Falling in love could be a recipe for disaster.
Lucy Kendall returns from a tour of the Continent, her luggage filled with the latest fashions and a mind fired by inspiration. After tasting Europe’s best confections, she’s sure she’ll come up with a recipe that will save her father’s struggling candy business and reverse their fortunes. But she soon discovers that their biggest competitor, the cheat who swindled her father out of his prize recipe, has now hired a promotions manager – a cocky, handsome, out-of-towner who gets under Lucy’s skin.
Charlie Clarke’s new role at Standard Manufacturing is the chance of a lifetime. He can put some rough times behind him and reconnect with the father he’s never known. Charlie is determined to help his father dominate the nation’s candy industry. Compromise is not an option when the prize is a father’s approval, and falling in love with a business rival is a recipe for disaster when only one company can win. Will these two star-crossed lovers let a competition that turns less than friendly sour their dreams?
I love the novelty and originality of setting bitter rivalries in the candy industry. The strength of this novel lays in Siri’s due diligence in accurately portraying the complicated process of candy making in the early 20th century as well as the ingenuity behind the recipes. Unfortunately, amidst all the sugars and confections, there was noting saccharine about the lengths Lucy and Charlie went to solidify their dominance in the marketplace. At the onset, their schemes were comical and entertaining but, as they resorted to more underhanded tactics, a romantic relationship between the two often felt implausible; they were both singularly devoted to their family’s honour and success. I struggled to champion either character for their cyclical arrogance and conniving grated.
The chapters alternated between Lucy and Charlie’s first person points-of-view which I found jarring in the initial chapters. It took me about 50 pages to hear the distinct voice in the “I” but the flow improved once I found each character’s rhythm. Missing was the usual cadence and artistry of dialogue that I so adore from Siri’s books. I found the content detailed and historically rich, but the dialogue was simplistic.
While this book did not whet my appetite, I still highly recommend Siri’s other historicals. Many other reviewers and readers adored this tale so, like candy, it is all a matter of preference!