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Title: Beard in MindMy Review:
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers #4
Published by: Indie
Release Date: July 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: Kindle Book
Reading Challenges: Lenoreo's 2018 #LetsReadIndie 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
All is fair in love and auto maintenance.
Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.
Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.
Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever. She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words. Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.
The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean losing what matters most.
4.5 stars — Beau was the absolute highlight of this story for me… Now don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed Shelly as well, but Beau surprised the heck out of me, he was nothing like what I was expecting. And I totally fell in love with him, he stole my heart, and I ache for this sweet and sensitive man. Something about the other books and the way that people described him, I truly believed that the charm that he so effortlessly delivers would have some other purpose…but the reality was that he just did it to make people feel good, not as something for himself. He was a genuinely friendly and caring guy, and I guess I just don’t come across heroes like him nearly enough. It’s not about alpha or beta or any of that, but I fell in love with the kindness of this man. In the end I actually felt a bit sorry for him, for how people made assumptions about his character. I also expected him to be a bit of a player, but again, that was another erroneous assumption based on how people perceived him. I seriously can’t say enough good things about him. Does that mean he wasn’t flawed? Heck no. But the goodness…oh the goodness.
As I said, I ended up really enjoying Shelly as well. But we actually got remarkably fewer chapters from her POV, which surprised me quite a bit, and it made it a bit harder to connect with her sometimes. Now, I’m kind of selfish and enjoyed being in Beau’s head, so this only bothered me a little bit. But it does mean that I didn’t connect with her quite as much as I did Beau. She’s a bit of an odd duck too, what with the things she struggled with because of her OCD, so there’s a tiny part of me that had a hard time figuring her out. But that could be just me. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to see the woman below the disorder, but we did get there eventually, and I loved her subtle sass and vulnerability.
I’m not sure if this book was as strong in the romance department, it just had so much else going on in the story. I did enjoy their chemistry though, you could really feel their attraction to one another. And I did understand their friendship, but there was the odd time where I would wonder if I bought what drew them to each other initially, other than just the hand wavy stuff…but I’m probably not making any sense.
I cried for both Shelly and Beau. Shelly struggled with so much, and a part of me was saddened that she didn’t get to resolve things with her family, though I understood it and it made sense for her and for the story. I definitely cried for Beau…for the hurts of his childhood, and for seeing him struggle with Duane leaving. I loved how unafraid of showing emotion he could be. I loved how close he and Duane were, and how you could really feel how the twins were two halves of a whole. I also fully understood why Christine chose to approach (and manipulate) him, b/c he just has such a good heart. He might be one of my favourite heroes of all time, but definitely my favourite Winston brother so far (which I can’t believe he usurped Jethro).
On the topic of diversity, I loved learning about OCD, and what a person experiencing it might possibly feel and go through, not to mention potential treatments. I thought the subject was treated with respect, gave a great peek into what it might be like, and I LOVED Ms. Reid’s note at the end about this not encompassing all people with this disorder, but just one character. I think people often forget how mental disabilities of all kinds vary widely from person to person. But what I love, and look for, in a diversity read is the ability to connect to a character, and understand things from their perspective.
So yeah. This series has been a serious hit with me, and I can’t wait for Roscoe and Billy’s stories… Meanwhile, I will dream of my sweet, kind, ginger boy…