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on 20 March 2013
I didn't even read the reviews of The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris before I bought it as having read Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe, I knew I liked the authors style of writing and therefore knew I couldn't go far wrong with Chocolate and Paris. It's a perfect read, beautiful descriptions of the most romantic city in the world and lovely believable romances taking place there. It's a great book and the description of Claire and her cancer battle are amazing, touching and well handled. I did shed tears but I also smiled lots. I can't recommend it enough.
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on 26 May 2013
Jenny Colgan has done it again! She has concocted another sweet morsel of a novel in The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris.

When an accident in a chocolate factory in the North of England left thirty-year-old Anna Trent lying in a hospital with two missing toes, she thought her life was never going to be the same again. That was before she knew that her French Teacher, Claire, was in the same hospital room as her. Claire, a patient with terminal Cancer, kept Anna company whilst in hospital. Then she made Anna a proposition of a life-time: To work in a chocolate shop in Paris owned by the only man whom Claire ever loved, Thierry Girard--a master chocolatier.

As the sun rises over the Pont de Neuf, and the cobbled alleyways of Paris come to life, Anna Trent is busy making chocolates the old fashioned way--by hand. As she mixes, blends and tastes the finest chocolates in Paris, the Chateau Chocolat sells them to the grandes dames of Paris.

As the story unfolds, you get to meet and love Claire as she tells the story of her younger self who was sent as an Au Pair (Nanny) to Paris to mind the children of her mother's life-long pen pal, Madame Legarde. While in Paris the young Claire meets and falls in love with the town's master chocolatier, Thierry Girard, owner of the prestigious Le Chateau Chocolat. The pair fall helplessly in love until Claire has to return home to England to resume her studies, leaving behind the man she truly ever loved.

Years later, through Anna Trent, Claire and Thierry meet again and relive their romance for one last time. This book made me cry in places and made my mouth water. I fell in love with the book's characters, the chocolate and the city that brought this book to life. I have always wanted to see Paris and this book transports me to the city of light and romance without having to purchase a ticket. At the end of the book Colgan features a repertoire of chocolate recipes guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds. Each recipe is tested by Colgan herself.
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on 22 July 2013
I've read all of Jenny Colgan's books and I was so looking forward to reading this book. Unfortunately it didn't live up to expectations in fact I have to say I don't think there is really a story worth writing about here. The story seems very patchy.
You read the story through the main characters eyes and at the same time there are past snippets from a friend of the main character when she lived in Paris, which I tried to read but I felt that the only way to read this book in the end was to skip through the friends past snippets as they bored me. I wouldn't waste your money.
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on 25 May 2013
I couldn't put this book down - within a few pages I was hooked and I thought this was a really wonderful story. I always love Jenny Colgan's books and I actually thought this was one of her best. Thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who likes her books or just enjoys a good easy read!
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on 16 June 2013
Not sure why I bought this book - I have tried her Sweet shop book and just couldn't get into it. But I love chocolate and Paris so I thought it was worth a go. I suspected that my first instincts about this book not being for me were correct within the first chapter - the action kicking off with our heroine falling into a vat of chocolate and the 'jokey' aside about people pooing in chocolate. Colgan attempts to give depth to this book with the addition of the ill French teacher and her parallel storyline set in 70s Paris, but the author lacks the writing chops of say JoJo Moyes to pack any real emotional punch. All in all - a sweet idea but there are so many books out there that do this travel/foodie chick-lit thing so much better. Younger readers might enjoy it but I would say anyone over 25 would be better off trying Stella Newman or Eloise James' Paris in Love - which has similar themes (it's non fiction) but is a much more layered and well-written book.
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on 23 June 2013
I was disappointed by this book. I have really enjoyed Jenny Colgan's other books but I found the narrative jumping between the two main characters disruptive rather than adding anything and having one of the main characters being terminally ill with cancer was not the sort of light-hearted escapism that I am looking for with Jenny's books. I enjoyed Meet Me At The Cupcake Cafe much more than this one.
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on 10 March 2014
The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris was provided by Source Books, through Netgalley in return for an honest review

Do not read this book if you are on any sort of diet programme.

The Loveliest chocolate Shop will make you crave chocolate like there is no tomorrow.

Anna works in a large chocolate factory in England. This factory isn't concerned with fine foods or delicate palates. All the matters is that the chocolate that gets churned out has a uniform taste and can be got to the shops as quickly as possible.

