In a romance novel, love can be all sweet and smooth, like a fine Lindor Truffle. But where’s the conflict? A good romance needs a little Rocky Road. Sometimes, like an Almond Joy, it needs to have a little nuttiness. No matter the flavor, chocolate-themed romances are a delicious treat for readers. Here are some of the best, with links to their Booklist reviews when possible.
Better than Chocolate, by Sheila Roberts (Series: Life in Icicle Falls)
Her family’s generations-old business, Sweet Dreams Chocolate Company, is about to go bankrupt. Unfortunately, bank manager Blake Preston is Samantha Sterling’s nemesis.
Blame it on Chocolate, by Jennifer Greene
When botanist Lucy Fitzhenry’s experimental variety of chocolate gives her unmanageable, unbridled passion, she has a night to remember with boss Nick Bernard, grandson of the chocolate company’s owner.
The Bride Wore Chocolate, by Shirley Jump (Romance with Recipes)
With her wedding only three weeks away, the owner of a shop called Gift Baskets to Die For has a new customer. Problem is, he’s more on her mind than her fiancé.
Chocolate Goodies, by Jacquelin Thomas
When wealthy Ransom Winters goes to Coco Stanley and asks her to hire some of the troubled teens he counsels to work at her chocolate shop, he realizes Coco represents much more than an opportunity for at-risk kids to succeed.
Chocolate Kisses, by by Margaret Brownley, Raine Cantrell, Alexis Harrington, and Sue Rich
This yummy anthology includes “Rocky Road,” in which a teacher gets a box of chocolates that isn’t meant for her; “Miss Devlin’s Delight,” about a confirmed bachelor who can’t control his sweet tooth; “The Taste of Remembrance,” in which a woman’s grief over her fiancé, killed in a Civil War battle, is soothed by a man who courts her with chocolate; and “Sweet Creations,” where a candy maker tempts the man she loves with liquor-filled chocolates.
Chocolate Secrets, by Zelda Benjamin (Love by Chocolate)
It’s the Hatfields and McCoys all over again. New York City firefighter Mike Simone tries to win the heart of Alex Martinelli, an ER nurse. Unfortunately, Alex’s grandfather blames Mike’s great-uncle for filching her secret family chocolate recipe many years earlier, and passing it off as his.
The Chocolate Thief, by Laura Florand (Chocolate Romances)
Sylvain Marquis, a French crafter of fine chocolate, and Cade Corey, American chocolate royalty, are both lovers and rivals.
Echoes of Mercy, by Kim Vogel Sawyer
There’s been an accident at the Dinsmore Chocolate Factory, but something just doesn’t add up., so Labor Commission investigator Caroline Lang goes undercover to see what really happened. Oliver Dinsmore’s in disguise, too. He wants to learn everything about the company before he inherits it. However, the use of child labor, all too common in 1904, becomes a source of contention.
For the Love of Chocolate, by Margaret Brownley, Raine Cantrell, Nadine Crenshaw, and Sandra Kitt
A sweet, rich collection of stories, including “Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut,” in which an uptight insurance detective investigates a whimsical chocolate shop owner; “The Secret Ingredient,” with a spinster confectioner in the Old West who interests a handsome cowboy; “The Chocolate Shoppe,” about a Puritan maid in London who adores her first taste of hot chocolate—and the owner of the Chocolate Shoppe isn’t bad, either; and “Sweet Dreams,” about a child who searches for a special box of candy, leading his single mother to a dreamy engineer.
Hold Me If You Can, by Stephanie Rowe (Soulfire)
Natalie Fleming’s chocolates can cure erectile dysfunction, but the chocolate is also a magnet for leprechauns with lethal fangs. Escaped prisoner and immortal warrior Nigel Aquarian will either save Natalie or destroy her.
Hot Chocolate on a Cold Day, by Roz Denny Fox
Coast Guard Lieutenant Megan Benton drinks a lot of hot chocolate to ward off the bitter cold of St. Ignace, Michigan. Single dad Sterling Dodge, her new neighbor, has moved so he can start over again. They can’t stand each other, especially when Sterling demands that Megan stop doing aerobics on his ceiling. Then Dodge’s young son gets attached to Megan, and the dynamics start to change.
How to Lose an Extraterrestrial in 10 Days, by Susan Grant (Otherworldly Men)
How could Evie Holloway, soccer mom and owner of a new chocolate business, possibly know the sexy guy she’s fallen for is really an extraterrestrial hitman on the run?
Just One Kiss, by Isabel Sharpe
Just how do you seduce a man whose celibacy vow tends to stop things cold? Seattle candy shop owner Angela Loukas is determined to find a way.
The Only Thing Better than Chocolate, by Janet Dailey, Kylie Adams, and Sandra Steffen
Delicious and decadent, these stories include “The Devil and Mr. Chocolate,” in which art gallery owner Kitty Hamilton has an ex-husband who will stop at nothing to keep a Belgian chocolate magnate from being her next spouse; “I Know I Love Chocolate,” in which Annie Valentine’s amnesia might be cured by a reclusive man with paranormal abilities; “Sex and the Single Chocoholic,” which finds a dessert chef and the owner of a candy shop having a wild and crazy romance.
Seduction by Chocolate, by Nina Bangs, Lisa Cach, and Penelope Neri
This quartet of chocolatey confections includes “Eliza’s Gateau,” where American Eliza Mandish finds unlikely love in Brussels with restaurateur Sebastian St. Germain; “Sweet Sin,” in which a woman carves the male form from chocolate and uses her ex-lover as the model; “Meltdown,” where an events coordinator is resolved to keep a strictly professional relationship with her client; and “Seducing Syndee,” in which Cord Westridge’s cocoa plants start dying and agricultural engineer Sydnee Frost goes to Costa Rica to save them.
Sweet Success, by Susan Mallery
Widower Matt Baker has become a recluse. California chocolate storeowner Allison Thomas has a heart as big as the state where she lives. She hires Matt to renovate her back room, and, in the meantime, is determined to discover the cause of his hermit-like existence.
Sweet Surprises, by Shirlee McCoy (Home Sweet Home)
Model Brenna Lamont has returned to Benevolence, Washington to work in her injured grandfather’s renowned store Chocolate House, known for its awesome fudge. She needs to be around family because her no-good fiancé has embezzled all her money and used it to take another woman out of the country. Brenna has another problem: she’s a total failure at making fudge. Famous chef River Maynard was a foster kid, now back in Benevolence to do some much-needed work on the ranch where he has raised. He’d be glad to help Brenna make fudge—if she’d only let him.
Sweetshop of Dreams, by Jenny Colgan
Nurse Rosie Hopkins goes from London to the tiny village of Lipton to take care of cranky Great-Aunt Lilian, who has broken her hip. After Rosie reopens Lilian’s neglected candy store, both the town doctor and a farmer compete for her affections.
Tempting Janey, by Mary Lynn Baxter
Janey Mansfield suddenly finds herself the new owner of a candy shop. This inheritance is hard enough for her to handle, but it isn’t helped by the presence of Dillon Reed. The affair between his ex-wife and Janey’s ex-husband ended both their marriages, and just being around him is a constant reminder.
Willowleaf Lane, by RaeAnne Thayne (Hope’s Crossing)
Spencer Gregory hurt her in high school, so how can Charlotte Caine, who owns a candy store, possibly trust him now?
Your Heart’s Desire, by Melody Carlson
Three years after her husband is killed in WWII, Caroline takes her young son from Minnesota to California and accepts an assembly line job at a chocolate factory. A handsome stranger seems to be everywhere Carolyn is. As they get to know each other, she wonders if she’s ready to love again.