Monday, May 03, 2010
Spotlight Review: Chocolate Magic by Zelda Benjamin
Love By Chocolate Series, Book 2
Avalon Books (Hardcover)
Present Day Brooklyn, New York
The Chocolate Boutique provides specialty hand made chocolates for its customers, and owner Chloe Brandeau delights in her success. But when Chloe's Aunt Bessie died and left her the apartment building on Butler Street, her troubles were just starting. The building is a money-pit and Chloe has used up most of her savings just to make emergency repairs. An anonymous buyer has been sending out his minions with offers to buy the place, but Chloe promised Aunt Bessie she would never sell and force the tenants out of their homes. Chloe's accountant and friend Sarah believes Chloe needs to meet a man who can help with her finances...she'd be happy to set up some dates from her matchmaking sideline business. Chloe would really like a date for this year's Chocolate Ball, so she agrees to three such meetings.
Meanwhile, the anonymous buyer himself comes to call at the chocolate shop, and Chloe recognizes him right away from his photo on the cover of a business magazine. He's even more handsome than his picture. Chloe is adamant; she won't break her promise. Ethan Behar is just as adamant. He needs the whole block her building sits on, and he's used to getting his way...especially from women.
CHOCOLATE MAGIC is a light, fast read and lots of fun. The battle between two hardheaded New Yorkers is captivating itself; Chloe is an original and Ethan a self made man burned once by love. Her chocolate creations are to die for, and he insists he's not a big chocolate fan. Chloe's blind dates and other secondary characters add touches of humor to this highly entertaining novel.
A word or two of warning, however: have someone hide all the chocolate before you read CHOCOLATE MAGIC. It took enormous will power, but I only ate two dark chocolate kisses the whole time. Yay, me!
CHOCOLATE MAGIC was preceded by Ms. Benjamin's first book in this series, CHOCOLATE SECRETS, still available. I haven't read it, but the current books stands very well on its own.