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on 10 March 2017
This is the fourth or fifth (I loose count now) ofJenny Colgn's books I've read but this is by far my favourite to date.

A gorgeous story of the decisions people take in life, a reminder of how precious life is and the simplistic joys that w may take for granted.

This is an 'easy read' but that does not mean its not intricate in its way and joyous. You're taken on the journey of two women, that could be any one of us, through life's twists and turns.

A gorgeous tale of experiences and character growth with humour and emotion. This book made me smile and shed a tear (this is no mean feat for a book, or film, if I'm honest!).

I'm now off to learn French, eat chocolate (artisan chocolate of course, not the mass produced crap!), and book a weekend away in that most gorgeous city, Paris.
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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 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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on 12 July 2013
Title: The Loveliest Chocolate Shop In Paris
Author: Jenny Colgan
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: March 2013

Life is sweet in this heartwarming tale of a little chocolate shop in Paris, by the bestselling author of Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop of Dreams and Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe.
Mouth-watering recipes inside!

As dawn breaks over the Pont Neuf, and the cobbled alleyways of Paris come to life, Anna Trent is already awake and at work; mixing and stirring the finest, smoothest, richest chocolate; made entirely by hand, it is sold to the grandes dames of Paris.
It's a huge shift from the chocolate factory she worked in at home in the north of England. But when an accident changed everything, Anna was thrown back in touch with her French teacher, Claire, who offered her the chance of a lifetime - to work in Paris with her former sweetheart, Thierry, a master chocolatier.
With old wounds about to be uncovered and healed, Anna is set to discover more about real chocolate - and herself - than she ever dreamed.

I am such a huge fan of Jenny Colgan's book, they are always so good, tempting and have brilliant recipes of either cakes, sweets or even chocolate now! Her books always stand out on shelves, you always know a Jenny Colgan book, they are just superb!

The Loveliest Chocolate Shop In Paris was a fabulous book with two of my favourite things ever Chocolate and Paris, Love them both very much. We meet Anna Trent who works in a chocolate factory in England until she has an accident and loses some toes...Yes bit gross I know! but while being in hospital recovering, she meets her old french teacher Claire who is currently battling Cancer. They strike up conversations and a lovely friendship better than when it was teacher & pupil. Claire soon encourages Anna to follow her dream and learn how to make proper smooth chocolate in France with Thierry, Claire's old flame and a famous chocolatier in Paris.

It is a wonderful book! a best for chocoholic's & for people who love Paris like myself. I love reading about Anna's adventure's while in Paris, having to put up with the stubborn Laurent. I loved how Anna got to make chocolate with Thierry, although two of his workers weren't so nice to begin with but soon changed their minds eventually.

I did think the choice of Anna's injury was a bit weird but the story line was just amazing, you can easily picture the chocolate shop in Paris in your mind and how you can imagine drooling outside the shop seeing the chocolate..
I loved how you flicked between Anna and Claire, it was sweet because you got to read how Claire & Thierry's relationship blossomed but came crashing down until they get to meet for one last time.
This book is certainly one to treasure and the best part is Jenny put some chocolate recipes in the back of the book, boy do they get my mouth watering..may have to try a couple of the recipes myself!

For huge fan's of Jenny Colgan's book are certainly going to love this book just like all her other ones. I cannot wait for her next one already!
Go Grab your copies now ladies!!
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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 7 May 2013
The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris is not only an interesting read but a novel that offers a clear insight into Parisian culture and the world of handmade chocolate. I got a real sense of Paris with its tiny cobbled streets, smells of fresh bread and coffee, history and architecture.

The writing style is very engaging and descriptive, a great story idea and a funny start with Anna in fits of laughter and covered in chocolate. Why was she covered in so much chocolate and lying on the floor? Colgan's knowledge on chocolate making, the herbs and expertise shows she must have spent considerable amount of time with a chocolatier. What a lucky lady. The details of chocolate making, the preparation and how the characters worked is so believeable.

Parts of this book is written in the first person and other parts in the third person. I've never read a book written in this way and surprised to find I wasn't confused having to switch point of view every few chapters. The descriptions of Paris were amazing and would make anyone want to visit and perhaps visit the places mention in the book.

