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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

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8820137,094 (3.89)8
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

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The Chocolatier's Wife by Cindy Lynn Speer

  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 22 (next | show all)
Tasmin and William live in a country where marriages are arranged by magic: at birth, a spell is cast to see if the child's most suitable mate has been born yet. If they have, the parents make contact. If not, the spell is repeated yearly. After seven years, William's future wife has been born - unfortunately, he lives in the nearly-unmagical south, and she lives in the magical north.

Despite the fact that neither of their families are happy with the match (the author has a certain amount of fun with the fact that the north and south of the country - which were once divided by war - each believe almost identical evil things of each other) Tasmin and William exchange letters throughout their youth. We get to read the letters throughout the story, so you do have to get used to a bit of back-and-forthing in time, but it's a good touch which helps us to get to know the two main characters. William is a merchant sea captain in his family's business; Tasmin is a herb-witch with a possible high-status future in front of her at the university - but only if she manages to get out of the betrothal to William.

Then William gives up his position in the family business and buys a shop intending to sell chocolate. Swiftly after that - within the first week of the shop opening - he is accused of the murder-by-chocolate of the local bishop. When Tasmin's family hear about this, they are thrilled - of course this is a reason to repudiate the betrothal. Tasmin, however, immediately packs her bags and leaves for the south to support William and try to find out who the real killer is.

There are many ways that this scenario could have been written; as it is, in many ways this is more of a love story than anything else. There are many issues that the author touches upon: arranged marriage (the advantages and disadvantages of), the problem of being married to someone you hardly know (even if you do know that s/he is your best match), and the problems of infertility in a society that values the ability to pass on property 'down the line'. There is deceit, and the question of what is honourable conduct. However, I never really doubted that Tasmin and William would win through in the end. This is not a book that puts you through the emotional wringer. Nor is it particularly deep. But it's a pleasant read and the author has constructed an original setting. I enjoyed it, and I've now read it more than once. I'll almost certainly read it again. ( )
  T_K_Elliott | Mar 12, 2017 |
Magic and murder, what more could I ask for? I really enjoyed this. My only minor complaint is that occasionally the author used expressions which were too British for the fantasy world -- why would the people of Berengeny refer to bedlam as madness for example?

I will look for more books by Speer! ( )
  leslie.98 | Sep 24, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
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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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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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