Christmas Livingstone has ten rules for happiness, the most important of which is 'absolutely no romantic relationships'.
In The Chocolate Apothecary, her enchanting artisan store in Tasmania, she tempers chocolate and creates handmade delicacies. Surrounded by gifts for the senses, in this shop chocolate isn't just good for you, it's medicine.
And then one day a stranger arrives at her front door - a dishevelled botanist seeking her help. She really doesn't need Lincoln van Luc to walk into her life, even if he does have the nicest blue eyes, the loveliest meddling grandmother and a gorgeous newly rescued dog. She really doesn't need any of it. Or does she?
Set across Tasmania, Paris and Provence, this is a glorious novel of a creative woman about to find out how far in life a list of rules will take her, with an enticing tangle of freshly picked herbs, pots of flowers and lashings of chocolate scenting the air.
Every time Josephine Moon releases a book I snatch it up as soon as possible because I know whats ahead; a perfect cosy evening with a cup of tea and a fantastic read.
Warning, this book will make you crave chocolate and adventure!
A truly delicious light hearted read. - Caitlin (QBD)
A light-hearted, entertaining read
The Chocolate Promise is the second novel by Australian author, Josephine Moon. Christmas Livingstone is a busy woman! She owns The Chocolate Apothecary, the place to go in the little Tasmanian town of Evandale for chocolate, flowers and massage. She is also the Evandale Fairy Godmother, granting wishes to needy souls. She firmly believes that chocolate has medicinal properties, so when her best friend, Emily manages to win for Christmas a week-long scholarship with the world renowned chocolatier, Master le Coutre, in France, she knows it is an opportunity too good to miss.
But it also represents a chance to find the French father she has never met, and Christmas is ambivalent about that. But a break from Lincoln van Luc, a gorgeous botanist who sets her heart pounding is welcome: after all, her ten rules for happiness include â€œno romantic relationshipsâ€, and Christmas finds herself in great danger of falling in love.
Moon gives the reader some delightful characters (Elsa is bound to be a favourite), a sweet romance, a jaunt through Tasmania, Paris and Provence, an amusing example of a Chinese whisper and lots of chocolate. Christmas does begin to irritate towards the end with her drama queen antics, as does Lincoln with his about-face moves, but they ultimately have their hearts in the right place. It is fortunate that the events of this novel all take place mid-year, as trying to separate Christmas (the character) from Christmas (the celebration) would have been confusing. The rhyming descriptions of minor characters is a cute touch.
Moon gives her characters some words of wisdom: â€œBeing alive is a risk. You risk dying every single day. But you canâ€™t let is stop you living. And nothingâ€¦nothingâ€¦you can do will stop death from coming eventually. So the only choice you have is to liveâ€ And some astute observations: â€œI always feel different when Iâ€™m overseas. Thereâ€™s something very liberating about it. Like all the old definitions of yourself donâ€™t apply because thereâ€™s no one around to insist on their own version of who you areâ€. This is a light-hearted, entertaining read with plenty of (mostly) mouth-watering descriptions of chocolate.