Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New Author for January: Sheila Roberts

So, I made the commitment that I would read at least one new author a month in 2013 and I am off to a good start.

Sheila Roberts has been around for a while but this is my first visit with her and her town of Icicle Falls.  After reading “Better than Chocolate” it won’t be my last. 

Why did I choose this book?  To be honest I liked the cover of the book.  The big cups of hot chocolate with floating hearts I couldn’t resist.  It just shouted sweet romance and it didn’t disappoint.

Ms. Roberts writing is similar in style to Debbie Macomber.  Her books revolve around a small town in the Northwest called Icicle Falls and the people who live there.  These are light frothy books.  While there is real conflict in the story; it is handled with a light and silver lining kind of touch.  Each story is complete in itself but is richer for reading the previous installment.

“Better than Chocolate”  features the Sterling family who run the chocolate factory.  The first chocolate candy recipe came to Great Grandma Sterling in a dream.  The rest, as they say, is Icicle Falls history.  Now the factory is in big financial trouble and eldest Sterling, Samantha needs to come up with a good plan to save her family business and the jobs of those depending on Sweet Dreams Chocolate Company.

Enter newly made Bank Manager Blake Preston, former high school football star and now by the book businessman.  The future of Sweet Dreams and the Sterling family is in his hands.  Of course Samantha resents him on first meeting and sparks fly between them. 

The story is filled in with a whole cast of supporting characters like Bill Will the swaggering dancing cowboy.  Samantha’s mom, Muriel Sterling is a writer of self-help books. Then there’s Cass, the owner of Gingerhaus Bakery.  She is one tough cookie.

The Sterling sisters throw everything they have at saving the company and that of course means a chocolate festival over Valentine’s Day weekend.  To make it even sweeter they host a Mr. Dreamy contest.  I can see you smiling.  I know I was.

There is nothing steamy in Ms. Roberts story.  Truth be told the romance between Samantha and Blake is secondary to the community of Icicle Falls.  This was perfect for a cozy weekend by the fire Sheila Robertswith bread baking and stew in the crock pot.  It was that comforting and lovely.

It was great meeting Ms. Roberts and Icicle Falls.  I will definitely be visiting again.

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