Customer Reviews for

Better Than Chocolate (Life in Icicle Falls Series #1)

Average Rating 4
( 18 )
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  • Posted October 22, 2012

    Sweet Story, Have Chocolate on hand when you read this book!

    This is a story about "Sweet Dreams Chocolate Company" which has been in the Sterling family for generations. But now it looks like the family is about to lose "Sweet Dreams" to the bank. Samantha the oldest daughter, is the new head of the company, and is trying to save it.

    I enjoyed the quotes at the beginning of each chapter, they were cute and fun. But! I was a little disappointed with the story, myself. As I said it is about this company ready to eat the dust, (or should I say, the chocolate) and like the old saying goes: "If they didn't have bad luck, they'd have no luck at all!"

    The main character, Samantha, was so into herself, that all she could do was feel sorry for herself, and blame everyone else for the company's failures. I got so sick of her self-pity parties, that about half way through the book I said, "ENOUGH!" with the self-pity. I just couldn't relate to that, I almost quit reading the book at that point. That continuing and repeating of the self-pitying began to feel like it was just filler, and some of it was really not needed. (Well in my opinion anyway.)

    Toward the end of the book it began to pick up speed, and got quite enjoyable. I also found out that reading about all that 'chocolate' made me crave a chocolate fix, and lo! and behold! I had no chocolate in the house. To make a long story short, I had to make a chocolate run to the store. Yummy.

    I love Sheila Roberts books and this book was an O.K. read, but I have read two books by this author "Love In Bloom" 5***** and "Small Change" 4**** and I found them much "Better Than Chocolate."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jen Book provided by the publicist for review Review

    Reviewed by Jen
    Book provided by the publicist for review
    Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

    I have to say that of late, I’ve been devouring books featuring small towns, like Robyn Carr’s Virgin River or Emily March’s Eternity Springs or Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove.  So, as someone who enjoyed several of Sheila Robert’s Christmas novels, I was curious about Icicle Falls… and it helps that this fictional town is in my home state of Washington.  But perhaps because I’ve read so many excellent books featuring small towns, I felt that this one fell just a little short.

    Now don’t get me wrong.  It’s a good read.  But I think it suffered from being the first book in the series.  There were so many people introduced that at times it was hard to keep up.  And with that, there is all that “world building” that so often takes place in that first book, while necessary also gets cumbersome.

    In this book, Samantha is trying to keep her family’s chocolate factory in their hands, but their loan is due and the bank wants their cash.  Enter Blake, the new bank manager and also a past local football hero.  They’re attracted to each other, but Samantha sees him as the enemy.  Throw into the mix that the town decides to rally together to throw a chocolate festival to help the factory but also boost local tourism which took a hit with a warm winter.

    I’m really torn about this book.  In many ways I liked Samantha, but at the same time I wanted to reach through the pages of the book and smack her upside the head.  And for the “hero” of the book, I felt that Blake didn’t get enough time in the spotlight… and therefore their romance wasn’t all that believable to me.  I think if fewer characters had been introduced and Sam and Blake had more time together, I would have enjoyed this book more.

    But I did like this little Washington town and am curious to see what happens to some of the other residents.  I just hope that now that the foundation is laid that future books can spend more time on the romance and less world building.  Oh and as added bonus, there are several divine sounding chocolate recipes provided at the end of the book… too bad I don’t cook.

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  • Posted January 11, 2013

    Sheila Roberts is delightful

    Going to Icicle Falls, is a great place be. This story tells us about love found and love lost, and the emotions that go with it.It was well worth time, to read.

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  • Posted November 6, 2012

    Samantha Sterling's stepfather ran the family business into the

    Samantha Sterling's stepfather ran the family business into the ground before his untimely passing. Now it's up to her to save Sweet Dreams Chocolate Company from foreclosure. It doesn't help matters that the new bank manager is good -looking enough to almost make a girl forget chocolate.
    Better Than Chocolate is basically your typical romance novel. What set it apart, for me anyway, were the chocolate and winter themes. The character of Samantha at times came off as a bit sulky and difficult, but her mother was a sympathetic character, and the depiction of her as a grieving widow was honest and true-to-life. This time of year, I always love the winter and/or Christmas themed romances and anything with chocolate has to be good!
    3.5 stars

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  • Posted October 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Fun idea, okay book

    I had high hopes for Better Than Chocolate: chocolate and romance, what more could anyone ask for? In the end, though, it was just okay. Samantha's resentment of Blake, the new bank manager (and her former high school crush)who holds her chocolate company's fate--and its soon-to-be-defaulted-upon loan--in his hands, seems to be a bit over the top. The situation her business finds itself in isn't really her fault--her recently deceased stepfather nearly ran it into the ground--but it's not Blake's fault either. He is unfailingly nice to her, and she definitely doesn't return the favor. As a result, their conflict has a forced feel to it, which kept me from enjoying the story as much as I would have liked to. After all her antagonism, their conflict (like a few others in the book) was resolved rather quickly, which again, detracted from my ability to lose myself in the story.

    There were plenty of things I liked about the book, though. Samantha and her sisters' plan for saving the company--and helping out Icicle Falls' economy at the same time--was a good one. They all worked together and pulled it off quickly, and it was fun to read about. The secondary characters, too, were enjoyable, especially sisters Cecily and Bailey and their mom Muriel. I enjoyed the town of Icicle Falls, and am planning to visit again in Roberts' next book, Merry Ex-Mas. Though this story just wasn't quite "it" for me, I did find many things to enjoy in her writing.

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