BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE by Sheila Roberts
By SMW Staff
A chocolate maker struggling to save the family business from the clutches of the bank whips her town into a frenzy by organizing a chocolate festival, in BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE, the new novel by critically acclaimed author Sheila Roberts.
Sweet Dreams Chocolate Company has been in the Sterling family for generations, ever since Great-Grandma Rose literally dreamed up her first fabulous recipe. So Samantha Sterling was understandably unhappy when her mother named her second husband, Waldo, president of the family business. Appointed president after Waldo’s recent death, Samantha is apoplectic when she discovers just how close Sweet Dreams is to bankruptcy.
Thanks to the free spending ways of her recently deceased stepfather, it looks as if they’re about to lose Sweet Dreams to the bank—and that would be a disaster, not only for the family but for the town of Icicle Falls, Washington. Although Waldo had ignored numerous requests by Cascade Mutual to discuss their arrears, Samantha is sure she can win over the manager to her side.
But the bank’s longtime manager has retired and his replacement, former Icicle Falls high school football star Blake Preston, isn’t as easy a mark as his predecessor. So when Samantha’s pleas and a gift box of chocolate fail to impress, she’s forced to consider other options.
After some brainstorming with her mother and sisters, inspiration strikes. They’ll have a chocolate festival. Town council approves the idea—despite some reservations voiced by Blake. Time is running out, but the Sterling women are determined and the town’s behind them, so what could go wrong?
Well, quite a few things, actually. The permits appear to be mysteriously stalled at the mayor’s office. Samantha and her mother seem to be at loggerheads. And Blake is determined to sell off Sweet Dreams assets to their biggest competitor even if the Sterling women do raise the funds. Or is he? It’s enough to drive Samantha to chocolate.
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