As someone who’s never seen The Great British Bake Off – but realizes I’d probably love it – I thoroughly enjoyed Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake. It fulfilled my desire for baking, reality television style segments, and a single mother MC! I feel like I don’t read enough romance novels that feature single moms! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
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 realize the most delicious bakes come from the heart.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: biphobia, queerphobia, sexual assault, anxiety
Where Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake took my heart were the characters. Each of the ones I loved from the MC to her best friend to her daughter were detailed, charming, and oozed personality. At the same time, Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake features a lot of characters that were similarly detailed, but that frustrated me to no ends! The biphobia, the male privilege, it frustrated me to bits how realistic it felt in these moments. Talk about characters that endear themselves to you from the beginning, and that you wanna shake a bit.
I loved how Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake delved into the nitty gritty of the baking competition. It was a true feast for baking aficionados! Even more so, Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake examines exactly how we end up on our path. Rosaline’s story delves into when we let people’s opinions of ourselves, our situations, our choices and mistakes, impact our lives. It can be easy to stand up for the ones we love and even harder to stand up for ourselves. Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake is full of witty banter, scenes with Rosaline’s child that made my heart melt, and a good dose of rage.
This book isn’t for the faint of heart, because everything it’s butter cream frosting and perfectly baked cakes. There’s romantic tension, decisions that may have you shaking your head – maybe because they’re relatable? – and scenes about choosing ourselves. I appreciated the ways Rosaline’s character evolves throughout the book as she searches for the courage to embrace her decisions. To speak up against the subtle jabs and the overt transgressions. We can find ourselves being pushed onto paths and it’s only when something forcibly removes us do we realize we never wanted to be there.
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