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How do you know if a risk is worth taking? If you knew, there wouldn’t be any risk.
Following a disastrous appearance on a televised baking show, Sophie Copeland is certain things can’t get any worse. Several calamities later, Sophie finds herself in Green Valley, Tennessee with no plan, no place to stay, and no prospects. But at least she has a temporary seasonal arrangement with the famed Donner Bakery. And that’s something, right?
It’s not permanent, and it’s not a home, but it’s still something.
Enter Joel Barnes, a Green Valley mystery, wrapped in rumors, and a whispered connection to the local notorious biker gang. Joel’s got a name for being bad news, but he also has an apartment for rent.
Intrigued by the dichotomy of Joel’s reputation and sexy southern pull, Sophie can’t help but be tempted, even though she knows—given her (bad) luck—she should stay far, far away. . .
Yet as everyone knows, without risk, there’s no reward.
‘No Whisk, No Reward’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book#3 in the Donner Bakery series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.
Sometimes the greatest thrills in life end up being the catalyst that causes an unraveling. For Sophie Copeland – an appearance on a television cooking show leads to a downward spiral. Now Sophie had a boss who no longer believed in her abilities, so the pastry chef does the only thing that seems reasonable at the time. Sophie heads on a cross county journey towards Boston. With plans to help a friend with her new bakery, Sophie decides to embark upon a culinary tour of the US.
Sometimes fate decides to intervene in unexpected ways. As Sophie detours in Green Valley, Tennessee – she crosses paths with Joel Barnes. With a broken down car and no place to lay her head down at night, Joel ends up being the savior that Sophie needed. With a huge detour in her original plans, Sophie settles into life in Green Valley. As the rumor mill kicks into high gear, Sophie realizes that Joel may be connected to the seedier side of small town life. With an apparent attraction brewing as each day passes, Sophie realizes that she needs to get to the bottom of Joel’s connection to the Iron Wraiths one way or another.
No Whisk No Reward is the latest release in the Donner Bakery Series. Ellie Kay is a brand new author who has decided to lend her eye to the intricate world of Green Valley. While I have to give props to any author that tackles writing in another’s world of characters, Kay missed the mark a bit when her writing is compared to the predecessors in the series. Let me try to explain…..
I enjoyed Joel and Sophie and the path that led to the two meeting one another. Joel is broody and is harboring a secret that really isn’t that much a secret to the residents of Green Valley. Sophie is at a crossroad in life, and that journey is one that will set the tone of this story. While this connection of characters was sweet, I found other things in the story a distractant to the plot.
Tempest is the main character in the second book in the Donner Bakery series – Stud Muffin. While Stud Muffin was written by another author, Tempest plays a HUGE part throughout No Risk No Reward. In Stud Muffin – readers were treated to Tempest’s ups and downs, which shed light on a unique personality. Tempest is strong, quirky, and full of fire. In No Risk No Reward – it is like Tempest is a completely different person. The way the character is portrayed seems in contrast at times to the forward speaking character that readers met in the previous book. Even though Kay is a new author – tackling Tempest’s character in this installment should have included the quirks that make Tempest the spitfire that fans know her to be.
Then there is the Winston interaction. Cletus & Jennifer play an important role in this book. While the mechanic aspect is certainly there, the story lacks all things in Cletus’ personality that make him so unique. There is a scheme that will involve Cletus and the brothers, but it fell completely flat in the execution. A story that involves this beloved character has to have some Cletusisms. Viewing Cletus without any quirky dialogues or sneaky ‘one ups’ just isn’t really Winston like at all. It was really disappointing because the plot was laid out in a way that a few simple Cletusisms sprinkled in would have totally made the story.
Joel’s character also had the ability to be breathtaking. Think about it, muscle cars and Winston wars…..the combination was full of possibilities!! The pace of the story was a bit slow, so there was plenty of potential just waiting to be explored. No Risk No Reward was a nice ‘first’ novel for the author, it just didn’t pack the punch one would expect when delving into the Pennyverse.