Quirky and endearing.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
Ellie Sanchez wants revenge. Spurned during her school days at prestigious Monty’s academy when she was plain Eleanor Finch, and played second fiddle to her idol, Barnaby Westwood, and his show-off sister, Clementine, Ellie will stop at nothing to turn the tables now she’s all grown up. The siblings and their snubbing have been the catalyst for everything that’s gone wrong in her life, from parental neglect to her divorce.
When the Westwood travel merchandise company advertises for a new HR manager, Ellie decides her unique combo of karma and Law of Attraction has finally come good. And she’ll be bagging herself a cherry-on-the-cake, second, and richer, husband in the process – once Barnaby sees how much she’s changed, anyway.
Fast forward two years and he STILL doesn’t recognise her!
Fast forward two years and the company is in a financial mess.
Last Chance Saloon-style, Ellie coerces the siblings and their older sister, Brooke (the perpetual spanner in her works) to a rustic gîte in Normandy for a spot of team-building… over a very ‘special’ box of artisan chocolates.
Cue ALL the fireworks in the cocoa bean version of Jumanji…
WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK
I will keep this review short since The Chocolate Box was not my kind of book. The book is unconventional. Though I like reading unconventional stories, unfortunately, I could not engage with this book.
The book can be categorized into women’s fiction, but it can also come under another genre that I cannot tell, as it will be a spoiler.
The first half of the book is lovely. It introduces all the characters in the book and provides their backstories as well. May sketches vivid descriptions of the characters from the stuck-up, selfish brother-sister duo, Barnaby and Clementine to the level-headed elder sister Brooke to the low-on-self-esteem-but-good-hearted Ellie.
The first half also builds the anticipation about how exactly Ellie will trigger a revolutionary change in the Westwood family and how she is going to make Barnaby fall in love with her. I was eagerly leafing through the pages to find out.
However, as I kept flipping the pages and progressed into the second half things started getting bizarre and bizarre until I could not comprehend it anymore. I was flabbergasted to know how Ellie would be achieving her goals. I also did not warm to the twist nearing the end.
However, it was the delectable descriptions of a variety of chocolates that made me read till the end. It had to be. After all, look at the cover! Chocolates are the attraction of this novel. The second half is full of descriptions of loads of scrumptious chocolates. Take care not to read the book when you are hungry. If you do not have access to delicious chocolates, you might end up feeling grumpy.
To conclude, I liked some parts of the book but did not like others. I would recommend The Chocolate Box by Isabella May to readers seeking stories of self-discovery and loads of chocolates in their fiction.
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Magical Realism|| Pages: 350 || Published on November 2020
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Many thanks to Rachel @ Rachel’s Random Resources for organizing this blog tour. Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book. This does not affect my opinion on the book. I opted to provide an honest review on my blog.
Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalusia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the mountains and the sea. Having grown up on Glastonbury’s ley lines however, she’s unable to completely shake off her spiritual inner child, and is a Law of Attraction fanatic, as well as a Pranic Healer.
After a degree in Modern Languages and European Studies at UWE, Bristol (and a year working abroad in Bordeaux and Stuttgart), Isabella bagged an extremely jammy and fascinating job in children’s publishing… selling foreign rights for novelty, board, pop-up and non-fiction books all over the world; in every language from Icelandic to Korean, Bahasa Indonesian to Papiamento!
All of which has fuelled her curiosity and love of international food and travel – both feature extensively in her cross-genre novels, fused with a dollop of romcom, and a sprinkle of magical realism.
You can follow her Foodie Romance Journey series at the following hang-outs: