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Battle Royal: A Novel – tekijä: Lucy…

Battle Royal: A Novel (vuoden 2021 painos)

– tekijä: Lucy Parker (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
662325,099 (4.02)5
Teoksen nimi:Battle Royal: A Novel
Kirjailijat:Lucy Parker (Tekijä)
Info:Avon (2021), 416 pages
Kokoelmat:Luettu, ei oma
Arvio (tähdet):***


Battle Royal (tekijä: Lucy Parker)


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näyttää 2/2
3.5 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Sylvie Fairchild was a contestant on a baking competition show, Operation Cake, where her tasty and whimsical bakes clashed with the uptight and proper style of judge Dominic De Vere. She was about to make the finals when her unicorn cake exploded and Dominic got a hoof to the head, he not so surprisingly voted her off. Four years later she has a patisserie shop called Sugar Fair right across the street from established De Vere's and has been asked to be one of the judges on Operation Cake. The friction is still there between Sylvie and Dominic but with the grumpy and sunshine clash, there is a gruff and soft attraction. With a reality show to judge, a royal wedding contract to win, bakery espionage, family drama, and other life realities to live, Sylvie and Dominic keep finding themselves drawn by outside and inside influences.

And just for that instant, beneath the unflappable chill, she saw a flash of startlement and something...else.

Battle Royal is first in the Palace Insiders series and that is why I'm going to cut it a little slack on the amount of story here; a new universe for readers is being built. Usually, romances seem to want to build the focus to be the destination, our leads finally being in love. This is much more about the journey. Yes, our leads have a romance you follow, see build, and eventually find their way to love but the destination doesn't have that firework or finally feeling to it, it's much more subdued. Now, the journey, that is where all the emotion is but again, kind of subdued and your enjoyment of this story and it's characters is going to depend on if you like quiet everyday (in the fiction sense) falling in love.

Powerful chemistry was quite a ride.

The beginning with Sylvie's cake exploding delivered on what I usually think of a cartoon cover, rom-com, but the rest of the story had a more mature feel with an almost ache to the tone. The pace is considerate, with the gradual growing closer Sylvie and Dominic as they spend time together and get to know one another. However, most of the story has the two leads in their heads, I missed some of their connection because of this, I wanted to see the thoughts and feelings expressed outwardly towards each other instead of being told the inner thoughts. There was a moment around the 50% mark that had Dominic texting Sylvie to tell her he was going to be late and making sure she was ok, sort of outwardly showing but we only get a little of Sylvie's thoughts on him checking in. I wanted to “see” them connecting more, instead of mentally getting the feelings from them.

It was probably slightly perverse to feel that growing warmth in his chest as she directed her list of grievances at him.
And yet here they were.
The more Sylvie stared daggers at him, the more inclined he was to pull her in.

I mentioned how there was a lot of story and if some threads don't come back in some way in the series, I'm going to want some edited out even more so that the focus could have been more on Sylvie and Dominic. The reality show they're judging actually shocked me in how much it wasn't in the story, what really took over the time was the investigation work they do in order to win the bid for a royal wedding cake. The royal wedding has them investigating the favored uncle of the princess engaged and this leads to a mystery romance tale involving the uncle, that I thought stole too much of the spotlight. I can see how it ties into the princess and her own situation but again, not the main couple I'm here for, but just expect a sort of secondary couple romance to steal story from our main couple. Sylvie also deals with a rival managing to somehow copy her recipes and frankly, I think this whole thread could have been cut-out, especially the two main characters involved in it. Unless these characters matter latter in the series, they honestly added nothing to this story and, again, detracted from the main couple. There's some family and childhood trauma from Dominic's side but I thought this padded his character nicely and I loved his younger sister Pet (Petunia). There was also some emotional pull from issues involving Sylvie's childhood friend but I wish we could have known him more and seen them together more to pad that thread, definitely could have pulled the rival bakery thread in favor of this.

However, the feeling of absolute faith that when the cracks started to appear, someone else would be crouching at your side, helping to bail out the water, and that you could do the same for them---
Pretty indescribable.

There were a couple times in the beginning that I thought Dominic sunk into grumpy too far but when we get his childhood background, his cold exterior is given depth and the author plants enough little actions by him, like him always watching to make sure Sylvie got to her car late at night safe, even before they start to become friends, to let me warm up to him. This also might be an odd thing to mention but I liked, what I as an American identify as Englishisms (thank you Great British Bake Off for giving me a leg up here), it gave a sense of authenticity that I feel maybe gets changed or edited for American audiences.

So lightly, so easily, she could say things that he'd never forget.

I've read other books by this author and they have a tone and style that I like, it quietly reaches me, not unlike a Sonali Dev or Courtney Milan. This cover says rom-com to me but I would warn people to not go in looking for that tone. This was a mature, more about the journey than the destination, subdued, and quietly reaches you. It veered towards too many threads but maybe they'll play a part in the series. Sylvie and Dominic live up to their grumpy and sunshine and that is what I showed up for. The next in the series looks to be about Dominic's sister Pet and a royal personal protection officer. Y'all, this huge hulking quiet PPO gives tiny bright spirited Pet a teddy bear. SIGN ME UP. ( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Aug 21, 2021 |
Battle Royal by Lucy Parker
Contemporary romantic comedy. Set in Notting Hill, London.
Professional bakers Cecilia and Dominic meet again as judges on a TV show competition. Their attraction to each other plus a shared opportunity has them spending time together. Of course that leads to a romance but they have plenty of obstacles to deal with before their HEA.

I absolutely adored this book. Plenty of humor, easy to imagine situations, a few sexy scenes and some emotionally deep issues cover the themes of everything you want in a romance.

In Sylvie’s opinion, Dominic is too rigid and stoic. Below are a few short thoughts of hers as she gets to know him better.

“She assumed that once she’d driven off in the early hours of the morning, he went back inside, plugged himself into a power outlet, and recharged his cyborg battery.”

“It’s easier to absorb and act on constructive criticism if it’s softened by the acknowledgment of successes. You could aim for one proper compliment every hour. Maybe an occasional smile.”
A fraction of a scowl appeared instead. “Our job is to perform an honest critique.”
“I’m not suggesting you go overboard. We don’t want to stun the nation senseless. Two or three teeth at most.”

Even if he could be surprisingly nice when he was sozzled.

I received a copy of this from NetGalley. I also purchased a copy to gift. ( )
  Madison_Fairbanks | Aug 12, 2021 |
näyttää 2/2
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It was the exploding unicorn that finally broke him.
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