"The shop for chocolate and dreams" - Manuela Inusa

"The shop for chocolate and dreams" - Manuela Inusa
"The shop for chocolate and dreams" - Manuela Inusa

On a cold January morning five women met in an Oxford street lined with six old lanterns and eight empty flowerpots, in which in the summer bloomed and spread their fragrance the most the gorgeous flowers of the world. This tiny paved block ran off one of the major shopping streets and often went unnoticed. However, whoever came across it found much more than a few shops - namely warmth, a feeling of coziness and sincere friendliness…

Welcome back to Valerie Lane

Keira loves what she does. In her small chocolatier, she handcrafts confections – her homemade cookies, chocolate candies and couverture fruit appeal to sweet tooth lovers of all ages.And often she herself cannot resist the appetizing sweets. But what does it matter? She wouldn't give up her passion, and she likes her curves. But her boyfriend Jordan, with whom they always argue, has a different opinion.

Luckily, Keira has loyal friends who support her and like her just the way she is. Also, lately, an adorable customer has been shopping at the chocolate shop more and more often…

After the fun and heartwarming story of "The Tea Shop of Happiness", the five friends invite you to prepare a piece of delicious chocolate and immerse yourself in the magical "Valerie Lane" again!


"A wonderful read for lovers of sweet delights and great company for gray and dreary winter days" - Sweet Dreams Magazine

“A book that is a pleasure to read… Manuela Inusa writes from the heart, and the recipes at the end of the book will make you want to test your pastry skills.” – Schone Welt

About the author

Manuela Inusa was born in 1981 in Hamburg and since she was a child she dreamed of becoming a writer. Shortly before his thirtieth birthday, he decided it was now or never. Among her most popular novels are the Valerie Lane series of books, which enchanted the hearts of readers and conquered the Spiegel bestseller list.

Besides the author of fascinating novels, Manuela Inusa is also a fan of travel, thrillers, tea and British pop music. She still lives in her hometown with her husband and their two children.

Recipes from Keira's Chocolate Shop

There is about a month left until Valentine's Day, and if you are planning to surprise a loved one or treat yourself with something chocolatey, we offer you a delicious recipe from the Chocolate and Dreams Shop. More ideas for sweet treats await you within the pages of the novel.


Ingredients for about 30 candies

75 ml cream

300 g white couverture

1 tbsp grated orange peel

1 bottle of orange essence

50 g finely chopped macadamia nuts

Heat the cream in a saucepan. Gradually add the couverture and stir until melted. Pour the mixture into a bowl and chill for two hours in the refrigerator. Then beat it with a mixer until you get a creamy consistency. Add the grated orange peel, essence and nuts. Fill a syringe and dispense the mixture into heart-shaped candy molds. Leave for one hour in the fridge.

Keira recommends using white chocolate, but the candies also taste great with milk or slightly bittersweet chocolate.


Keira walked into her shop called "Keira's Chocolate Shop" and hurried to turn on the radiator because it was freezing cold outside.And he had to be careful not to overheat the premises so that the candies would not melt. Still, he couldn't ask his customers to be cold. Besides, she was cold-blooded herself.

Last month they stopped the heating once because of frozen pipes and immediately felt a difference in the work. The customers didn't linger, didn't take time to chat, and didn't show interest in the latest treats that Keira was hand-crafting with all her heart. They spat at each other's heels at the first convenient moment to warm themselves in one of the great shops of Cornmarket Street. It wasn't enough that the popular high street shops were a thorn in the side of the five Valerie Lane women who were struggling to survive month to month. Competition was fierce, but fortunately they had loyal customers who appreciated the personal touch typical of small-street shops. Here they were still given useful advice, engaged in pleasant conversation, and people knew what they were getting for their money.Keira was grateful to every single customer who helped her keep the chocolatier up.

The twenty-nine-year-old shop owner took off her knitted hat and ran her fingers through her brown hair, which she wore loose today. Then he rubbed his hands together and exhaled to see if a cloud of steam would form. Yes, I saw it, but still the air was warming gradually. Kiera peered out the window and diagonally opposite saw her friend Orchid, who was changing the decorations in her window. Not a single customer was passing by on the street. Then she walked around her white shelves, on which she had displayed the different types of cookies - in beautiful cardboard and metal boxes or in cellophane bags. There was embellishment here and there, but not too much to make her pieces stand out. Except she had just discovered a delightful new accessory in Orchid's gift shop that matched her assortment perfectly. So, for example, next to the simple white box of coconut biscuits was a pale pink vase with a bouquet of dark pink and white roses that looked so real that no one would have noticed they were made of silk.The little metal tins of peppermint cookies were lined up on a shelf decorated with one of those hot pink swans that were an absolute hit at the Orchid shop last year.

Keira had scattered small accents in the appropriate places in the two transition rooms. Most often in pink or other women's favorite colors to attract the attention of the main part of its clientele. However, there was also a special corner for children with chocolate bears and colorful treats, as well as for the gentlemen, which offered dark chocolate, cognac candies, bourbon chocolate bars from Canada, marzipan from Germany and chocolate cigars from France. She had arranged them in an old cigar box along with a gold pocket watch borrowed from her friend Ruby's antique shop. Keira was very proud of her international range, but most of all her homemade candies and truffles, which were consistently best sellers.

Yes, Valerie Lane was still about handcrafting, along with lots of love.Another of her friends made her own tea blends in Laurie's Corner; Susan from Yarn Heaven, in addition to her wide selection of yarns, also offered her own knits, and Orchid also sold hand-cast candles. Meanwhile, Ruby from the antique shop scoured the city's flea markets almost every weekend and lovingly and carefully selected antiques for her clients.

Until nine months ago, the empty premises between Susan's and Orchid's shops sold homemade ice cream, but the owner Donna went to Holland with her great love and the shop has been empty ever since. However, Keira was certain that a new owner worthy of Valerie Lane would be moving in before long. The manager of the property, Mr. Spacey, would surely have thought carefully about whom to entrust the shop to, for he, like them, took the fate of the old street to heart. Keira could not put into words how good she felt here, how much she valued her friends and how happy she was to walk into her chocolate shop every morning.

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