Taste of Heaven

Laura Simon, Author Berkley Publishing Group $3.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-425-11873-3
The author of Until I Return here successfully conjures two exotic turn-of-the-century milieus, the cocoa plantations of Grenada and London's chocolate factories, then lets her plucky heroine conquer them. The protagonists and situations are too stereotypical for authentic drama, yet Simon builds plausibility by creating multisensory portraits of the interesting locales and loading sharply observed details about such arcane skills as chocolate conching and cocoa-tree cultivation. The romance between Allegra and her late father's partner, Oliver, plays second fiddle to the passion Allegra demonstrates for business ventures. In fact, Oliver is depicted as so judgmental and nay-saying a character early in the book that he never emerges as a believable soulmate for the dauntless Allegra; the love scenes seem to reflect Allegra's tempestuous nature and love for the islands far more than her ardor for Oliver. Still, there's abundant spark, dalliance and merriment to make this a pleasant diversion. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/1989
Release date: 12/01/1989
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