Genre: contemporary romance / chicklit
Cover: I like it, it is inviting.
Life is sweet for chocolate maker Chloe Lyon!
In the picture-perfect Lancashire village of Sticklepond, confectioner Chloe dispenses inspirational sweet treats containing a prediction for each customer. If only her own life was as easy to forecast - perhaps Chloe could have foreseen being jilted at the altar…
But when a new Vicar arrives in the village, the rumour mill goes into overdrive. Not only is Raffy Sinclair the charismatic ex-front man of rock band “Mortal Ruin”, he’s also Chloe’s first love and the man who broke her heart.
Try as she might, Chloe can’t ignore this blast from her past. Could now be the time for her to make a wish – and dare to believe it can come true?
When Chloe went to college, she did not know she would fall in love with the greatest guy. Nor did she know she would never see him again after the first semester. She went home for Christmas, and never got back to college. Her mother left again, leaving her baby brother in the care of her grandfather and his housekeeper, who both did not like little children. Chloe could not bare to leave little Jake behind again, in the neglectful care of them. So she staid home and took care of her baby brother. She wrote Raffy a letter to explain things, and never heard from him. Only a note from her friend Rebecca telling her, that Raffy moved on. As the lead player and singer for Mortal Ruin he went on to fame and success, but Chloe never forgot him.
Years later, she met David, but when, just a few weeks before the wedding, he made her choose between him and Jake, now 14, she chose Jake. And the wedding was off. And now, Chloe is still living with her grandfather, his housekeeper and her baby brother. But Jake is all grown up now, and ready to go to college himself soon.
Her grandfather is still his own weird self, a pagan, a self proclaimed wizard, writing obscure books about magic and witchcraft. The housekeeper, a good friend of her late grandmother, Zillah, is a gypsy, who loves to chain smoke and read the tarotcards or tealeavers. A skill Chloe learned as well, but as the cards never showed her good things, she switched to Angel Cards. Those are more optimistic and not so dark. She likes them.
In fact, she likes them so much, she uses them in her mailorder chocolate business. Chloe makes hollow chocolate kisses or angels, and puts a prediction into them, something like a fortune cookie. Only much better tasting, as she uses a very good quality of chocolate. Business really went booming when she started to say an old Mayan blessing over the bubbling chocolate her grandfather discovered. But magic is not real, right? It is just that she is getting better at mixing the right amounts together?
And so Chloe’s life is filled, her own business, helping her grandfather as his PA, typing over the handwritten chapters for his next book and his letters. He is an avid correspondent with strange people all over the world. Her free time she likes to spend with two of her childhood friends, Felix, who runs a bookshop called Marked Pages, and Poppy, who works in her mom’s stables. Lately, Felix has begun looking at Chloe as more than just a best friend, but Chloe can only see him as a big brother, and is not interested in him romantically. Poppy has been dating, she really wants to marry and have children of her own. Perhaps she can stear Poppy and Felix together?
Then the cards Zillah reads for her predict that she will meet old acquaintances. And she does run into David. He is still single and finally looking for a house in the country. And he could really use her help. Chloe agrees to meet him in the pub later for a chat, but she really is not interested in more.
The whole village is buzzing with the news that there will be a new vicar coming to town. And apparently, it is a former rock star! But no matter how much pressure Mrs Winter puts on the bishop, his name is not revealed. The vicarage is being renovated though, the garden fixed, and the furniture trucks are arriving. The new vicar will meet with the Parish Council first, and Poppy will tell Chloe all about it. Only time grows late, and Chloe literally runs into him the next morning. To her big surprise, the new vicar is none other than her first love: Raffy Sinclair. And he is just as surprised to find her in this small village. He wants to make his piece with Chloe, but Chloe is not so sure she can forgive him for what he did. He told her he loved her, so why did he leave her like that? Why did he not come to find her? She was not that hard to find. She never told anyone what happened back then, only Zillah, and she suspects that Zillah told her grandfather, especially as strange accidents happen to Raffy. Could her grandfather really be behind that?
I was in the mood for something easy, as I had a big headache and was just feeling meh. The cover and the title both made me pick up this book. I liked it, but I would have liked some more humor in it. I did love the magical bits and pieces though, as I did not expect that. Chloe sure comes from a very strange family. But it is never ridiculed, or over-explained, and I just liked it. Imagine having someone looking like Gandalf all the time as your grandfather, a gypsy in your kitchen, and a young brother who loves to play pranks on your boyfriends as a little brother yourself. Luckily for Chloe, her job of raising Jake is almost done, he turned out very well, and soon she will have time for herself. She loves her job, and her business is booming. She also likes helping her grandfather, even though she is not a pagan like him.
Her two best friends and she have been friends since childhood. Their mothers were friends, and not very good mothers, so they kind of stuck together, helping each other and raising themselves. The village thinks her mother is dead this time, as she disappeared while taking a cruise. But Chloe knows she is still alive, the cards keep telling that, but she really does not want her to come back home. Their lives work as they are, and her selfish mother would only ruin that.
Yes, I liked this story. If you are in the mood for something light and fun, pick op one of Trisha Ashley’s books. I also liked that this takes place in England, with some quaint English sayings and words as it is written by an English author. It is a really nice change of pace.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian