THE CHOCOLATE RUN is an enjoyable friends to lovers story. All of the characters in this one are reluctant adults who are struggling to define how they will love and live their lives. Amber is the center of the entire story and all of the characters are connected through her. After surviving her parents marriage that was fraught with abuse, their subsequent divorce, and the blending of new families almost immediately after the divorce Amber has developed some interesting coping mechanisms as well as some serious barriers to protect herself from further emotional harm. Amber views everyone through her love of chocolate and categorizes their personalities according to the qualities of various chocolates. Amber also uses humor, whether appropriate or not, to diffuse tense situations and as a means of avoiding uncomfortable conversations. Because of Amber's experiences as a young girl, she has learned not to fully share her emotions, thoughts, or heart with anyone because it has always lead to pain or disappointment.
Three years of friendship with her close friend and known "tosser" Greg leads down an unexpected road for Amber and true to form she doesn't deal with the changes well. Greg is admittedly free and loose with his temporary affections but he is now making a move to get what he truly wants; but Amber is running scared of the changes. Amber learns that growing up sometimes means growing out of the relationships that she found comfortable. Taking risks, standing up for herself, going for what she wants in spite of being afraid is a huge step that Amber isn't sure she wants to take. Amber isn't dragged kicking and screaming into adulthood and more mature relationships; instead she goes twitching and whimpering which was for me a much sadder reaction.
THE CHOCOLATE RUN is women's fiction done well. Love, betrayal, emotional growth, as well as changing relationships with family, friends, and lovers can all be found in this one. I'm so glad that I discovered Koomson and will be adding more of her books to my TBR pile.
Amber Salpone thinks in chocolate - talk to her for three minutes and she'll tell you what kind of chocolate you'd be. In fact, most days, if she was asked to choose between chocolate and relationships, there'd be no contest. At least chocolate has never let her down. Unlike her family. Growing up in the Salpone household has taught Amber to avoid conflict and love at all costs.
So, when she does the unthinkable and has a one-night stand with womaniser Greg Walterson, her uncomplicated, chocolate-flavoured life goes into meltdown. Especially when Greg announces she's the love of his life - and Amber finds it hard enough to commit to plain or Fruit & Nut. . .
Meanwhile, her best friend, Jen, seems to be launching a bid to become Bitch Of The Year and Amber's family are making unreasonable demands. Amber has two choices: deal with her past and the people around her, or go on a chocolate run and keep running. . .
A scrumptiously funny and moving tale of love, lust and confectionary.