Engaged in Trouble
By Jenny B. Jones
Enchanted Events #1
Sweet Pea Productions, 2017
When a washed-up pop star inherits a wedding planning business, it’s all bouquets and bliss until a bride turns up dead.
Paisley Sutton shot to stardom as a teenage rock sensation, but ten years later that star has fizzled out, just like her bank account. When she unexpectedly inherits her aunt’s wedding planning business, Paisley leaves the glamour of Los Angeles for a charming small town in Arkansas. Thinking she’ll arrive in Sugar Creek and liquidate the moldly property, Paisley’s shocked to find Enchanted Events has experienced a major makeover and is now the place for brides. She’s got two months to keep Enchanted Events afloat if she wants to sell and rekindle her music career with the profits.
Paisley’s tossed into a world of vows and venues, but her most difficult challenge comes in the form of one demanding bride. When this Bridezilla’s found facedown in her cake, all fingers point to Paisley as the prime murder suspect. And she does not look good in prison orange.
This former pop princess will need the help of her gun-toting, ex-CIA grandmother and her handsome neighbor, Beau Hudson, to unravel the mystery and clear her good name. As she and her unruly posse dig into Bridezilla’s life, she discovers the woman had a long list of enemies. The closer Paisley gets to the truth, the more her own life is in danger.
Love is in the air this wedding season, but before Paisley can help the ladies of Sugar Creek say, “I do,” she’s got to unveil a killer. Or find herself the next target.
Engaged in Trouble … smart, sassy, and southern. I’ve found a new favorite author in Jenny B. Jones, one who captivates me with her storytelling, characterization, and lyrical writing. For pure entertainment, it doesn't get much better than this.
What did I find in Engaged in Trouble, book #1 in this Enchanted Events cozy mystery series? Unforgettable characters, small-town (to-die-for) romance, laugh-out-loud adventures, a mystery that kept me guessing, and a story that satisfies my love for Southern fiction. Engaged in Trouble goes on my "best of the best" list.
I haven’t yet had the opportunity to read any of Jenny’s highly-rated books published in the Christian fiction genre, so when this mystery came up on Great Escapes tour, I immediately signed up. Let me quickly say that Engaged in Trouble is not Christian fiction, but rather fiction written from a biblical worldview. It is completely clean, but with an edginess that some conservative readers might not appreciate.
Jenny B. Jones is a wordsmith. One strength of this story is lyrical imagery that paints a vivid picture, such as … Violet pink and lilac purple covered the sky as if God had airbrushed his favorite colors across it. The moon hid in the distance, not quite ready to report for the night shift. At times, I felt like the narrative was wrapping its arms around me. Then there’s the wicked humor, snappy quips, bridal salon setting, unforgettable characters, romantic tension, and solid mystery plot.
Ex-CIA operatives Sylvie and Frannie, also known as Paisley’s grandmother and close friend, almost steal the show with their zany antics and love for “secular” romance novels. Another character that I loved is Paisley’s assistant, Henry, who “could be as prickly as a corsage pin, but he was also as reliable as a wedding march.”
Paisley and Beau are compelling, appealing lead characters, both with backgrounds that affect who they are now. Paisley’s thoughts about Beau are too good not to share: His eyes … reflected his protective nature, his loyalty, and unspoken stories he unwittingly carried like the shrapnel in his leg. On the drive, I kept finding myself asking Beau questions just to hear his voice. It was a voice that could narrate books – and a girl’s fantasies.
The mystery plotting is excellent, slowly developed in a methodical and logical way. Romantic tension is palpable and while the ending is satisfying, we’re left with the promise of much more to come. Jones has created rich characters and a beautiful Arkansas community that I am eager to return to. I’ll end with Paisley's closing words from the story …
This was home.
For most of my life I’d wanted nothing to do with it.
But it welcomed me back all the same, gathered me to its freshly laundered bosom, and said, “Child, I’m gonna love you anyway.”
I was provided a free copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Award-winning, best-selling author Jenny B. Jones writes romance, cozies, and YA with sass and Southern charm. Since she has very little free time, Jenny believes in spending her spare hours in meaningful, intellectual pursuits, such as eating ice cream, watching puppy videos, and reading celebrity gossip.
She lives in the beautiful state of Arkansas and has worked in public education for half of forever. She loves bluegrass, a good laugh, and strong tea. She adores hearing from readers.
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