Series: Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries #2
Published by Cipher-Naught on March 2, 2021
Genres: Humor, Mystery, Romance
Review Copy Provided By: Penny Reid
AMZ US Apple Books
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The Devil is in the details . . .
Cletus Byron Winston wishes to marry Jennifer Anne Donner-Sylvester (aka The Banana Cake Queen) posthaste! He’s spent the last year wanting nothing more than for the celebrations to be brief, libations flowing, and BYOB (bring your own blueberries). His future mother-in-law has other plans, plans his intended has been willing to indulge, much to Cletus’s chagrin. Therefore, so must he. To a point. But truth be told, he wouldn’t mind if the meddlesome matriarch disappeared, at least until the nuptials are over.
On the night of Cletus and Jenn’s long-awaited engagement party, just when the surly schemer is of a mind to take matters into his own hands, a shocking event upends everyone’s best laid plans and sends the small hamlet of Green Valley into complete disarray. The final months leading up to Cletus and Jenn’s matrimonial bliss are plagued with chaos and uncertainty. Will Cletus and Jenn finally make it to the altar? Or will murder and mayhem derail their happily-ever-after?And most importantly, who done it?
‘Marriage and Murder’ is the second book in the cozy mystery series Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries. It is best read after Winston Brothers #3, ‘Beard Science’ (which can be read as a standalone) and Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries #1, ‘Engagement and Espionage.’
I was provided a review copy; this did not influence my opinion of the book.
‘Marriage and Murder’ promises two things; there will be a marriage and there will be a murder, but it delivered so much more.
“Our love story might’ve been a little mixed up. Some folks might even call it weird. I’d threatened and blackmailed him. We’d become friends. We’d fallen in love.”
“I was so glad I’d stayed away from the normals, because I wouldn’t have traded being weird with Cletus for being normal with absolutely anyone else.”
My first thoughts were that this book was STEAMY and it is. At first glance, it was easy to question why the steam was needed: Was it gratuitous? Was is it too much? But as with most superficial judgements, I was wrong. I get it now. It isn’t just steam. It is Jenn coming into her own, finally accepting her sexuality. She was raised to repress those feelings and desires and taught that they were wrong. One can’t have those and be a good girl. So now, in a committed relationship, where she once struggled with the ideas of sex, she’s flourishing. She no longer sees sex as an act, but as part of her fully functioning, healthy relationship with Cletus. As the story unfolds, and with the help of her friends, she learns these desires and feelings are normal and healthy, but more so that she is normal, healthy and perfect the way she is.
I loved this version of Cletus in this story. Of course he was broody, domineering and sneaky but Cletus was also sexy, protective and incredibly loving.
Y’all, the coming together of Jethro and Cletus was incredible! Their touching conversation added so much heart and character to this story and their relationship. The revelations revealed shined light onto why Jethro was the man he was, and why he is who he is now. It was like reading a story within a story. I think I cried a few times while reading it.
Also … I need and am so excited for Jackson James’s story.
“I want somebody to look at me like Jenn looks at you, how Ash looks at Drew.”
“Jackson, you do realize that in order for somebody to look at you that way, you have to be with the same woman more than once?”
But also … will mamma finally get her HEA?? (psst. Penny, asking for a friend)
‘Marriage and Murder’ is the story telling from Penny Reid I fell in love with; great banter, great laughs, great emotional pull. Just GREAT! It elicited all the gooey delicious feelings! All of them.