Arc Review: Battle Royal (Palace Insider #1) by Lucy Parker

Title: Battle Royal (Palace Insider #1)
Author: Lucy Parker
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: August 17th, 2021
Publisher: Avon Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review.


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?” (Goodreads)

This was a humorous book with a broody love interest who also throws comments at other bakers like he’s Gordon Ramsey and a woman who is the complete opposite of him whos aesthetic screams My Little Pony. Which are his words at one point, haha.

The rival between Dominic and Sylvie starts with a unicorn hoof cake to the face. I’m not going to lie, when it is described in the book I laughed out loud. Dominic starts guns blazing with his attitude and his clear distaste for glitter. I liked how Sylvie has never faltered around it and keeps going. She is definitely his match in every way. Since both of these characters are big proponents in the book they each get their own page time by having their own point-of-view, although it felt Sylvie got a lot more. It wasn’t a bad thing but I do wish there would have been more for Dominic away from Sylvie because I did enjoy the moments between him and his sister, Pet aka Petunia.

Since I already mentioned his sister, I loved the sibling relationship between Dominic and Pet. It hasn’t always been perfect and there have been years where they hadn’t spoken but you can tell that they care for one another, especially Dominic in his own standoffish way. It seems that Pet may get her own book which I would be so happy with! I loved her character and can’t wait to see more from her.

Sylvie also has someone close to her which is her bestfriend Jay. They own a bakery together and he is there to take charge when she gets the gig on the baking show. I’m not going to lie, he wasn’t a favorite character of mine as his role felt small and a plot twist from him was easily seen coming but I just felt like it was unnecessary. I am glad that they at least worked through their bump.

The romance between Dominic and Sylvie has the rivalry banter that I love and is a slow-burn, another plus. It does take them awhile to realize what is right in front of them but after they find that spark it takes off. It was nice to see there not being a huge communication issue in their relationship which usually seems to be the going problem that most fictional couples face. I also like that even though they are together they still have the rivalry banter which may continue in the next book based on the ending of this one.

Besides their romance and a baking show, the plot is also filled with royal secrets and a chance to bake a cake for a royal couple. I don’t feel like one element overpowered another and everything kept the plot going without their being much lull in between plot twists. I only guessed one plot twist and the others left me surprised!

Overall, this was an enjoyable read. I loved the relationships, the banter, and the humor of it all.


8 thoughts on “Arc Review: Battle Royal (Palace Insider #1) by Lucy Parker

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