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His Competent Woman*

But How Competent is She?

The author draws you right into this story when we see the heroine being told the news that her beloved son may have dyslexia. Emma is a single mother whose husband died while serving in the military, and she is struggling to make ends meet as it is now. The National Health Service does not cover dyslexia, so the diagnosis and any extra costs associated with it would have to be borne by her. She has had mostly short-term, dead-end jobs, but she manages to finagle her way into an office manager position at a local corporation by not being entirely truthful about her working history. The boss, the hero, comes across very strongly, an alpha male with a bad attitude towards women working in the office after three quit in the same week for personal reasons.

This is a short read, so the characters didn’t really have time to develop or have an arc. The author did broach to potentially difficult topics, being overweight and dyslexia. Honestly, the heroine didn’t seem to be that overweight by description—is someone whose clothes are a little too tight necessarily a BBW?—sometimes I wish that supposed BBW series actually had really overweight women and explored the topic deeply and sensitively. The dyslexia wasn’t handled as well as I would have liked, but this is a romantic novella, so I guess I can understand that fault. All in all, I found Emma’s head an interesting place to be in during her chapters, which made this a fun read.