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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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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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The story alternates between the past with Claire's stay in Paris to the present with Anna's adventures in Paris. Anna has been working in a chocolate factory so when she has an accident that leaves her a little lost in direction until her old French School Teacher Claire arranges for her to have a taster at working with a chocolatier friend of hers in Paris.

The amount of research that must have gone into this book shines through from the picturesque setting of Paris to the mouth-wateringly detailed description of chocolate making and tasting I only wish the author would have found it in her heart to have invited me along for the research!

There is more than just a beautiful setting in Paris and heavenly chocolate to this story there is also romance which I am sure you would expect from a book set in the romantic Paris. There was a particularly emotional part in this book as well which was very touching. One of my favourite books is Meet me at the Cupcake Café which is also by this author and I am sure a lot of you who are reading this review would have read it, that book has a very warm cosy feel to the book whereas this book feels a little more chic and traditional.

I did find the choice of injury to Anna a little bizarre but I did love her character she seemed to have come to a point in her life where she needed a little push in the right direction so she could make the most of her life which I think most of us can sympathise with.

One thing that seemed to be a great hit in this authors books are the recipes she gives us and I am pleased to tell you that they feature in this book too. I am very tempted to make the Malteser Cake!
This is a fantastically written book that will get those taste buds dancing, I thoroughly enjoyed this book now I can't wait for Christmas at Rose Hopkins' Sweet Shop.
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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 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 22 August 2015
I don't often like stories which dot around from one time period to another but in this book, because the two main female characters, Anna and Claire, are so closely linked, it worked. I loved the Parisian detail which felt truly authentic - I have visited Paris both in the 1960s and the present day myself - and the two women's love stories were so well linked to the social mores of the times that my heart bled for Claire, whose restricted, highly moral upbringing separated her from the love of her life until (almost) too late. If I have a criticism, it's that I found the fact of the two male characters being father and son a bit contrived. It might have been better if they had been uncle and nephew, or even boss and employee. But that's a minor quibble. The book is a lovely, satisfying read - rejoice all ye chocolate lovers - the author has included some yummy chocolate recipes at the back. Wish I hadn't bought the e-book! I shall just have to photograph my Kindle screen instead.
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on 22 May 2013
Ordered this for my mother who is a total Francophile. She loved it, she said it was a slow start but once into it she couldn't put it down and will read it again. In fact she enjoyed it so much she wants to get it in French language.
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on 31 December 2015
My first book by this author, although I have read books by other more whimsical authors set in Paris and marinated in the flavour of chocolate. This one is by far the best.

Anna Trent, working class, from a depressed Northern town, loses her job in the chocolate factory after suffering an industrial injury. She is given the opportunity to travel to Paris and work for a famous artisan chocolatier. A new world of possibilities opens up. Her contemporary story is interwoven with that of Claire and her thwarted 1970's love affair.

This tender, enchanting story made me laugh and cry. The delicious recipes at the end of the book are a delightful bonus.
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on 3 October 2014
Claire and Anna. Two women's stories in this bubbly book. Lots of happiness and still very realistic about love, life and chocolate!

Caused by an accident in the chocolate factory in England where Anna is working, se looses two toes. In the hospital she meets her previous French teacher Claire, gravely ill with cancer. A friendship grows between the two and Claire suggests that Anna go to Paris to work in a famous chocolate shop.

It's like a fairy tale. Despite old age and illness, love has survived and what should have been only sad and awful becomes a happy and wonderful late life rendevouz in perfect harmony. The description of Paris is beautiful and so alive; you can close your eyes and just be there.

Jenny Colgan writes about real life, but always tinged with lots of laughter, fun and happiness. Her characterization is brilliantly colourful. The description of the dancing scene from "la Boheme" breathtaking.

And of course the making of fresh chocolate. Chocolate to be eaten the very same day. Made with fresh creme, no digestives.
A feast to read about and I'm sure, a feast to taste.

Colgan creates happiness with her bubbly writing. I have just ordered more of her books and can only recommend from the deepest of my heart. Especially if you are a little down, read Jenny and eat chocolate!!
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VINE VOICEon 14 January 2014
Anna has had an accident and ended up in Hospital....her life has been changed forever....she meets her old French teacher, Claire, and to wind away the hours Claire teaches Anna french....She is an apt pupil and when she leaves hospital....with no job or prospects.....Claire encourages her to travel to France.....to work at a lovely chocolate shop.....
Its a lovely story of love,loss, adventure and chocolate.....An enjoyable way to spend a few hours.......
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