8/30/12

Better Than Chocolate, by Sheila Roberts (Review, Interview & Giveaway)

4.5 Stars!
ABOUT THE BOOK -
Sweet Dreams Chocolate Company has been in the Sterling family for generations, ever since Great-Grandma Rose literally dreamed up her first fabulous recipe. But now it looks as if they're about to lose Sweet Dreams to the bank—and that would be a disaster, not only for the family but for the town of Icicle Falls, Washington. Can Samantha, the oldest daughter and new head of the company, come up with a way to save it?

After Samantha does some brainstorming with her mother and sisters, inspiration strikes. They'll have a chocolate festival! Time's running out, but the Sterling women are determined and the town's behind them, so everything's bound to go smoothly….

Or not. Events seem to be conspiring against Samantha, and her mother's attempts to help aren't helping. To make matters worse, the fate of her company is in the hands of her archenemy, Blake Preston, the bank manager with the football-hero good looks. It's enough to drive her to chocolate. But Blake's also enough to convince her that (believe it or not) there's something even better than chocolate.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR -
 Sheila Roberts lives on a lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her novels have appeared in Readers Digest Condensed Books and have been published in several languages. Her book Angel Lane, was an Amazon Top Ten Romance pick for 2009 and her holiday perennial, On Strike for Christmas was made into a movie for the Lifetime Movie Network. You can visit Sheila on Twitter and Facebook or at her website (sheilasplace.com).  


AUTHOR INTERVIEW -
Hi Sheila! I am very excited to be reading your new book - Better Than Chocolate!
Thanks for having me!
Please tell us three things that we will love about your new book –
Only three things, huh? Well, if I have to narrow it down to three I’d say the humor (at least I think I’m funny!), the romance, and the recipes, which are yum, yum, yummy.
 
Better than Chocolate??? What is better than chocolate seriously!
Don’t tell my husband, but... nothing. :)
What is your favorite recipe using chocolate? 
I have so many fabulous chocolate recipes it’s hard to narrow it down. But I’d probably have to say Frango Mint Pie. (For those of you who don’t live in Seattle and don’t know what Frangos are, they’re a fabulous truffle – and this pie is like eating a chocolate mint truffle. Of course, you must serve it with whipped cream so you get the full calorie count! I also make a lovely white chocolate-lavender scone that is always a hit when I have friends over for tea.
 
This is my "Life's a Beach" month, where I am reading all beach and water theme books.
I read on your website that you live on a lake! Lucky you! I live near 2 big lakes but not on one, that has always been my dream.
What is the best thing about living on a lake?
I’ve got to say, the view. I never tire of looking out my window. And to see the moon over the water at night – simply breathtaking!
 
I read "The Snow Globe" last year and loved it (I do plan on reading another Christmas one this December, maybe "The Nine Lives of Christmas").
Speaking of "Nine lives" I am a real cat person! I have a wonderful Maine coon cat named Martina.
Do you have any pets?
We had three cats over the years and I loved each one. After our last cat died though I decided I was done - too hard to lose an animal. I’m going to wait and get another kitty when I’m really old and then will it to my daughter. :)
And... Are you planning on any new Christmas books?
Merry Ex-mas, a fun holiday tale about wives and their exes, will be out this November. We’ve even made a funny music video to tie in to the book, so be sure to look for “Merry Christmas Mama” on Youtube.
 
In all of your pictures it always looks like you are having fun!
What do you do for fun? or to relax? or both, relaxing can be fun right?
My idea of relaxing is having fun. I love to have parties and play games. And I’ll play anything from cards to parlor games. Love ‘em all. I also really enjoy dancing and tennis. And reading, of course!
Thank you so much Sheila for coming to my blog! I am looking forward to reading more from you.
Again, thank you so much for having me. It’s always a treat to meet people who love books. And chocolate!


 

MY REVIEW -
What a great book - cute cute cute! I liked this book from beginning to end. It kept my attention throughout the whole book, never a dull moment. I thought this had a very creative and original storyline. Sheila also takes you on a few mini trips but ties it all together very nicely.

The character development was great. There were a lot of characters in this book to keep track of. But surprisingly I did not get any of them confused! This is a sign of a good author, to me (I get easily confused, LOL) I loved Samantha - she was fun, quirky, and very business-minded. I would buy from her shop any day. I could really picture Samantha and came away really feeling like I knew her personality. I also loved Blake - the hunky bank manager. I was rooting for him the whole time ;-)
There were also some minor characters - Samantha's sisters - Cecily and Bailey, and Samantha's mom. They all had stories of their own! I felt like I was read one big story and 3 short stories in one. It was great. I don't know how the Author did it but it all tied in so nicely, it just all fit together like a puzzle.

One of my favorite quotes from the book -
"At the rate Samantha was going, she'd wind up over-dosing on chocolate. She moved to the counter, poured herself some tea and took a brownie. Just one. She'd make this the last fattening thing she ate for the rest of her life. Okay, for the rest of the month. The week. The night, anyway."
Another thing I really liked about this book was the descriptions. I could really picture myself at the chocolate shop and other shops and restaurants in town. The descriptions of the Chocolate festival were great. What a great idea! I would love to go to a chocolate festival! Also in the book was Icicle Falls and the legend of the "Lost Bride" which was a nice touch.

THE ALL-IN-ALL -
All in all this was a fun, romantic, quirky book to read. There were so many nice things about this book - the chocolate, the men, some historical parts, and a few love stories.
Also - at the end of the book Sheila added a few of the recipes talked about in the book! I seriously can't wait to try a couple (and that coming from a non-baker!)

THE GIVEAWAY -
I am giving away my ARC copy of this book.
To enter to win this book - fill out the form below.
* Please US & Canada only.
And please only enter once -  (I go through and delete double entries).
* Winner will be chosen on Sept. 7th.
* Winner will have 48 hrs. to respond.



You can Pre-order this book -
From B&N - HERE
From Amazon - HERE

A big thanks to "Little Bird Publicity" and Sheila Roberts for sending me this great book to read and review!

3 comments:

  1. Aaww, this sounds like a good book! I'll have to add it to my tbr :)

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  2. Hmmmm...chocolate sounds good right now. I'm happy to hear that this was a good book. The title alone got me interested when you first mentioned it on Shelfari.

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  3. Sounds yummy--hope the Frango pie recipe is included! :-) Thanks for the opportunity to win and to add a few more pounds!

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