He's also always had their unsolicited advice and uncanny knack of embarrassing him at all costs. Now that he's an adult and trying to convince the love of his life to love him back, things haven't changed very much from when he was younger. When Gavin's best friend Tyler suggests he make a to-do list of items that will ensure he wins the girl, Gavin is one-hundred-percent on board: after a few six packs. After puking in the shrubs, a bad experience with Viagra, a Sex-Ed course gone wrong, and a slew of other mishaps courtesy of his family and friends, Gavin is pretty sure this list will be the death of him.
Sometimes, trying to make someone love you with a list isn't always the best idea. Especially when "Show her your penis" is the first "to-do" item...
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Two things to know about this series (Chocoholics Series) is that it really is a spin-off of the Chocolate Lovers Series. Everyone is present. The entire gang from The Chocolate Lovers Series make some or other appearance. But the main focus is all about Gavin and his love for Charlotte. At first, I wasn't sure what it would be like reading about Gavin and the rest of the kids being adults so soon since the last time we met them (which wasn't that long ago)... they were practically still in nappies. So at first I admit, I wasn't sold on the idea... but I was excited none-the-less.
The second thing to take note of is that what I experienced while reading Love and Lists didn't feel strange at all. It took me all but 10 minutes to get into the fact that Gavin (who we all remember from Seductions & Snacks as the little foul-mouthed brat who always had it out with Drew) was now 25 years old. All Grown up.
To be honest, Gavin is really the only offspring of the entire cast (Claire, Carter, Liz, Jim, Drew & Jenny) that we really got to know well. For instance, I didn't think twice about reading anything regarding Charlotte's sexual experiences, because we don't really know her all that well. Gavin's however, was another story, but like I said, it didn't take me all that long to accept that he's all grown up now.
So all the kiddies are all grown up and living the life of full adults. No longer little people, they work, they (still) swear, they drink and of course, participate in adult acts.
What I must admit... and this is a huge factor for me... is that I didn't find myself laughing quite as much as I did in every single book of the Chocolate Lovers Series. But I can easily put this down to the fact that Gavin has a far more serious personality than his parent's, aunts and uncles have. Tyler, his friend is funny though. He's the spitting image (personality wise) of Drew and I loved that. I loved that Gavin, who is similar to his father Carter, has a good friend who turns out to be so very similar to his fathers best friend Drew.
I could get over the fact that Gavin is all grown up... but for some reason, I couldn't get over the fact that Claire is now kind of oldish. Well, yes she had Gavin when she was pretty young, but now he's 25... so she's kind of much older than the last time we met her... this was strange for me. But not a bad kind. I just couldn't conjure an image of her in my head every time she made an appearance.
So anyway, Gavin is in love with Charlotte. And according to him, he's loved her for a very long time. Charlotte is the daughter of Liz and Jim - You'll remember Liz is the lady who owns the sex shop in the Chocolate Lovers Series. Liz and Claire continue to have the love / hate / name calling relationship they've always had and still I love that the most!
Ok... Gavin's in love with Charlotte and he and Tyler compile a list of actions that, according to Tyler, are a sure way of getting Charlotte to fall in love with Gavin. But of course, every single time Gavin put's one of the instructions on the list into play... something goes wrong.
Love and Lists didn't end in a cliffer at all. I was happy with the way in which it all came together. I'm super eager to read more and since there are a whole bunch of kids - there's sure to be ample more books to feed my Tara Sivec craving. (Which, may I add... I've had for some time now... so much so that just the other day, I reread all the Chocolate Lovers books all over again).
In my opinion, you should read Seductions and Snacks first. Don't just start off your Tara Sivec journey by starting on Love and Lists. Not that you would get confused, but it would spoil some scenes for you if you haven't yet read Seductions and Snacks or any of the followups. And not just that - you'd be losing out on an amazing experience if you just skip right over Chocolate Lovers and go onto Chocoholics instead. If you've never listened to any advice I've ever given, you have to at the very least take my advice on this... You don't know funny, you don't know brilliantly writing and you don't know awesomeness until you've read the Chocolate Lovers & the Chocoholics series by Tara Sivec.
All in all, Love and Lists is a fun read that I thoroughly enjoyed! But the Chocolate Lovers Series still remains my favorite of all Tara Sivec's books. You won't regret spending time with a Tara Sivec book in your hand.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
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