Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Publish Date: September 25, 2012
Origins: From Publisher for Review
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Order From: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Synopsis: Sweet Dreams Chocolate Company has been in the Sterling family for generations, ever since Great-Grandma Rose literally dreamed up her first fabulous recipe. But now it looks as if they're about to lose Sweet Dreams to the bank—and that would be a disaster, not only for the family but for the town of Icicle Falls, Washington. Can Samantha, the oldest daughter and new head of the company, come up with a way to save it?After Samantha does some brainstorming with her mother and sisters, inspiration strikes. They'll have a chocolate festival! Time's running out, but the Sterling women are determined and the town's behind them, so everything's bound to go smoothly .
Or not. Events seem to be conspiring against Samantha, and her mother's attempts to help aren't helping. To make matters worse, the fate of her company is in the hands of her archenemy, Blake Preston, the bank manager with the football-hero good looks. It's enough to drive her to chocolate. But Blake's also enough to convince her that (believe it or not) there's something even better than chocolate.
Review: Sweet Dreams Chocolate Company is Samantha Sterling’s baby – the company started by her great-grandmother and which she dreamed of running herself one day. Well, the day comes for Samantha to take over after her step-father passes away. What she finds is a disaster…her step-father has ruined the company financially and she has limited time to pay the arrears to the bank or the doors of Sweet Dreams will close forever. Enter Blake Preston, the new bank manager, who won’t budge an inch on the deadline. Can Samantha and her family pull together a town chocolate festival with limited time and resources and make enough money to save Sweet Dreams?
Overall I enjoyed ‘Better Than Chocolate’, but I was honestly more interested in the factory and the family dynamic between the Sterlings. I felt the romance was one-sided, because Blake liked Samantha, but even though she thought he was attractive, but didn’t like him at all. The way the romance came together very quickly at the end didn’t feel real to me. Samantha hated (and secret lusted after) Blake, but when all was revealed at the end, she fell into his arms and everything was perfect. Maybe I just prefer my romances to have a little bit more of a realistic build-up. Which is why I liked the dynamic between Samantha’s sister and the bar owner…it felt more real. ‘Better Than Chocolate’ moves quickly and has some really good characters and relationships which I hope the author comes back to in a future novel. The author has also included some yummy chocolate recipes in the back of the book!