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Christmas is just around the corner but the women of The Chocolate Lovers' Club have more to worry about than present shopping . . . Lucy loves running Chocolate Heaven but she hasn't spent time with her boyfriend, Aiden, in weeks. And then her ex-fiance turns up and things become even more complicated. Nadia hasn't let herself get close to a man in a long time, ye Christmas is just around the corner but the women of The Chocolate Lovers' Club have more to worry about than present shopping . . . Lucy loves running Chocolate Heaven but she hasn't spent time with her boyfriend, Aiden, in weeks. And then her ex-fiance turns up and things become even more complicated. Nadia hasn't let herself get close to a man in a long time, yet she can't help feeling drawn to Jacob. Will he be her last chance for a happy ending? Chantal and her husband, Ted, are besotted with their baby daughter Lana - but she's not sure that's enough to base a marriage on. Autumn is dealing with a tragedy that has hit too close to home. But when she doesn't get the support she needs from her fiance, will she look elsewhere for comfort? Can friendship overcome all in . . . The Chocolate Lovers' Christmas.


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Christmas is just around the corner but the women of The Chocolate Lovers' Club have more to worry about than present shopping . . . Lucy loves running Chocolate Heaven but she hasn't spent time with her boyfriend, Aiden, in weeks. And then her ex-fiance turns up and things become even more complicated. Nadia hasn't let herself get close to a man in a long time, ye Christmas is just around the corner but the women of The Chocolate Lovers' Club have more to worry about than present shopping . . . Lucy loves running Chocolate Heaven but she hasn't spent time with her boyfriend, Aiden, in weeks. And then her ex-fiance turns up and things become even more complicated. Nadia hasn't let herself get close to a man in a long time, yet she can't help feeling drawn to Jacob. Will he be her last chance for a happy ending? Chantal and her husband, Ted, are besotted with their baby daughter Lana - but she's not sure that's enough to base a marriage on. Autumn is dealing with a tragedy that has hit too close to home. But when she doesn't get the support she needs from her fiance, will she look elsewhere for comfort? Can friendship overcome all in . . . The Chocolate Lovers' Christmas.

30 review for The Chocolate Lovers' Christmas

  1. 5 out of 5

    Irena BookDustMagic

    If you’re into chick lit, you’re probably familiar with an author Carole Matthews. She’s one of the most known writers of women’s fiction, with (I think) 30 novels written. Also, her stories always come within the most adorable covers, so it’s hard not to pay attention to her work. Being devoted reader of women’s fiction, I wanted to read her work for the longest time. After few years of putting it off, I decided it was about time to finally grab one of those gorgeous paperbacks and start reading (p If you’re into chick lit, you’re probably familiar with an author Carole Matthews. She’s one of the most known writers of women’s fiction, with (I think) 30 novels written. Also, her stories always come within the most adorable covers, so it’s hard not to pay attention to her work. Being devoted reader of women’s fiction, I wanted to read her work for the longest time. After few years of putting it off, I decided it was about time to finally grab one of those gorgeous paperbacks and start reading (plus TBD bargain section helped me to decide which one to choose). The Chocolate Lovers’ Club is the third book in the series but it can be read as standalone. However, if you want to read this book, I encourage you to read previous books first. The reason why is because so many things happened in the first two books and, although an author mentioned them through the story and tried her best to keep new readers on track, I think that if I’d read the series in order, I would understand the characters better. The story follows four women who are best friends whose love for chocolate connected them. As the author herself said it in her letter to readers at the end of the book, the reason why she wrote this series is to show how women can be there for each other without judging one another. I understand where she was coming from and I can say she solidly succeeded in her goal, but yet these women were so much different from where I come from, that even though I tried to go with an open mind into this story, at times it was really hard for me to understand them. There is no girl code (one woman was one’s guy mistress and now her friend is dating him), with questionable morals (cheating and not knowing who your baby’s father is) and easy to fogive approach (becoming fast friend with your husband’s ex mistress who has his child (who’s by the way the same age as yours)). If you’re a type of reader who avoids all of the above in their books, maybe this book is not for you. The writing style is really, really good. I’d say it is the best part of this piece. Carole Matthews uses her words in a way that makes you fly through the story. That only is enough reason for me to want to read more of her work. However, I wasn’t the biggest fan of how this book was concepted. It follows four POVs, one of them (Lucy’s) written in first person and others all written in third person. To be honest, I still don’t understand why Matthews chose to write her book that way. For a really short period it gave me that Sex and the City vibe, in which Carrie tells the story, but then I realized that in those chapters that were written in third person when Lucy was mentioned, she was being Lucy, and not the person who tells the story, so that’s what confused me. And while we’re talking about Sex and the City, I can say The Chocolate Lover’s Christmas is like a lighter version of it, only set in London and without parties. Even some scenes reminded me of ones from that show. They would be amazing, if only they were original. Overall, The Chocolate Lovers’ Christmas is a quick read perfect to put you into the festive mood, but if you don’t like not-so-smart protagonists nor promiscuity, you probably won’t like this novel either. Read this and more reviews on my blog: http://bookdustmagic.wordpress.com

