For the last twelve years, more than half her life, Lainey Peterson has prepared to design, create, and produce quality chocolate bars. But when she discovers her chocolate internship at Switzerland’s prestigious Alpine Foods has been canceled, she vows to do whatever it takes to get to Chocolate.
Yves Claremont, a young, ambitious department chair, would sacrifice everything to rise to vice president at Alpine Foods and redeem his father’s name. Impressed with Lainey’s resume and charming determination, Yves offers her an internship in his Pet Care department, promising a recommendation for Chocolate if she does well.
Lainey is drawn to the enigmatic and passionate Yves Claremont. He cannot deny his growing attraction to her. But inter-office relationships are strictly forbidden by Alpine Foods, and a perceptive co-worker, jealous of Yves’ success, will undermine Yves and Lainey any way he can.
Targeted Age Group:: New Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
When I was nine years old, I wanted to visit Switzerland. I had the opportunity in my twenties to live there for 8 months. I grew so much learning about another culture and people from really all over. But I made many mistakes and had a few close calls. In this book she and her roommate haul a recliner up four flights of stairs. I did too!
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Yves is based off this hot guy I met while living in Lausanne, Switzerland. He invited us to play ultimate Frisbee, but I couldn't go. So I kind of based this character after a guy I met who looked really hot in a suit and had dark hair.
“C’est dommage. Le département de chocolat cannot you take.”
Marie Claire’s bluntness quickened Lainey’s heartbeat. Heat radiated from her face, her heartbeat pulsed into her head. Her brow lifted off her skull. Please, don’t pass out, she silently prayed. She didn’t want to know how hard the granite floor was. “Why not?”
“Bad economy, vous voyez,” she said. “Their budget was cut dernière minute. There is no money. You have to return home.”
“But I’ve come so far.” She couldn’t return home, not when she was in the lobby. Not when she could almost smell the chocolate. She closed her eyes, breathing deeply, hoping to stop the train wreck inside her head. All she envisioned was the image of her beaming parents waving goodbye as she bustled through security. What would their expressions be if she returned home tomorrow? “What am I going to do?” she asked.
Marie Claire shrugged with a pained expression on her face.
Chocolate! Lainey needed chocolate!
Her tongue lolled in her mouth, craving a molten blob of chocolatey goodness to soothe her spirits and calm her heart, but the delayed flights depleted her choco-stash. There was nothing left—zilch, nada, rien du tout.
“Is there somewhere else I can work? Some other department? Some other job?” She would mop floors, empty trash cans, anything at Alpine Foods. She didn’t say this aloud. It wasn’t the best bargaining chip to appear too needy. Maybe she could wander the lobby with a sign around her neck, “Will work for chocolate.” Her nose tingled. She sneezed. She always sneezed right before she cried. “Please. I’m willing to do anything.”
Marie Claire handed her a scented tissue, biting her lip, her eyebrows peaked with sympathy. She patted Lainey’s hand. “Wait. I see what I can do. Maybe one of the other departments can you take.” She lifted the phone at the reception desk, dialed a number, and spoke in such rapid French Lainey couldn’t keep up.
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