Published: Harlequin Mira
Source: Own book
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.
Better Than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts is the first in her Icicle Falls series. It is set in a small town that I imagine I would find very picturesque if I went there.
The family chocolate company is in danger of being taken over by the bank unless Samantha can rescue it. Her step father has put them in a very precarious condition and now it looks like they may lose a long standing family business.
Not only has her step father left the business in danger, he has left his grieving wife financially in a tight spot. I liked this aspect of the book as I have a strong belief that all women should be financially literate!
The family rallies together as do all the people in the town, ideas and hard work ensue. Samantha crosses swords with the new bank manager Blake Preston, a local boy returning to take up an important job in the town. There is some sparks between the two, however they did not really gel for me as a couple. Their sparring and eventual reconciliation just felt a little blah to me. Samantha's sister Cecily seemed to have more sparks going with one of the local bar owners. Perhaps something will come of that in a later book in the series.
I didn't fall immediately in love with this book - but I have the rest of the series so will see how it develops. I would like to see how life goes for the sisters of Samantha and Muriel their mother.
1. Better Than Chocolate
2. Merry Ex Mas
3. What She Wants
4. The Cottage at Juniper Ridge
5. The Lodge on Holly Road
6. The Teashop on Lavender Lane