Friday, September 6, 2013

Chocolate Fondue by Martha Reynolds (4.5 stars)

About Chocolate Fondue
(from GoodReads)

Twenty-three years ago, Bernie Maguire, a young student in Switzerland, delivered a son. Giving him up for adoption was the right decision, she knew, but Bernie always wondered about the boy who was now a young man.

Back in Fribourg, Switzerland for vacation, Bernie is stunned when she sees the man she knows is her son. Now she must decide whether to identify herself to him and hope for a connection, or say nothing and leave the young man to live his life. The matter is complicated by a hotel employee who discovers the truth, and who intends to get in the way of Bernie’s plans.

CHOCOLATE FONDUE is the sequel to Martha Reynolds’s award-winning debut novel, CHOCOLATE FOR BREAKFAST.


Let me start by saying... Yes. Yes. Yes. That's what I want from a sequel.

Bernie Maguire got pregnant at a young age and gave up her son for adoption, but she never stopped thinking about him and wondering how his life turned out. On a trip to revisit the places of her youth, she runs into a man and immediately knows it's her son.

She's conflicted--does she walk away, even though her instincts scream for her to make a connection, or does she step into the life of her grown son. Instead of rushing into a decision, she tours the area and relives the ups and downs of her time there. As part of her journey, she confronts the man who got her pregnant so many years ago. A man who still has many lessons to learn.

While she's debating meeting her son, another person overhears her dilemma and wants to use the information to her own advantage. Will Bernie decide to meet her son? And, if she does, will he welcome her into his life, his family?

Chocolate Fondue is filled with amazing characters who have a rich history and real reactions to complicated situations. It's real life, but in a heartwarming and relatable way. Life hands us all questions without perfect answers, and that's what happens to Bernie. Yet, you can disagree with her decision and still be rooting for her because she agonizes over it. She doesn't rush in headfirst and only consider her own feelings.

I hope Martha Reynolds will think about one more Chocolate story, because I sure would love to know how the story continues. A simply beautiful tale. One I highly recommend.

Rating: 4.5 stars

About Martha Reynolds
(From Martha's Amazon Author Page) 

Martha Reynolds ended an accomplished career as a fraud investigator and started writing full time in 2011. Her debut novel, Chocolate for Breakfast, follows a young woman into adulthood during a year abroad in Switzerland.
Martha is presently writing her second novel, tentatively titled The Reunion, and plans a sequel to Chocolate for Breakfast.
She and her husband live in New England, never far from the ocean.
Read and follow the writings of Martha at her website and on GoodReads.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not guaranteed or requested; the opinions expressed are my own.


About Chocolate for Breakfast
(Book One)

Young Bernie (Bernadette) Maguire is in for the journey of a lifetime when her junior year abroad takes her to Fribourg Switzerland. Ripe for love and adventure, she is seduced by a handsome Swiss banker. She is horrified when she discovers she's pregnant.

Protected and befriended by those who help to keep her secret for as long as possible, this moving rite-of-passage tale will warm the heart as a young woman struggles with an all-too-familiar dilemma. Yet after the unexpected death of her father and the discovery of her pregnancy by her classmate Timmy, who believes the child to be his, Bernie’s life takes some unexpected turns that it will take decades to resolve.

An excerpt from my review:

I read in the author's bio that she is considering writing a sequel, and I hope she does. Bernie has so much more life to live, and I want to know she gets the opportunity to come out of the shadows of her decision. She deserves to be loved, and to love herself.

So imagine my delight when the sequel was published and was everything I wanted it to be!

Read my full review here.