I love chocolate.
And perhaps that may be the only reason I joined this book tour.
I hadn’t heard of Karen Brooks before, although she is an author of quite a few other books. But the title had “chocolate” in it and here I am.
This chocolate of 17th century London though isn’t exactly the chocolate we are used to today.
It is a drinking chocolate and before our main character Rosamund gets involved, it doesn’t exactly sound very palatable. But we are getting ahead of ourselves…
Rosamund’s story is a bit of a fairy tale one. She works in a small inn in a small village and is abused by her stepfather and stepbrothers. And one day when she is fleeing her stepbrothers, she quite literally falls in the path of the wealthy Sir Everard Blithman who happens to be traveling through the area. Sir Everard is so taken with her, mostly because she resembles his late daughter, and pretty much buys her hand in marriage. Sir Everard is going to open a chocolate house and Rosamund becomes an important part of the business and it is booming. However, this is a family full of secrets, which Rosamund, to her horror, gradually uncovers.
I loved all the history that is brought into the book – the plague, the great fire of London, as well as the beginnings of the chocolate that we love today. Brooks brings in all the sights, sounds and smells of 17th century London, and it is rank and vile for most of it. But luckily, there is the chocolate house and its spices and flavours.
Rosamund was, for me, a bit too perfect and sweet. And as I prefer to take my main characters with a pinch of saltiness and flaws, it was hard for me to fall for her unlike all the rest of the characters in the book who are so taken with her.
But it was an enjoyable read, best with a stash of chocolate nearby to dip into whenever the craving hits.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours and
publisher Harper Collins for sending me a copy of this book.