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The Chocolatier's Wife by Cindy Lynn…
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The Chocolatier's Wife (edition 2012)

by Cindy Lynn Speer

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6216191,731 (3.9)4
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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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book as an Early Reviewer and I'm glad I did because I absolutely loved it! The writing was lyrical and reminiscent of the very best fantasy tales. The characters felt real, with depth and layers continued to unfold about them all as the story progressed. I found myself wanting to go to bed early so I could read and find out what was going to happen next! :-)

The story takes place in an imaginary world where life mates are found through a yearly Mating Spell that begins when they are born. A wise woman, with a drop of the infant's blood, some herbs, a bowl of water, and a magical ritual, eventually the intended life mate will appear on the liquid's surface. For William, the male protagonist, it takes more than a few years, but eventually his bride-to-be is revealed, much to his Mother's dismay when she learns that the girl resides in the dreaded North where magic is abundant and they are all "barbarians". And so begins the relationship between William and Tasmin, through letters and gifts as they get to know each other through their words while they grow into adults, William a captain on a merchant ship sailing dangerous seas, and Tasmin a Mistress of herbal magic and teacher at a magical university.

When Tasmin receives a letter from William that he has given up the sea to open up a shop that makes chocolate she is somewhat surprised, but it's the next communication that throws things upside down when her family receives word that William has been arrested for murder and that Tasmin is free from her obligation to marry him if she so chooses. Her family is overjoyed, not happy that she was bethrothed to one of those "barbarians from the South", but Tasmin has grown to know William through his letters and decides that the man she knows is not guilty of what he is accused and she sets out to go to him and help prove his innocence. What follows is a story of of humour, romance, magical creatures, loyalty and deceit. Twists and turns made me want to keep turning the page (the virtual page, as this was an ebook - my first!), and Speer keeps the story flowing in all directions from a love between two soul mates to the twists and turns of murder and greed.

Filled with whimsical and creative inventions, I found this book a true delight to read and would not hesitate to recommend it highly! In fact, Speer firmly takes her place among my most favourite writers of fantasy, Diana Wynne Jones, Nina Kiriki Hoffman and Robin McKinley. In a world filled with so many fantasies that seem duplicates of each other, The Chocolatier's Wife stands out as something different and imaginative.

I am definitely going to pick up the author's other books and I can only hope that she will write more about William and Tasmin. I miss them already! ( )
  LongDogMom | Apr 5, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received and Early Reviewer's ebook. Overall, I enjoyed it.

In tone, it was something of a tale of manners, with much of the relationship between the affianced pair established through the letters that preceded each chapter. An interesting approach but I found that the content of the letters did not always well match or illuminate the events of the chapter. The setting was intriguing and was much of what initially drew me into the story, along with the mystery, but as the narrative continued I found it somewhat choppy and less satisfying. At times various character's responses to events seemed contradictory or unfounded; I found that in an attempt to keep the mystery going, motivations were not expressed or examined at any great depth.

That said, the use of magic in the setting was unique and intriguing (if not consistent in extrapolation or expression). I especially enjoy books that take a singular magical element and inject it into an otherwise mundane setting and then examine how society/setting is changed and explore the ramifications. I found the book uneven and wanting in that regard but in general enjoyed reading William and Tasmin's story.
  Ethaisa | Mar 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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