Romance is not really a genre I read much of these days. Of course, when I was a teenager I devoured everything I could get my hands on that had the faintest whiff of romance about it: from one of my all time favourites, Pride & Prejudice to Tolstoy's War & Peace to Georgette Heyer. ChokLit is an independent publisher of romantic fiction but with a unique selling point. It pairs the heroes of it's novels with a specific chocolate bar. These days, I don't get much time for reading, but when ChokLit asked if I'd like to review one of their books, I couldn't resist such a fun idea.
I have to confess, I was a little concerned that the titles offered might be in the Mills & Boon vein, so I turned down the offer of two books, restricting my review to just one. Now, I don't really like sticking the boot in unnecessarily, but I will say I made the right decision; one was enough. The Silver Locket by Margaret James was most definitely not my kind of book. It started off as an easy read, fast moving with a potentially interesting, if predictable story line and it whiled away a couple of hours on a long train journey. However, it quickly became irritating and most unusually for me, I couldn't bring myself to finish it. Although the story was improbable, I could have forgiven this if the quality of writing had been of an acceptable standard. Unfortunately, the plot lacked internal coherence and the characters underwent rapid and highly unlikely personality changes as the story advanced. The characterisation was so superficial as to render it unbelievable - I found nothing to get my teeth into, so to speak.
The chocolate that the hero of this book was matched too was a bar of Divine 70% dark chocolate. I can see why that bar was chosen; Alex has a conscience which links into the fair trade ethical origins of this company. He is also a rather bitter and depressed man with a dark past. However, once one gets past this forbidding exterior, he's really a bit of a sweetie and I guess, if you like that sort of thing, Divine. I certainly appreciated eating the chocolate.
In conclusion, I think this is really interesting concept. Although this is not my kind of book and I'll refrain from reviewing any more, it is my kind of chocolate. What do you like to read with your chocolate?