pinch of ooh la la book coverReviewed by Sarah McCubbin

Step inside Abbey Ross’ bakery and you will find all manner of delicious confections and treats. Planning a wedding? Using her degree in art history, she can transform an ordinary cake into a true masterpiece. At nearly 40 years old, Abbey still hasn’t found that special someone for herself. In A Pinch of Ooh La La, Abbey’s best friend, Bendrix, has taken it upon himself to help her fix that. He wants her to agree to try online dating despite her resistance to the idea. When she finally agrees, she meets Samuel. He is a successful lawyer, attractive physically and very kind; it seems a match made in heaven. As it turns out, it’s a recipe for dysfunction!

Abbey and Samuel come from completely different backgrounds. Abbey’s father, a jazz musician, had 13 children with many wives and girlfriends. But, they all manage to get along and function in an oddly stable way. Samuel comes from a very conservative family complete with a lot of rules and expectations. Appearances and expectations are highly valued. Initially Abbey and Samuel are able to look past their differences to see all they share in common, but as the months fly by, they both realize their families’ ways are deeply ingrained in their own personal values. So, as they begin to fall in love, sparks fly as their worlds collide.

While the premise for this story was interesting, I found that it lacked any overall plot. It seemed to focus on several relationships in their various stages, but, there was no central driving conflict that needed to be resolved. Instead there is a lot of dialogue in various settings as different characters try to figure out their relationships. Strong characters would suddenly make unexpected changes in behavior. For example, Samuel is initially very conservative and portrayed as the perfect gentleman, but suddenly he is described as having all these sexual fetishes that push Abbey’s limits and are never hinted at earlier in the story. Overall, the story lacked cohesion and dissolved at the end with strings still hanging. It ends hinting at another romance but feels unfinished. For those that enjoy chick reads, this book may have something to offer, but I found it to have no substance.

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

Sarah McCubbin is a homeschooling and foster mom in NE Ohio where she resides with her husband and 7 children. In addition to reading great books, she enjoys gardening, traveling and blogging at Living Unboxed.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Penguin Group. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.