  2. 4 out of 5

    Linda Dobinson

    I really enjoyed this Christmas read. The characters are lovely and the story doesn't quite go the way I was expecting, which I was glad of - sometimes chick-lit can be a bit predictable. A good read to put you in the Christmas mood - I recommend it. I really enjoyed this Christmas read. The characters are lovely and the story doesn't quite go the way I was expecting, which I was glad of - sometimes chick-lit can be a bit predictable. A good read to put you in the Christmas mood - I recommend it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lesley Book Lover

    A lovely sweet read, so much chocolate, I must have put on pounds just reading this book, I do love the characters in this series.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte Smith

    Another great book in the set about the chocolate lovers club, this is a book about the girls running the shop and then get a set of bad news before Xmas. It all comes good in the end.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Happy Mary’s Books

    Sadly this book didn’t bring the festive spirit I was hoping for. It was way too slow paced and too long, and some of the characters and relationships are just awful. You can’t read it as a stand-alone, and I wasn’t aware at first that is is part of a series (it isn’t mentioned on the cover). And there was, dare I say it, too much chocolate 😅

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ida

    I would never suspect a book to be this stereotypical and still be written in 2015. I would’ve thought that even the most traditional people and authors should have at least learned that gender doesn’t determine that boys are wild and girls are calm. As a parent I laugh through all descriptions of a four year kid calmly playing by themselves while the grown ups discuss their problems, and afterwards the kid picks everything up and tidies with only one demand from an adult. No whining, no crying, I would never suspect a book to be this stereotypical and still be written in 2015. I would’ve thought that even the most traditional people and authors should have at least learned that gender doesn’t determine that boys are wild and girls are calm. As a parent I laugh through all descriptions of a four year kid calmly playing by themselves while the grown ups discuss their problems, and afterwards the kid picks everything up and tidies with only one demand from an adult. No whining, no crying, no tantrums. Apart from this it’s mostly chocolate, love troubles, chocolate, weight loss wishes and more chocolate.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Zoe Hall

    Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love Carole Matthews, especially The Chocolate Lovers' and their numerous outings. This isn't my favourite of Carole's books but it's certainly a good read and definitely gets you in the Christmas spirit. There are some funny bits which had me smiling, along with heartache, friendship and of course lots of chocolate along the way. A nice read, lovely writing and a great bunch of characters. Can't wait for the next instalment. 3.5 stars! Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love Carole Matthews, especially The Chocolate Lovers' and their numerous outings. This isn't my favourite of Carole's books but it's certainly a good read and definitely gets you in the Christmas spirit. There are some funny bits which had me smiling, along with heartache, friendship and of course lots of chocolate along the way. A nice read, lovely writing and a great bunch of characters. Can't wait for the next instalment. 3.5 stars!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Angela Free

    I love The Chocolate Lovers. Can't wait to read The Wedding. What I love about these books is everyone in a group of chocoholic friends has their own story. Clearly there will be more in The Wedding. I love The Chocolate Lovers. Can't wait to read The Wedding. What I love about these books is everyone in a group of chocoholic friends has their own story. Clearly there will be more in The Wedding.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alison Winter

    Although I thought it was a bit slow it was impossible to put down in the end. As with the other books in the series I was disappointed I'd come to the end and have to wait for next one to come out. Although I thought it was a bit slow it was impossible to put down in the end. As with the other books in the series I was disappointed I'd come to the end and have to wait for next one to come out.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    http://www.chicklitcentral.com/2015/1... Also includes a worldwide book giveaway! http://www.chicklitcentral.com/2015/1... Also includes a worldwide book giveaway!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Susan Buchanan

    Really enjoyed this book, although not as Christmassy I felt as her last three Christmas books, all of which I have absolutely adored.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nicola

    This was such a lovely, feel good festive read. It was my first venture into The Chocolate Lovers Club books and I loved it! It was written in such a way that I didn’t feel disadvantaged joining the party so late, with two other books published before this one. The author does a fab job of filling you in and makes you feel like an extra honorary member of the chocolate lovers club! I quickly grew attached to all the characters once I’d gotten introduced to them all and understood all their storie This was such a lovely, feel good festive read. It was my first venture into The Chocolate Lovers Club books and I loved it! It was written in such a way that I didn’t feel disadvantaged joining the party so late, with two other books published before this one. The author does a fab job of filling you in and makes you feel like an extra honorary member of the chocolate lovers club! I quickly grew attached to all the characters once I’d gotten introduced to them all and understood all their stories and history (and man, it sounded like plenty of excitement went down in books one and two!). I also loved the split perspectives of the story. And now I definitely want a crew of like minded, chocolate loving women in my life! It was a great Christmassy read with plenty of festive spirit and I really enjoyed it! :)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Marie Davies

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Least favourite Carol Matthews book, enjoyable but too far fetched and didn't tie up enough at the end. Least favourite Carol Matthews book, enjoyable but too far fetched and didn't tie up enough at the end.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Madi

