The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand
July 31, 2012
Reviewed by Mandi
Cade Corey and her family own Corey Chocolate, the biggest chocolate distributor in the United States. Their chocolate bars sell at Walmart for $.33 and those coins have brought a billion dollars to her family. Always looking for something new, Cade decides she wants Parisian chocolatier, Sylvain Marquis’s name on a new line of their chocolate. Cade thinks it will be the perfect fit for Sylvain and it will bring her company more money. So off to Paris she goes.
What she doesn’t expect is for Sylvain to be 100% against her proposal. He actually gets angry she would ask such a thing of his precious chocolate. His hand-crafted chocolate wonders sell for hundreds of dollars. He puts his entire life into his chocolate, and would never sell out his name for some measly US dollars.
This frustrates Cade to no end, demanding he show her chocolate bars some respect. She starts to get consumed with his chocolate making process, breaking into his kitchens in the middle of the night to see what type of ingredients and types of tools he uses. Sylvain knows very well she is breaking in, and is amused by the whole thing. He finds her very attractive, and he wants to understand what her motives are. A food blog catches onto her midnight thievery, naming her ‘The Chocolate Thief.’
First let me say that I love the setting of this story – in Paris with chocolate being made and consumed on every page. I think the author captures the intimate process Sylvain goes through to make his chocolate quite well.
“This is one of my favorite moments,” Sylvain murmured to her, his voice a brush of sound, too low to interfere with Pascal’s lesson, too low for anyone but her. “The chocolate is untouched, virgin.” Chocolat, he said. Not that clumsy, cute English work chok-lat but a caress, a mystery, sho-co-la. “I choose it. It is beautiful as it is, perfect; anyone could eat it forever. Yet I bring something else to it, blend it with another flavor that makes people encounter it in a new way, a richer way.”
His voice burred over her skin. All the fine hairs on her arms rose to that voice and to the words that seemed to talk about more than chocolate. Made her want to be his chocolate.
At the beginning of the story, Sylvan is attracted to Cade which makes him blush. I found that a very likable character trait. It is also hinted at that he has had problems in the past for falling for women quite quick, only to get his heart broken on more than one occasion. For as much as Cade infuriates him with her business offer, he is still attracted to her. I wish his shy blushes would have played out more. Before you know it, he becomes this alpha, predatory male who claims his woman (in the chocolate shop. That was fun.). We don’t really see his bashful side nor do we learn the full history of why his heart was broken so many times. I kind of wish things with him were explored more. There are times where he acts very unsure of himself:
She lusted after everything he produced and owned so intensely and sinfully. Surely she must lust after him.
Never in his life had he felt so positive of that. And yet, driven by some old, stupid weakness of his, he had still held back far too long, just in case she wanted to escape.
He is set-up to lack confidence in his personal life (his confidence in his professional life is off the charts) and yet, I feel like we don’t really dive into this matter in detail.
Cade is an okay heroine. She is very determined and stubborn and refused to give up her fight to win Sylvain’s business. I think breaking in and making a mess of his workspace is unprofessional, but after the first few times, it becomes more of a game, so it didn’t bother me so much. Her father calls a lot on the phone demanding things from her which got old but I love her grandfather who shares her excitement of being in Paris.
Towards the end we meet Sylvain’s family and I enjoyed their interactions and it made me feel like we got to know Sylvan a little better. The romance scenes in this one are on the light side. We get one or two, but they are not super in-depth. I wish more time had been spent there (with dirty details!) because Sylvain is a very, sexy chocolatier indeed.