Jenn McKinlay's "Cupcake Bakery" series is one of the most funny and interesting series currently available in the cozy genre. I especially loved "Red Velvet" revenge because it captures the spirit of the old west in a storyline that extends beyond the Valley of the Sun and up into the Arizona foothills for a spectacular rodeo chock full of family drama.
In "Red Velvet Revenge," Mel and Angie are faced with a slump at the bakery. The summer heat has driven tourists and locals inside and the foot traffic in Old Town Scottsdale, where the bakery is located, is almost non-existent. When Oz, their trusty assistant shows up with an old ice cream truck, he hopes to turn into a mobile version of Fairytale Cupcakes, Mel and Angie are a bit skeptical, but decide to move forward, if only to better compete with their archival, Olivia. As they are taking a test drive, the truck breaks down and they are rescued by the owners and organizers of one of Arizona's largest rodeo events - Slim and Tammy Hazard. They are soon hired to come up to Juniper Pass, a bucolic location in the Arizona Foothills, to sell cupcakes during the annual rodeo. With business slow, they jump at the opportunity and head north, once the truck is repaired and prepped for mobile bakery use, with Oz, Marty (their other assistant) and business partner Tate in tow.
All is not fun and games at the rodeo, and soon they are dealing with the attempted murder of Slim, the shenanigans of his daughter Shelby, who is out to wreck the festivities due to her so-called "social consciousness," and a rodeo start, Ty Stokes, whose huge ego could spell the end of the rodeo as everyone knows it. When one of the key players in this drama turns up dead, Mel, Angie and their team find themselves in the cross-hairs of local law enforcement as suspects in the murder. Adding to their problems, someone tried to sabotage the bakery truck and it takes some quick thinking on their part to salvage the inventory.
In "Red Velvet Revenge," McKinlay also has a few surprises in store for the reader concerning both Mel's and Angie's romantic interests!
"Red Velvet Revenge" is a page-turner and I found it hard to put down! I can't wait for the next one in this delightful series!