Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake

Forever: Grand Central. May 2021. 448p. ISBN 9781538703328. pap. $15.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Rosaline Palmer needs a change. She didn’t finish medical school, she had a daughter earlier than she planned, and she’s still under the financial thumb of her well-to-do parents. So what do you do as a better-than-average baker in the UK? You try out for Bake Expectations, Britain’s top baking show, which is definitely not based on a certain show on a certain streaming service. Hall (Boyfriend Material) seamlessly combines humor, romance, and drama to create a story that is intimately believable and at once cozy and sexy. Refreshingly, Hall writes the heroine’s identity as a bisexual woman in a way that addresses and conquers stereotypes; Rosaline isn’t picking between a man and a woman, she’s not interested in being the third in a relationship, and she rails against fetishization by potential dates, her daughter’s teacher, and her Bake Expectations castmates. The book combines sweet escapism and poignant cultural touchstones with well-crafted characters and hilariously familiar settings.
VERDICT Hall does it again with this culturally relevant, wonderfully escapist foray into the baking world. This is a must-buy for any library.
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