Battle Royal Review: The Perfect Contemporary Romance

October 21, 2021 by Jenna | 5 stars, Books, Reviews

Battle Royal Review: The Perfect Contemporary RomanceBattle Royal (Palace Insiders, #1) by Lucy Parker
Published by Avon on August 17, 2021
Source: Purchased
Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Romance
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Barnes & Noble
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Beloved author Lucy Parker pens a delicious new romantic comedy that is a battle of whisks and wits.
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?

I’m going to call it now. I think Battle Royal is my favourite book of the year. I read it in practically one sitting and since finishing it a few weeks ago, I’ve been rereading bits of it ever since. And Lucy Parker is now firmly one of my favourite romance authors. I’ve also since read the first two books in her London Celebrities series, which I also think are fabulous, but Battle Royal really takes the cake (pun intended).

Battle Royal is an enemies-to-lovers, grump x sunshine romance that follows two celebrity bakers, Sylvie Fairchild and Dominic De Vere. Since appearing on a reality TV baking show, Operation Cake, and getting eliminated in the semi-final stage by none other than judge Dominic, Sylvie has found success in opening her own bakery, which is boldly located right across the street from De Vere’s. When she gets invited back as a judge on Operation Cake, she finds herself spending a lot more time with Dominic… especially as they’re both putting in tenders to make the wedding cake of the decade for the royal family.

First of all, I love all food and bakery-themed books so Battle Royal was practically guaranteed to be a fantastic read in my eyes, but I think Battle Royal is definitely my favourite of all the food-themed books that I’ve read. The descriptions of cake and chocolates were mouthwatering (and truly just magical) and you could feel Sylvie and Dominic’s passion for baking on every page. Not to mention, I absolutely loved Sylvie and Dominic. Sylvie was bubbly, radiant and just exploding with positivity all the time. I loved getting to know her character and I fell in love with her even more after Lucy Parker started to peel back the layers and we learn more about Sylvie’s sad past. Her character had such emotional depth and I couldn’t help but root for her success and happiness throughout the book. I also felt similarly about Dominic. On the surface, he’s a grumpy perfectionist who is harsh with his criticism. But he had such a soft spot for those who he cared about and showed on multiple occasions the lengths he would go to to protect and help them.

And together, Sylvie and Dominic were absolute perfection. I don’t really have the words to say how much loved the romance. It happened so organically and with such chemistry that it really just took my breath away. I really loved how their feelings and love for each other was expressed through their actions and their body language, and I especially loved the revelation for the both of them that they could lean on each other and rely on the other person to get them through the hard times.

I also have a lot of love for the side characters, especially Dominic’s sister, Pet, who I’m excited to read about in the next book in the series. I also really loved Mabel and her feistiness and I really really really hope she gets her own book too. Most of all, I’m just excited to get little glimpses of Sylvie and Dominic throughout the rest of the series!

I’m so glad that I picked up Battle Royal and I think it’ll be one of my favourites for a while to come. I absolutely loved Lucy Parker’s writing and I cannot wait to finish binge reading her London Celebrities series. If you’re looking for strong connections between characters that will make you swoon, you can’t go wrong with Battle Royal and any of Parker’s books.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Jenna is an Aussie blogger and reader who loves to indulge in great books and great food. She is a doctor (of philosophy) and can usually be found fangirling about something, devouring delicious food, or taking a nap. You can find her on Twitter @readwithjenna and on Instagram @readingwithjenna.

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