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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Battle Royal by Lucy Parker
Series: Palace Insiders #1
Published by HarperCollins on August 17, 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Enemies to Lovers, Romantic Comedy
Format: eBook ARC
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Four years ago, Sylvie Fairchild charmed the world as a contestant on the hit baking show, Operation Cake. Her ingenious, creations captivated viewers and intrigued all but one of the judges, Dominic De Vere. When Sylvie’s unicorn cake went spectacularly sideways, Dominic was quick to vote her off the show. Since then, Sylvie has used her fame to fulfill her dream of opening a bakery. The toast of Instagram, Sugar Fair has captured the attention of the Operation Cake producers…and a princess.
Dominic is His Majesty the King’s favorite baker and a veritable British institution. He’s brilliant, talented, hard-working. And an icy, starchy grouch. Learning that Sylvie will be joining him on the Operation Cake judging panel is enough to make the famously dour baker even more grim. Her fantastical baking is only slightly more troublesome than the fact that he can’t stop thinking about her pink-streaked hair and irrepressible dimple.
When Dominic and Sylvie learn they will be fighting for the once in a lifetime opportunity to bake a cake for the upcoming wedding of Princess Rose, the flour begins to fly as they fight to come out on top.
The bride adores Sylvie’s quirky style. The palace wants Dominic’s classic perfection.
In this royal battle, can there be room for two?
Okay, I have to be honest about this one. When I read the blurb I couldn’t help but automatically think about The Great British Bake Off. What would happen if this was something that happened in real life? Like I could totally see it unfolding behind the cameras!
Anyway, this story’s synopsis did not disappoint! I was swept into the funny, but authentic world that Lucy Parker created and I didn’t want to leave! While there were definitely moments of humor and fun, this novel had a lot more substance than the cover or synopsis might suggest. It had a lot of emotion and feelings that our main characters were working through. Both were guarded and unsure, but I very much loved watching them come together.
Sylvie and Dominic seemed like opposites, but were really only so in terms of baking style. They shared a lot of similar personality traits and I felt like they both came together in just the right way for themselves. I don’t think this story would have been as good without their strong character development and the secondary characters Parker surrounded Dominic and Sylvie with in their respective corners. Even the royals in this one stood out; although, I definitely felt a nod or two towards the real life Harry & Meghan and the constraints of royal life.
I’m not going to lie, I did shed a few tears in this one mainly because I felt so draw into this story and the characters. Parker really brought this world, these characters and this story alive for me. I couldn’t put it down once I started. I was so engrossed. I loved the baking, the “behind the scenes” of a baking show, the “battle” of our two main characters, the self-realizations and growth and of course, the love story. This one really had it all for me and I’m so glad I requested it, picked it up and read it!
If you’re looking for a good romantic comedy with substance then definitely pick this one up! I cannot wait to recommend it to all my friends!
Let me know your thoughts about this novel! Have you read it yet? Are you interested in reading it? Have you read other novels with a baking backdrop? Drop your thoughts below!