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The Chocolatier's Wife (edition 2012)

by Cindy Lynn Speer

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6418186,178 (3.86)5
Member:bkjake
Title:The Chocolatier's Wife
Authors:Cindy Lynn Speer
Info:Dragonwell Publishing (2012), Paperback, 278 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Arc, ebook, 13

Work details

The Chocolatier's Wife by Cindy Lynn Speer

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  1. 00
    Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Although Howl's Moving Castle is considered YA, this book reminded me of it in the whimsical and quirky way the story is written and the romance and magic involved. Both books are delightful!
  2. 00
    Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For fans of epistolary elements.
  3. 00
    Chocolat by Joanne Harris (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For those who enjoy exploring a chocolate shop.
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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
I won this from the Goodreads giveaway.

This is an interesting mystery/fantasy book, but the heroine was too pushy and rude. She was insanely jealous of any other woman, which is ridiculous. The book kept mentioning how she was plain, and I guess she felt inferior.

The book did seem to drag on and on. The ending was quite cliched, like a bad soap opera episode. Overall, it was a decent story but nothing spectacular. ( )
  lesindy | Nov 1, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Good story. Interesting culture clashes (at least three ways, plus the sprites). The way neither of them wanted to admit they were actually happy with the planned marriage was a little annoying, but it didn't actually derail anything so OK - and it was much better than the standard romance tropes of sudden attraction and instant love. The reasons for the plots were - weird. Secret babies and magical artifacts - and what exactly did the Bishop intend to do with it, hiding it that way? But it all made sense as I read, eventually. I kind of agree with William about his brother - he could try harder. Though they found a good solution by the end. Lots of good characterization, description, and plot - I think I'll be looking for more by Speer. I got this as an ER book, I've no idea why it took me so long to read it. Glad I finally got around to it! ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Sep 23, 2014 |
I got this as a LibraryThing Early Reviewer as an ebook. A great romance that kept me reading right to the end. ( )
  bunnyjadwiga | Apr 21, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Fantasy, murder mystery and love story.
Tasmin's fiancé is accused of murder; Tasmin does what she can to save him from execution and uncover the real murderer.
I really enjoyed this novel, it was well-written and the story of Tasmin and William is worked out very well. I liked how Tasmin and William meet and fall in love, even though the circumstances and their families are against it. The mystery surrounding the murder case kept me guessing up to the end, when Speer ties up all lose ends and everything falls into place.
I also very much enjoyed the combination of the murder mystery and love story with fantasy; Speer's descriptions are lively and made me feel like I was part of the universe where Tasmin and William live. For me, this gave the story the bit extra that turned it from an ordinary murder mystery into something more enticing.
A very enjoyable read, I'd definitely be interested in reading more of Speer's work. ( )
  Britt84 | Jun 12, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
On my weblog here.
(I took care to give no obvious spoilers about the story)

Title: The Chocolatier's Wife (on Librarything)
Author: Cindy Lynn Speer
Language: English
Series: no
Format: e-book
Pages: 262
Publisher: Dragonwell Publishing
Year published: original 2010, my edition 2012
ISBN number: 978-0-9838320-8-9
Topic of the book: fantasy, murder investigation, chocolate, magic
Reason for reading: I won it in the Librarything Early Reviewers, but I didn't read it earlier because it was a bit too long to read on the computer monitor. Now I've borrowed an e-reader (to try it), I decided to read this book.
Recommended: Not really.

English summary (from Amazon), because it doesn't have a back cover text:
ROMANCE, MAGIC, MYSTERY.... AND CHOCOLATE
A truly original, spellbinding love story, featuring vivid characters in a highly realistic historical setting. When Tasmin's bethrothed, William, is accused of murder, she gathers her wind sprites and rushes to his home town to investigate. She doesn't have a shred of doubt about his innocence. But as she settles in his chocolate shop, she finds more in store than she bargained for. Facing suspicious townsfolk, gossiping neighbors, and William's own family, who all resent her kind - the sorcerer folk from the North -- she must also learn to tell friend from foe, and fast. For the real killer is still on the loose - and he is intent on ruining William's family at all cost.

