Mini Reviews: Engagement and Espionage & Batter of Wits

Engagement and Espionage
Series: Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries, #1
Author: Penny Reid
Publication Date: July 14, 2020
Publisher: Cipher-Naught
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★


Jennifer Sylvester made her deal with the devil . . . and now they’re engaged!

But all is not well in Green Valley. A chicken choker is on the loose, 61 dead birds most “fowl” need plucking, and no time remains for Jennifer and her devilish fiancé. Desperate to find a spare moment together, Jenn and Cletus’s attempts to reconnect are thwarted by one seemingly coincidental disaster after another. It’s not long before Cletus and Jenn see a pattern emerge and the truth becomes clear.

Will an undercover mission unmask the culprit? Or are these love-birds totally plucked?

‘Engagement and Espionage’ is the first book in the Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries series, is a full-length cozy mystery, and is a spin-off of Penny Reid’s Winston Brothers series. This novel is best read after ‘Beard Science,’ Winston Brothers #3.

My thoughts:

If you’re a fan of Cletus Winston and his baker love Jenn Donner, you will most likely enjoy Engagement and Espionage. It’s a fun cozy mystery filled with antics that can only be attributed to Cletus. Plus, getting more of Cletus and Jenn’s relationship was so fulfilling. They are a couple of favorite characters of mine and I’m so glad there are more books in this series to come.

Batter of Wits
Series: Donner Bakery, #5
Author: Karla Sorensen
Publication Date: April 21, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★


Hate at first sight couldn’t possibly exist, right?

That’s what Grace Buchanan thought, before her useless car stranded her on the side of a deserted road just inside the Green Valley city limits.

When Tucker Haywood—tall and handsome and full of southern charm— shows up to help, her reaction to him is the strongest thing she’s ever felt in her life, and it makes no freaking sense.

It doesn’t make much sense to Tucker either. Not why she hates him, or why he finds her so intriguing. He knows well enough that Grace is moving to Green Valley for a fresh start, not to distract him when he’s got no room for something like her in his life.

The complications between them are endless, but that doesn’t stop her definitely not love-at-first-sight feelings from changing into something else entirely.

Grace and Tucker are about to learn the hard way that in Green Valley, hating someone has never tasted so sweet.

My thoughts:

I’m always a little hesitant to read a book by one author set in a world created by another author. I’m afraid that it just won’t have the right “feel” to it. Penny Reid’s writing style, settings, and characters are one of a kind. Her Green Valley, home of the Winston brothers, has a special place in my heart. I have read a couple books in this world now, and neither of them quite reflected the setting or style I expected. This is all a big build up to say that Karla Sorensen is the first author who has managed to write her own unique characters and do Green Valley justice. Batter of Wits felt like coming home to Green Valley, and that’s a good thing. I loved Grace and Tucker. Their love story had some uncomfortable bumps, but it was fun.

21 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Engagement and Espionage & Batter of Wits”

  1. I’m a HUGE fan of Cletus, so any book about him will go on my tbr. I thought it was cute, but would have loved even more Cletus and Jenn time. Reasons to look forward to an entire series about them.

    ~ Corina | The Brown Eyed Bookworm

  2. I like the cover of the first book! And I’m glad you liked the Sorensen book. Once I’m out of this weird reading mood I’m in, I’m going to take you up on your offer to borrow it! Great reviews!

  3. Oh my gosh I still have to read the new Cletus and Jenn series! I’ve read several of the books set in Penny Reid’s world by other authors and so far, I’ve only enjoyed the Donner Bakery books and the one set at Cipher in Chicago. I was bummed that I didn’t enjoy the library series books I’ve read.

    1. I have to be honest, I’ve only read 3 Donner Bakery books — 2 by Sorensen. Those were my favorite. I didn’t love the other one. I have heard that the Cipher ones are amazing, though. I feel like Sorensen really captured the feel of Green Valley.

  4. I was hesitant to read the spinoff series as well. I enjoyed the first book, Baking Me Crazy by Karla Sorensen. I thought it had a bit of quirkiness that I admire in Penny Reid’s writing. I’ll have to try this book.

    1. Yeah, it’s not my favorite thing when they create a world. I do think that Sorensen is the only one I’ve read who has been able to pull it off. If you’ve read the Winston Brothers and liked it, it would be worth reading these books in that world by Sorensen. Or just read hers anyways. They’re good on their own.

    1. It was really fun. Have you read the Winston Brothers series? It’s tied to that series (especially the third book).

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