Series: Winner Bakes All #2
Published by Forever on October 18, 2022
Also by this author: Mortal Follies
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.
I adored Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake, the first book in the Winner Bakes All series. So fantastically delicious! So I had seriously high expectations for the next book in the series. And I wasn’t disappointed.
About Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble
Paris is an anxiety-ridden, uni student studying the classics. His hilariously bawdy roomie enters him into the Bake Expectations competition in hopes of drawing him out of his shell and allowing him to share his baking prowess with someone other than her and his cat.
Paris agrees to go on the show, despite his increasing anxiety. Things start to look up when he wins the first week. And feels attracted to Tariq, a fellow contestant. What starts as a sweet romance turns into another source of anxiety as the competition and Paris’ feelings intensify.
My thoughts about Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble
This is a sweet, swoony confection of witty banter, dreamy kisses, and competitive baking swirled with thoughtful handling of social, cultural, and mental health issues.
Paris is the personification of gorgeous, white, monied privilege. Yet he’s riddled with nearly crippling anxiety. Alexis Hall deftly captures the mental tracks that anxiety wears into your brain.
Tariq, a Muslim of Bangladeshi heritage, has a warm, supportive, delightfully quirky, and involved family. He’s hoping to parlay his appearance on Great Expectations into a tv career. Tariq is effortlessly charming, sparkly, and self-assured.
The romantic dance of opposites attract between Paris and Tariq is both sweet and frustrating as they both try to grapple with Paris’s anxiety while they’re competing in the grueling reality competition.
Paris’s fear and anxiety and Tariq’s responses both felt achingly authentic. I appreciated an author recognizing that love doesn’t solve mental health issues. And that people aren’t fixer-upper projects.
The secondary characters, many returning from Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake, are a fantastically diverse group, beautifully fleshed out and hysterically familiar in some cases if you’re a GBBO fan. Salty, older white lady. Cardigan-wearing dad who bakes for his fam.
The descriptions are gorgeous and lush. If you’re at all a baked goods fan, you’ll be drooling as you read. Also, you can grapple with the question of whether two differently flavored shortbreads count as two different types of biscuits.
While dealing with mental health, race, class, and cultural issues – Alexis Hall still serves a novel full of sweetness and never-ending humor. The humor is tart enough to prevent the sweetness from being cloying. This
- M/M romance
- Opposites attract
- Body positive
- British baking competition
- Witty bants
- Foul mouthed Scottish sex goddess bestie
- Food descriptions
- Muslim rep
- LGBTQIA+ rep
- South Asian rep
- Found family
- Great friends
- Mental health
- Class issues
Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble is cozy and comforting. A perfect read when your heart needs a hug.
Thank you, Forever for the DRC!