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. My expectations for this book were practically nonexistant. Yet it still disappointed me big time. Some of the reasons: 1. Like many books issued en masse over recent years, it's trying way too hard to be everything at once, instead of just focusing on one genre/ action/ character/ theme/ etc. and trying to do that as well as possible. I'm perfectly fine with reading an unapologetic shallow fling at times, but books like this one are too all over the place. - This one's trying to be funny but also My expectations for this book were practically nonexistant. Yet it still disappointed me big time. Some of the reasons: 1. Like many books issued en masse over recent years, it's trying way too hard to be everything at once, instead of just focusing on one genre/ action/ character/ theme/ etc. and trying to do that as well as possible. I'm perfectly fine with reading an unapologetic shallow fling at times, but books like this one are too all over the place. - This one's trying to be funny but also deep and also romantic plus erotic, with a little added "mystery" and "adventure" in there. None of which is particularily good written. Furthermore, the book isn't graphic enough with its erotic scenes to be "steamy", but does give out just enough detail for it to be inappropriate for kids (who would be closer to this book's intelligence level). Neither here, nor there; just loosely Christmas themed and with chocolate every 2 pages. - The writer's blurbs reveal that she's already written almost 30 books before this one and is writing at least two books a year. Welp. This explains a LOT about the quality. I'm not curious to read anything else from this author, if she and her publishers think this one was interesting enough to print out and call "book". 2. The action is horribly built. Barely a couple of things happen for the first 3-400 out of the 470 pages - most of which could have easily been avoided had Lucy not been so unrealistically dense - then over the last part, everything that did more or less happen is hastily "tied up" in the least exciting ways imaginable (some things are still left on a cliffhanger, perhaps they were forgotten). Anything remotely interesting in this work could have been fully contained within maybe 100 pages, the rest is an utterly useless and cringey romcom-soap attempt that's not giving us any context, nor giving its characters any depth. I would have thought that after the first 20+ books, one would start to learn a thing or two about writing better. So many poor trees died for this... Autumn's story takes literally 300+ pages until she finally gets out of a bad relationship (through a convenient deus ex machina setting, not even of her own accord, no character progress), Chantal's and Nadia's love stories make progress only around page 400 (again conveniently, around the same time) and as for Lucy, I'm just surprised she hasn't poked an eye with a fork out yet... (sorry for that mental image) 3. The characters may have different backgrounds and looks (the author is admitting in the blurbs that she tried to emulate SATC and DH), but are otherwise very sterile, all of them are weak (whether it's about chocolate, alcohol or men) and there's absolutely nothing in there about their personalities, other than the narrator's/ Lucy's helpful indication that they all mean well. - I was partially warming up to Autumn and her "poor little rich girl" cliché (pardon the Rich pun) in the beginning, but when it got to the part where she wouldn't wear a sexy outfit for a few minutes and "a good cause", in spite of her being revealed to sleep around quite easily I lost all sympathy for such a poorly written character. Like she randomly forgot how easily she's gotten naked with at least three guys in moments when she really shouldn't have (two whom she literally didn't know and one with which she knew it was over with; she could have been with even more guys in other books) and now she suddenly turned into a part-time prude for one chapter where there wasn't even any intercourse. It doesn't give her "depth", it's just poor building. - Lucy is a complete idiot. That does not count as personality (though it does sum up the whole book, it should be listed as its plot and synopsis). She's the least endearing of all the characters, none of which I could relate to or sympathize with anyway. Her boyfriend is equally as stupid... perhaps even moreso, since he takes her back. They deserve each other (barfity barf). Mistakes like "endolphins" and "plutonium" are cringey, just embarrassingly atrocious. I don't need to read things like that to be