The Chocolate Maker's Wife

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 20 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this title.  

I read a quarter of the book and although the story was well written, it simply didn't hold my interest at this time.  If I do go back and finish it, I will edit this review.
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England 1662 the time when King Charles brought his Portuguese wife Catherine. Roseamund works at her stepfather’s inn, skirting abuse. As an illegitimate child, she had been taken in by a wealthy grandmother - until she died - and at eight was returned to her mother, now working instead of being waited on. She adjusts fairly easily and everyone loves her. She has a natural ability for business and making customers happy. But her Stepfather and his sons abuse her regularly. When she is running away from them, she accidentally runs in front of the horse and carriage of Sir Everard. He sees a resemblance to his dead daughter; her mother sees an opportunity to get her daughter married and away. Sir Everard marries Roseamund and takes her to London to learn his new business. In several ways he tries to deceive her and sets a dangerous plan in motion. It's told with deep and heartfelt insight and is an engaging story. It's a story of triumph for Roseamund in that as much as she was abused and used, she chose to have a good outlook and move forward. Not a quick read. This story covers much of England's historical accounts from this time period.

I did not like the rough, filthy language and felt that it was not necessary at all to the story. Even though there is a Christian influence throughout the book, I cannot classify this as a clean story.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
#TheChocolateMakersWife #NetGalley #KarenBrooks
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I was impressed and the saga-like nature of this book, and almost couldn't believe when the story continued to weave through time and relationships to the degree that it did. Combine that with the author's juxtaposition of 17th-century London with rather modern-seeming commentary, and I was hooked on Rosamund's story the whole way through!
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The Chocolate Maker’s Wife is a delightful foray into Restoration Period London and the new trade of chocolate. Rosamund Ballister is a teenage girl toiling away in her abusive step-father’s tavern when she is rescued “Cinderella-style” by a rich merchant who marries her, and introduces her to his newest enterprise in London, a chocolate house. Rosamund, newly transformed into a proper lady believes her dreams have come true but not all dreams are what they seem.  Finding strength within, Rosamund propels herself through a story of heartbreak, revenge, survival and unlikely love. 

Karen Brooks’ well-researched work of historical fiction checks all the right boxes. The narrative is fast-paced and full of twists and turns which keep the reader guessing. Drawing from historical events the book melds period accuracy with human emotion leading to relatable characters and a heroine you can cheer on. Beneficial to the narrative is the detailed insight into the chocolate trade which describes the history, industry and preparation of chocolate as a drink. I absolutely fell in love with this book and can heartily recommend. 

Full disclosure- An ARC of this book was provided via NetGalley in return for this review.
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This book started off really strong and had me engrossed in the life of the protagonist.  However, the story fell apart in the middle and never recovered.
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This was a great read! Karen Brooks has written a sweeping tale of historical fiction that will keep you up reading late into the night. It's the 17th century, Rosamund's life has harsh beginnings. Born to an unwed mother she is raised by a beloved grandmother and taught to be a lady. Her life turns sour when her mother takes her back to a life of abuse and servitude at an inn owned by her stepfather. Through a series of events she becomes the wife of an affluent chocolate maker. She soon finds out she has become a different type of servant. Her husbands nefarious plans never come to fruition however and the next chapter of Rosamund's life unfolds. What I enjoyed most about this book was the inner strength of Rosamund. She meets each challenge head on, finds redemption and love. This is the perfect read for book clubs. Each characters relationship with Rosamund will lead to many questions and discussions as well the many trials the characters endure. Very well written and an interesting lesson about the history of the chocolate making process.  I don't think I'll ever look at a mug of hot chocolate the same....
Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to read this novel.
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