Book Review: Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Chocolate by Caedem Marquez

Can chocolate heal a broken heart?

In the three years since the love of her life, Jonathan, died, Rachel McDaniel, 39, has lost her love for life. She busies her life by working in her chocolate shop and visiting Jonathan’s grave each morning.

Rachel thinks she is happy with her hermetic lifestyle until one day a handsome writer, Daniel Martinez, walks into her shop. Suddenly, chocolate isn’t the only thing on her mind.

Even as Rachel and Daniel learn to love each other, Rachel also learns to live again as more people enter her life and her once solitary existence bursts with new friends, such as Sister Mary from the local church, and Jake, an acquaintance and single father. But not everybody is a welcome newcomer. Matthew, a mysterious church volunteer, looks with disdain every time he sees Rachel, and soon the contempt is mutual.

However, not everything is as it seems, and as Rachel experiences both the joy and heart break that comes with opening her life to the world around her, she begins a trek down an unexpected path that will lead not only to pain, but also to a surprise place full of love and healing.

Release Date: August 31, 2011
Age Group: Adult
Source: Review copy from author

This book was an unexpected treat!  I went into it feeling ambivalent, based on the summary and cover, and ended up really enjoying the book.  I liked Rachel from the first line of the book, and liked her even more the more I read.  I read this book in two sittings because I just couldn't wait to find out how Rachel's story would end.

I have to admit that I fell for Daniel right away, right along with Rachel.  I really thought they were meant for each other.  I loved the development of their relationship---it was love at first sight, which is something I don't usually like, but I liked it here.  Rachel was always so excited to see him, which was so sweet.

I also enjoyed reading about the day-to-day running of a chocolate shop.  I have always been a chocolate lover, from my very first taste of chocolate, so I really identified with Rachel there.  She was an artist of sorts, and I thought that part of the book was very well done.

But my favorite part about this book was Rachel's devotion to Jonathan.  She honors his memory daily---but it's to the point that she can't move on to her life.  I loved that she loved him so completely.  It made me like her as a character.  I also liked how she overcame her struggle with honoring Jonathan's memory while allowing herself to fall in love and be happy again.

I liked the ending of the book and found it believable.  I was rooting for Rachel all along and delighted in her happiness.  Overall, I really enjoyed Life, Love and the Pursuit of Chocolate and would definitely read more from Caedem Marquez in the future.  


  1. Sounds sweet. In more ways than one. Great review.

  2. I'm a firm believer that chocolate is the answer to everything. :) This sounds like a really cute and fun read. I'll add this one to my list. Thanks for the recommendation, Kelli!

  3. I read the authors note before I read the book. This book made up for Forever for me. I loved it so and so different from other books out there.
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