Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall Book Review Read it later

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Contributor Lindsey S.

This post is all about Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall Book Review.

When Forever Publishing sent me Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake, the first in the Winner Bakes All series, I was so excited, having also enjoyed Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall. I wanted to make sure I read it before the second book published, so I settled in for what promised to be a delectable read. 


Rosaline Palmer is a single mom trying to make the best life for her daughter, Amelie, and herself. While she doesn’t want to rely on her parents, who despite loving their granddaughter, could never quite understand why Rosaline chose to drop out of college and become a mother, Rosaline doesn’t have much of a choice. The child support she receives from Amelie’s father and the little she makes at her job don’t leave much room for financial independence. With her house crumbling around her like a dry biscuit, Rosaline decides to audition for the baking competition show, Bake Expectations. To her surprise, she finds herself as one of 10 contestants chosen to compete! Winning comes with a huge monetary prize and other future opportunities. Rosaline just has to survive eight weeks of difficult baking. 

Much to Rosaline’s surprise–and that of the judges and other contestants–Rosaline makes it past the first elimination. And the ones after. During her time on the show, Rosaline develops relationships, both platonic and romantic, with her fellow bakers. Alain is sweet, fond of Rosaline, and a master of the kitchen. Harry is a brash Viking with a whisk who opens up to Rosaline in ways neither of them expect. As the ovens heat up, so too do Rosaline’s feelings for these two men. While Rosaline has her eye on the prize, that doesn’t mean she can’t also entertain the possibility of love. The only question is, which man will win her heart? 

Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall

Genre: Romance

Rosaline Palmer loves two things: her daughter, Amelie, and baking. In order to provide her child a better, more stable life, Rosaline joins the competition show Bake Expectations. Amongst the pie crusts and macarons, Rosaline will discover that her oven isn’t the only thing heating up, especially where love is concerned. 

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Contributor Lindsey!

This premise of this book was influenced by the show, The Great British Bake Off. As someone who has enjoyed many seasons of said show, I was not surprised by how much I adored this novel. Rosaline was a well-crafted, imperfect character. I loved her character’s growth, specifically how she went from being unsure of herself (in life and in the competition) to finding her voice and standing up for herself. Her devotion to her daughter and her openness with those she loved was beautiful to see. 

While a lot of this book takes place during the filming of the show, the little vignettes of Rosaline’s homelife were a nice break from the competition. In fact, they were some of my favorite moments. Amelie, Rosaline’s daughter, was a precocious eight-year-old and such a fun character. The story was told entirely from Rosaline’s POV, but there are scenes with other characters where their opinions or feelings about Rosaline reveal her differently than how she sees herself. This was a nice reminder that those who love us see the best parts of us. We’re better through their eyes than we give ourselves credit for. 

As Rosaline spent more time in the competition, her friendships with the contestants grew, and we got to hang out with the crew a bit. The author did a great job giving a voice to these individuals. When they got eliminated, I felt sadness the way Rosaline did. This is a true testament to Hall’s ability to craft likable characters that you want to keep around as long as possible. Just like with watching a show like Bake Expectations, you have your favorite contestants and are sad to see them go. 

This was such a comforting, warm read. It was like cozying up under a blanket with a fresh baked cookie in one hand and a glass of milk in the other. I laughed, I cried. I was frustrated with Rosaline when she ignored red flags, and cheered for her when she finally burned them to the ground. 

I would recommend this book to those who love baking shows, especially The Great British Bake Off, and imperfect but loveable characters. 

What’s your favorite thing to bake? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to give this review an emoji! 

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