To make herself feel better, Samantha started running through all the positive aspects of the situation. For example, being locked in a chocolate factory would make an excellent basis for a magazine story....But each time she glanced in Matt's direction, she felt a thrill of anxiety pass through her, and all thoughts of her documentary dissolved. No matter how she tried, it was going to be impossible to view this as a solely journalistic experience. Can your sworn enemy become your romantic obsession? Keith Lowe, the wickedly witty author of Tunnel Vision, shows that it can happen in this enchanting story of a man and a woman who learn that love is indeed the least predictable flavor in life's box of chocolates. Matt, the brilliant young marketing director of Trundel & Barr, one of the United States' leading confectioners, loves chocolate. To him it represents sensuousness and innocent joy; it is to be adored, worshipped, and exploited at every opportunity. For Samantha, however, chocolate represents something more sinister. Working on a TV documentary, she's discovered that the subject is not as sweet as she thought: While Western children cram their faces with candy bars, African children are working in horrendous conditions to produce them. Since Matt's company is one of the worst offenders, Sam soon decides it's her mission to expose it and, in the process, destroy Matt. Then, by accident or fate, Sam and Matt find themselves locked in the extremely close quarters of the Trundel & Barr chocolate factory. As their repeated attempts to escape from the factory fail, they realize that they are stuck with each other -- and they are finally forced to take a good look at the real reasons why they find it so difficult to get along. Both spirited and seductive, New Free Chocolate Sex is the perfect read for anyone who finds a smart romantic comedy to be the sweetest treat of all.
Reading Group Guide for New Free Chocolate Sex 1) Describe Sam's character. What are her main career motivations? Do you think she treats Matt fairly at the beginning of their encounter? What are some of the main issues she grapples with before, during and after her time in the chocolate warehouse? What is your overall opinion of Sam? 2) Describe Matt's character. What effects did growing up and working in his father's candy store have on his career path and relationship with other people? What motivates him in his profession? Does he differ from other marketers? What is your overall opinion of Matt? 3) Describe Matt and Sam's relationship with each other. What is the nature of the preconceptions they have about another on first meeting? How are these resolved? What are the main things they share in common? 4) Both Sam and Matt have dysfunctional relationships in their past. How have their experiences affected them? How did emerging from an abusive relationship affect Sam's behavior towards Matt? 5) The concept of marketing is central to the story and to Matt's character. How are the opposing viewpoints on the relevance and power of marketing presented? Do you agree with one viewpoint more than the other? How does the title of the novel tie in with this theme? 6) Chocolate has a very prominent presence in the novel. Describe the part it plays in each of the character's lives. What are some of the positive and negative effects it has on these characters? What does it symbolize to each character? 7) Discuss Paul and Sam's relationship. What does Paul represent to Sam? What is the main conflict between them? 8) What is the significance of the section divisions and the historical descriptions of chocolate? How does this help tell Sam and Matt's story? 9) Social activism is another prevalent theme in the novel. How is it presented through Sam and Matt's experiences? How are the activists portrayed in the novel? Does Sam differ from the other activist characters? 10) How do Sam and Matt resolve their differences by the end of the novel? Do you think their main conflicts are over? What is the significance of Sam's lost ring being found in a chocolate bar? Enhance Your Book Club: 1. Treat your book club to a chocolate festival such as the West Coast Chocolate Festival: www.chocolatefestival.ca/home.htm or the New York Chocolate Show: www.chocolateshow.com. Or search for a chocolate event in your area at www.foodreference.com 2. Search for a local chocolate factory at www.factorytoursusa.com and take your book club on one sweet tour. (Make sure you get to see the chocolate vats!) 3. Have the members of your book club bring in their favorite chocolate treats or make one from any of these great Simon & Schuster cookbooks: www.simonsays.com/content/browse.cfm?sid=33&pid=516387,516474,369631