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8 July 2015

Review: 'The Chocolate Apothecary' by Josephine Moon (2015)

Christmas Livingstone has formulated 10 top rules for happiness by which she tries very hard to live. Nurturing the senses every day, doing what you love, sharing joy with others are some of the rules but the most important for her is no. 10 - absolutely no romantic relationships!

Her life is good now. Creating her enchantingly seductive shop, The Chocolate Apothecary, and exploring the potential medicinal uses of chocolate makes her happy; her friends surround her; and her role as a fairy godmother to her community allows her to share her joy. She doesn't need a handsome botany ace who knows everything about cacao to walk into her life. One who has the nicest grandmother - Book Club Captain at Green Hills Aged Care Facility and intent on interfering - a gorgeous rescue dog, and who wants her help to write a book. She really doesn't need any of that at all.

Or does she?

One of this summer’s releases which I was most excited about is definitely Australian author Josephine Moon’s second novel ‘The Chocolate Apothecary’, which was released in the UK on the 2nd of July. I got the chance to read and review Josephine’s debut novel ‘The Tea Chest’ last year (click here to read my review) and I loved it. So, when I found a package including a review copy of ‘The Chocolate Apothecary’ and some actual yummy chocolate on my doorstep from the lovely people over at Allen & Unwin, I think I literally jumped up and down with excitement! The book has a simply gorgeous cover combined with a promising title and story description and I couldn’t wait to dive into the world of main character Christmas Livingstone, already having a good feeling I would end up enjoying it!

Christmas Livingstone made the best decision of her life when she turned her back to her busy job and life in Sydney and started her own artisan chocolate shop, The Chocolate Apothecary, in the town of Evandale in Tasmania. Christmas loves anything having to do with chocolate and is specifically intrigued by the medicinal qualities of chocolate. When botanist Lincoln van Luc approaches Christmas with the question of whether she would like to be a co-author on a book all about chocolate, she happily accepts. However, Christmas has her own list of 10 rules for happiness and as she gets to know Lincoln better, rule number 10 starts to become a bit of a problem: no romantic relationships. When her best friend Emily enrolls her on a special chocolate course at the other side of the world, France, Christmas grabs the chance to get away from it all. But as we all know, running away is never the answer…

Another fabulous read which has made me fall even more in love with author Josephine Moon! ‘The Chocolate Apothecary’ managed to grab me with its very first chapter and continued to hold my attention until the very end. Josephine Moon’s writing is very descriptive and I fell in love with the main character Christmas Livingstone (I have to admit it took me a bit of time to get used to the name) and her amazing shop The Chocolate Apothecary as soon as I got lost in the first set of descriptions. Just like in her previous novel ‘The Tea Chest’, the author has created a lovely fictional world with a great setting (the story is set in both Tasmania and France), a captivating storyline and a lovely collection of characters.

I instantly liked Christmas, the protagonist, who is a warm and independent woman with a love for everything chocolate (some of the delicious chocolate treats mentioned in this book… it will make your mouth water, trust me!) and helping other people (I loved the idea of this fairy godmother service that Christmas provides to others). There are several interesting characters who play a significant role in Christmas’ story, such as the handsome botanist Lincoln van Luc, his lovely grandmother Elsa, and Christmas’ colleagues. Somehow Josephine Moon manages to write stories with characters that stay with me and almost have some sort of magical touch to them. I love it and already can’t wait to see when her next novel will be released. ‘The Chocolate Apothecary’ is a simply gorgeous light-hearted escapist read filled with a whole lot of warmth, love and delicious chocolate; a novel that comes highly-recommended to any chick lit/women’s fiction fans!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

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