The Chocolate Temptation by Laura Florand (Amour et Chocolat #6)
Released: January 2014
Reviewed by Mandi
Sarah is five months into her six-month internship in one of the best pastry kitchens in the world, yet she still doesn’t feel worthy. From California, she left her engineering job, told her Korean-born mother she needed something more in life, and moved to Paris. Since day one, she has been in love with Patrick, the second in command in this very busy, prestigious hotel kitchen. Patrick is a star, having earned a collar which tells everyone he is one of the best, but Luc the head chef, is his foster brother, and Patrick is scared to move out of his shadow.
Sarah loves Patrick so much (although she never speaks to him) that she now hates him. She hates how he winks and flirts with every person in the room. How he is always laughing and helping so gracefully.
He strolled past her table in the staff cafeteria on the way to flirt with a receptionist and set two cartons of Greek yogurt on her tray in passing. Packed with protein, easy to digest.
Always peach too. Her favorite flavor.
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.
To Sarah, she is so convinced he acts this way with everyone, that she starts to despise him for it. Little does she know, he only truly cares about her.
Patrick on the other hand, loves Sarah too. He loves her so much he can’t stand it – but she is his intern. He can’t seduce his own intern But he does start to provide for her ever so subtlety. One night after some drinks, he stops listening to his conscience and does something about it. And all that sexual tension between them explodes. And I may have whimpered a little bit.
I was talking to Jen (who reviews for Fiction Vixen) on Twitter about this book and she mentioned something to the effect that she loves these books so much because the hero is always SO into the heroine. And that is a very true statement about this author. She makes these intense, serious, over-achieving chefs who absolutely live for their job and nothing else. But then forget about ALL else and fall in love. They would do anything to win the heroine – and that makes these books so much fun.
Sarah in particular is a very private, skittish heroine. It’s very hard for her to show her feelings and put herself out there. So while she is completely enamored by Patrick, it seems he has to work even harder to convince her of the relationship. She has little self-esteem:
He’s courting me, He has to be.
But…he’s a prince. I’m a mortal.
I can’t matter to him. He acts all the time as if I don’t really matter.
He acts all the time as if I do.
His hand felt so good against her face. She kissed it again, and desire swamped her – to keep this right to touch him, keep his hand, oh, wow, that didn’t sound possible. But it sounded beautiful.
She never managed to succeed at beautiful, impossible things.
And let’s not forget – after all the intense sexual tension, the flirting, the doubt from Sarah, the amazing scenes in the kitchen that Laura Florand can write (and let me take just a moment to say how well she writes kitchen scenes. I feel as though I’m there – in the the chaos, with burning sugar and delicate creations. So well done.)
After all of that – we have delicious scenes like this teaser:
“Oh, yes, you like this, don’t you?” he breathed.
She closed her eyes against that glitter, against how much she liked it, turning her face into the bunched comforter as he let her upper body settle back on the mattress. “You like me in you this deep, Sarabelle?” His darkest, roughest murmur.
She didn’t answer out loud, but then she didn’t have to . Her body clutched around him, and he seemed to understand that language very well.
“Are you going to like it when I take you this hard?”
You’ll have to read to find out *wink*