Reviewed by Mandi
Célie and Joss grew up together in a not so great part of France. Célie is a few years younger than Joss, and her older brother was kind of friends with Joss, so she ran in the same circles with him. Célie has always had a crush on Joss. Joss, has always had a crush on Célie, but couldn’t do much about it seeing that she was just a teenager. All Joss wanted to do was protect Célie (her older brother got into a lot of trouble with the law) and be the best man he could be for her. In order to do that, he felt like he needed to grow and mature, so without telling her or anyone else, he abruptly leaves and joins the Foreign Legion. For five years, he never writes Célie. She writes to him for a few months, but after never receiving any word back, she stops. She is heartbroken and devastated. She picks herself up, and moves to Paris, throwing herself at the mercy of Dom and his chocolate shop (hero from the Chocolate Touch). She works very hard and becomes a trusted chocolate maker of his and creates a life for herself. And then one day she looks out the window, and there is Joss.
Five years of devoting himself to being a better person for Célie, Joss comes back expecting her to be waiting for him and thankful that he is now ready to be the man she needs. He thinks what he has done is totally selfless, all for her. She thinks what he has done is totally selfish. Oh the angst.
As you all probably know, I love Laura Florand’s books. They are always so romantic and sultry and they give me the warm fuzzies. And I think all of those things pertain to this book. Joss’s number goal in life is to make Célie happy. That is all he cares about. After spending five years in the Foreign Legion, he now sees himself as a real man. Physically, he can take out pretty much anyone that gets in his way. And mentally he has the patience to wait out anyone for any length of time. To him, this is all Celie needs. I actually waited for Joss to pound his fists on his chest.
I’m bigger now. I’m stronger. I’m genuinely tough enough to handle any asshole you might ever encounter. So – I’m ready. Can’t you see that?
Didn’t is show in his arms, the width of his chest? Should he have worn a tighter T-shirt? You told me I could do anything, Célie. Wee…I did it. See?
Joss is baffled when Célie gets angry and breaks into tears. All Célie wanted was Joss. And when he left, all she wanted was some acknowledgement of their romance that was right on the cusp of becoming something real. But this is the miscommunication in the book. Joss’s internal dialogue is shocked that he isn’t impressing Célie. That she doesn’t realize he does everything, and I mean, everything in the world only for her.
“Joss…I know letters aren’t your thing,” she said low, desperate…and angry, too. She lifted her head. “But five years saving up for a house together and you couldn’t have written? Found a phone once in a while and called? Come see me on leave?
“That wouldn’t really have been fair to you. To ask you to wait for me.” Plus, he hadn’t proved he deserved her yet. Lots of men failed out of the Foreign Legion. And it made his stomach jittery to even think about how much it would have cost him to come see her on leave and then turn around and say good-bye again.
Once they work through those issues, they then have the rest to deal with. They love each other and let me tell you – the first time they have sex – the intensity almost killed me. But they also have to get past the honeymoon stage and figure out how their relationship will work. Joss is still in Foreign Legion mode where he is constantly looking for threats and still not communication to Célie. And Célie needs to let go of her anger from the past and allow herself to move on.
It’s a fun story to read. At times I think Joss was a little over the top in his obsession with Célie. Suffocating almost. He felt more so like a fictional hero than a realistic fictional hero (does that makes sense?) I don’t think a real person would ever have thoughts like he did. But maybe they do in Paris!!
Also cute is Célie’s relationship with Dom, her boss. Dom is also protective of her, and puts on his grumpy face and slams around the kitchen a lot. Very cute.
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