Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I reviewed Military Wives, enjoying the theme of women supporting women. Heather felt let down by The Last Heir to Blackwood Library by Hester Fox. Tina enjoyed Book Three of the DCI Tom Raven series, but not as much as the first book and is hoping for better from the fourth.
Books: Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake and Paris Daillencourt is About to Crumble by Alexis Hall
Publication date: 2021 and 2022
Source: e-books from the library
Summary: Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake and Paris Daillencourt is About to Crumble are set in the world of a fictional version of the Great British Baking Show.
In the first book, Rosaline Palmer, college drop-out and single mom, hopes that being a contestant on the show will help her in very practical ways — boost her finances and, maybe, her career. She would also really like to impress her parents, for a change, but is holding out less hope for that.
In the second book, Paris Daillencourt didn’t want to be a contestant at all. His roommate signed him up, hoping to prove to Paris that his constant anxieties about being competent or worthy in any arena are unfounded. The reader won’t be surprised that the experience of being on a beloved national television show did little to boost Paris’ confidence.
Thoughts: The “Winner Bakes All” series is laugh-out-loud funny.
Although these books certainly had romantic elements, they don’t follow the usual format of romance novels. There is only one point of view character. The love interests are often in second or third place in the lead character’s priorities, behind the baking show activities and the character’s mental health challenges, which are only exacerbated by being in the spotlight.
There is way more talk about sex than actual sex in either of these books. That’s actually what I liked best. I wish every young person who is attempting to navigate the intricacy of their own brains and the world of relationships would read these books. Using both positive and negative examples, these books will help anyone navigate the complexity of adult modern life with self-awareness and kindness.
Appeal: These books ended a weeks-long reading slump for me. I read both of them, back-to-back, in just a few days. Read Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake and Paris Daillencourt is About to Crumble for fun behind-the-scenes adventures in the familiar world of a British baking show.
Challenges: I’m celebrating Pride Month with books by Alexis Hall. These were my first two and I was hooked on this author.
Both of these books count for the 2023 Diversity Reading Challenge. In these two books, Rosaline is bisexual and Paris is gay. I’m meeting the mini-challenge to post these books during June. The mini-challenge further invites us to check off as many letters in LGBTQQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual) as possible — so far, I have G and B.
Reviews: Thanks to Heather of Based On a True Story for introducing me to this series. Here are her reviews:
Have you read these books? What did you think?