Shades Of Chocolate by Cecelia Dowdy

Let Go And Let God

chocolateShades of Chocolate by Cecelia Dowdy is a contemporary Christian romance. It is the second book in the Bakery Romance series but can be read as a stand-alone.

Shades Of Chocolate is an absolutely delightful read. I found myself immersed in its pages from the start. Cecelia Dowdy writes wonderful descriptive passages, I could almost ‘smell’ the goodies cooking.

There was everything a reader could want in Shades Of Chocolate… a hero, a heroine, a fabulous setting, a mystery and lots of chocolate goodies! I did not so much read the book as float through its pages.

The novel is a journey. Or more correctly, several journeys of discovery. Both Toni and Jason discover who they are individually and wonder who they could be together, if at all? Geographically, educationally, culturally they are miles apart. There is also the journey into a relationship with God.

Having a relationship with God is vital to a healthy life and an everlasting destination. God will never leave us. In the good times He walks with us and in the bad. “Even though I don’t feel His presence, I believe Jesus has remained close to me in those dark times.” God is no crutch for the weak. God is essential to complete us all. Without Him there is a God-shaped hole in our lives.

The novel shows what being a Christian is. “Following Jesus isn’t about knowing everything or acting correctly… It’s about being forgiven.” God forgives us and we need to forgive others. Forgiving is not easy. “Forgive him?… I wish there was something I could do to make him suffer.” We all struggle with the concept of forgiveness whether we admit it or not.

There is a wonderful sense of love and community within the novel. “When I see somebody in a tough spot, I stop and help if I can.” This echoes Jesus’ command to help others and when we do, it is as if we were helping Him. It is also a beautiful by product of small town living, to see a need and meet it.

The theme of grief is in the novel. Various characters are suffering from a loss. Grief is shown to be raw and it takes a while to get used to a new type of ‘normal.’

Families are important. Family duty, with or without love, is quite a pull. Families may or may not be dysfunctional but they work together. The wider church family and the community feel of the novel means that no one’s needs are invisible.

Prayer is essential to help get one through life. Characters pray in the bad times and remember to thank God in the good.

There are fathers within the novel. Not all are good role models but we can count on our Heavenly Father to never let us down.

The novel deals with the difficult subjects of alcohol and drug abuse. It shows how without help, a downward spiral is inevitable, causing us to reap what we sow.

The main characters Toni and Jason are wonderfully drawn. Both are unique and likable. I loved the dialogue between them and it was delightful to witness their cautious but caring natures.

Cecelia Dowdy masterfully creates the settings. Her descriptions conjure up the places in my mind. I could ‘see’ the shop and almost reach out and ‘touch’ the pastries. The atmosphere of both the shop and community really came to life for me.

Shades Of Chocolate was totally delightful. I just adored it. It was my first novel by Cecelia Dowdy and I am happy to report that she has written loads more.

Tantalise your taste buds today and buy Shades Of Chocolate, it’s a fabulous read.
I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.  No monetary compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.

JULIA WILSON

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