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Title: Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake

Author: Alexis Hall

Publisher: Forever

Series: Winner Takes All #1

Format: trade paperback, 435 pages

Genre: LGBTQ – Humorous Fiction

Published on: May 18, 2021

Author’s Website: check it out!

Twitter: follow the tweets!

Facebook: right this way!

Buy It: Amazon     Barnes and Noble

Rosaline Palmer is a single mother in England who desperately needs to win Britain’s most popular baking show so that she and her daughter, Amelie, can stop living paycheck-to-paycheck and depending on her parents.

But it’s not going to be easy.

Before she even steps foot on the grounds where the competition is being filmed, she and Alain Pope, another contestant, find themselves stuck at the train station. They have to sleep on a farm since there’s a mechanical issue with their train. They make it to Patchley House and Park with barely enough time to freshen up and eat breakfast. Early on, Rosaline regrets lying to Alain about being a medical student. She felt her real life would not impress him.

After making friends during the competition, it comes back to haunt her. She tells them that she’s a single mother and it gets back to Alain. Of course, he’s upset with her for lying to him. But is he really someone to be trusted?

As with all competitors, Rosaline sets out to get noticed above the others, but when judged for her cake and pie, her baking is regarded as “average, nothing spectacular.” Every step of the competition, Rosaline gives it her all, but ends up just about making it to the next round. This shakes her confidence. If that isn’t stressful enough, her life surfaces. Rosaline’s relationship with her parents is difficult. They give her money to help pay for her and her daughter’s expenses, but at the same time they’re worried that her relationship with Lauren, her ex, is going to confuse Amelie. They don’t think she can make the appropriate decisions in her life. The only thing they do like is Alain, who Rosaline is pretty sure only sees their time alone together as a short-term relationship.

And then there’s Harry. He’s down to earth, maybe not the most cultured individual, but when it comes to helping his friends he’s right there when you call him. He also  knows how to fix electrical issues. That alone saved the day for Rosaline. When their friendship leads to Alain becoming jealous, Rosaline has to figure out which man is the better choice as well as trying to win the competition.

Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake focuses on relationships. Most importantly, that of a mother and daughter. When Rosaline became pregnant she chose the responsible, loving decision and no matter how difficult it was to support them, she would not have done anything differently. There’s also her intimate relationships and friendships. Both need special attention. Though it was hard for her to tell which man would be what she and her daughter needed in their lives, she did figure it out in the end.

The author lays it out there. Keeps dialogue as natural as possible and very British. I had to look up a word or too, but that’s fine. That’s how readers learn.

This is a book you read slowly so you don’t miss a single minute of the character’s personalities. They don’t hold back when they have something to say.

Oh, read the book to find out who wins the competition!

three and a half reality baking show contestants out of five

Denise Fleischer

gottawritenetwork.wordpress.com

Sept. 21, 2021