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Sunday, 26 May 2013

The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris

Welcome to my little Niche within the library. So grab a coffee and let's review some books. The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in ParisThe Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jenny Colgan has done it again! She has concocted another sweet morsel of a novel in The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris.

When an accident in a chocolate factory in the North of England left thirty-year-old Anna Trent lying in a hospital with two missing toes, she thought her life was never going to be the same again. That was before she knew that her French Teacher, Claire, was in the same hospital room as her. Claire, a patient with terminal Cancer, kept Anna company whilst in hospital. Then she made Anna a proposition of a life-time: To work in a chocolate shop in Paris owned by the only man whom Claire ever loved, Thierry Girard--a master chocolatier.

As the sun rises over the Pont de Neuf, and the cobbled alleyways of Paris come to life, Anna Trent is busy making chocolates the old fashioned way--by hand. As she mixes, blends and tastes the finest chocolates in Paris, the Chateau Chocolat sells them to the grandes dames of Paris.

As the story unfolds, you get to meet and love Claire as she tells the story of her younger self who was sent as an Au Pair (Nanny) to Paris to mind the children of her mother's life-long pen pal, Madame Legarde. While in Paris the young Claire meets and falls in love with the town's master chocolatier, Thierry Girard, owner of the prestigious Le Chateau Chocolat. The pair fall helplessly in love until Claire has to return home to England to resume her studies, leaving behind the man she truly ever loved.

Years later, through Anna Trent, Claire and Thierry meet again and relive their romance for one last time. This book made me cry in places and made my mouth water. I fell in love with the book's characters, the chocolate and the city that brought this book to life. I have always wanted to see Paris and this book transports me to the city of light and romance without having to purchase a ticket. At the end of the book Colgan features a repertoire of chocolate recipes guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds. Each recipe is tested by Colgan herself.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Fools Rush In

Welcome to my little Niche within the library. So grab a coffee and let's review some books. Fools Rush In (Weddings by Bella, #1)Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thirty-something Bella Rossi is about to have her life turned topsy-turvy when her Italian turned Texan family hands over the family Wedding Planning Business to her. As a Wedding co-ordinator Bella lands her first organize a Texan-themed wedding for one of her clients. The only problem is...where is she going to find a DJ who can play Texan music with a family whose taste in music is anything but eclectic; they only like and listen to Frank Sinatra.

When fate and a misunderstanding introduces her to DJ Neely, a handsome Texan from Splendora, Bella falls head over heels with him, literally. DJ Neely saves the day, and Bella. He agrees to be the Disc Jockey and introduces Bella to the rest of the Neely Family. But will DJ and his family accept Bella and her crazy Italian family? With a pizza- making uncle with ties to the mob, a crazy broom-wielding aunt, a barking-mad dog named Precious, a bad-mouthed parrot named Guido, an insanely jealous ex boyfriend, and an insane delivery of 80 cowboy boots, will Bella ever get to hear Wedding bells of her own? There's loads of 'Boot Scoot'n' fun and crazy antics to keep you turning the pages. The story is written in the first person by Bella Rossi as she gives an account of her first Texas Wedding as a Wedding Planner and her encounter with DJ Neely and his family.

There are many underlying Christian morals or themes in the book. One quote that keeps resounding in the book is: "Where there is life, there is hope." One of the themes in the book is hope...hope that, in spite of the chaos in our lives, everything will turn out just fine. Another theme is that we should surrender our fate to put our relationships in God's hand and not worry about the small hiccups. Another theme within the book is embracing change, as Earline's favourite bible passage states:

2:8-13 The voice of my Beloved God! Behold, he conquers the mountains (triumphant over adversity,
obstacles), (9) he beckons me to come, leaving my fears behind (to trust His good leadership). (10) I will arise, I will come away with You. (12) The Lord is doing a new thing, the season of singing has come (the
new Songs from Throne), the harvest of the nations is at hand. I will arise (I will leave my fears behind).
~Song of Solomon 2:8-13

This is book one in the Wedding by Bella series. I loved the book! It made me laugh in places and put me in a good mood. There's lots of rooting' tooting action and adventure in this book, not to mention some good 'ole fashioned beauty secrets. Janice Thompson is a Christian Romance writer living in Spring, Texas. She started out writing screenplays. I can't wait to read the rest of the Wedding by Bella series.