Friday 17 August 2012

Book Review: The Bride Wore Chocolate by Shirley Jump

Score: 4 out of 5

Read excerpt here
Life couldn’t be more perfect for Candice Woodrow. Her gourmet gift basket company is thriving, and she’s set to marry steady, dependable Barry. There’s just one wrench in the fairytale. Two weeks before her wedding she wakes up in the wrong man’s bed. Candace thinks she’ll be able to run out the door and forget all about Michael Vogler, but the Boston millionaire has other plans for the jittery bride.
As the wedding approaches, Candace’s life is further complicated by a thrill-seeking grandma and a meddlesome mother whose marriage track record rivals Elizabeth Taylor’s. She attempts to drown her sorrows in chocolate, but with a sexy bachelor appearing on her doorstep at every turn – she finds herself wondering if there’s enough of the sweet stuff in the world to stop her heart from racing every time he comes near.

This is the second book by Shirley Jump I've finished in the space of a week - my first experience of the author's writing was a recent title published by Harlequin Romance (see here for review) - and the difference in styles was immediately apparent with The Bride Wore Chocolate being more of a romantic comedy rather than a short category romance.

Before turning the first page, I had a good idea what would happen - it is still a romance novel, after all - but this was all about the journey and the thought processes as the main characters battled to cling on to their safety blanket.

The writing sparkled with wit and sass and I could relate to the characters instantly, even the secondary characters. I must confess to glossing over the recipes a little, even though they were all chocolate, but I think they were a nice touch with highly amusing instructions and names.

Instead, I chose to dive right back into the story, racing through each page. The tension and temptation leaps off the page as well as the fear and confusion and I was physically anxious on behalf of both Candace and Michael for differing reasons. From about halfway through the book, I started getting knots in my stomach and from that point to the end, it was like an adrenaline rush.

The end itself was quite abrupt and I actually looked for the next page without realising I'd finished at first, but in hindsight, it was in keeping with the style of the book and a good way to close the story. The plot was perhaps a little far-fetched but don't let reality cloud an excellent story and spoil what I have come to think of as a modern day fairy-tale.

I finished this book in two sittings but I would have done it in one by choice, however, two young children and eyes that refused to stay open put paid to that notion. I will be definitely be picking up the remaining two titles in the 'Sweet and Savory' series. I love it when a book makes me smile and drags me along on a roller-coaster ride so I would be more than happy to recommend The Bride Wore Chocolate to others.

  UK or US  
Re-released 23 May 2012
(original publication 1 September 2004)

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