When Anna has an accident on the factory floor she ends up on her back in hospital. Here she meets her old French teacher Claire. As Claire is nearing the end of her life she urges Anna to star living hers. In doing so she convinces her to take a place at the most famous chocolate shop in Paris.

As we are taken on Anna's journey forward in life we are also transported back to Claire's past and her wonderful summer with the romantic Thierry. The summer romance is a little clichéd but lovely all the same. My heart really broke for her at the end of the summer when she had to return home.

I loved Anna's Journey through real chocolate making. I loved the descriptions of mixing and conching. I could smell each smell and longed to taste everything they came up with.

I was actually in Paris while reading this book and found myself heading for the nearest bakery every time I read it. The imagery in the book is a little unrealistic but still nice to read. A lot of people still see Paris as a place of romance even though the reality is somewhat different!

Another thing that I found odd was the reaction to what Claire's and the childrens mother did. Anna was very blasé about it all when in fact what they really did was ruin her teenage years. All the time she was wondering why, they had the answer. I suppose they thought they were acting in her best interests but I really felt for her.

The first two thirds of the book are fairly slowly paced but I found the ending very abrupt. It was always going to be sad, sort of like taking a band aid off. Make it fast and quick :(

I would recommend the loveliest chocolate shop in Paris to anyone looking for a light, romantic read. Just make sure you have some good quality chocolate beside you!
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After finishing the Cupcake Café books by Jenny Colgan I was looking forward to this one. In this book we meet Anna Trent who works at a Chocolate Factory. Anna doesn'...t appeal that much as a character in the beginning. She has had an accident at work and is recovering in hospital. She meets her old French teacher Claire who is also being treated in the hospital. However, Anna is at an all time low and seems quite depressed with everything. As Anna is on the mend her relationship with Claire grows and she learns a little more about Claire's life growing up.

It took me a little while to warm to Anna, but slowly I began to see the girl she was before. When Claire offers her a once in a lifetime opportunity to work in Paris it takes Anna some time to come around to the idea. Anna soon learns that Claire's former sweetheart is a well known chocolate maker and he makes his chocolate entirely by hand. Once Anna makes the decision to try it and arrives at the strange and quirky shop, the story takes off a little bit more.

Anna meets the famous Thierry as well as the two guys in the shop. In addition she meets Thierry's son and there is of course the outlandish character she is living with Sami. As usual Jenny Colgan has done a stellar job with describing Paris and catching the magic, but the characters just didn't grab me like they usually would. I certainly warmed to Anna, but actually preferred Claire, whose story we see in sections throughout the book where we flash back to Anna's past in Paris.

The second half of the book was slightly better than the first half and although I enjoyed it I just felt it was lacking something. I have read a lot of Jenny's books and especially loved the Cupcake books. Maybe I am making too much of a comparison but this one just wasn't one of my favourites. I will as usual be eagerly reading all her other books I haven't read and will look forward to any new releases. I just think I couldn't get along with the characters in this one as well as others.

My Rating: 3/5
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on 10 July 2013
The story follows Anna who is recovering from a freak accident and her former French teacher Claire,who is fighting cancer. They meet in hospital and strike up a friendship, valuing each other much more than they had during the pupil/teacher relationship. The women bring out the best in each other, inspiring each other to push themselves and strive to reach for their dreams. Claire encourages Anna to persue her flair for the French language, and arranges for Anna to work with Thierry, a famous chocolatier in Paris. The novel follows Anna's experiences in France with handsome,stubborn Laurent and extrovert, flamboyant Sami.

A comforting, mouthwatering read that reflects on first love and last wishes, The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris is a beautifully written novel with likeable characters. A lovely summer read that would be equally enjoyable on a sunlounger or in winter snuggling up under a blanket with a mug of hot chocolate. It has also inspired me to try and learn a little bit of French again, it really is a glamorous, seductive language- I can see why Claire and Anna are so passionate about the language.

The book ends with a selection of recipes for chocolatey delights, an extra treat in a book that is sweet in every sense. From rice krispie cakes to chocolate plaits from the recipe book of a Great British Bake Off champ, there is something for bakers of all abilities to try.

Highly recommended, but you may need tissues! 8/10
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on 6 June 2013
I was worried this book would be just more "chic lit" but it was a wonderful moving read that transported me back to Paris. I loved it.
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