CBR13 Bingo: Libations (the whole setting of the book is a televised baking show, so there are a lot of both sweet and savoury baked treats in the story and featured on the cover)
Official book description:
Following the recipe is the key to a successful bake. Rosaline Palmer has always lived by those rules—well, except for when she dropped out of college to raise her daughter, Amelie. Now, with a paycheck as useful as greaseproof paper and a house crumbling faster than biscuits in tea, she’s teetering on the edge of financial disaster. But where there’s a whisk there’s a way . . . and Rosaline has just landed a spot on the nation’s most beloved baking show.
Winning the prize money would give her daughter the life she deserves—and Rosaline is determined to stick to the instructions. However, more than collapsing trifles stand between Rosaline and sweet, sweet victory. Suave, well-educated, and parent-approved Alain Pope knows all the right moves to sweep her off her feet, but it’s shy electrician Harry Dobson who makes Rosaline question her long-held beliefs—about herself, her family, and her desires.
Rosaline fears falling for Harry is a guaranteed recipe for disaster. Yet as the competition—and the ovens—heat up, Rosaline starts to realize the most delicious bakes come from the heart.
I’m not the first Cannonballer to review this title, and I doubt I will be the last. Last year, I read and absolutely adored Hall’s Boyfriend Material. It got me out of a reading slump and I loved both the two protagonists and all of the supporting cast around them. My rather high expectations of this book were somewhat tempered when fellow romance reviewer, Emmalita, read an ARC of the book and admitted to not being able to finish the novel. Naturally, that made me a bit wary, but the reasons she gave for not being comfortable with the contents are not things that necessarily upset me.
Nevertheless, I went into the book with lowered expectations, and that might have been good because Rosaline Palmer is a very different book from Boyfriend Material. The first one is a straight-up romantic comedy, complete with a lot of the tropes we expect from that genre. In this book, there is absolutely romance, but the heroine does spend basically the whole first half of the book with the wrong guy, so to speak and the primary plotline in the book is more about Rosaline’s journey of self-discovery and self-determination than it is about her finding lasting romance.
Full review on my blog.