Blog Tour: Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid - Review, Excerpt & Giveaway


There are three things you need to know about Ashley Winston: 1) She has six brothers and they all have beards, 2) She is a reader, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous— local Game Warden, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee.

This is a full-length novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the fourth book in the 'Knitting in the City' series.


*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Oh. My. Goodness. I...I don't know how to express how I am feeling in a way that will adequately get across how amazing and beautiful and romantic and incredible and everything this book was. Let me start off by saying I am not a romantic. I'm just not. I read a lot of romances and love some of them, but they are not really romantic romances. Usually I do not get super romantic things. Nothing super mushy and lovey dovey. Like something is wrong with me and I do not understand them. Grand romantic gestures are lost on me. Love poems? Hate them. If a character in a book is a poet I am always like ugh...and hope that we don't have to read too much of their poetry. Someone whispering sweet nothings in my ear? Awkward. Not my thing. At all. My favorite book boyfriends are tattooed dirty talking pierced rough around the edges guys. They are the ones I super swoon over and would love in real life. There are other book guys I love for the characters in the stories, but the dirty talking bad boys are my thing.

Now let me tell you a secret. Drew changed everything. Drew made me want love poems. Drew made me want grand romantic gestures. Drew made me want sweet nothings whispered in my ear. Drew. Drew blew me away with how much I absolutely fell in love with him. And he is a romantic romantic. He made me a believer though. He made me want super romantic things. I still don't know how he did that. He is definitely not anything like who I would normally love, but somehow he is everything I never knew I wanted and thought I hated. He is by far my favorite book boyfriend ever. All those tattooed dirty talking guys? Gone. Who are we even talking about? There is Drew. Just Drew. His poems I crave. I want more. I need more. Poems. Me, non-super romance Jen wants more love poems? I don't know how Penny did it. I really don't. This story is so romantic it just shouldn't work for me but somehow it works better than anything else. Mind blown. This is definitely my favorite book I have read so far this year. I don't know how something will top it. That last chapter, the epilogue, from Drew's point of view? Oh. My. Goodness. If the whole book would have been from Drew's point of view I don't know how I would have been able to handle it. I would have been a pile of mush and not been able to form a coherent thought. As it is I am writing this weeks after reading it as it has taken me this long to be able to express in words some of the amazingness that is this book. Before it was just random sounds and hand gestures and know....ah! You need to read it! But that last chapter...That last chapter is like my favorite thing I have ever read. It is incredible. Amazing. Stunning. Just like Drew.

It is hard for me to think of something to say about this book that is not just gushing about how amazing it is, how amazing Drew is. I fell hard and he kind of overshadowed everything else by the end. It really is Ashley's story and was a really incredible read. It is not just sunshine and roses, there are some ups and downs in here. There are times when I almost cried (especially when you add in the knitting group ladies...they get me every time). Before I started this book Penny kept posting about how this book is very different from her other books. It is more serious and not like the rest in the series. Well I have to say I agree but also kind of disagree with that. This book did have those serious moments, and was more romantic, but it still felt very much like a Penny Reid KitC book. It did have those moments I almost cried and such, but through it all it still felt like it fit into the series, so if you enjoyed the others you will love this one as well. Until the last chapter I feel I could have told you who wrote it without knowing it was Penny. The characters were still her characters, so still amazing.

So as I said this is really Ashley's story. I loved getting to know her even if I had to do so over some rough times. She is so sweet and caring, serious and worries a lot, but still gets into these crazy situations in that way Penny Reid has. She comes home after many years away to find her brothers are all grown up now and not exactly as she left them. Oh Ashley's brothers. I am so glad we got to meet them and will get to know them better in future books. When she first gets there and all the mixups with the bathroom? Hilarious! She has been pretty independent these past few years so she is not used to leaning on anyone or needing anyone. She tries to do it all herself, but then Drew with his quiet reserved self comes along and shakes things up a bit. It is really a hard time for her and she doesn't always think straight, never really knows where she stands with Drew, but watching the two of them come together was amazing. Absolutely amazing.

I loved Ashley partly because she is a reader. She loves her fictional worlds. She loves meeting and interacting with her fictional characters. She loves books as much as I do.

"Reading, for me, is like breathing."

Exactly Ashley. Exactly. I love that she rants at one point about stupid romance novel heroines who don't see what is right in front of them, but this book is one of those books. When she realizes what she is doing it is just so amazing. This book was incredible. I laughed, I almost cried, I loved, I felt everything. It was simply incredible. I cannot say enough good things about it. Penny Reid has topped herself again. Go read this now. Seriously best book I have read this year by far. Amazing. Spectacular. Thank you so much for writing such an incredible story Penny. I will cherish it for a long, long time. This definitely goes on my list of all time favorite books.

Rating: A billion stars, or in my 5 star system ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Available on Amazon • • Nook • Kobo • iBooks  Goodreads

Also in the series (click the title for my review):

Friends Without Benefits available on Amazon • •  Barnes & Noble • Kobo • Goodreads

Love Hacked available on Amazon • •  Barnes & Noble • Kobo • Goodreads

About Penny Reid

SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon... boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).
By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.


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