by Susan Bishop Crispell
Narrator: Brittany Pressley
Length: 7 hours and 48 minutes
Genres: Magical Realism
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4 cups
A story of love, hot chocolate, and one little girl's wish for her mother that will make your heart swell.
At twenty-seven, Penelope Dalton is quickly ticking off items on a bucket list. Only the list isn’t hers. After her eight-year-old daughter, Ella is given just six months to live thanks to an inoperable brain tumor, Penelope is determined to fill Ella’s remaining days with as many new experiences as she can.
With an endless supply of magical gifts and recipes from the hot chocolate café Penelope runs alongside her mother in a small town nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, she is able to give her daughter almost everything she wants. The one sticking point is Ella’s latest addition to her list: get a dad. And not just any dad. Ella has her sights set on Noah Gregory, her biological father and the only person Penelope knows to have proved her true love hot chocolate wrong.
Now Noah’s back in town for a few months—and as charming as ever—and the part of her that dreamed he was her fate in the first place wonders if she made the right decision to keep the truth of their daughter from him. The other, more practical part, is determined to keep him from breaking Ella’s heart too.
But as Ella’s health declines, Penelope must give in to her fate or face a future of regrets.
Dreaming in Chocolate by Susan Bishop Crispell spoke to me with its “foodie” cover and promise of magical realism. You’ll want to devour this small-town second chance romance where chocolates make you dream.
Narrated by Brittany Pressley, I became nervous as I first began to listen. Apparently, the cover blinded me to the synopsis. I missed the fact that Penelope Dalton’s daughter, Ella has an inoperable tumor and six months to live. I almost set the audio down. I wasn’t sure my heart could take it. But I grabbed some truffles and continued to listen for a spell figuring I’d get out if it got to emotionally messy. I am so glad that I kept listening because Crispell delivered a heart-warming tale filled with hope, love, and chocolate.
Penelope is a single Mom who runs the Hot Chocolate Café alongside her mother. They live and work in a small town nestled in the Appalachian Mountains. Years ago she ate chocolate and dreamt of her future. When she told her boyfriend about their shared future, he panicked and left town taking her heart with him. Consequently, she never told him she was caring his child. When Noah Gregory returns to town to help his brother he realizes he has never stopped loving Penelope and tries to win her back.
Penelope has stopped any treatments for Ella and instead is filling her days with memories. Ella has created a bucket list, and the two are checking off items from the list. Chocolate cake for breakfast, purple hair, and ice skating. But Ella and the enchanted cafe have other ideas. Ella has added make Noah my Dad to her bucket list.
The story that unfolds was filled with healing, hope, chocolate and a small-town I would love to visit again. I loved the cafe particularly its apothecary table. It’s drawers provide recipes for what ails you. The chocolates and drinks produced in the cafe do all sorts of things from making you dream about the future to calming your nerves or perhaps finding true love. We get some humor when a couple of boys break into the cafe looking for a recipe.
The romance was a slow-burn despite their previous ties as they learned to trust again. Ella was adorable, and I enjoyed secondary characters like Penelope’s mom and Noah’s family. While I had truffles on hand, I only teared up few times as the story is filled with heartwarming moments.
My only complaint about the story or should I say characters was Penelope and her decision not to tell Noah about Ella and the length of time it took her to tell him. I understood her reasoning but cannot fathom as a parent doing this to someone.
Brittany Pressley was a new to me narrator, but I enjoyed listening to her. The pacing, tone and character voices pulled me into the story. I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up a book narrated by her.
Dreaming in Chocolate was a heartwarming and magical tale. I want to spend more time in the Hot Chocolate Cafe and would love more stories from this small mountain town.Dreaming in Chocolate by Susan Bishop Crispell will satisfy your cravings for magical realism, chocolate, and swoons. #mustlisten #iloveaudiobooks Click To Tweet
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