It’s no secret at all how much I love Laura Florand’s books. I’ve raved about it often here on the blog. I have to thank Chachic @ Chachic’s Book Nook for putting this wonderfully talented author on my reading radar. I was so excited when I read that she would be organizing an event to celebrate Laura Florand and her amazing books. It has been a great week indeed, reading guest posts from authors and bloggers alike who’ve found comfort, joy, and love in her books. I know the week-long event is coming to an end soon but I can’t let it pass without having to share why I love her books.
When I first read The Chocolate Thief, although not my favorite in the series (because that would be The Chocolate Touch and The Chocolate Temptation), I remembered really enjoying reading it and thinking that it was really something different and I mean that in the most positive way. I never thought this series would mean so much to me but now I can’t imagine never getting to read these books. And so as I gush about it, let me try and explain to you why I love Laura Florand’s books and why I think you would really love them too.
1. Paris and other picturesque places in France. I’ve never been to France but I’ve always dreamed to traveling there. Reading about it as the setting of Laura’s books made the places feel more alive inside my head. I love that the settings in her books are like characters in the books themselves. These settings play an important role in the stories and they play it very well.
2. Chocolates and pastries. I admit wholeheartedly that I have a very sweet tooth. I’d probably pick chocolates and pastries over every other food. They’re a category all their own in my diet. And gosh, the way they’re described in Laura’s books, it’s enough to make you want to buy something sweet once you’ve start reading the books. I love how Laura makes use of these wonderful food from the gods in communicating emotions to her readers. The metaphors are just really spot-on so you get this picture of the perfect dessert and the feels from that perfect romantic moment.
3. The Heroes. How long before a reader falls for one of Laura’s heroes? How about the first three pages where you first meet him? And that might even be too long. It might be love at first sight or not but the characters of these heroes will just grab you and never let go, even after you’ve turned that last page. They’re talented, driven, passionate, dedicated and that’s just with their respective arts. When it comes to romance and the women they fall in love with, well, let’s just say they’re all those things I’ve already mentioned and then some… or more… much, much more. But what I really, really love about Laura’s heroes and what I think really sets her books apart from the others is that she’s able to write about these amazing men who, while still having that alpha thing going on, can still feel vulnerable, and hurt, and unsure, and a complete softy. These do not take away from their strong personalities but actually endear them to readers more.
4. The Heroines. I love Laura’s heroines. As a romance reader, it’s not that hard to fall for heroes. They’ve got that swoon quality going on. It’s the heroines that take a little bit of time. But you’ll never have that issue with Laura’s heroines. They’re feisty, complex, strong, determined, and flawed people. I especially like that they’re flawed characters as much as the heroes also are. It’s easier to relate to them and they become really just more accessible to readers.
5. The story/plot development. Laura is really a great story-teller. The build-up of character and story is well-paced and every turn in the plot is organic to the story. I don’t think I’ve encountered a turn in the plot that was inserted haphazardly just to make the story progress. Every thing in the book is there for a reason and I really enjoy reading authors who are very capable in doing this. When I first read The Chocolate Thief, I thought I knew what to expect from the story but boy was I wrong. The book kept me guessing at every turn, the plot not quite going where I initially expected it would and I wouldn’t have it any other way, from this book or any other books from her Amour et Chocolat series.
6. Great and solid characterizations. I know I’ve mentioned about how great her heroes and heroines are. But I just have to mention also how much I love her characterizations. A story can have a compelling plot from start to finish but if the main characters remain vague or inconsistent or worse, not have any character at all, then all that good plot would come to nothing. Laura’s characters are really well developed. By the time you finish reading the books, you know you really got to know these characters, what makes them tick, what drives them to success and to distraction, what they love most about in the world enough for some pretty serious sacrifices. I always get the feeling after reading her books that I didn’t just read about these characters, I’ve actually watched them, front and center, live their lives and go through all those phases. And that draws me closer to them and them to me.
7. Well-thought-of and compelling conflicts. What’s a story without conflict, right? And gosh, Laura writes the most amazing conflicts. And I love that more than circumstantial conflicts, the inner conflicts that her characters have to overcome are really powerful. I’m always riveted to these kinds of conflicts because it promotes pro-activeness in a way because it’s a personal struggle for the character. Sure, the other character can help you overcome it but the bulk of the work would be on the characters themselves. If they want to move forward, they must be a better version of themselves and I always enjoy reading their gradual progressions. I can still feel Dom’s fear that he will hurt Jaime or that she’ll see him as some kind of monster. I can still feel Patrick’s fear that once he acknowledges that what he wants most in the world is Sarah, she will be taken away from him. Their fears are born from their painful past and something that they have to overcome themselves. It was beautiful to watch them triumph over these fears.
8. The ROMANCE. Do I even need to explain this? lol 🙂 I still can’t help but smile and feel all gooey inside whenever I think about all the romance I’ve read from Laura’s books. You’ll get all the feels and more, I promise you. Laura manages to create that perfect balance between her characters. I particularly love how her characters just complement each other. It might not be obvious in the beginning when the chemistry is always blindingly good. But as the story progresses, you see how well matched they are and how one is actually the other half of the other, no matter how cheesy that may sound. And did I already mention the sexy-times? 🙂 They’re not there for decorations and I love that they’re integral to the story and to the development of the characters. They become more powerful in that way.
9. Laura’s amazing prose. Laura writes like nobody’s business. Check out some of the quotes from the guests posts over at Chachic’s Book Nook. I have a lot of quotes and passages that I love that I don’t know where to start.
When she didn’t know he was looking at her, her body seemed so strong and graceful that surprise struck him every time someone on his team stopped near her and made it clear how small she was. When she caught his eye on her, that strength and grace collapsed like a house of cards hit by a strong wind, leaving her scrambling after it as it fluttered away from her hands. Toward him.
He wanted to catch that fluttering strength and grace. Pick it up and gather it to him. Lose himself in it, kiss her, make sure she knew what good care he could take of it. – The Chocolate Rose
She had to lift both hands to illustrate what she meant, but he just let her carry his hand with her, not about to let go. She pushed the free hand toward the one he held, apparently trying to gesture closeness. “Warm,” she said again. And then she did something that undid him to the last faint whisper of his soul: she gave his hand a squeeze with fingertips that could just barely reach around his, apparently using him to indicate what she wanted to say. He meant warmth. He meant this word she couldn’t find. – The Chocolate Heart
She hated him because most times when he touched her he didn’t even notice, and once in a while, when he did, those vivid blue eyes laughed into hers or winked at her as if she was gobble-up delicious, and then he was gone, leaving her heart this messy, unthawed lump that had just tried to throw itself into his hands and ended up instead gooey over her own shoes. – The Chocolate Temptation
10. For all the FEELS. I know I’m guaranteed all kinds of FEELS when I read Laura’s books. I just know it. I don’t know what form it will take but I know they’re in the cards for her readers, so to speak. Because her characters are engaging, you just want to follow them and read all about what happens to their lives and how they’ll overcome their struggles. I know that everything’s going to make sense and things are going to hit me right in the heart one way or another. And I’m looking forward to it every single time.
So there you go, the ten things I love about Laura Florand’s books. If you’ve never tried any of her books, now’s the best time to start. This year’s been a pretty great year with maybe a total of four Laura books scheduled for release (two have already been published) so the fangirl in me is totally ecstatic. I can’t wait to read more from Laura. ❤
Check out some of my reviews of Laura’s books: