Blurb: Jennifer Sylvester wants one thing, and that one thing is NOT to be Tennessee’s reigning Banana Cake Queen. Ever the perpetual good girl and obedient daughter, Jennifer is buckling under the weight of her social media celebrity, her mother’s ambitions, and her father’s puritanical mandates. Jennifer is officially desperate.
And desperate times call for Cletus Winston.
Cletus Winston is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery covered in conundrum sauce, and now he’s in a pickle. Despite being convinced of his own omniscience, extortion by the exalted Banana Cake Queen of Green Valley has taken him completely by surprise. So… what’s a maniacal mastermind to do?
Likely, the last thing you expect.
3 Stars (or 2.5 I’m still debating)
I don’t know what I think about this book. The ending seem disjointed from the beginning. I felt the transitioning from blackmailer to friend to love interest was a bit off. And it went downhill from there. I felt like I was reading two different books. The beginning stayed true to the characters but the second half….It was like reading a completely different book.
Cletus came off as arrogant, conniving and manipulative peppered with a loyalty and a fierce protectiveness towards his family. He also enjoyed when others misjudged him and used it to his already considerable advantage multiple times. I liked that about him and didn’t really want him to change, I was looking forward to his growing a bit more, but not really changing. But then he did like a 180 and I fricking lost it. Now I think of him as some weakling who can’t control his urges whenever his kryptonite walks in the room. Instead of seeming confident he comes off as vulnerable and insecure. And not in a good way. It was very unattractive to me.
Really I felt this story should not have been a love story. It should have been about Jennifer, not Cletus. Or at least Cletus as a strictly platonic friend. Jennifer had the most growth and her character stayed consistent throughout the book. I loved her a lot and think Cletus is no longer good enough for her.
I will say that we got a whole lot more background on the family in general and I feel like I know the siblings better, which was a concern of mine going into the series since they seem to focus on each brother but didn’t really show the family dynamic in the first two. This book really gave me a more in depth look into their lives and I now feel I know the other brothers more. Solid character building in that aspect.
Other than that, I was a bit disappointed in this one.