able to tell she's a cretin. Really, that's unnecessary. Like most of the book. - Too much chocolate, including during the least appropriate moments and occasions. I get the idea of comfort food, but some things such as those mentioned in the book can't be fixed by a hot beverage, anyone would take it as mockery. I can remember barely 2-3 mentions of other dishes without implied chocolate, but for the rest of the book everyone is simply having sweets, drinks, plus chocolate-laden dishes and who would want to read about their blood sugar spikes a couple more books from now? And did I mention how much alcohol they're downing? It's also highly cringey how they act like they're some kind of superheroes with their "chocolate emergency", "chocolate club" and all that jazz. Not to mention their moments when they speak, moan or groan in unison, further proving that neither of them has any personality. It's basically a cringey SATC parody with way too much sugar. More barf. - That Stacey was an obvious rat from the start, I can't believe the characters were "smart" enough to not want anything to do with the slinky Marcus, but couldn't smell an obvious rat like Stacey from AFAR (not even one of them) and welcomed her so easily into their special club, which is not so special or hard to join after all. Again, characters built horribly poor. - There's a chance that the characters might have been better described or delimited during the previous books in the series, though I seriously doubt it. They all sound the same and react in the same ways at all times (with the exception of Lucy being way dumber than any other character, but that's not a good thing). 4. Speaking of voice: - The narration alternates between an omniscient narrator and Lucy (remember, the dipshit). This inconsistency is just wrong and adds to the pile of cons. At least keep Lucy's point of view throughout or switch to the other girls' once in a while. Or just stick to a tried-and-true third-party narrator who knows better than to use "endolphins" during a narration. Perhaps better writers could pull such a switch off (within reason), but this is not it. - Far too much brit slang, like "smellies". Maybe it's just me, but most of it reads very forced. - Some mistakes, but I'll rule those as typos, as I don't want to go back and look them up. I remember at least one speech quote was closed, but never opened. - Trying too hard to make the story "christmassy", but other than a couple mentions of barely there snow, static standard decorations and other irrelevant bits such as the odd scene of someone taking their coat off, there's nothing festive about it - might as well have been a summer book, there'd be literally no difference. Absolutely none. I'm guessing the author had the story already somewhere and just added some wintery stuff in some descriptions. - The "romantic couple" of the book is at one point compared to Ant and Dec (!) or to Scooby and Shaggy. The last I checked, those were the epitome of a romantic couple only if you specifically shipped them in your head. If it was an attempt at a joke... seriously CRINGE! Better to have stuck to old clichés on this one, such as Romeo and Juliet or even Jack and Rose. - Too many repetitions, sometimes close to each other and mostly regarding different characters (such as "tod", "horseradish mash" and "if it would never happen, it would be too soon"). Please hire a proofreader to weed out these embarrassments before they go on the market, it can't be that expensive. There aren't really any pros to this book... maybe the "j'ai faim" bit was a little funny, but even that feels pegged in at the last minute (possibly by someone else) and is too little to save the story anyway. It's not even a super-light read, as was the least I had expected from it. If it were at least that, just a shallow fling about some girls having chocolate and some love troubles, I might have given it around 4 stars, but as it is, there was nothing good about it that I could at least pretend to cling to. It's just almost 500 pages of barely any substance or character, too all over the place at all times and hardly enjoyable. I'm sorry I sent my friend a copy before going past the first couple of chapters; I thought it would have been fun to read it at the same time, but this is so bad, that it shouldn't even be a loo book (maybe unless you're out of paper, not for actual reading). Never touching anything like it ever again. Dedication for the author (whom I assume is a brit :D ) and to many similar ones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq2kP...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Gilbey

