Square Penny: Romance and Mystery Afoot by Shelley White

Square Penny: Romance and Mystery Afoot by Shelley White
In for a Penny Series, #2
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Romance, Historical, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

With the dramatic conclusion of Penny Gothic and Tripp’s self-realization, Penny’s happily ever after should be just around the corner…right? What happens when neither main character is ready to ride off into the sunset? They read another book.

The couple meet up in 50s-era teen series Pom Squad Mystery #17. They channel their inner Nancy Drew and Ned to solve the corny mystery of the missing time capsule.

Meanwhile, Penny’s research into her family legacy produces information that suggests sexy neighbor, Gregorio, might be more than just a secondary character.

When the mystery is solved will Penny and Tripp be ready to take their romance into the real world or will unanswered questions still stand in their way?

If you like gentle fiction, look no further.

I was once again amused by Penny’s healthy suspicion of and intelligent responses to some of the tropes of the romance genre that would be unusual to find in the real world. That is to say, she wasn’t the sort of character who leapt into anything without knowing exactly where she’d land first and what she’d do if something didn’t turn out the way she expected it to. That endeared me to her just as much as it did in the first book. She was relatable, funny, and well-rounded.

It would have been helpful to have a little more time dedicated to the mystery storyline. I was interested in how it would play out but didn’t find enough clues to help me come up with good theories about what happened to the missing time capsule. This was the only issue preventing me from choosing a full five-star rating as I enjoyed everything else about this book.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most about this series so far has been how much time the slow-burn romance has been given time to develop. While this can be read as a standalone work, I’d recommend starting with Penny Gothic: A Romance of Fictitious Proportions if you want to fully appreciate all of the effort the author put into setting up the framework for Penny and Tripp to fall in love. These sorts of storylines are so much more meaningful to me when I’ve had ample time to get to know the characters and discover the reasons why they’d make a fantastic match.

Square Penny: Romance and Mystery Afoot was a lighthearted and entertaining read.

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