by Rachel Astor
Published by Bliss
Genre: romance; chick lit
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
3 / 5 cupcakes
I realize I court disdain when I say that this book is very sweet, but it is. It's sweet. It's also cute and adorable. Yet it will frustrate you because you will want recipes for all of the chocolate you read about - or at least a place where you can buy it.
Dulcie (yep - that's her name) wants to be everything to everyone. She wants to be a good granddaughter to her grandmother, a good daughter to her deceased mother, a good boss to her employees, a good friend, a good citizen (she tries to help a homeless girl), a good student and a good business owner. In short, she wants to be what other people want her to be, as opposed to knowing what she wants to be for herself.
She is struggling, though. She's trying to complete her Masters degree while operating Candy Land Confections, a chocolatier business that also is struggling. Her competition is How Sweet It Is, which is owned by a man with whom her grandmother is locked in a long standing feud.
But then one day, Dulcie meets Nick Sugarman (yep - that's his name), the heir to How Sweet It Is. Nick isn't all that interested in chocolates; he'd rather create cupcakes, for what it's worth, but he feels some obligation to his father. Like Dulcie, he exists in a world in which no one asks him what he wants to do.
The two decide to compete in an annual chocolatier competition, one that How Sweet it Is would like to win but that Dulcie needs to win. She needs the financial boost that the winning check would bring, not to mention the new customers that would come.
Meanwhile, though, she and Nick like each other, even if her grandmother and his father disapprove.
This book ... I don't even know how to discuss it. It's sweet (there I go again) and adorable, but there isn't much substance to it. Dulcie is not a terrible person, but yet I didn't like her all that much. I mostly wanted to shake her and beg her to tell me what she thinks she needs to be happy. I don't think we ever really got a sense of that. Yes, she wants Candy Land Confections to be successful, but that's more out of duty to her mother than her own desires. She wants romance, but when Nick comes offering it, she initially rebuffs him.
Then there is Nick, who is more likable than Dulcie, but still not a hot hero or anything. He allows his father to push his buttons, and he's only in it because he doesn't want someone else to take over the business. Neither one of these people appear to want what they are working so hard to keep, professionally that is.
In terms of hotness, well, you won't get a whole lot. It's a book about chocolate, so if you're going for hot, the chocolate will melt. GET IT? Plus, it's too sweet to be hot.
This isn't to say that I did not enjoy the book; I did. Just not enough to fall in love with it. Now, I did fall in love with some of the candy described in there. Oh, that I liked quite a bit.