I received this book for free from the Publisher, Purchased. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Paris Daillencourt is About to Crumble by Alexis Hall
Narrator: Ewan Goddard
Series: Winner Bakes All #2
Published by Forever on November 1, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy
Length: 13 hours 5 minutes
Format: ARC, Audiobook
Source: Publisher, Purchased
Amazon | Audible | B&N | Kobo | Libro.fm
From the bestselling author of Boyfriend Material comes a sweet and scrumptious romantic comedy about facing your insecurities, finding love, and baking it off, no matter what people say.
Paris Daillencourt is a recipe for disaster. Despite his passion for baking, his cat, and his classics degree, constant self-doubt and second-guessing have left him a curdled, directionless mess. So when his roommate enters him in Bake Expectations, the nation’s favourite baking show, Paris is sure he’ll be the first one sent home.
But not only does he win week one’s challenge—he meets fellow contestant Tariq Hassan. Sure, he’s the competition, but he’s also cute and kind, with more confidence than Paris could ever hope to have. Still, neither his growing romance with Tariq nor his own impressive bakes can keep Paris’s fear of failure from spoiling his happiness. And when the show’s vicious fanbase confirms his worst anxieties, Paris’s confidence is torn apart quicker than tear-and-share bread.
But if Paris can find the strength to face his past, his future, and the chorus of hecklers that live in his brain, he’ll realize it’s the sweet things in life that he really deserves.
I was exhausted by the time I finished this book. There were things that I did like about the book but it wasn’t the romantic escape that I had hoped it would be. A big part of my issues may have been that I was expecting an entirely different book than the one that I got. I had hoped for a nice romance but instead, I felt like I spent the entire novel in Paris’s head dealing with his anxiety.
Paris is a contestant on a baking show, Bake Expectations, where he meets Tariq. Paris deals with a lot of anxiety so being on the show is a lot for him. We spend the book in Paris’s mind so we know all of his worries, insecurities, and doubts. I think that mental health is incredibly important but so much of this book is repetitive and predictable that it just wasn’t all that enjoyable. I honestly spend enough time in my own mind dealing with my own insecurities that I just couldn’t handle the constant stream of it coming from Paris.
I did like Tariq and really appreciated the fact that he is Muslim. I liked that he held true to his beliefs and his religion played such an important role in the story. Tariq’s roommates were a lot of fun and there were some truly funny moments in the book. I didn’t really feel any between Paris and Tariq so it was really hard to get excited by the romantic aspect of the story.
I listened to the audiobook and thought that Ewan Goddard did a great job with the story. I liked the voices that he used for the various characters and I thought that he added a lot of emotion to his reading. I thought that he had a very pleasant voice which made it easy to listen to this book for hours at a time. I do feel that his narration added to my enjoyment of the story.
I think that a lot of readers will like this one a lot more than I did. I thought that the story did have some great moments but I found the bulk of the story to be tiring as a reader just looking for a bit of entertainment. I do hope to read more of this author’s work in the future.
I received a digital review copy of this book from Forever and purchased a copy of the audiobook.
It’s always so disappointing when the blurb promises one thing and the story delivers something else entirely.
Yeah, that would tire me out, too. I just read a romance where the heroine had anxiety issues, but the focus was way more on the romance so it didn’t bowl me over with too much. I like Alexis Hall’s writing, but I think I’ll skip.
I’ve got enough of my own anxiety to deal with without reading about it. That being said, I do see the value of highlighting a character’s mental health and the way it impacts their life. It sounds like this romance took a bit more of a realistic approach. Sometimes that’s okay, but I think I prefer mine to have a bit more fluff.
The title is quite the mouthful. Fun
Yeah, I get tired of hearing a character’s constant self-doubt and insecurities too. It seems like a long book, too, based on the audio length.
It’s always a bit startling when the blurb and the actual book don’t line up. From the cover and the blurb I would have expected light and fluffy too. I’m glad that you did enjoy this and it does sound like a good read overall.