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Title: Beauty and the MustacheMy Review:
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Knitting in the City #4, Winston Brothers #0.5
Published by: Indie
Release Date: December 1st 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: Kindle Book
Reading Challenges: Lenoreo's 2018 #LetsReadIndie Challenge, Lenoreo's 2018 AtoZ Reading Challenge, Lenoreo's 2018 Beat the Backlist Challenge, Lenoreo's COYER Winter Switch 2017/18
Find it: Amazon ✩ B&N ✩ Google ✩ Kobo ✩ iBooks ✩ IndieBound ✩ Goodreads
This is a full-length novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the fourth book in the 'Knitting in the City' series.
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.
4 stars — Another thoroughly enjoyable read by Ms. Reid (and yes, I did that on purpose). I was so relieved because I’d become cautious about the Knitting in the City books since I was on the fence with Neanderthal. I think part of my problem with NSH was that Janie is a bit of an unreliable narrator, and since hers was the only POV we got, I was left a bit unfulfilled. When I realized that Ashley would be our only POV in this book, instead of the dual POVs I was getting in the other Winston Brothers books, I became a bit concerned I would have a repeat experience. I even lamented that fact, b/c I generally prefer them better. But in the end this book did a much better job of satisfying me than book one, probably I understood better what was going on with Drew just from Ashley’s observations (even if she, herself, didn’t understand what was going on with him). And in a bizarre twist, we’re given Drew’s POV for the epilogue and I realized that single POV was a blessing in this case, b/c if I’d had to read from his POV throughout the rest of the book, I probably would have DNF’d it!! He was just so complicated, and to take a phrase from my husband, there seemed to be a lot of purple prose…which is not something I tend to enjoy. I honestly should have anticipated it, b/c while I absolutely adored a lot of the beautiful things that Drew says to Ashley, I was also a bit conflicted b/c that’s not really my style.
Both of our main characters were a bit odd, and probably not necessarily people I would hang out with in real life, but I ended up loving them despite that. I especially loved them for each other. Ashley was an odd mix of sassy and sweet. She was almost too oblivious at times, and I did find that a bit hard to handle. Drew was the epitome of withdrawn, but I loved that Ashley brought him out of himself (almost reluctantly). He was sweet, essentially a beta boy (and we all know how I adore betas), said some beautiful things, but I almost wished I knew his background better…the trials of single POV.
It’s funny, b/c I did enjoy both of their characters, but I almost enjoyed the plots more in this one (which is unusual for me). I LOVED the story with Ashley’s family, it was simultaneously delightful and heartwrenching. I can wholeheartedly understand why the Winston Brothers series was formed, and if I hadn’t already read a few, I would have been clamouring for their stories as well. Having started in that series and moved backwards, I was surprised at Ashley’s opinion of her brothers. I wasn’t expecting that. But I saw that they must have changed, and I loved the way their relationships were mended. I also appreciated seeing how Drew had managed to find a place with the Winstons, and how he fit into their little world. While the story with Ashley’s Momma made me cry, I appreciated the veracity of the depiction of losing a loved one and the last few days…reminded me a bit of the last days with my Dad. Ms. Reid really gets to the heart of the family part of this story, and I fell even more in love with the whole Winston family.
I appreciated learning the beginnings of the story with their father and the biker gang, as it pops up on occasion in the boys’s books. It was part of the reason I wanted to go back and fit this in before continuing on in that series.
I loved the cameos from the KITC girls…all those interactions were just delightful, and made me want to go back and read their stories (even though I was reluctant after not enjoying Janie’s as much as all my reader friends). I’m glad at least I have some of the later books so I can dive into some of them.
So yeah, another Penny Reid book that worked for me, can I get a woop woop?? Now to continue on and find out what’s going on with the rest of the brothers!!