Grade: B - Hot chef, take me away!

The Chocolate Heart - Laura Florand
"Welcome to my kingdom, Summer Corey."

Luc Leroi, the most coveted chef in Paris, used to panhandle on the Metro with his father. His days of dancing and doing tricks are in the past. Now people clamor for a taste of him, but not Summer. She refuses his exquisite confections.

Like some sweet little beauty had stroked her hand down his body, curled it around his dick, and then slapped the fucking hell out of him.

Summer Corey, the only child of jet-setting parents, found some self-worth on a remote island far from the taint of father's wealth and condemnation. It's her refuge and source of happiness until her father emotionally blackmails her into 'managing' a luxurious Paris hotel. Her first mistake is insulting the hotel's chef by mistaking him for a bellboy. Her second mistake is propositioning him and all he sees is a 'spoiled little rich girl.'

There's more to Luc and Summer than meets the eye. Their pasts have shaped them and hardened their hearts. Will his confections melt her heart? Will she share a 'real' smile just for him? It'll be a battle of the heart, mind and soul.

The Chocolate Heart may now be my favorite in the series...or it may be a tie with The Chocolate Touch. Spoiled little rich girls are not easy to pull off, but Summer has a viciousness that's balanced by her vulnerability. Her character is perfectly constructed. I understand her. Luc is another delectable Florand hero - passionate, artistic, and unable to hold up his defenses against his heroine. There's also a touch of fate involved in this romance, and there's something that I wish would have been in the book, but maybe the author thought it would have been too sentimental to include. Either way, the ending came too quick and the epilogue tied-up everything with too perfect a bow. Still, Ms. Florand makes me want to fly to France, troll restaurants and pâtisseries for sexy chefs, and gorge my American-self.