In Better than Chocolate Pat Amsden tells the tale of two independent people falling passionately in love. Set in Chemainus, a small picturesque seaside town on Vancouver Island, the reader is drawn into the charm and warmth of the community and the hearts and lives of the people who live there.
The story begins when Elena’s over-protective father sends her an unusual birthday present: a handsome business man called Brad. He’s assigned to help her start up the art gallery of her dreams. She’s reluctant to take his help at first, but he proves to be an excellent consultant and. ..so much more.
Torn between her feelings for Brad and her determination to start a business and run it on her own terms, Elena feels she has to make a choice between the two. But does she?
Amsden deftly pulls the reader along. She keeps you wondering how they’re going to make their relationship work …right to the last page. And you find yourself cheering them on.
“…his voice sending shivers down her spine… Right now it was a delicious torment thinking about what would happen when Elena’s [the art gallery] was open.”
I like Amsden’s characters. They’re the kind of people you’d like to have for neighbours, fully human and friendly. Her prose is so smooth the story inhales you, and the pace is just right, like a warm bubble bath.
I would recommend this book to readers who like sweet romance and in particular those that like love in a small town setting.