Blog Tour: Truth of Beard (Winston Brothers #1) by Penny Reid - Review & Giveaway
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Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!
Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life.
His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…
But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.
Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?
Everyone in Green Valley, Tennessee knows that the six bearded Winston brothers have been imbued with an unfair share of charm and charisma… and are prone to mischief.
Truth or Beard is book #1 in the Winston Brother’s series. Each book is a standalone, full length (110k words), contemporary romantic comedy novel, and follows the romantic exploits and adventures of one of the six Winston Brothers.
It felt like I had been waiting forever for Truth or Beard to be released. I was so excited for this book (and really now I am trying to patiently wait for the rest of the Winston Brothers books...). When I first found out Penny would be writing books for all of the brothers I was so so excited. I mean who wouldn't want to read more about these bearded mountain men? Especially when she said they would be more like Beauty & the Mustache, one of my favorite books ever? I loved Duane and Jess' story. It was definitely worth the wait. It has the wonderful combination of Penny Reid wit and charm with some super hot scenes, super romantic moments, moments that made me laugh out loud, just everything all wrapped in one amazing story.
If you have read Double Dare from the Shiver Anthology that came out last year then you have read the start of this story. Jess is back in town to teach, pay off her student loans, and save up money to go travel the world. She grew up being infatuated with Beau, Duane's twin brother. Beau was the nice one, the one who always saved her and helped her when she needed it. Not like Duane who always made things worse. Plus she was always tongue tied around Beau. He was her biggest crush.
When she shows up at the Halloween event in town and sees one of the twins she knows it is Beau. After all she is drawn to him. She is reacting to him, and she doesn't react like that to Duane. Even though her friend tells her it is Duane she won't listen. Oh it was fun. She didn't listen and then everything gets all confused when she finds out it really is Duane. I mean she always hated him didn't she? Why would she want to kiss him and be with him if it is Duane? It doesn't make sense to her.
"I was, in a word, completely ridiculous. Okay, that was two words. I was so ridiculous I'd lost the ability to count."
Duane has always wanted to be with Jess. He always liked her, but he was one of those boys who could never show it the right way. When you see how he thinks back upon some of the things that made Jess angry when they were younger you see he was trying to help. He was trying to be nicer, but Beau was just better at that than he was. He was so cute. So when Jess starts acting like she wants him too he has a hard time not getting involved (even though she thinks he is Beau). Ah I loved him. He was so sweet and kind, yet fiery and passionate. He was a little bit of everything wrapped up in this wonderful man. Loved him.
"His smiles were reserved, secretive, like he rationed them."
"'If I said the sky was blue you would say it was purple.'
'Sometimes the sky is purple. Right now it's indigo, almost black. You can't just make a unilateral statement that the sky is blue.'"
However just because they do get on the same page eventually doesn't mean everything will be smooth sailing. After all Jess has this crazy wanderlust. She has never wanted to settle down in her hometown with a husband, house, kids, the whole nine yards. That is not what she wants. That would suffocate her. She needs to go travel and see the world. She needs to experience it. I get that. I have the same thing. Maybe not to the same degree, but I never wanted to settle in one place either. I have always wanted to just travel everywhere and experience everything. It can be hard, especially if your family doesn't understand like Jess' family. They just don't understand her need to leave. But Duane does. He gets her and he wants her to live her dreams. He was amazing. I loved how supportive he always was of whatever Jess wanted to do.
Duane did surprise me in this book. He wasn't quite what I expected. I expected that dare devil hot guy who is pretty great, but I didn't expect him to have this deeper side. This deep, romantic core to him. He was amazing. I loved how he wanted to court Jess. How he wanted things to be just right and perfect for them. How he didn't want to mess this up by moving too quickly or anything. Jess was it for him and he wanted to do it right. He was so sweet! He really made me fall for him.
**Slight spoiler alert - I don't want to ruin anything, but I do want to mention one of my favorite things in this book and it could be considered a bit of a spoiler - you have been warned!**
One of the things I loved most about this book is how Penny dealt with the physical relationship between these two. Jess is the one who wanted to move the physical relationship forward before Duane was ready. Since Duane wants to marry Jess and he does have that deeper romantic side he wants the first time to be special. He doesn't just want it to be up against the wall in the back room. He wants more than that. Jess had to really tell herself okay I need to back off because he is not ready for this. I need to not pressure him and wait until it is right for both of us. This is important to him so I need to respect him and his choices, even if I want to move forward in that way. I cannot tell you how much I loved this. It seems like whenever I have seen this before in books, where the girl wants to have sex and the guy wants to wait, it is always shown kind of like it is no big deal if the girl keeps pressuring him. Like he is a guy, he should want it, so it is not a problem and I hate that. If it is the reverse it is seen as a bad thing, when guys pressure girls, so I hate when the same is not true when the girl is doing the pressuring. So I loved that Penny included this and had Jess really stop and evaluate how she needs to try and wait for Duane to be on board as well. It made my heart so happy.
**end slight spoiler**
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the other star of the book for me - Cletus! Oh how I want to read his story now! I have a feeling he is going to be my favorite brother. I love the way he thinks and speaks and everything about him! He was just so much fun! Cletus and his sausage. Loved it! I just have this great voice in my head reading Cletus' lines. He is amazing.
So yeah Duane and Jess were just perfect together. I loved them so much. This story had a bit of everything in it. Parts that made me laugh like only Penny can, parts that made my heart break a bit, parts that were zany fun, and parts that were more serious. Penny weaves it all together into one amazing story. If you have read Penny's other books you won't want to miss this one. If not, then what are you waiting for? They are really just wonderful stories.
*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2
About the Author:
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.