Dreaming in Chocolate by Susan Bishop Crispell

March 26th, 2018 Kimberly Review 44 Comments

26th Mar
Dreaming in Chocolate by Susan Bishop Crispell
Dreaming in Chocolate
by Susan Bishop Crispell
Narrator: Brittany Pressley
Length: 7 hours and 48 minutes
Genres: Magical Realism
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Audible
Goodreads
Rating:One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Heat Level:One FlameOne FlameHalf a Flame
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.

Foodie Magical Realism Standalone Truffles

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

About Susan Bishop Crispell

Susan Bishop Crispell

Susan Bishop Crispell earned a BFA in creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Born and raised in the mountains of Tennessee, she now lives twenty minutes from the beach in North Carolina with her husband and their literary-named cat. She is the author of The Secret Ingredient of Wishes (2016) and Dreaming in Chocolate, which releases on Feb. 6, 2018. As you might expect, she is always on the lookout for hints of magic in the real world.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat...Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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44 Responses to “Dreaming in Chocolate by Susan Bishop Crispell”

  1. Chrissy

    I have this one on my TBR, and I’ve been hesitant because of the terminal diagnosis. I’m glad to hear it was a good story. I’ll have to read it soon!

  2. Laura@Library of Clean Reads

    This one sounds lovely, despite the fact that there’s a daughter who is dying. I tend to stay away from books like that too as I become an emotional mess as well. But I’m glad this turned out heartwarming! And of course, there’s the chocolate aspect. Tough to resist that.

  3. Lily

    aww glad to hear you stuck with it, despite the subject matter and enjoyed it so much!

  4. Debbie Haupt

    Great review I wish I would have seen this in Macmillan audio’s Feb offerings it sounds like something I would like. Thanks Kim

  5. Nadene

    I know would be an emotional basket case after reading this one. I am not keen on the secret baby trope. It irks me when the mothers choose to keep the secret for so long. Despite this, I think would want to give this one a try.

  6. Heidi

    I have a copy of this one, but I am worried now. I am not sure how well I will handle the cancer part. That is still so touchy for me.

  7. Stefanie

    Aw, when a child is suffering in some way I don’t think I can read that even though it was somewhat in the background. What a premise.

  8. Nick

    Chocolate? YES! And it has a second chance romance. I love how charming that title is too. Glad this was a good read for you!

  9. Mary @StackingMyBookShelves!

    I would have been iffy to with her passing and all so I can totally understand why you hesitated on listening. It sounds like a great book. I am glad you listened. I love heartwarming tales and second chance romances. Good pick and great review!

  10. verushka

    Goodness, I don’t know how you managed to get through this — just reading the blurb, I almost didn’t want to continue because yeah, I don’t want to deal with a child so sick. But at four stars, I am impressed the author has managed something so heartwarming out of such a tragic plotline.

  11. Silvia

    Oh my, this sounds like a quite heart-warming read for sure, and I confess I like that. Plus, it has that magical element you know I have a thing for, so I have a feeling this book could work its magic on me as well 😉

  12. Sophia Rose

    Yes, the secret child part would be my main cautious moment. Oh man, I know what you mean about being skittish to try this one, knowing about the tears. I guess we both had one on the pile like that. Dane’s Storm- good, but yeah, teary.
    I love the sound of this one and the way you describe it. I liked the narrator when she did a Carolyn Brown I was listening to so I’ll have to try it on audio when I get the chance.