Rosaline Palmer Takes The Cake is written by Alexis Hall who also wrote Boyfriend Material. When I saw his newest book at my local library, I couldn’t resist picking it up. This one sounded right up my alleyway too with its synopsis of a single mother going on a reality television baking show. Admittedly, I don’t do alot of reality television but, I love to watch baking competitions. I just can’t get over some of the things that they are able to create!
Rosaline enters the Bake Expectations competition trying to make a better life for her and her daughter. She is a single mother who works a dead end job at a local shop in England. Her parents expected her to be a doctor like them and the feeling of disappointment is starting to way on her. So she enters the competition as a way to try and start something new. Unfortunately, things get off to a very rocky start when she misses her train and winds up stranded with another passenger. The two strangers strike up a companionship but nothing is exactly what is seems. Oh, and the competition is fierce.
Bake Expectations is set up exactly like a baking competition on the Food Network. There are weekly challenges after which one contestant is eliminated and all of the contestants are sworn to secrecy between the taping of episodes. I really liked the way the show was set up and the behind the scenes moments you witnessed in between. You really got a feel for the friendships, rivalries, and romances. The romances were not show mances but were actually playing out between takes with Rosaline and two of the male contestants.
Rosaline identifies as bisexual and is very open about it. So open in fact that her daughter Amelie knows. She also has remained friends with her ex-girlfriend Lauren who is like an aunt to her daughter. While on Bake Expectations, she finds herself falling for two completely different guys. Alain, who is the one she was stranded with, always knows what to say to sweep her off her feet. Meanwhile, Harry is a bit of shy guy but forces her look beyond her self made stereotypes and ideas to find out what she actually wanted. I loved Harry. He was so sweet and not full of himself. Unlike Alain who gave me the creeps basically from moment. I had a feeling he was just too good to be true.
Rosaline shows so much growth throughout this book. At the beginning, she joins the competition with the plan of making a better life for her and her daughter. She wants to prove herself especially to her parents who have always made her feel less than. Along the way, she discovers that she has always had the strength inside herself to know what is right for her. And what is right for her and her daughter is her decision, not anyone else’s. I almost wanted to applaud her by the end because I truly believed in her and her journey. Also, I loved the way she stood her ground against those who were trying to tear her down.
There are so many funny moments in Rosaline Palmer Takes The Cake but it also has its flow of more serious moments too. There is a author note at the beginning of the book regarding a non-graphic scene of attempted sexual assault. This scene plays an important role in Rosaline discovering the true intentions of a character. It also allows her to find an inner strength she thought she had left behind. This scene is not going to be for all readers but, I can understand why Alexis Hall included it. It is a part of Rosaline’s journey, and overall I enjoyed watching her journey to take the cake.
Rating: 4 Stars