February 25, 2014

Book Review: The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan

Anna Trent likes her position as a chocolate taster in a factory--until a freak accident lands her in the hospital and out of a job. Coincidentally, the cancer patient sharing her hospital room is Anna's former French teacher, and as Anna convalesces, Claire makes her practice French to help them pass the time. Then Claire goes one step further: she gets Anna a job at the famous Thierry Girard chocolate shop in Paris.

Lovers of Paris, connoisseurs of chocolate and fans of chick lit will all enjoy Jenny Colgan's The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris, as Anna discovers a new world of chocolate--not factory produced, but lovingly created by hand--and ends up meeting a handsome Frenchman with whom she begins to fall in love. But things go awry when tragedy befalls the Girard family and Anna must try to save the future of the chocolate shop.

Anna's story is told in alternating chapters with that of Claire, who met a handsome Frenchman of her own some 30 years before. As in Meet Me at the Cupcake Café, Colgan has created a story where love and baked goods are central to the story and sweet endings are a must. Her characters are both believable and funny, while the Parisian setting makes this story practically irresistible. The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris is a quick, enjoyable read, chock full of both romance and chocolate.

I'm definitely a Jenny Colgan fan now. Her books are perfect, fun, chick-lit indulgence. I really enjoyed last year's Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe, and I think I liked The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris even more, mostly because it was refreshing to read a chick lit book not set in London. (It does help that her stories always seem to involve delectable baked goods!)

One of the French characters does speak in a super stereotypical way ("Zut alors!"); but I didn't mind it too much, given the enjoyability of the book as a whole.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Should I recommend this to my grandma? Sure! Especially if she enjoys chocolate.

Who's your favorite chick lit author?

I originally wrote most of this review for Shelf Awareness.