Friday, August 13, 2010

Chocolate Roses by Joan Sowards - Book Review

I can’t believe I have to admit this, but I have never read the book, Jane Eyre. And I was an English major!!! I've read everything from Shakespeare's plays to Paradise Lost, but for some reason Jane Eyre slipped past me.

Luckily the new novel, Chocolate Roses, by Joan Sowards is a parody of this classic story. And though I've never read the original, I enjoyed this book.

Here’s the back-liner of Sowards' novel.

She’s in love…
He’s out of reach…
Is there any hope?


Janie Rose Whitaker’s world revolved around her chocolate shop until Roger Wentworth and his young daughter moved into the apartment across from Janie’s. Anyone would think Roger fit the mold of the “perfect” guy, but soon Janie discovers secrets that could keep them apart forever. Though she resists getting involved in Roger’s complicated life, they are drawn further into a bittersweet relationship.

Sowards brings a fresh new voice to this old tale and makes it fun to read. At the beginning of each chapter she’s added a blurb from Charlotte Bronte’s novel. While you might find Bronte’s old-fashioned writings a bit stuffy, Sowards’ writing pulls you into the story making it her own.

I liked Janie, the heroine. Maybe it was because she owns a Great Dane named Florentine, nickname “Flo” (I’m such an admirer of big dogs in books. I don’t know why :)), or maybe it’s because she makes the most delectable chocolates, OR maybe it’s because Janie is always fighting her weight, but she’s a gal I think most readers would love to get to know.

Roger Wendworth, the hero and a man of mystery, comes into her shop every Tuesday to buy one chocolate rose to be delivered to Eden’s Garden, a hospital for the mentally ill. He’s drop-dead gorgeous and yet he doesn’t seem to know it. He’s too wrapped up in his own world and his four-year-old daughter's life.

As the story progresses you learn there are more layers to Wentworth, that he's involved in a police investigation, and that he may not be what he seems. He’s hiding something, something that could prove deadly if Janie pokes around too much.

Now if you didn’t like Jane Eyre you may not care for this book for it follows the major plot points, but I found it delightful. A word of caution: buy a box of chocolates before you start reading. You're going to want to nibble. ;)

 (Walnut Springs Press published this book. I received a free copy to review, but that in no way influenced whether I liked the book or not.)

3 comments:

  1. Hee hee. I love the book info Kathi! I will for sure pick up those chocolates before I start reading that book. =)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Carolyn,
    Buy some truffles and caramels, too. Make sure you have some wet-wipes so you can turn the pages. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm not going to lie, I thought Jane Eyre was overrated, but this book sounds like it has an interesting premise. I like the idea of a man delivering chocolate roses to a hospital.

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