Title: A Pinch of Ooh La La
Author: Renee Swindle
Genre/Audience: Women’s fiction, adult
Publication: NAL, 2014
Source: For review
In a word, this book is fantastic!
The story centers around Abbey Ross, a soon-to-be 40, single bakery owner in California. After being cheated on in the public eye several years before, by her famous artist fiance, she’s been afraid to date. Her best friend, however, has plans for her, and manages to find her Samuel on an online dating site. He is handsome, successful, and they both share a dream of having children, and soon. His upbringing was quite different from hers though, which has the potential to cause some tension in their budding relationship. Abbey grew up the daughter of a famous jazz musician, in a home full of love and family, with over a dozen different children and quite a few stepmoms, all still friends. While her family was vibrant, fun loving, huge, and nontraditional, Samuel’s family was incredibly strict and unloving with parents who often abused him, all in the name of their beliefs, and though his strict parents taught him to be successful and smart, he is quite uptight and closed off. If the two can manage to overcome their differences, things may work out, but it might just be too much for the couple to overcome.
So I really, really found myself enjoying this book. It had such a vibrant cast of characters with such big and distinct personalities, from Abbey’s famous father, to her best friend since childhood, Bendrix, to all of the stepmoms and ex-girlfriends who still gathered together on a regular basis. I LOVED Abbey’s crazy family and couldn’t believe all the fun and love there was between ALL of them. I loved hearing about their big dinners and parties filled with live music played by her very own father and siblings. They were a whacky clan, but seemed to have so much going for them, anyway. These characters truly seemed to jump off the page.
I loved Abbey’s evolution as a brokenhearted, humiliated woman to someone who was willing to try again (after much pushing and prodding). She was also successful and passionate about baking, which helped her heal in ways that nothing else could. Her relationship with Samuel sucked me in, and I couldn’t stop wondering what would happen to them at the end of it all.
All in all, I have to say I loved this book. It had some comical, lighthearted moments, but also some serious ones too. It speaks a lot on the love of family and friends which I enjoyed immensely. The characters are unforgettable ones and I was sad to have to let them go as I turned the last page. I would highly recommend this one to all fans of women’s fiction, especially those interested in family relationships.
My Rating: 4.5/5
Giveaway: One lucky reader will win their very own copy of this book! If you’re interested, please just let me know in a comment below. Please be 13 years or older and have a U.S. mailing address. Please leave your email. Winner will be drawn via random.org on September 7th and notified by email. Good luck!