Shadowed Heart is a follow up to Laura Florand’s The Chocolate Heart which is in itself the fifth book in the L’Amour et Chocolate contemporary romance series set in France. You could read this as a standalone novella, but I don’t really see the point as the purpose of this book is to check in on characters and have visits with the protagonists of the other books in the series. Without everyone’s backgrounds, not a lot is going to make sense.
Luc Leroi and Summer Corey have been married for a short time and they realise they have rushed in where angels fear to tread. Quickly espoused, they decide to have a child despite a. knowing each other less than a year, b. each having personal issues that seriously hinder communication and c. having recently moved to an entirely new location so that Luc can immerse himself in starting a new restaurant. Luc is frantically trying to use what he sees all he has to offer – his skill as a patissier – to secure his future with Summer and she, in turn, is desperately trying to mask her loneliness and isolation. They still need to do a lot of work on themselves and their relationship, and this book reinforced that notion.
I didn’t really care about seeing Luc and Summer again. Their story, The Chocolate Heart, was the weakest and my least favourite of the series. They are both damaged – which is fine – but I didn’t particularly like either one of them. She is profoundly vulnerable and he is a control freak. I bought Shadowed Heart for the visits with everyone else from the stories and it did not disappoint. I must tell you though that the most exciting part of the book was the excerpt of Florand’s upcoming book, Once a Hero, which promises more time with my favourite couple, Dom and Jaime of The Chocolate Touch.
A complete summary of Laura Florand’s catalogue, with recommendations, can be found here.