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review 2018-02-20 16:55
Chocolate with a Side of Murder (Daley Buzz Mysteries #1) by Meredith Potts
Chocolate With A Side Of Murder (Daley Buzz Cozy Mystery) (Volume 1) - Meredith Potts

I like a good cozy mystery now and then. This one was ok it wasn't great but I will be going back for book 2 before I decide my true feelings on the series. Meredith Potts takes us to the tiny town Treasure Cove CA. We meet Sabrina. She runs the family coffee shop and is dating David a police detective. When the owner of the Chocolate shop next to Sabrina's coffee shop is murdered, Sabrina steps in to help solve the murder. 

Sabrina's character could use some improvement. Yes she solves the murder in the end but at the cost of alienating herself from half the town. The way she goes after her suspects and her line of questioning as well as her attitude just made her rude and not very likable to me. The book is very fast paced. The book starts off 10 years earlier when her sister comes up missing and has not been any clues to date. I am assuming this has part to do with her attitude. A lot of the book centers on her feelings towards the disappearance. I do hope in future books that mystery is solved. The book does leave a lot of loose ends on other things brought up during the book. Some of the characters just seemed tossed in with no true spot in the story, so hopefully in later books they will have established rolls. i do read a lot of series and never fully make up my mind abotu a series in book 1. A lot of times book one just basically establishes everyones rolls in later books and that is what I am hoping for.

I did listen to the Audiobook, which is narrated by Lainie Pahos. She done a good job with the story. She let me now when someone was happy, sad, or had other emotions from the tone of her voice. Some of her voices she used grated on my nerves a bit, luckily those people had small parts in the story. 

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Meredith Potts The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it

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review 2018-02-10 13:24
Chocolate Facts and a Story
The Chocolate Frog Frame-Up - JoAnna Carl

This is the third book in the series and it can be read out of order (I should know this is the 2nd time I have read this series out of order). Lee is the niece of Nettie, who owns the Chocolate shop in Warner Pier. Lee is the business manager and she is dating Joe, an attorney who rebuilds old wooden boats. One day, in town, Joe is attacked by Hershel, the local town problem, in front of everyone. Joe doesn't hurt Hershel, but he is confused by what happened. As they try to figure out what has happened, Hershel's boat is found in the water near Joe's boat ramp. The town is searching for Hershel and just as Joe is getting ready to take Lee back to her van, Hershel appears at her window and says he doesn't trust the people near Joe's shop and he wants to meet Lee's aunt at the chapel. When they get there, Hershel is dead and Joe is accused of the murder. As they try to find out the truth, they are being attacked and now they really need to know what is happening. 


I enjoyed the story, but there were some misused words, not related to the malapropisms of the character of Lee. The story would stop so she could describe the chocolates that they were ordering, offering or eating and this would slow the flow of the story. The fun part in the book was all the chocolate facts. There were no recipes, just facts. 

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review 2018-02-03 00:00
The Chocolate Heart
The Chocolate Heart - Laura Florand Was this book over the top saccharine? Too much? Just enough?

I can't quite decide. I have lots of highlights. I enjoyed Laura Florand's writing, as usual. She's researched, and she is detailed. (In fact, it sounds like part of her research for this was in the late Laurent Jeannin's kitchen) I believe this level of detail really throws you into her books, and at the very least they don't feel lazy or shortcut. Her books are very sensuous, and this was no exception. I remember when I read the first (I think) in this series and how long it takes for the hero and heroine to actually meet and yet it was somehow still sexy as all hell.

Summer Corey hates desserts. Luc Leroi is a perfectionist who creates them. He puts pieces of his heart into those desserts, serving himself up on the platter. What resulted was a somewhat awkward, painful and ultimately kind of delicious story. Luc is a very controlled man, but we come to understand that is not the case around Summer. And Lord knows I love a hero who doesn't just take a quick fuck for his insta-love or insta-lust (both are apparent here, but they don't bother me). Luc is a made-from-nothing man with a steady foster parent and absentee, incompetent parents. He just wants love, and puts all his focus and passion into his craft. And dear lord, he tries. Which is lovely. He didn't let Summer get away because he makes little stumbles, reiterating that he'll try until he's perfect for her.