    The Chocolate Lovers' are back in this all new book, after a very long wait. And that I think was part of my problem initially with the story. It picks up I believe not too far after the end of The Chocolate Lovers' Diet, but in real terms, I think its been at least 7 years since I read the first two books of the series, and that is far too long to expect me to remember the details and personalities of four very different characters. And unlike another book I read recently which started with a l The Chocolate Lovers' are back in this all new book, after a very long wait. And that I think was part of my problem initially with the story. It picks up I believe not too far after the end of The Chocolate Lovers' Diet, but in real terms, I think its been at least 7 years since I read the first two books of the series, and that is far too long to expect me to remember the details and personalities of four very different characters. And unlike another book I read recently which started with a lovely introduction from the author, complete with very handy reminders of the books that were out only a year or two previous, there was nothing in The Chocolate Lover's Christmas to remind you of anything. As a result I was reading this almost as though I was a new reader to the series, but equally with the back of my mind going, "why can't I remember this" and "do I know this piece of information or not" and all those sorts of thoughts. As a result it took me almost the whole book to get into it properly. On the plus side the next Chocolate Lovers' book is out early next year, so I should be able enjoy that a lot more with a shorter gap. While I'm on the more negative side of this review, I will also say that I found myself getting confused during the book. The chapters are all really short and as each of them is focused around a different one of the girls, your focus is changing between them at very fast intervals. And due to Autumn and Nadia's very close friendship, I found myself struggling to remember which one was which, and who Lewis belonged to. Also I noticed that Chantal, Autumn and Nadia were told in the 3rd person but yet Lucy was told in the first person. I would have preferred all to be in the same person. With all that out of the way, I did enjoy the book, and especially Lucy's story. I loved the descriptions of all the various chocolate treats on offer in Chocolate Heaven, the chocolate cafe she runs, and Lucy is a bit of a disaster zone when it comes to the situations she gets herself into. There is a trip to Belgium that is hilarious, as well as a scene involving Lucy swallowing something she shouldn't have, when a romantic gesture goes wrong. Nadia and Autumn are clearly best friends and the closest two members of the club. One often babysits for the other and they are both grieving a family member at the start of the book. During this look at their lives, we see them both slowly get back on their feet and elements of their lives do improve. Chantal's daughter Lana is gorgeous and it takes a very strong woman, to extend friendship to the mother of Lana's half sister. Both babies have the same father and are very similar in age, and its a look at how an unusual family situation could be dealt with. The Chocolate Lovers' Christmas has a lot of drama, relationship ups and downs, a great sense of humour, a couple of brilliant storylines, and was an entertaining book to read. Just remember to have your own stash of chocolate handy as you will get hungry. There really is a lot to like in the book and if you remember the originals or are reading it completely fresh you will probably enjoy it a lot more than I did. If like me you are struggling to recall the first two books (that I know I loved), I would suggest re-reading them before this one to refresh your mind of the story. Ultimately although I did enjoy the book, I just felt it wasn't as good as previous Christmas releases by Carole Matthews, nor did it draw me in the way her books normally do.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Also published on my blog. Audible version, narrated by Lucy Price-Lewis I jumped into book 3 of this series without reading any of the previous books, frankly because it was Christmas themed and I thought it would be nice to read (listen to) something seasonal and festive. And it was, to a certain extent. You do get allusions to things that happened in the past, but it’s no trouble to follow the story even if you don’t read the first two books. So the Chocolate Lovers’ Club consists of 4 ladies: L Also published on my blog. Audible version, narrated by Lucy Price-Lewis I jumped into book 3 of this series without reading any of the previous books, frankly because it was Christmas themed and I thought it would be nice to read (listen to) something seasonal and festive. And it was, to a certain extent. You do get allusions to things that happened in the past, but it’s no trouble to follow the story even if you don’t read the first two books. So the Chocolate Lovers’ Club consists of 4 ladies: Lucy, Chantal, Nadia and Autumn. They share a common love of (or rather obsession with) chocolate and come together regularly at Lucy’s workplace – a chocolate café called Chocolate Heaven. The women all have things they’re struggling with: Chantal is trying to make her marriage work after infidelity on both sides and coping with being a new mother, Nadia was left in massive debt by her deceased husband and has trouble finding work, Autumn is mourning the death of her brother and is met with little understanding by her fiancé, and Lucy is unsure of the future of her job – having finally found her calling, and trying to make her relationship work while her ex-fiancé keeps trying to throw a spanner in the works. I would say the story has some major Bridget Jones vibes, with Lucy being Bridget (down to the ditzy/clumsy/making bad decisions level), Aidan being Darcy and Marcus is obviously Daniel Cleaver. Though in this scenario Bridget’s friends have equally important storylines of their own. And this story is a little tamer (more chocolate, less booze and shagging). What I liked about the book was the friendship between the women and how they were always there for each other. I think that was well described and I could feel the love and warmth. I also liked the descriptions of all the various chocolate treats and creations, as well as the Christmas theme. We didn’t get a white Christmas where I live – yet again, but at least I could immerse myself in a story where the snow was falling in a seasonally appropriate way. And it is chick-lit, so I don’t have super high standards for the story/writing, I was just expecting a bit of fun fluff. It was that, but some of the decisions made were just infuriatingly stupid and sometimes downright weird, which got in the way of properly enjoying the story. And the texting the wrong number thing… Who does that anymore? I can understand it happening once if you’re really not paying attention, but to the extent it does with Lucy? No, that’s just incredible. Apart from Lucy’s texting mishaps and how she handles the Marcus situation, my biggest peeve was definitely how Nadia’s creepy brother-in-law, Tarak was handled. I won’t go into too much detail, but this guy was crossing the line (or in the words of Joey Tribbiani: “you’re so far past the line, you can’t even see the line, the line is a dot to you!”) and giving off some seriously rapey vibes and I just felt like it was handled lightly and like they kind of ended up brushing it off. Though despite the flaws, it was fun, and I am considering picking up book number 4, mostly because I want to know what happens with Autumn. But I’ll probably wait a while. I wouldn’t say it ends on a cliffhanger, but Matthews is definitely setting up parts of the storyline for book number 4 at the end, and she does do it well enough that even though I wasn’t super into this book I am still curious.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mungle

