Series: Palace Insiders #1
Published by Avon on August 17, 2020
Tropes: Opposites Attract, Bake Shows, Reality TV
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Narrator: Billie Fulford-Brown
Length: 11 hrs and 10 mins
Four years ago, Sylvie Fairchild charmed the world as a contestant on the hit baking show, Operation Cake. Her ingenious, colorful creations captivated viewers and intrigued all but one of the judges, Dominic De Vere, the hottest pastry chef in London. When her glittery unicorn cake went spectacularly sideways, Dominic was quick to vote her off the show. Since then, Sylvie has managed to use her fame to help fulfill her dream of opening a bakery, Sugar Fair. 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, the go-to for sweet-toothed A-List celebrities, and a veritable British institution. He’s brilliant, talented, hard-working. And an icy, starchy grouch. Learning that the irksome 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’re both determined 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?
The giddy feeling when you know you’ve found a new author to obsess over is priceless. BATTLE ROYAL is my first experience with Lucy Parker and I see a long author-reader relationship in the future for the two of us. I adored every single thing about this story.
Sylvie is the heroine of my dreams. Mellow, clever, witty and with a heart of gold, I fell in love with her from the prologue when she doused a stoic, arrogant bake show judge Dominic in a unicorn glitter cake. All on camera, to the delight of every reality tv fan. He was hard to get a read on but the more I got to know him the more obvious it became that this was a character who felt deeply and who took care of those he loved. Dominic had a surprising tenderness and sweetness about him that I didn’t think someone who seemed to lack warmth could have.
Coolly, he said, “Jealousy is a destructive, pointless emotion and a complete waste of energy.”
“Fairly annoying, then, that it’s seeping from your pores right now?”
These two are as opposite as they can be yet their deepening feelings felt completely natural and credible. Both were scared to let someone in for fear of getting hurt. Sylvie had experienced loss when her aunt passed away, the person who raised her, the only parent she knew. Dominic came from a rotten home, with parents who didn’t deserve the moniker.
She finally raised her gaze higher than the scattering of hair and freckles on his bare chest—and saw, in that cool, experienced, always imperturbable face, a reflection of everything she was struggling with. At sea with the intensity of feeling. The uncertainty of the new. The fear of not being enough.
I laughed out loud so many times, I grinned and chuckled pretty much on every page – Lucy Parker writes a mean rom-com yet at the same time she surprised me with an emotional depth that made me choke up a little. I wasn’t prepared for that but it showed me what an amazing talent this author is. If you love characters with lots of layers, who are lovable and relatable, a sprinkle of British Royalty and a bake show setting don’t hesitate. I enjoyed this book so much that I was sad when I was done.
“You walked into my life, tipped it upside down, and when it finally righted—you were right there in the center.