BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE
Strong and determined women wrapped up in sinful chocolate is the recipe for Roberts’ inspiring Life in Icicle Falls series starter. It’s exciting to see the female characters evolve from page to page, and the parallel lives of one woman learning to stand on her own and another learning to lean on others for support is a testament to each woman discovering her own inner strength. My only criticism is the romance for one of the characters seems thrown in for good measure and doesn’t fit well.
Samantha Sterling has just buried her stepfather, Waldo, but all she can think about is the fate of her family’s business, Sweet Dreams Chocolate Company. The company is standing on its last leg, but Samantha is determined to save it. Her big idea, with the help of her sisters, is to throw a chocolate festival that gets all of the neighboring businesses involved. Unbeknownst to her, new bank manager Blake Preston, though in charge of her loan, secretly wants her to succeed and is working his magic to keep her dream afloat. (MIRA, Oct., 400 pp., 7.99)