PARIS DAILLENCOURT IS ABOUT TO CRUMBLE by ALEXIS HALL (pictured with a box of macarons, many of which have been eaten. Also this box is from Costco, in case you’re more interested in the macarons than what I have to say about this book. I liked the yuzu flavor btw).
As a fan of the Great British Bake Off and other reality cooking and baking competitions, this definitely is the series for me. It starts with Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake, which I quite enjoyed, as it had a fun main character and all that revolved around a GBBO-like show.
This second book though, was a bit more difficult to get through. Paris isn’t as delightful as Rosaline and it turns out to be less of a romance and more of a focus on anxiety and how it can affect a relationship.
I can relate to some of Paris’ anxiety. His constant fears of oh god what do I say to these people, his anxiety when it comes to unfamiliar places, the whole oh crap I don’t know what a knish is in a blind baking segment and so it’s going to be a disaster (oh rather, I guess I would minor-panic if I were on said baking competition).
But there was also a lot of horrible behavior on his part that isn’t anxiety-related and the author hints that it may have to do with his upbringing (his parents are famous – a designer and a model – and also pretty much absent and unfeeling). But really, he is an anxious person who is also rather snobbish and filthy rich.
Thankfully, the hosts of the baking show are still delightful, as are some of the contestants. Also Tariq, Paris’ love interest, is lovely.
Much as I wanted to like this, I struggled with it. Paris got so annoying that I kept wondering why Tariq was still hanging on. Can this book be written from Tariq’s pov instead please? That would make it a more readable book.
I felt more kindly towards Paris once I realized that he’s not the same age as the characters from the previous book — he’s very young, which made it make more sense to me that he’s never sought out treatment for his debilitating anxiety. But yeah, even with that, I felt frustrated because it felt like a lot of the things I found most interesting slipped out of focus to give more screen time to Paris’s anxiety. Not my favorite of Alexis Hall’s books, although I love him in general!
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I think if I had somehow accidentally started reading this as a first Alexis Hall book I would have been completely turned off. But having enjoyed the previous book in this baking romance series, I’m more willing to give it another chance.
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