Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake – 4 Star Review

“That’s the thing with putting yourself out of your comfort zone: once you get there, you’re like, Now I’m uncomfortable, what am I supposed to be doing?”

-Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall

I cannot resist a TV show or book that revolves around food and, even better, around cooking or baking competitions. When I found out that “Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake” follows a single Mom who enters a televised baking competition similar to The Great British Baking Show, this was immediately placed on my “Want to Read” shelf.

We meet Rosaline who has been selected to compete for a baking competition called Winner Bakes All. Rosaline is a bisexual, single parents who chose to drop out of college in order to raise her daughter, much to the chagrin of her parents who had hoped Rosaline would follow in their footsteps and become a physician. Rosaline ends up with more than she can handle when she winds up loosely dating a fellow contestant while attempting to manage her home and family life.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. I’m glad that Rosaline worked through her own hesitations to take control of her life and to live it for herself and not others. This book had healthy doses of female empowerment and good queer representation. Rosaline’s eight year old daughter Amelie is a little firecracker and brought a lot of funny/lighter moments to the story. I thought the romance was okay, but felt a little awkward or forced at times (There is a small section that deals with sexual assault, so trigger warning for that, no pun intended with the previous sentence). The book ended with a bit of spice and it rather ruined the end of the book for me. New relationships have a level of awkwardness, sure, but I felt like it really threw the pacing of the end completely off. A major complaint I had is that I wanted MORE from the baking competition aspect. Those sections wrapped up really quickly with either a “this bake came together well or it didn’t” attitude and that was that. More interaction behind the scenes, interaction with the other contestants while baking, Rosaline’s thoughts while doing the “blind bakes”. If that’s going to be a plot point for not only this book, but the series, then I feel like it needed more than a glancing over.
The next book in this series, Paris Daillencourt is About to Crumble, comes out in October 2022 and I’ll be interested in reading that one as well.
I’m wrapping up 2021 with this as my last read and I am glad it was with a good one!

-Review by Kelly

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