Dreaming in Chocolate by Susan Bishop Crispell
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Author: Susan Bishop Crispell
Release Date: February 6, 2018
No magic in the world has been able to save her daughter from a terminal illness. Penelope Dalton would do anything she can for young Ella, but the diagnosis is grim. Rather than live out the rest of her life in fear and sadness, Ella creates a to-do list of things she wants to do before her life ends. Of the many things on her list, dying her hair a bold color, getting a kitten, and finding her dad are all near the top.
Penelope knows Ella's dad is back in town, but she can't stand more heartbreak. Noah Gregory broke her heart when he left their small town years ago, and she's sure once his brother's leg heals, Noah will leave again. She's not about to let Noah break their daughter's heart. And, that means she can't let Noah find out that Ella is his daughter.
In Dreaming in Chocolate, there's a bit of a paranormal aspect I wasn't expecting. Penelope and her mother own a chocolate shop that has a mysterious table that reveals secret recipes for chocolates that can help people see their future. I wasn't expecting that. It added a bit of a paranormal touch to some of the story.
I loved Ella's precocious character. This kid is adorable and very honest. I love how she kept pushing her mother, even if it meant the occasionally broken rule. Irritating for Penelope, sure, but integral to the developing relationship.
Penelope is pretty headstrong too, and you can see where her daughter gets that trait from. I liked how they were supportive of each other, yet also kept pushing to form solid relationships within the family and within the town. It was a very involving read where I ended up wanting to be part of the close-knit town.