    Pretty rubbish, which I guess I should have anticipated from the title... the first few chapters go on and on AND ON about the size of the women and the ‘guilt’ ‘naughtiness’ etc about eating chocolate... then the story actually begins. It could be good after that except the main character is beyond belief, constantly getting into ridiculous situations that are too incredulous to be funny. For example, when trying to track someone down she doesn’t hear from them for five days because the number Pretty rubbish, which I guess I should have anticipated from the title... the first few chapters go on and on AND ON about the size of the women and the ‘guilt’ ‘naughtiness’ etc about eating chocolate... then the story actually begins. It could be good after that except the main character is beyond belief, constantly getting into ridiculous situations that are too incredulous to be funny. For example, when trying to track someone down she doesn’t hear from them for five days because the number she’s been ringing and texting turns out to be her dads... how could that even happen on a mobile phone?! Through in some horrible toilet humour, obvious plots and daft plot holes... not impressed at all. Leave these series alone and stick to her older, less written-to-order novels.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Joyce

    Lucy and her friends, Chantal, Nadia and Autumn are all bound by their love of chocolate, often meeting in the chocolate-themed shop and café, Chocolate Heaven, which Lucy manages. Lucy adores her job but it often leaves her exhausted and she feels she is neglecting her partner, Aiden. And their relationship is strained further when her ex arrives back on the scene. New mum Chantal is also exhausted as she tries to get to grips with parenting. Her baby is five months old and she feels being paren Lucy and her friends, Chantal, Nadia and Autumn are all bound by their love of chocolate, often meeting in the chocolate-themed shop and café, Chocolate Heaven, which Lucy manages. Lucy adores her job but it often leaves her exhausted and she feels she is neglecting her partner, Aiden. And their relationship is strained further when her ex arrives back on the scene. New mum Chantal is also exhausted as she tries to get to grips with parenting. Her baby is five months old and she feels being parents should bring her and husband Ted closer together but it sometimes feels like they are more like housemates than a married couple. Nadia is trying to come to terms with the death of her husband while raising their son on her own. Luckily she has her Chocolate Lover friends on hand to help and support her, as well as Jacob, a friend she can sometimes see a romantic future with. And then there's Autumn, who is grieving after recently losing her only brother. While her friends are there for her, Autumn feels her fiancé is lacking in support and doesn't seem to care that she is struggling. They're supposed to be planning a wedding, yet Autumn feels like they're drifting further and further apart. I haven't read any of the previous Chocolate Lovers series (The Chocolate Lovers' Club and The Chocolate Lovers' Diet) but I quickly got to grips with the storylines that had happened before. Carole Matthews seamlessly wove the past storylines into the present so that I felt like I was up to date with the characters without having a huge amount of info thrust at me all at once. I loved the setting of Chocolate Heaven and the array of chocolatey goodies on offer made me want to dive into the pages so I could indulge with Lucy and her friends! There are four main characters in the book, which could have felt overwhelming, but I felt like I got to know each of them and it was easy to keep up. Although there is a lot of sadness within the book due to some of the characters' circumstances, I still thought it was a fun, feel-good book and I liked the bond between the four women. Out of the four of them, I thought that Nadia and Autumn were the closest, especially with Autumn helping out with childcare. I did wonder how it was all going to turn out with Nadia as she has a gorgeous friendship with Jacob but he also has a past with Chantal and I hoped Nadia would get a happy ending after all she's been through. Although I did enjoy the book, I wish there had been a much bigger injection of Christmas. Apart from at the end, it didn't feel very festive to me, which was something I was looking forward to after reading Carole Matthews' previous Christmas book, Calling Mrs Christmas, which was very festive. Having said this, the chocolate overload did go some way to ease the lack of festivity! Another slight niggle I had with the book was the constant use of Lucy's nickname for her partner, Aiden. She refers to him as Crush and I'm not sure why but it bothered me, especially when she used it while speaking aloud to her friends. Perhaps it's because I haven't read the previous books where he was Lucy's crush. Overall I thought The Chocolate Lovers' Christmas was a fun read full of friendship and romance.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shaz Goodwin

    http://www.jerasjamboree.co.uk/2015/1... It was fabulous to be back with our four women. They've come such a long way from those early days in The Chocolate Lover's Club. It's just like growing up with your own friends :) If you haven't read any of The Chocolate Lovers' novels though don't worry. Carole gives just enough back story for readers so it all makes sense. Having said that, you might want to go back to the first book, it is worth it. In the run up to Christmas, Lucy has been managing Choc http://www.jerasjamboree.co.uk/2015/1... It was fabulous to be back with our four women. They've come such a long way from those early days in The Chocolate Lover's Club. It's just like growing up with your own friends :) If you haven't read any of The Chocolate Lovers' novels though don't worry. Carole gives just enough back story for readers so it all makes sense. Having said that, you might want to go back to the first book, it is worth it. In the run up to Christmas, Lucy has been managing Chocolate Heaven for 9 months and although she's in her element, she didn't realised just how difficult it would be from the other side of the counter. She introduces new products and new ideas and of course it's an important place for Nadia, Chantal and Autumn to get together. She still has madcap ideas (oh my she really does) and is still too trusting (especially where Marcus is concerned). As well as Chocolate Heaven, when Lucy is at the ball in Bruges, chocolate is used in some unusual food combinations at the buffet. They don't sound as if they should be in the same recipe together but work really well (or rather they did for Lucy!). Chantal's unusual situation isn't all that she's getting used to. With 5 month old daughter Lana, her lifestyle has had a dramatic change. Nadia and Autumn are trying to find their way in life after major changes. The closeness and support they all give each other is still there although there are underlying tensions in their friendships that weren't there before ... Oh and there is a new addition to their friendship group. As always there are some real laugh out loud moments. And I mean 'belly' laughs. I think you can probably guess who's antics were responsible for those. Of course there are some moments that made me feel sad too but there are also things that happen that made my cry because of the 'awwww' factor. Carole is a master (or should that be mistress?) at hooking in her readers emotions and getting you involved with her characters. It's only on reflection now, thinking back through the story, that I realise how 'present' I was too. The settings are perfect (loved the ending at the cottage in the Lake District over Christmas itself). There's some issues that haven't been tied up which we'll find out in the not very distant future because The Chocolate Lovers' Wedding is due to be published in hardcover and Kindle on 7th January. Not long to wait at all :) The Chocolate Lovers' Christmas should be on the top of your wishlist. Women's Fiction and Romance readers, you won't be disappointed.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Brown

