Do you know, I’m not always the world’s biggest fan of those tag lines publishers add to their books on Amazon – but when Choc Lit decided to call this book “a wonderfully uplifting summer read”, they really got it absolutely right. It’s a real delight today to share my review of Oh Crumbs by Kathryn Freeman – published as an e-book on 12th June and available on all platforms.
Sometimes life just takes the biscuit…
Abby Spencer knows she can come across as an airhead – she talks too much and is a bit of a klutz – but there’s more to her than that. Though she sacrificed her career to help raise her sisters, a job interview at biscuit company Crumbs could finally be her chance to shine. That’s until she hurries in late wearing a shirt covered in rusk crumbs, courtesy of her baby nephew, and trips over her handbag.
Managing director Douglas Faulkner isn’t sure what to make of Abby Spencer with her Bambi eyes, tousled hair and ability to say more in the half-hour interview than he manages in a day. All he knows is she’s a breath of fresh air and could bring a new lease of life to the stale corporate world of Crumbs. To his life too, if he’d let her.
But Doug’s harbouring a secret. He’s not the man she thinks he is.
When a heroine is described as an airhead, I’m sometimes a little wary – but, with some well-judged background to start the story, I immediately took Abby to my heart. She’s stepped in as substitute mother to her large and chaotic family, but still managed to juggle everything and get a business degree, keen to better herself – and as she arrives for her interview with the managing director of the Crumbs biscuit factory, running off at the mouth as she does throughout, I found I was really willing her to do well.
I loved the family side of this story – Abby’s loud and loving household, every individual a vividly drawn character, in stark contrast to the stark and cold background story of managing director Doug. I particularly liked Abby’s father – after an initial impression that he’d just left her to get on with everything, their relationship really touched me to the heart. The interactions are so well done – the tactless comments of the younger ones, the supportive friendship of her sister, those wonderful moments when Doug finds himself among them and under the closest of critical scrutiny.
The workplace is really well drawn too – always a real strength in the author’s books – although hopefully the sexism, prejudice and harassment Abby encounters are rarely now the norm. I really liked the way her work efficiency contrasted with her scattiness, and the exchanges between her and Doug are wonderful, teetering on the line between acceptability and total inappropriateness.
Of course, this is a love story – and a really perfect one, with a slowly developing relationship heating up as the story develops. And my goodness, talking about heat – now Doug’s really quite a hot proposition, all tightly reined in and waiting to explode, muscles rippling under the jacket of his designer suit. I liked his depths too – the complications of his background story, his friendships and other relationships, his gentleness coupled with his unusual way of letting off steam.
I know I shouldn’t really have favourites, particularly among Choc Lit’s excellent authors, but I’ve yet to read a book from Kathryn Freeman that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed. Very funny, wonderfully written, and a great story – what more could you possibly want? Well, maybe a pack of biscuits to dunk while you’re reading…
About the author
I was born in Wallingford but have spent most of my life living in a village outside Windsor. A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also loves to write romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…
I’ve two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) so the romance in my life is all in my head. Then again, my husband’s unstinting support of my career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes can come in many disguises.