Set against the backdrop of Restoration London, the plague and the Great Fire, this is a tale of cruelty, revenge, redemption, love and hope, and the sweet, sinister temptation of chocolate.
Damnation has never been so sweet...
When Rosamund Tomkins enters the world she is so different, with her darkling eyes and strange laughter, that the midwives are afraid, believing her a changeling. But Rosamund's life is set to be anything but enchanted...
Born into poverty, brutalised and ignored by her family, it is only when she is married off to a nobleman that her life undergoes a wondrous transformation, as he recognises that Rosamund infuses magic she does not know she possesses into everything she touches.
Clever, quick and irrepressible, Rosamund soon becomes the darling of the haute ton, and presides over her luxurious chocolate house where the rich go to be seen and indulge in their favourite pastime, drinking the sweet and heady drink to which they've become oddly addicted.
But Rosamund stands on the brink of losing all she has worked so hard to achieve and will be forced to make a choice: walk away from all she knows and has grown to love with her soul intact, or make a deal with the devil
📖 My Review ...
Rosamund Tompkins is rescued from her life of misery and neglect by Sir Everard Blithman who marries her for his own selfish reasons and then launches Rosamund into his world of chocolate. Whilst Sir Everard is not a chocolatier he does have a head for business and when he launches a new chocolate house, Rosamund charms the customers with her sweet nature. However, all is not so sweet in the world of chocolate and Sir Everard has his own nefarious reasons for setting up the business.
Set in Restoration London during the years 1660-1667 this rambunctious period in English history comes to life. It's the time of great social change, and with the opening of playhouses and theatres and with a pleasure loving Charles II newly on the throne the country is swept by a new and joyous mood which is why the chocolate, and coffee houses, which started to spring up in the city, were so successful.
With secrets, lies and intrigue very much at the heart of the story there is much to take in and the ending of the story, should the author decide on a sequel, certainly lends itself to a follow up. The story is quite long, over 560 pages, or over 20 hours, if like me you listen to the audio book, so it's quite an investment in time but it's an ideal read to listen to during a wintery afternoon.
☕Best Read with... a cup of rich, dark chocolate
Karen Brooks is an Australian author, columnist, social commentator and academic. Brooks was born Sydney, New South Wales, and now lives in Hobart, Tasmania, with her partner and two children.