Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall – Book Review

Book Title: Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake (eARC)

Author: Alexis Hall

Genre: Contemporary, Dramedy

Blurb from Goodreads

Following the recipe is the key to a successful bake. Rosaline Palmer has always lived by those rules—well, except for when she dropped out of college to raise her daughter, Amelie. Now, with a paycheck as useful as greaseproof paper and a house crumbling faster than biscuits in tea, she’s teetering on the edge of financial disaster. But where there’s a whisk there’s a way . . . and Rosaline has just landed a spot on the nation’s most beloved baking show.

Winning the prize money would give her daughter the life she deserves—and Rosaline is determined to stick to the instructions. However, more than collapsing trifles stand between Rosaline and sweet, sweet victory.  Suave, well-educated, and parent-approved Alain Pope knows all the right moves to sweep her off her feet, but it’s shy electrician Harry Dobson who makes Rosaline question her long-held beliefs—about herself, her family, and her desires.

Rosaline fears falling for Harry is a guaranteed recipe for disaster. Yet as the competition—and the ovens—heat up, Rosaline starts to realise the most delicious bakes come from the heart.

My Review

I thought this sounded like a really great fluffy sort of read but sadly it just left me feeling a bit flat. This had a lot more drama than I was expecting and a whole lot of frustrating decisions by the main character which took from my enjoyment.

The book follows main character Rosaline as she embarks on a stint as a contestant in a reality TV baking competition that bears more than a striking resemblance to The Great British Bake Off (I think they refer to it by the title The Great British Baking Show in other territories).

And Rosaline to start with is an incredibly interesting character. She’s very clever and witty, sharp to a point, but yet is lacking in self confidence due to life not exactly panning out as planned. She’s a single mum in her late twenties with honestly the most preciously precocious little kid ever in Amelie. The book starts incredibly strongly with Rosaline being called into the school to discuss Amelie’s behaviour in class and omg, it’s pure kiss off to the homophobic bigots out there …. without giving away too much what I can say is that Rosaline is bisexual but the school don’t approve of Amelie discussing this in class … AND ROSALINE FLOORS THE SCHOOL TEACHER WITH THE BEST PUT DOWN EVER! Just fabulous.

But disappointingly this early tete a tête-à-tête turned out to be the book’s highest point for me and things quickly went downhill from there with the introduction of one of the most insufferable characters ever in Alain. He was such a toxic cesspool of a human and I wanted Rosaline to see how toxic he was in double quick time… but Rosaline had her personal demons to contend with and it just took a loooooooooong time for her to discover what was right for her.

Look okay great. The book is all about character growth with regards to gaining self confidence and self belief … but the cover and the blurb had me thinking this book was going to be a lot more about cute romantic moments than it was so I felt somewhat shortchanged by how slowly the plot developed.

Just not what I was expecting and sadly not my cup of tea.

*An e-copy was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley for honest review*

  • Publication Date: 5th August 2021.
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group UK / Piatkus

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3 thoughts on “Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall – Book Review

  1. Oof, what a bummer! I was looking forward to this one and had seen one or two favourable reviews but for some reason felt hesitant to pick it up. I think I might give this a pass cos the MC sounds like someone who would annoy me! 😅 Great review though!

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