Narrator: Vance Bastian
Length: 3 hours, 45 minutes
Michal has had an online relationship with Magnus going on two years now. They almost met in person once, but when that didn’t work out, the men have been texting regularly and have become the best of friends. The biggest hurdle is that they live in different countries. Michal loves his job at the chocolaterie almost as much as he loves sex, but after a hookup turned violent, Michal is afraid to date.
Magnus wants to meet in person, but Michal is afraid of losing his friend if things don’t work out, so he keeps turning Magnus down. Until one day when a handsome stranger shows up at the chocolaterie, and Michal is gone for him. The man hardly feels like a stranger and with good reason. When the truth is revealed, Michal will have to figure out where his future lies and if Magnus is truly the one for him.
Friends-to-lovers and all things chocolate is what you will find here. Michal is the point-of-view character and we are quickly brought into his life in Sweden and his job at the chocolaterie. He has a true passion for the treats he sells, as well as a true desire to find the one he wants to spend his life with. We get caught up on his life and key moments along the way that made him wary about dating at this point.
We also get caught up on his long-distance friendship with Magnus. The men have never met, but have developed a solid relationship and when we meet them, they have already been friends for two years. Friends-to-lovers is my favorite, as well as the bond that longtime friends already have, but I felt we missed out on seeing that bond and we were only told that it was already in place.
There really isn’t a twist here as when a handsome stranger arrives at Michal’s place of work and then asks him out, it’s clear what is going on. The reveal does take place within a reasonable amount of time, but then the relationship goes backwards as Michal feels he was deceived, and it sort of stalled the progression of the relationship in a short book for me.
Vance Bastian narrated here, and he was an excellent choice to convey Michal. He has a tone that was welcoming to listen to and he was vulnerable when he needed to be, hurt when that was needed, and amorous when that was needed. He could offer up a slight accent when needed as well, but with Michal being originally from Poland and then living in Sweden, I expected there to be a stronger dialogue accent throughout. The men text often as the book opens, and in audio format, it did take longer to pick up the flow of the characters at the beginning of the story. Vanilla Clouds is definitely recommended for the narration quality, as well as for a mostly sweet story about falling in love with your best friend with some great descriptions of chocolates added in.