Rosaline Palmer Takes The Cake
By: Alexis Hall
Contemporary Romance / LGBTQ+
Overall: Rosaline Palmer is chosen to be on a British baking reality show called, “Bake Expectations”. She is a bisexual, single mom of a spunky, precocious, 8 year old daughter, Amelie. Rosaline is barely making ends meet working at a stationery shop after dropping out of medical school when she became pregnant. Her parents are both wealthy, workaholic doctors who disapprove of Rosaline’s life choices. This book is structured in chapters through the weeks of the baking competition. It is about all the interesting things they have to bake, what it’s really like to be on a tv reality baking show, and all the unique people she meets there.
She meets two totally different men in the competition who are interested in her. There is Alain who is posh, handsome, accomplished, and her parents will love him. Then there also is Harry, who is sweet, hot, thoughtful, and a bit rough around the edges. She becomes involved in a love triangle of sorts between these two men. While this book is a romance, it is also about Rosalie learning about herself, and what she wants out of her life. She is in her late 20’s and is not sure if she wants to go back to school and finish her medical degree, or if that is just what her parents want her to do. She is a people pleaser and has not really learned to stand up for herself and decide what she wants her life to look like yet. Through the trials of the baking competition and the people she meets there, she starts to figure out herself and her life, and what her own road to happiness looks like.
Ovations: This book is very funny! Alexis Hall writes wonderfully witty dialogue
and snappy humor very well. I was laughing out loud many times! (There is a lot of swearing in the book, so if that is not your cup of tea, this book won’t be either.) I like the setting being back and forth between going to the mansion where they taped the baking “reality show” and then also back at her small house with her daughter in her “real life” world. Rosaline’s young daughter, Amelie, is smart, sassy, funny, and fantastic! Rosaline’s ex-girlfriend Lauren, is honest, hilarious, and fun. I love that they are exe’s but are still able to be best friends. I liked that the plot has a love triangle for romance, I love a good love triangle! I appreciate the way that this book is so well written that you get a very funny book, but also a romance book, but also a thoughtful book about a woman in her 20’s who is growing up and finding both her voice and her own direction for her life.
Oh Well: There are several parts in the book where it gets sort of preachy, over explaining bisexuality and lesbian issues…..and also other gender and consent issues. I am all for treating people with equality and respect, but I don’t need it constantly brought up in this book so much. I feel it detracted from the story more than it added anything to it.
Opinion: This book was about a young woman gets chosen to be on tv in a British baking show. It is fun to read about the competition, what they are baking, and about all the quirky people she meets and interacts with on the show. There is plenty of hilarious dialogue and witty banter to make the book enjoyable. But this book also dives into some deeper issues that Rosaline is dealing with in her life. Plus, Rosaline is involved in a love triangle (two actually!). There are a lot of things going on in this book all at once, it is not a short book. If you love watching baking shows, or are a baker yourself, or love British books about life in England, or like LGBTQ books with bisexual female main characters, I think you will especially enjoy this entertaining book. Rating 8 out of 10