Comments on the back cover text:
I had forgotten it was a murder investigation story when I started reading it, because I requested the book quite a while ago and the e-book didn't have a back cover text.

First paragraph:
Time was, in the kingdom of Berengeny, that no one picked their spouses. No one courted — not officially, at any rate — and no one married in a moment’s foolish passion. It was the charge of the town Wise Woman, who would fill her spell bowl with clear, pure water; a little salt; and the essence of roses, and rosemary, and sage. Next, she would prick the finger of the newborn child and let his or her blood drip into the potion. If a face showed in the waters, then it was known that the best possible mate (they never said true love, for that was the stuff of foolish fancy) had been born, and the Wise Woman could then tell where the future spouse lived, and arrangements were made.

Review:
Story:
It didn't start as a murder investigation story, but as a description of a world where people know who they will marry because of a spell. When Tasmin goes to the South to help William solve the murder problem, the story got interesting.
It's more a murder mystery set in a fantasy world than a fantasy story which happens to contain a murder mystery.
Only the two main characters got a bit more depth, and there were some characters who made me wonder what they were doing in the story (as they didn't seem to add anything). There wasn't a lot of foreshadowing either, only a bit, so some characters seemed to appear and some events seemed to happen quite suddenly.
Though all in all, it was enjoyable to read (and it was a good story for testing the e-reader).

Writing style:
Sometimes the English was a bit odd, but I think it was done intentionally (except for the typos listed below, of course).
In some cases it wasn't very clear which character they were talking about or which character was talking, but I didn't keep track of the specific pages where that happened. Overall, it was clear, so the story was easy to follow.

Spelling errors/typos:
Page 37:
...where William had keep his cocoa. >> ...where William had kept his cocoa.
Page 183:
Where the blazes? >> ???
Page 226:
...no sprites opened the door for them She wondered... >> ...no sprites opened the door for them. She wondered...
Page 261:
But who wrote you to tell you were your chocolates were? >> But who wrote you to tell you where your chocolates were?

Art:
Pretty and accurate cover art.

Conclusion:
Each chapter starts with a letter from one of the characters to another, but the font in which those letters are set is not always very easily readable (there were some words I just couldn't figure out - not that they were important words, but still another font would have been better - at least it's not that easy to read on my e-reader).

Rereadability:
No, I don't think I'm going to read this book again. It's a detective story and it's rare for me to reread detective stories or murder mysteries...
  mene | Apr 6, 2013 |
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Time was in the kingdom of Berengeny that no one picked their spouses. No one courted – not officially, at any rate, and no one married in a moment’s foolish passion.
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Book description
Tasmin, William’s wife to be, was chosen by a spell, as all wives and husbands are chosen. It’s a nice, tidy way to find a reasonable mate for almost everyone. Unfortunately, Tasmin is from the North, a place of magic and strange ritual, and William is from the South, where people pride themselves on being above the kind of insanity practiced by the Northerners, which has nothing to do with the fact that most people in the South have lost their ability to practice magic.
William doesn’t seem in a hurry to send for Tasmin, for which none of his family blame him. After all, she’s a barbarian. She, on the other hand, would like to know what’s keeping him. When he’s framed for murdering his patron, Tasmin takes matters into her own hands, harnessing the wind to bring her to William’s side. She’s gotten to know Wiliam from his letters. He’s not a murderer and she’s going to help him prove it.
William, incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit is shunned by his family for the embarrassment, and for giving up the family shipping business for foolishness, and for saddling them with a Hag for a wife, which means he can’t protect Tasmin from his family’s cold dislike of his barbiaran wife-to-be–but that’s not the worst of it. Someone out there doesn’t like him and is begining to dislike Tasmin almost as much, and that someone isn’t at all averse to making sure William and Tasmin aren’t around long enough to celebrate their wedding.

Tasmin, of course, has other plans.
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Cindy Lynn Speer is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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