Book Reviews

Book Review – The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan (No Spoilers) Plus Book Giveaway!

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Paperback copy of The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan

First published in 2013 by Sphere. Paperback, 440 pages.

‘The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris’ is the 4th book I have read by Jenny Colgan, and I have enjoyed them all without exception. This is a gorgeous story, and it paints such an atmospheric picture with its descriptions of Paris and Parisian life. I am not much of a traveler, and have never particularly felt an urge to go to Paris, but this book actually made me want to go there and experience it for myself!

What’s it about?

The main character of the story is Anna, who starts out in hospital due to an accident at work. While she is there, she is reunited with her old French teacher, Claire, who is very ill with cancer. After Anna recovers, Claire persuades and arranges for her to go and work in Paris, in her former lover’s chocolate shop.

The story switches between the present (written in 1st person from Anna’s perspective), and the past, telling the story of Claire’s time in Paris 40 years ago. I found this fascinating, as details about Claire’s past were gradually revealed. It also created suspense in the storyline. Several times there was a cliffhanger in Anna’s story, and then it switched to a flashback to Claire’s. I just had to keep reading to find out what would happen next!

If you like chocolate, be prepared to get cravings for it if you read this book! There are lots of descriptions of the delicious chocolates that they make in the shop. You will definitely wish you were there so you could sample them all!

The characters are all very likeable, and there is plenty of romance in this book. You will find yourself smiling to yourself and cheering for the characters in the happy moments, and you may get tears in your eyes in the sad, poignant moments. The book is light-hearted but also very moving at times.

The book is generally very easy to read and understand, although there were a few parts that took me by surprise and I had to read over a passage several times to understand what had just happened. There was a good balance of description and action, seriousness and humour.

Bonus recipes!

As with many of Jenny Colgan’s books, it contains a generous selection of recipes in the back. These are all chocolate based! I haven’t tried any of the recipes, and I probably won’t, but if you are a keen baker and you like sweet things, then the recipes would definitely be a bonus for you! They all look very indulgent and I wouldn’t call them healthy! You could probably adapt them for various dietary requirements though.

Would I recommend this book?

I’d thoroughly recommend this book to any chick-lit and chocolate lovers, and I would give it 4 out of 5. I own several more Jenny Colgan books, so I look forward to working my way through more of them!

I would give this book 4 out of 5!

4 stars

Book Giveaway (UK only)

When I have finished a book, I usually give it away to a friend or family member, or give it back to a charity shop (where I buy most of my books from in the first place). I only tend to keep books if I think I am likely to read them again, or if they have a special meaning for me. Otherwise, I make space on my shelves for new books!

This time, I have decided to give away my copy of ‘The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris’ to one lucky reader! I may throw in a couple of surprise goodies too.

Please note that this book is not new, or in mint condition. I bought it second hand from a charity shop, and now I have read it too, so it is definitely used! The spine is a bit creased and there are some stickers and marks on the cover. So please only enter if you don’t mind this!

If you like the sound of this book and would like to win it, please write a comment below, indicating that you would like to be entered. The giveaway will end at midday on Friday 22nd March, after which I will choose a winner at random!

Please note that this giveaway is UK only, for postage reasons.

Good luck!

24 Comments

  1. Stevie Hunt says:

    Would love to be entered in your competition. My girlfriends and I always swap book recommendations so would be lovely to pass the book onto them to enjoy too x

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      I do that with my friends too! Entered 🙂

  2. Funmi says:

    I love the aound of this book and would liked to be entered.

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      It’s a great book! Entered 🙂

  3. I’ve never heard of this book before, but by the looks of it – it’s a must-read! Thank you for an honest review without spoilers. Enjoyed reading this post!

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      It’s definitely a must-read! Glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

  4. Sounds like an awesome book! Ill have to check it out – would be good for summer reading on the beach. Bonus that there are recipes!
    Thanks — Morgan @ http://www.mommyaboveall.com

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      It would definitely be a great summer read! And yes, the recipes are a bonus!

  5. This sounds like such a great book, I have been to Paris and I feel like I didn’t enjoy it that much but I didn’t read up on it enough to enjoy it. I love a book that keeps you on your toes. Great review!

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      The only time I have been to Paris was to change trains on the way to somewhere else, so that doesn’t really count! I don’t know enough about Paris to know whether the descriptions in the book are accurate and realistic, but the book certainly makes it sound appealing!

  6. This sounds like a really interesting and enjoyable read! Loved how ypur review cam across it has made me want to go and buy the book.
    Thank you for sharing with us.
    Alyssa
    Thesacredspaceap.com

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      You’re welcome, I’m glad my review has made you want to go and buy the book! I recommend it! 🙂

  7. Great review! I’ve never read her books before but I’ve seen them around, and it must be good if Sophie Kinsella is recommending it. I’d like to be entered into the giveaway if that’s okay – I’m UK based 🙂 hopefully I’ll win so I can get on with reading it!

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      I first discovered her by chance, when someone gave me one of her books as a present, and I’ve been reading them ever since! If you like Sophie Kinsella you’ll like Jenny Colgan as well because they are a similar style! Of course you can be entered into the giveaway – good luck!

    2. Sophie Harriet says:

      Hi Hannah, congratulations, you have won the giveaway! 😀
      I’ll send you an email…

  8. It’s sounds great! Now I want to visit Paris again.

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      It made me want to visit Paris too!

  9. Jessica says:

    Great post Sophie !! 💕 I just thought I’d slip on over here, give a view and show some love !! Keep up the good work!!

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      Thank you for the love and support Jessica! <3

  10. This sounds like a really interesting story, although I’d probably need to have a bar of Galaxy on standby if I was to read it! 😂 The added bonus of recipes in the book is great, what a quirky touch!

    http://www.missblogsabit.com

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      The bar of Galaxy on standby is a must, haha!

  11. I loved this book! I found it in my library and it was my discovery of the delightful work of Jenny Colgan. I would love to have a copy so I can read it over and over. After all, it deals with two of my favorite topics: Paris and chocolate. What could be better?

    1. Sophie Harriet says:

      I agree, Paris and chocolate are great topics!

  12. Sophie Harriet says:

    The giveaway has now ended – thank you to everyone who entered!

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