done now.
Dominique Richard and Jamie. Dom is big, sexual and hard. Jamie is small, quiet and shy. The two should seem like the most unlikely couple but they cannot help but be drawn to each other. Each day Jamie shows up in Dom’s shop and eats his chocolate. Dom is fascinated by her and cannot help but watch. He has no idea how to approach her because his usual means of talking to a woman involves standing over her, glaring and then taking her to bed for a couple of hours. Instinctively he knows Jamie is different and he wants more with her. He just has to figure out how to get out of his own way to get that “more”.
Jamie is a fun character because she is more than she seems. She is Cade Corey’s, heroine from The Chocolate Thief, sister and she is not giving up her last name. For most of the book we see Dom and Jamie develop their relationship without him really knowing who she is. It is pretty comical because he despises Sylvain, Cade’s fiancée, thinks that Corey chocolate is terrible and has no problems telling everyone how he feels about it. He even tells Jamie’s grandpa he thinks the chocolate is fake. For Jamie, having a relationship where the man doesn’t know she is made of money is a novelty and she continues to avoid telling him who she is just to keep that novelty going. She has recently suffered a brutal attack and now isn’t sure how to define herself. It used to be by the good work she did but that is no longer the case. She doesn’t want money to be how she is known.
While The Chocolate Touch still maintains Ms. Florand’s light and fun writing tone, I found this book to be the most emotional of the series so far. Both Jamie and Dom have serious issues they need to face. Dom is terrified he will turn into his abusive father and fights each day to reign in his temper. When he finds out that Jamie is a victim of abuse he is doubly terrified that he will hurt her. While dealing with the fear he will hurt her, Dom also is terrified that she will leave him. People say they love him and then leave. That is what they do. He struggles with ways to make himself so perfect for her that she will never want to be away from him. The days Jamie does not show up at his shop are almost heartbreaking to read. He is so desperate for her and it fascinating to watch him struggle to be what he thinks she needs.
Desire surged and fisted around him. He wanted nothing in life but to strip them both naked, to warp her in his scent. It made his breath ragged with the effort to not say it, not to lean into her, aggressive and guttural, and say, Come smell me all over.
Jamie is still trying to regain her strength, physically and emotionally. Emotionally she has a much longer road to travel because while Dom is helping her piece herself back together I felt that her family was really working against her. Cade, Sylvain, her father and grandfather all treat her like a piece of glass and someone incapable of doing something on their own. They are doubly convinced that a womanizing brute like Dominique Richard is the last person she needs to be around. What they fail to realize is that Dom fills her up in ways she hasn’t felt in so long.
I won’t hesitate to admit I have become a complete fangirl for Ms Florand and her work. The Chocolate Touch is a book I looked forward to and it didn’t disappoint. Not only did I get her descriptive, flowing, complex storytelling but I also got two great characters. The heroes that Ms. Florand writes are some of the best. They are over-the-top emotional, demonstrative, brutish and awkward. Ask me how you combine all those things and come up with perfect, well I don’t know the answer but Ms. Florand excels at it. Her heroes are the ones doing the chasing and they are so afraid they won’t measure up. It is a thing of beauty to watch everything unfold.
If you haven’t read any of these books, then you need to start. Each time I open a book by Ms. Florand I am transported to another world, one of food, passion, love and joy. Final grade- A-
“It’s a beautiful city to walk around in,” he heard himself say.
Oh, you bastard! his body wailed. You masochistic bastard.
But some other part of him poised for her answer, eager, afraid. “Would you like to walk with me?”
She blinked rapidly, and really, that crimson blush had to be for him by now; surely she had recovered from the weights. “Yes.”
You know, you’re a lot better at sex than romantic walks, his body pointed out bitterly. You might have remembered that.
Shut up, he told his throughly undisciplined and overindulged dick.