Samantha Sterling has at long last been put in charge of her family's Sweet Dreams Chocolate Company only to discover Sweet Dreams is on the brink of ruin. Samantha stiffens her spine, refusing to admit defeat before she even gets started. She sets about tackling the company's problems, chief of which she sees as the new bank manager, Blake Preston.
Even when Samantha thinks she's found the perfect fix for the town's and Sweet Dream's problems, new issues pile up up on the old. She's a fighter. She gets her fix of chocolate and sets out to tackle each new problem as it arises. Samantha's gumption in the face of seemingly impossible odds, the way she keeps on keeping on, is as inspiring a story as I've ever read. The word defeat is not in Samantha's vocabulary, but love, hope and faith are.
Who doesn't like chocolate? This delightful paperback by Sheila Roberts is filled with wonderful characters and writing to keep this reader's interest high as she follows Samantha Sterling through one letdown after another in her desperate quest to raise funds to save her Sweet Dreams Chocolate shop from the bank's threatened foreclosure.
Roberts immediately draws the reader into the story and keeps her there with her lively writing and well-developed characters that include Samantha's mother and sisters, and pretty much the town of Icicle Falls, Washington. She tries to get the new banker in town, old school chum Blake Preston, to extend her loan with charm and the bribery of a gift basket of chocolate; but Blake is allergic to chocolate, driving her to creativity plus.
The author's special way with words and lively writing kept me turning the pages. For example, about the gift basket she'd given Blake hoping to inspire his good will, but he didn't give in about the loan due:
"Her ship had already gone down...And she'd given him treats to eat while he watched her turn blue...she stood and plucked the (gift) basket from his lap.
He blinked in shock. "What?"...
And with her peace offering clutched tight she turned and marched out of the bank."
As an added plus, the book offers several pages of chocolate treat recipes at the end of the story.
Also, inserted between the pages is a plastic-covered recipe for Lavender-White Chocolate Scones for those ready to race to the kitchen and create something chocolate.
This latest novel by Sheila Roberts left me smiling and happy and wanting to read more of her work.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the author's publicist in exchange for an honest review.
*Reviewed by guest reviewer, Delores Goodrick Beggs.
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