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Secrets of the Chocolate House

af Paula Brackston

Serier: Found Things (2)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
11422183,894 (3.71)1
New York Times bestselling author Paula Brackston's The Little Shop of Found Things was called "a page-turner that will no doubt leave readers eager for future series installments" (Publishers Weekly). Now, Brackston returns to the Found Things series with Secrets of the Chocolate House. After her adventures in the seventeenth century, Xanthe does her best to settle back into the rhythm of life in Marlborough. She tells herself she must forget about her love for Samuel and leave him in the past where he belongs. With the help of her new friends, she does her best to move on, focusing instead on the success of her and her mother Flora's antique shop. But there are still things waiting to be found, still injustices needing to be put right, still voices whispering to Xanthe from long ago about secrets wanting to be shared. While looking for new stock for the shop, Xanthe hears the song of a copper chocolate pot. Soon after, she has an upsetting vision of Samuel in great danger, compelling her to make another journey to the past. This time she'll meet her most dangerous adversary. This time her ability to travel to the past will be tested. This time she will discover her true destiny. Will that destiny allow her to return home? And will she be able to save Samuel when his own fate seems to be sealed?… (mere)
Nyligt tilføjet afArina42
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» See also 1 mention

Viser 1-5 af 22 (næste | vis alle)
Review to come ( )
  purple_pisces22 | Mar 14, 2021 |
I still like the premise but Xanthe runs the risk of sounding a little whiny. Yes time travel is risky and she has a lot to learn, but she has friends and family and teachers are starting to show up. She is not in this alone. ( )
  bgknighton | Jan 20, 2021 |
First I had no idea what this was about, but the title intrigued me, even the cover was interesting (I like good cover art, what can I say)

So this gal in 2018 is able to time travel, and she saves lives... she purposely goes back to a time to save a man she fell in love with, via a chocolate pot (which sings to her). You know, it is like a port-key.

So she goes back & the old woman who runs the chocolate house and is able to help her is coshed in the head... she helps the old woman heal & does her best to save the guy she loves (who is engaged to another).

She meets an evil man and deals with him.....

She goes back home to 2018 to continue to help her mom run their antique shop, until the next time. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Dec 3, 2020 |
Xanthe can travel back in time using antique items from her shop. Some antique items just sing for her, telling her that they hold secrets that need to be told. Ever since she touched a chatelaine and was transported back to 1605 in the first book in this series (The Little Shop of Found Things), I've been eagerly awaiting Xanthe's next trip back in time! This time, a copper chocolate pot calls out to her...and she decides to answer the call of the past again.

This story is just as entertaining and exciting as the first one, but with a lot more character development. Xanthe is learning to take time travel in stride...taking time to better prepare and being more open to learning more about her strange calling (or talent, powers....whatever you want to call it). I enjoyed seeing Xanthe's relationship with her grandmother Flora develop a bit more....plus her relationships with locals in present time become a bit deeper.....and her coming to terms with her ties to the past and history.

A reader could jump in and start reading with this story. It isn't totally necessary to have read book one first. There is enough information given to understand the characters and situation. But, in order to fully understand all the nuances, it really is best to read book one, The Little Shop of Found Things, first. Plus, it's a very enjoyable book!

Nice addition to this developing series. I will definitely be reading more by Paula Brackston!

**I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from St Martins Press via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.** ( )
  JuliW | Nov 22, 2020 |
You can read my full review on my WordPress blog, Flora's Musings... after 5th November

...So, what did I like about it?
Although historical fiction isn't my usual choice of reading material, I have read a couple of Ms Brackston’s historical mysteries now and really enjoyed them. Ms Brackston captivates me with her beautiful and descriptive use of language. The prose she uses is intelligent, eloquent and very reminiscent of a historical novel; the words chosen and the sentence formation, while still managing to set the scene beautifully in one's mind is never overly long or heavy.

