Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake was not the book for me. I have decided to stop torturing myself and given up mid pudding week. I don’t quite know how to review this book. It was an intensely unpleasant experience for me, but different readers will enjoy it.
Though it is very well written and has moments of laugh out loud humor, I struggled with Rosaline and her relationship with Alain. First, she tells him a lie that the reader and Rosaline know will be quickly revealed. Secondhand embarrassment levels set to 11. She lies to him because she’s trying to impress him and doesn’t think he will approve of her as she is, and he doesn’t. I realized about 40% in that Alain reads to me as having narcissistic personality disorder. Having had more than one relationship with people with narcissistic personality disorder, every interaction between Rosaline and Alain was a parade of triggers. I am much too familiar with the early stages of a relationship with a narcissist – you feel both special and unworthy and will contort yourself trying to please them, but failure is inevitable. Reading Rosaline go through this was painful and frustrating, especially when Harry (who should be her love interest) was right there.
My frustration was intensified because all the parts without Alain were fantastic. Rosaline’s daughter, Amalie, is a well written child. Rosaline’s time with her friend Lauren is wonderful. I loved the parts of the book about the baking competition. If someone would like to make me a version of this book with all the traumatic parts with Alain excised, I would read the hell out of it.
I’m giving this 3 stars because the parts I liked, I liked a lot.
I guess my content warning is character with narcissistic personality disorder.
I received this as an advance reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.