The main character, Anna Trent, her part is written in the first person. After her nasty accident at work Anna is admitted to hospital where she bumps into an old Primary school French teacher called Claire, who is also a patient at the hospital. They form a grown-up friendship and Claire offers to help Anna to find another job to work in a chocolate shop in Paris. Anna is thrilled by this opportunity and to get away from the little town that she lives in.

Claire is very much a part of the main story in this novel and when the story focuses on Claire it goes into a third person narrative, back to her youth. So you get to see what sort of person Claire was and the history between her and Thierry, the chocolatier in Paris she knew from her youth. This angle gave the book more depth.

Anna, being in a foreign land often noticed the intricate things about Paris. The way roads narrowed until they disappeared into nothing, the shops and how they came to life early in the morning. There were a quite a few lines in the book that brought the scenes of Paris to life for me such as: `Paris laid out in front like a huge tray of macaroons,' and how the `light in Paris felt like dripping gold.' Mmm how nice is that.

I loved all the characters in the book, Thierry and his out-going nature and love of good food and duck. Laurent and his funny odd sayings, and Alice, I wasn't keen on Alice at all but, there's always one character not to like in a book and it was her, what a cow. For me there weren't many laugh out loud moments (apart from Laurent's sayings and Sami's eyeliner) I wouldn't say its a comedy as far as comedies go but definitely an interesting read with romance. The romance not only exuded from some of these characters but also from the city of Paris itself.

I could see myself reading this again and would recommend it. Jenny took me to Paris with this book and left me yearning for more chocolate. Brilliant!
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on 11 August 2014
I love Jenny's books for complete escapism and to just snuggle down and drift off into somewhere cosy. And this book didn't fail to disappoint! Having been to Paris many years ago myself, I thought that Jenny did a brilliant job of capturing the quintessential Parisian feel - the cobbled streets, the people, just the magical romance of the city. The only place I felt a bit let down was by the ending - I don't want to give anything away but I thought the ending felt very rushed. It was obvious where the book was heading but it all tied up in the last 2 pages almost as though a deadline needed to be reached. I would give this book 3 1/2 stars if I could and I look forward to my next Jenny Colgan read!
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on 13 April 2013
I adore the Cupcake books so was delighted to see Jenny had written this.

It starts off terrifically with Anna having an accident in the chocolate factory where she works. Whilst in hospital she meets her old schoolteacher, Claire Shawcross, and they strike up a wonderful friendship.

The story jumps between Claire's story in 1972, and Anna's in the present day. Claire sends Anna to Paris, where she had been in 1972, for her to convalesce and try and regain some confidence after her terrible injuries. Anna stays with the wonderful Sami and works at the chocolate shop for the really nice Thierry who is estranged from his handsome son, Laurent.

The story sadly fell a little flat to me when I got to the middle of the book and I became quite bored (something which I have never done with Jenny's books before) and really wanted the story to end. The final quarter does pick up somewhat but this is nowhere near as enjoyable as her other reads, sadly.

It won't deter me from reading any of Jenny's further books though.

Sorry, Jenny :-(
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on 27 July 2014
I hadn't read any of Jenny Colgan's books before (apart from the Dr Who one, which I really enjoyed). I picked this one up because... well Chocolate... who can resist.

It's a nice story and I enjoyed the descriptions of the chocolate making. I didn't feel the romance between the two young characters was substantial enough. It seemed a little force. The story of the two older characters was haunting and beautiful. Really, it was the book belonged to Thierry and Claire.

I liked the light hearted writing style and the descriptions of Paris in general and the chocolate shop especially.

I'll read more Jenny Colgan books, I think.
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on 25 June 2014
Recently started to reading Jenny Colgan books and everyone has been well worth the read.
This is the story of two women who fall in love with Paris however they were never the same again but there is a connection between the two in more ways than one.
Anna Trent has had a horrific accident in the chocolate factory where she works and after recovering in hospital is jobless and depressed. While in hospital, her old French teacher, Claire Shawcross was moved into the bed next to her while undergoing chemotherapy. Anna practices her French with Claire who gently corrects her and they become quite close.
Anna goes to Paris on the invitation from Claire trying to find an old love, the story unfolds and the reader is willing the conclusion to reunite the old lovers.......
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