    This is the third book in the chocolate Lovers' series by Carole Matthews and I have read them all. Consistently a feel good read, although the girls inevitably get into scrapes, it does seem to all come good in the end. Just until you reach the end of the book, when new twists and turns are woven and you realise there are more tales to be told - in another book! I really wanted to know what happened to the girls since I left them in the Chocolate Lovers' Diet. The book however does stand alone a This is the third book in the chocolate Lovers' series by Carole Matthews and I have read them all. Consistently a feel good read, although the girls inevitably get into scrapes, it does seem to all come good in the end. Just until you reach the end of the book, when new twists and turns are woven and you realise there are more tales to be told - in another book! I really wanted to know what happened to the girls since I left them in the Chocolate Lovers' Diet. The book however does stand alone and there is recapping for those of you who either forgot where we left the girls or have never read the previous books. Just when I thought Lucy was finally rid of her ex-finance once and for all, he still managed to worm his way into her life, I guess it wouldn't be Lucy without all the drama, but I really would like her just to stay with Aiden and live happily ever after, but then that wouldn't make for a very good story would it? As well as all the chick lit and girly chocolate talk there is also in this book a look at how family units are different today and the challenges that brings. I found this side of the book very thought provoking. I'm giving it five out of five stars and as it is number 13 in the Sunday Times best seller list, I guess a lot of other people will too. My thanks go to Netgalley for a free ecopy of this book to review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Grieve

    I had read another book by this author recently, but didn't like this one as much. The narrator, Lucy, is not very believable - gorgeous yet stuffs her face with chocolate all day - as do all the main characters -, successfully runs a shop/cafe but is silly and irresponsible, keeps sending sexy messages to her dad instead of her boyfriend (once might be amusing, but constantly ...? it doesn't quite come together. The other characters all have their own things going on, but the other annoying and I had read another book by this author recently, but didn't like this one as much. The narrator, Lucy, is not very believable - gorgeous yet stuffs her face with chocolate all day - as do all the main characters -, successfully runs a shop/cafe but is silly and irresponsible, keeps sending sexy messages to her dad instead of her boyfriend (once might be amusing, but constantly ...? it doesn't quite come together. The other characters all have their own things going on, but the other annoying and unbelievable part is that two of them fancy the same man, a friend of theirs, who just happens to work as an escort ... really? Have some dignity, girls! I also thought it became a little confusing separating all the characters and their histories at times. Based on this, I wouldn't bother to read any more from this series. Review of a preview digital copy from the publisher.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    I'm not sure why I didn't manage to read this one before- but when I was lucky enough to get a copy of the next book I decided to read them together. Four friends meet regularly at the cafe that Lucy runs- Chocolate Heaven. We can delight in the amazing chocolately treats that come through the door. They discuss everything that is worrying them and try to put the world to rights. But are they hiding their deepest fears from their closest friends? I loved the relationship that they shared, and was I'm not sure why I didn't manage to read this one before- but when I was lucky enough to get a copy of the next book I decided to read them together. Four friends meet regularly at the cafe that Lucy runs- Chocolate Heaven. We can delight in the amazing chocolately treats that come through the door. They discuss everything that is worrying them and try to put the world to rights. But are they hiding their deepest fears from their closest friends? I loved the relationship that they shared, and was envious of the meetings in the cafe. Who wouldn't want to live near such a delightful sounding cafe! I couldn't wait to read more and was so pleased that I had the next book ready and waiting for me. With many thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for the chance to read this one.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nic

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Not great. I'm only on chapter eighteen and bored rigid by it already, and I usually enjoy a good chick lit book! Chapter six has Lucy talking about the Christmas prior and how she shagged her ex Marcus under the Christmas tree. Chapter eighteen she claims not to have seen him since their failed wedding as he walked away from the venue. Errors like that put me right off books. If the author doesn't care enough to keep her characters stories straight then why should we care either? Way too much ac Not great. I'm only on chapter eighteen and bored rigid by it already, and I usually enjoy a good chick lit book! Chapter six has Lucy talking about the Christmas prior and how she shagged her ex Marcus under the Christmas tree. Chapter eighteen she claims not to have seen him since their failed wedding as he walked away from the venue. Errors like that put me right off books. If the author doesn't care enough to keep her characters stories straight then why should we care either? Way too much actual chocolate eating going on as well...nobody could eat the quantity of chocolate these women do without making themselves sick & becoming the size of houses! We all love a bit of chocolate, bit being the operative word. Not gorging ourselves on it all day as her characters do!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Symonds

