☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Five Stars for Cletus ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Engagement and Espionage by Penny Reid is the first book in a new series spinoff from the amazingly and deservedly popular Winston Brothers books. This series is a bit of a change from the original Winston stories, as this is a Cozy Mystery. Also – I have to say it - I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you read Beard Science (Winston Brothers #3) before you read this book. You don’t have to, of course, but you will thank me later. If you haven’t read Beard Science, you’re seriously missing out anyway, because...Cletus. Back to my point, this book picks up the threads of time (and characters) shortly after the events of Beard Science, and I want you to receive maximum enjoyment from this cozy, sexy, snarky mischievous, mysteriously clever book. Before I go any farther, I have to get this out…OH HOW I’VE MISSED CLETUS WINSTON!! I didn’t think I could love him any more, but as usual, Penny has shown me the way. Thank Science for Cletus. Engagement and Espionage is a well-plotted mystery with excellent pacing and a sneaky keen eye for detail. Since there IS mystery here, I’m being extra careful not to give anything away with my review! Suffice to say that there are plenty of twists and turns on this wild, witty, somewhat hilarious, truly enjoyable ride. The mystery aspect of this book was woven so flawlessly into the romance between Cletus and Jenn – the action, puzzles and hilarious dialogue kept the pages turning! You’re hooked into this story from the first page, falling right back into the relationships between Cletus and Jenn, Jenn and her mother, the Winston clan...heck, the whole of Green Valley! The small town aspect plays such a great part in all of the books set in the Pennyverse – each of those million little connections working to tie together the threads of the story (and of all those stories yet to come!). One of my favorite things about the Winstons & their loves is how truly real they are. You’re not looking at an airbrushed, cookie-cutter group of heroes/heroines in Green Valley. The residents are varied, devious, colorful, and deep - and I love them for it. Cletus and Jenn are smart, sneaky, and oh-so-much fun. I was fully invested in seeing Cletus and Jenn work through some of their internal and interpersonal barriers and come through it all with so much love and strength. This book gives us a chance to view their personalities and their relationship from a bit of a different angle while they deal with the current state of mystery and intrigue in town. I can’t wait to see what shenanigans await then in the next installment!
2 people found this review helpful
***5 Stars*** This was an all around good time read. Not that I’m all that surprised considering how much I adore the Winston clan to begin with, but getting to witness both Cletus and Jen’s devious minds in action while they work on their ever evolving relationship was a lot of fun. Add in getting to spend some quality time with most of the Winston clan, and I was definitely in my happy place. As for the mystery that Cletus and Jenn found themselves embroiled in. It was very well thought out, a tinsy bit crazy and over the top at times, but a highly enjoyable ride. I will admit that I figured out a piece of the puzzle early on, but was definitely surprised by the various twists and turns and liked how everything worked out in the end. Since I don’t want to give too much away, I will simply say that this book has me loving Cletus and Jenn even more than I already do. Watching as they worked through some of the roadblocks in their relationship just solidified why I think they are perfect for each other. And as for the rest of the Winston clan, hanging out with them is always a good time and I cannot wait to see what kind of mischief finds its way to Jenn and Cletus’ doorstep next! ~ Copy provided by SBPR & voluntarily reviewed ~
2 people found this review helpful
The epicness of Beard Science, Cletus and Jenn’s origin story, was so epic that I was both elated and afraid to start Engagement and Espionage. I shouldn’t have fretted though, because Ms. Reid delivered again in the most wonderful of ways. In general, I don’t particularly enjoy reading series of books about the same couple, but if someone could make it work for me, it’s Penny Reid. Obviously. Also, although I think this could be read as a standalone it would be kinda ludicrous not to start at least with Beard Science, but I believe that for maximum enjoyment quotient the whole Winston Brother series should be read beforehand (or the first 3 books to start). I already knew I loved both Jenn and Cletus, but these feelings were cemented here and I’m pretty sure I’m this close to building my first shrine to a literary character, and it will be devoted to Cletus. Man! I never imagined Cletus could up his hotness levels that much, but just you wait till you get to that phone call *fanning self*. His devotion, pure love and his total commitment to being the best version of himself to deserve Jenn’s love was absolutely amazing. Jenn couldn’t have had a bigger heart if she tried. I’m not going to lie and say I wasn’t a bit miffed and frustrated with her and her inability to keep saying no to people, but I guess there’s a learning curve for everything new you do and she gets there eventually. They are so adorkable together that I simply don’t have the words to describe how happy reading about them together makes me. Filled with mystery and a bit of suspense, shenanigans galore and some really, really hot sexy scenes, Engagement and Espionage was everything I was hoping for and more. I love how Ms. Reid always makes me think about things with a new perspective, how she engages my emotion and thoughts so completely I absolutely can not put her books down. In so many words: this book is freaking awesome perfection and everyone should read it. *I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book*