Chocolate expert Chantelle Cummings arrives in Marietta, Montana with two goals—sign copies of her new book and research a quaint local chocolate shop. When she meets a gorgeous guy passing out chocolate samples, her visit turns sweeter than she ever imagined. The man melts her heart, but her dream of working in France with her family makes her hesitant to pursue a romance.

Former Air Force captain York Parker has one month before embarking upon a consulting career. He never expected to be selling chocolates, but he’s happy to help his sister and her boss. He also likes spending time with sassy, pretty Chantelle. His new co-worker may have the chocolate touch, but he’d rather taste her decadent kisses… That is, until he learns the real reason she’s in town.

Will the truth harden his heart, or will love pave the way to a sweet future?

Titles in the Love At The Chocolate Shop series include:  Melt My Heart, CowboyA Thankful HeartMontana Secret SantaThe Chocolate CureThe Valentine QuestCharmed by Chocolate The Chocolate ComebackThe Chocolate Touch – Sweet Home Cowboy –

Title:  The Chocolate Touch
Series:  Love At The Chocolate Shop #8
Author:  Melissa McClone
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  May 4, 2017
Publisher:  Tule publishing
My Rating:  4.5 stars

I, like many readers, have been waiting for York’s story after the glimpses we had of this loving older brother in both Nevada and Dakota’s stories.  I was totally smitten by York and he turned out to be everything I’d imagined about him and a bit more.  I have to be frank and say that it took a bit longer for me to get onto Chantelle’s side.  There was just enough information about Chantelle’s famous chocolate family and their business practices to have me hesitating over her involvement with York.  Sure, each had other life plans, neither had planned on settling down let alone together in Marietta – yet I spent the majority of this story thinking ‘please, please don’t be doing what I don’t want to think you’re doing’.  So that when the reveal came I completely understood York’s, Dakota’s and especially Sage’s reaction. (Oh, I so want to discuss this part and give my reasoning but I can’t as it would give away major spoilers)  So I have to give major kudos to Melissa McClone for writing this story from a perspective that left motivation open to the reader’s interpretation of events.  I frankly think that took courage and talent to allow us to like Chantelle in general but still wonder what she’s doing.

You could easily call York and Chantelle’s romance a slow burn.  They each had plans that they felt were etched in stone, and at best a light momentary fling might be all that they could have.  Yet love has other intentions and they slowly, but certainly built into a romantic situation where life changes had to be considered.  In many ways they both were placed between a rock and a hard place – and had to come up with their own unique solution to loving someone so much but with such different life plans.  There is one concept that isn’t used a lot in romance and that’s simply when two people are willing to find a compromise to their situation the barriers can fall away to allow that happy ending to come true.

I enjoyed The Chocolate Touch very much, although not for perhaps the usual reasons.  York and Chantelle have to overcome so much to be together  But they find the way to get past things that would break many couples apart.  Yes, this is a fun romance but it also held some deeper emotions for me, I happen to enjoy the complex… and this couple certainly had that happening around them.

I would highly recommend The Chocolate Touch and all the stories in the Love At The Chocolate Shop series for any Romance reader.  You’ll find a solid story, believable characters, issues to be dealt with and secondary characters who have their own stories that add so much to the current one.  This one might make you think how you’d react in a similar situation.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available for the Kindle