    All of Carole Matthews books are brilliant, this one was brilliant too. It follows on from Carole's previous books called 'The Chocolate Lover's Club' and then the second book is called 'The Chocolate Lover's diet. I loved catching up with the women from the other two books I feel like I am part of the gang and I wish I was as I could more than happily eat chocolate every day especially in a crisis. I would love to have Lucy's job but I don't think much chocolate or cake would be left for the cu All of Carole Matthews books are brilliant, this one was brilliant too. It follows on from Carole's previous books called 'The Chocolate Lover's Club' and then the second book is called 'The Chocolate Lover's diet. I loved catching up with the women from the other two books I feel like I am part of the gang and I wish I was as I could more than happily eat chocolate every day especially in a crisis. I would love to have Lucy's job but I don't think much chocolate or cake would be left for the customers as I would probably have eaten it all. A fabulous read that will leave you wanting more. I look forward to the next book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Angie Rhodes

    Loved it!! Once again Carole Matthews has a winner. Christmas is coming to Chocolate Heaven, and Lucy, Nadia , Autumn and Chantal are ready, well sort of,, Lucy is finding it hard to spend time with Aiden, her boyfriend, as she is looking after Chocolate Heaven for her friends, while they are away, Nadia is unsure of her feelings for Jacob, Chantal and her husband Ted, are bessoted with baby Lana. That leaves Autumn,who is struggling, as she is trying to deal with a tragedy, so very lose to home, Loved it!! Once again Carole Matthews has a winner. Christmas is coming to Chocolate Heaven, and Lucy, Nadia , Autumn and Chantal are ready, well sort of,, Lucy is finding it hard to spend time with Aiden, her boyfriend, as she is looking after Chocolate Heaven for her friends, while they are away, Nadia is unsure of her feelings for Jacob, Chantal and her husband Ted, are bessoted with baby Lana. That leaves Autumn,who is struggling, as she is trying to deal with a tragedy, so very lose to home, Will they all have a wonderful Christmas,? Or is there a surprise on the way? Curl up with a hot chocolate, Mince Pie and The Chocolate Lovers Christmas,, it will be Chocolate Heaven!!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Eliza

    This could easily be classified as a chick lit or something of the sort, and its literary merit is questionable, but I simple loved this book. Sometimes I give a book 5 stars just because I enjoyed it so much and this is one of those. It is the perfect book to read around Christmas. It is easy to read, easy to follow, and, maybe less of a merit, slightly predictable. I was taken up by the stories of the four girls, around whom this story revolves. Call me a bad student of English, but I loved th This could easily be classified as a chick lit or something of the sort, and its literary merit is questionable, but I simple loved this book. Sometimes I give a book 5 stars just because I enjoyed it so much and this is one of those. It is the perfect book to read around Christmas. It is easy to read, easy to follow, and, maybe less of a merit, slightly predictable. I was taken up by the stories of the four girls, around whom this story revolves. Call me a bad student of English, but I loved this. Already ordered the sequel.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Colette Kebell

    Ok, I know that I am a slow reader but I was griped by this book from the outset. It may have taken me a while to read due, to fitting in my reading around my own projects, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found myself cheering, commiserating, complaining, sympathising or just plain page turning wanting to know the outcome of each event throughout the book. I can highly recommend this book and am very much looking forward to reading the next book in the series, as curiosity has got the better of m Ok, I know that I am a slow reader but I was griped by this book from the outset. It may have taken me a while to read due, to fitting in my reading around my own projects, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found myself cheering, commiserating, complaining, sympathising or just plain page turning wanting to know the outcome of each event throughout the book. I can highly recommend this book and am very much looking forward to reading the next book in the series, as curiosity has got the better of me.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chrys

    TBH I was a little disappointed - I'm usually a huge fan of Carole Mathews but this felt a little bit contrived and obvious. It was a nice story but it lacked the usual sparkles. It seems to be left open for another installment so fingers crossed for that being back on point. This was an ARC from NetGalley, received with thanks. TBH I was a little disappointed - I'm usually a huge fan of Carole Mathews but this felt a little bit contrived and obvious. It was a nice story but it lacked the usual sparkles. It seems to be left open for another installment so fingers crossed for that being back on point. This was an ARC from NetGalley, received with thanks.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    A very easy to read book that certainly gets you in the mood for Christmas. It was enjoyable to read but far too predictable and the ending was all too neat! Good book if you aren't feeling festive at all and want something to read as you eat chocolates from the tree. Warning- difficult to read without snacks!!! A very easy to read book that certainly gets you in the mood for Christmas. It was enjoyable to read but far too predictable and the ending was all too neat! Good book if you aren't feeling festive at all and want something to read as you eat chocolates from the tree. Warning- difficult to read without snacks!!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cheryll Butters

    Pretty predictable Chic Lit. I'm not a big fan of chocolate and haven't read the previous books so didn't know the characters. Some of it was pretty unbelievable! Who eats that much chocolate?? Who pays for all this food/coffee they all eat at Chocolate Heaven? Is Lucy really that silly that she texts those sorts of messages to her father?? Sorry but I'm not a fan. Pretty predictable Chic Lit. I'm not a big fan of chocolate and haven't read the previous books so didn't know the characters. Some of it was pretty unbelievable! Who eats that much chocolate?? Who pays for all this food/coffee they all eat at Chocolate Heaven? Is Lucy really that silly that she texts those sorts of messages to her father?? Sorry but I'm not a fan.

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