Three words, to wake up every fear a man has ever had.
"I'm pregnant, Luc."
Now how could a man be perfect enough for that?
Now in this sequel to The Chocolate Heart, Florand takes us into the heart of happily ever after with a story full of love, hope, and friendship. Struggling to get their new restaurant off the ground in the south of France, newly married top chef Luc Leroi and his wife Summer must face all their demons at the prospect of becoming parents. Fortunately, Summer's cousins and Luc's rival chefs are there to prove that not even a top chef has to handle everything alone and happiness really can last ever after.
I cannot resist Laura Florand’s writing. From the moment I start one of her books, I am hooked, unable to put the book down. This is despite the fact that I know that Florand is going to rip my heart out and make me cry buckets. Of course, I know it will all be okay in the end, but still her romances are roller coaster rides of emotional angst and soul satisfying romance. Shadowed Heart is no exception to this rule.
Luc and Summer have already had their happily ever after, in The Chocolate Heart (which also happens to have been the first Florand book that I read). Yet both Luc and Summer are too neurotic and too insecure for their love to be without challenges. In Shadowed Heart, Luc and Summer must deal with their first pregnancy while they are both far away from their friends and family and while Luc is working too hard. At first, Luc has no idea of what is going on with his wife. He just knows that something isn’t right, and this knowledge is enough to put him over the edge. Then, he finds out about their new familial addition and is at a loss about what to do.
Summer’s pregnancy is not an easy one. She is constantly sick and wants little to do with food. But of course, Luc is a chef and one who has always wanted and needed to show his devotion through food he creates. This didn’t work so well for him when he was courting Summer and certainly is problematic while her stomach is unsettled. Luc is helpless in the face of Summer’s sickness. He is busy, she is distant, and both are drowning in their fear over the future. Despite their marriage and commitment, Luc is sure that Summer is going to take off and return to her precious island. Meanwhile, Summer has no idea how to talk to Luc about her own worries about the future. Their pain is palpable. It runs so deep and hurts so much to read about. I lost count of the times I cried when faced with their pain and helplessness.
Luc and Summer are two very strong and outwardly confident characters. Yet both find it so challenging to be in love and vulnerable. They are each so in love with the other but so afraid that the other won’t always return the sentiment. And of course, they are petrified about having children.
Fortunately, Luc calls in reinforcements and most of their friends come to visit. The scenes with the rest of the Amour et Chocolat crew are hildarious and heartwarming - and just want Luc and Summer need.
I cannot recommend Laura Florand and her books highly enough. They are angsty masterpieces that will give readers all the feels - from the highs to the lows back to the highs again. I do recommend that people read The Chocolate Heart before Shadowed Heart, as it tells the beginning of Luc and Summer’s story. But don’t miss any of the Amour et Chocolat books, as they are all romances make the heart sing.
Laura Florand: http://www.lauraflorand.com
Book Disclosure: An ebook was provided by the author.