A Taste of Chocolate
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Pages: 38
Goes Well With: Hot coffee and rich chocolate cake

Some people just seem to be cursed to fall in love with the worst possible people, over and over again. They’re constantly with people who use them, abuse them, cheat on them, or just plain neglect them. Those are the people who could use a magical matchmaker—like the one in A Taste of Chocolate by author Vonnie Davis.

This short romance follows Hope Morningstar on her quest to find The One. She’s had nothing but bad luck with men—and when her latest boyfriend dumps her in a drunken text message, she’s almost ready to give up. But then a detour through town leads her to a magical coffee shop with an eccentric owner who doubles as a matchmaker.

Declan Fleming has been hurt before, so he’s placed his love life in the capable hands of a matchmaker. When he meets Hope, he knows that she’s the one for him—but she might take some convincing.

With its old-fashioned love story and its alluring supernatural touches, A Taste of Chocolate could be a charming short romance—but the characters leave something to be desired. Despite the fact that Hope has been hurt by the wrong guys over and over again—and even though she’s finally started to recognize this constant cycle of bad relationships—she seems all too reluctant to break the cycle. Though most of us have been there—going back to an undeserving partner because the relationship (as bad as it may be) is familiar—that doesn’t make for enjoyable reading. Instead, it makes Hope a frustrating—and often wishy-washy—character.

On the other hand, there’s nothing wishy-washy about Declan. Quite the opposite, in fact. He’s so sure of himself—and of his future with Hope—that he comes on way too strong. And his old-fashioned practices often seem more possessive than sweet and charming.

Really, the most interesting part of the story is the magical coffee shop—and the quirky, coffee-pouring matchmaker who seems to come and go whenever and wherever she’s needed. While it should have been a vital part of the story, though, the coffee shop feels more like an aside. With a little more development, these magical moments could have given the story an entertaining paranormal twist. Instead, it seems like just a convenient way to bring the main characters together.

The idea behind A Taste of Chocolate is an intriguing one: two characters who have been unlucky in love brought together by a mystical matchmaker. Unfortunately, though, the characters’ personalities are lacking—as is the story’s magic.

Ed. Note: For more on A Taste of Chocolate, visit The Wild Rose Press.

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