Friday, August 30, 2019

Medieval Rags-to-Riches Romance an Intriguing, Epic Tale

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Despite the thin stream of noble blood that runs through her, Rosamund Tomkins belongs neither here nor there.  Especially after the death of her beloved grandmother, a gentlewoman who was teaching her the pretty manners of a lady.  When Rosamund is subsequently taking in by her common, disinterested mother and her greedy, abusive stepfather, she becomes little more than a servant at the family's inn.  Then, a chance encounter with a wealthy London businessman changes the 17-year-old's life in an instant.  Suddenly, she's not just a wife, but also a woman with status and a title.

When Sir Everard Blithman introduces his new wife to his latest business venture—the opening of a chocolate house—Rosamund is immediately entranced.  She's never tasted the exotic beverage, but from the get-go, she proves to be a dab hand at helping to mix it in just the right combinations to entice customers into the shop.  Although having a titled woman so involved in business is considered vulgar by London's wagging tongues, Rosamund feels more at home at the chocolate house than she does anywhere else.  While she senses there is much more going on beneath the surface of her marriage, her husband's mysterious family, and her new friendship with a handsome journalist, she doesn't realize the truth until she finds herself hopelessly entangled in a complex web of deception that threatens to destroy not just Rosamund's beloved chocolate house but everything good in her new life.  With both the business and the fates of the people she's come to love on the line, Rosamund will risk everything to save them.

Although I've been enjoying a grand love affair with chocolate for decades, I knew little about its history.  Thus, I found myself intrigued by the subject of Karen Brooks' new novel, The Chocolate Maker's Wife.  The book's colorful Medieval setting, complete with castles, knights, and the Plague, is likewise intriguing.  Naive, but kind and determined, Rosamund makes for the kind of likable, admirable heroine for whom it is easy to root.  At a hefty 551 pages, The Chocolate Maker's Wife is hardly a page-turner; it did, however, move along fast enough to keep me interested.  Despite a Big Reveal that was obvious from the get-go, the plot offered a few surprises I didn't see coming.  While I didn't end up loving this book, I did enjoy the read overall.

(Readalikes:  Reminded me a little of Chocolat by Joanne Harris)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (a dozen or so F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, sexual content, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of The Chocolate Maker's Wife from the generous folks at HarperCollins via those at TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

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Would you like more opinions on The Chocolate Maker's Wife?  Follow along on the book's blog tour by visiting the sites listed below:

Tuesday, August 20th: BookNAround
Tuesday, August 20th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books (postponed to August 30th)
Wednesday, August 21st: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, August 22nd: Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
Friday, August 23rd: Broken Teepee
Monday, August 26th: Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader
Tuesday, August 27th: Based on a True Story
Wednesday, August 28th: Reading Reality
Thursday, August 29th: Laura’s Reviews
Friday, August 30th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, September 2nd: Jathan & Heather
Tuesday, September 3rd: Tina Says…
Wednesday, September 4th: Book by Book
Thursday, September 5th: bookish bliss and beauty
Friday, September 6th: Real Life Reading

6 comments:

  1. Too bad this wasn't an amazing read but I am glad you did enjoy it somewhat. I know just about nothing about chocolate history so this does sound like an interesting read even though it wasn't flawless.

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  2. I always am delighted, when I learn about something interesting from a book, and the history of chocolate is something I would enjoy.

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  3. I think I have to love a book if I'm going to stick with it for 500+ pages.

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  4. Any book that deals with chocolate must be fun.

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  5. I also know very little about the origin or history of chocolate but I love it a whole bunch. HA! Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

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  6. Glad you enjoyed this one even though it did not live up to your expectations. Nice review Susan.

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