I liked the way that this intriguing tale was told from Xanthe’s perspective, our female protagonist, and that we learnt a little bit more about her gift. As my regular followers will know, I always enjoy a story more when the lead female character is intelligent, resourceful, resilient and has plenty of gumption; in this tale Xanthe Westlake, her mum, Flora and Mistress Louisa Flyte from the 17th century had these traits. I enjoyed seeing Xanthe’s character grow in both her knowledge and her inner strength during this adventure, although she hasn’t reached her full potential yet in this book.

I felt that the sad scenes, tense scenes, mysterious scenes and romantic ones were all written particularly well giving us a good balanced plot, with a sprinkle of humour also thrown into the mix.

Although this is a work of fiction, the attention to historic detail and the care that was obviously taken when writing her characters made Ms Brackston’s world and the people in it feel very real to me. I enjoyed the fact that this foray into the past is not a rose tinted one; life was harsh, political and religious views could be fatal to one’s health and the rules of etiquette numerous. Although I feel that a bit of licence is permitted to aid a fictional tale, too much can turn it into a mockery; Ms Brackston hit the right balance for me.

Secrets of the Chocolate House brought out many emotions while reading; it made me rage with indignant frustration, put a soppy smile on my face as well as had me on the edge of my seat holding my breath. I loved the way that the story kept me guessing in both present day Marlborough and in the 17th century.

...So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?
OK, so here’s where I mention the niggles that lead to my overall rating being 4 stars rather than 5.

I think that I have already mentioned in other reviews, historic fiction isn’t my preferred genre, this is mainly due to the constraining etiquette the characters are forced to live by and, as such, it took me a while to shake off my frustrations and read this story without my modern sensibilities screaming. I have read some reviews that complained about Xanthe’s reluctance to stay in the past but I felt that this was one of the book’s strengths; I certainly couldn’t go back to that era!

While I appreciate that Xanthe has grown since her first foray into the past, I did get frustrated with her handling of certain situations in this book, both in present day Marlborough and the 17th century.

It’s important to remember that this is only the second book in a new series and I liked that Ms Brackston left enough teasers to continue in subsequent books. BUT. My main gripe is how this book ended; definite cliff-hanger and I’m not a big fan of those.

...So, basically what I’m saying is...
I really enjoyed reading this book. It has everything that I look for in a good story; a mystery or thriller aspect, a sprinkling of romance and a nice balance of gentle humour with the added bonus of being within my favourite genre - paranormal.

I would recommend this book to fans of mystery stories, historical fiction and paranormal tales as well as readers of YA novels too as there is no explicit sexual content and only a handful of expletives, having said that, some of the beliefs, customs and laws of 17th century England may cause offence to your modern sensibilities.

I want you to know that I was given an unedited digital version of this book for free from the publisher (St Martin’s Press) in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence or affect my review in any way; these are my words, I’m giving you my honest opinion here. ( )
  -Flora- | Nov 8, 2020 |
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New York Times bestselling author Paula Brackston's The Little Shop of Found Things was called "a page-turner that will no doubt leave readers eager for future series installments" (Publishers Weekly). Now, Brackston returns to the Found Things series with Secrets of the Chocolate House. After her adventures in the seventeenth century, Xanthe does her best to settle back into the rhythm of life in Marlborough. She tells herself she must forget about her love for Samuel and leave him in the past where he belongs. With the help of her new friends, she does her best to move on, focusing instead on the success of her and her mother Flora's antique shop. But there are still things waiting to be found, still injustices needing to be put right, still voices whispering to Xanthe from long ago about secrets wanting to be shared. While looking for new stock for the shop, Xanthe hears the song of a copper chocolate pot. Soon after, she has an upsetting vision of Samuel in great danger, compelling her to make another journey to the past. This time she'll meet her most dangerous adversary. This time her ability to travel to the past will be tested. This time she will discover her true destiny. Will that destiny allow her to return home? And will she be able to save Samuel when his own fate seems to be sealed?

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