The issue of the story is with Summer. she is a big-hearted, seemingly spoiled brat who has suffered neglect and often comes off as emotionally immature. When Luc rejects her advances, her offers to buy a yacht upon first meeting, she's a bit bitter about it. She continually rejects his heart-on-a-plate desserts because "she doesn't eat desserts." She argues with her (clearly neglectful even if well-meaning) parents about giving her the hotel in a 3 month trial run to connect the island she lives and loves teaching at with a satellite for better connectivity. I don't know, I get it and it's manipulative but she's so indignant at the prospect of having to try something for her parents in exchange for something for her livelihood it comes across as...bratty...and entitled. And holy hell, she's frustratingly tone deaf in the neighborhood of Luc, which was aggravating. When he rejects her after she first kisses him (again he deserves more than a sliver of her time, according to him) she storms into the kitchen to publicly fire him, ultimately resulting in her threatening to fire two others who tell her she's out of line. This is not an ok scenario by any stretch, for any sex. Luc absolutely shrugs her off, and despite my anger and complete misgivings I continued to read. I mean, she embarrassed herself badly. He wasn't threatened, and I guess that's the only reason I could keep on.

In the end, the book was incredibly (maybe OTT) romantic, and despite trying to hate it for that plot point, I couldn't. The tenderness that followed did me in. There's a scene where she realizes he has been living on junk food that and she cooks for him. It was heartbreaking and so sweet when he realized she was and what it meant to him. Ultimately, it's the little things like this that make this book. While I can't quite get on board with Summer, someone who didn't understand her love and privilege in many ways, Luc's desire to have the love light up his life and his willingness to stubbornly pursue just that really made this book. He's not perfect, he's an arrogant, prideful sort, but I loved him.

3.5, rounded up because I appreciated the hurdles and the difficulties getting to coupledom despite the insta-lust/love. Not to mention what seems to be meticulous research.
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review 2018-01-19 21:03
First in the Series
Death by Chocolate Lab - Bethany Blake

I thought the name of the title was funny (criteria for me to choose to read it). It was a cute story about two sisters sharing a house together and their mother, a realtor. The youngest sister holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy and runs her own dog walking/sitting business. Her older sister is a veterinarian who is driven to succeed, like their mother, the realtor. The night before dog show for agility, the younger sister, Daphne is watching out her window while the people show up to set up for the next day. She sees her sister, Piper, giving a thermos of coffee to a man that she doesn't like. Later the next day, Daphne finds him dead in a tunnel. She doesn't want to see her sister as the person of interest in the murder and starts to find out the truth for herself. Along the way she learns many secrets of the people in the town she grew up in. She also learns that people will talk to her about what they know or what they suspect. She also keeps searching for the murdered man's dog that has gone missing following the murder. She also develops a relationship with the new detective in town. 


I did borrow the 2nd book in the series and am curious to see how things continue as Daphne is "involved" with two different men and she seems to be trying to figure out her own life. I know that as I write there are only in three in the series, so I don't know if I will read them all or not, but I did enjoy the story a little, but I just felt that Daphne needed to be more adult and not needing rescue from her constant running out of gas and leaving places without paying for meals. 



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text 2017-12-30 11:40
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 3 - St. Martin's Day - and Square 15 - Newtonmas

Tasks for St. Martin’s Day: Write a Mother Goose-style rhyme or a limerick; the funnier the better. –OR– Take a picture of the book you’re currently reading, next to a glass of wine, or the drink of your choice, with or without a fire in the background.


Tasks for Newtonmas: Take a moment to appreciate gravity and the laws of motion. If there’s snow outside, have a snowball fight with a friend or a member of your family. –OR– Take some time out to enjoy the alchemical goodness of a hot toddy or chocolate or any drink that relies on basic chemistry/alchemy (coffee with cream or sugar / tea with milk or sugar or lemon, etc.). Post a picture of your libations and the recipe if it’s unique and you’re ok with sharing it.


I decided to combine these two into one for a late candlelight breakfast this morning:




The drink is white hot chocolate; a gift from my BFF from our trip to London back in June.  Basically, it just calls for the white chocolate powder to be mixed into hot milk ... my mom, however, had the brilliant of very alchemically correct idea of adding a pinch of ground (or instant) coffee.


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