Title: Truth or Beard
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers #1
Genre: new adult, contemporary romance
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.
Amazon US • Amazon UK • Nook • Kobo • iBooks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
5 **run away with me** STARS
“When I think of my future and what I want, all I see is you.”
What can I say? Any book that starts out with a ironic sexy gandalf who ends up in a case of mistaken identity and makes out with the wrong twin gets my unconditional love just because of reasons. And I dare you to challenge that logic.
Suffice it to say, Truth or Beard -the first book in Penny Reid's new Winston Brothers Series- is pure chick-flick gold. It’s hilarious, makes you swoon, leaves you with a severe case of 'Fernweh' and also...BEARDS! Beards are very important at the moment.
This was my very first read involving the Winston Brothers. I'm slowly but surely making my way thorugh the Knitting in the City Series, which already featured the boys, but I'm not that far yet. Fortunately it doesn't matter. There really are no open questions and this series can very well be read as a standalone.
Let's talk story!
All her life Jessica James had two obsessions. Travel the world and Beau Winston. Exploring the world is not that much of a problem. In fact, she has a plan. Newly finished with college Jessica is back in Green Valley, Tennessee, working as a math teacher to earn enough to pay off student loans and after that escape her hometown. The second obsession - Beau Winston is a bit more tricky. Especially when said twelve year long crush is cut short by a case of mistaken identity and a scorching hot make out session with his twin brother Duane Winston.
Who would have thought after knowing them her whole life she couldn't tell one twin from the other? Add to that her life long frenemies status with the sexy mechanic and things could quite possibly get interesting.
“My momma once told me, you don't need to be pushed in order to fall. I don't think you'll need to do much pushing, Jessica.”
I guess I don't have to tell you how amazing both these main characters are, right? It's Penny Reid book. The heroine is smart, somewhat quirky and knows what she wants. The hero is good looking, patient, a straight shooter and a bit of an adrenaline junky. Also...BEARD!
I absolutely adored Duane and Jess's relationship and history. 'Enemies' to lovers is such a great romance trope, mostly because of the built in chemistry and conflict. Let me tell you, those two know how to work with their connection. And once they figure out what they want *cough*each other*cough* it gets so cute and adorable and bananas and coconuts and revved engines and wanderlust and read the damn book....
MVP - Cletus Winston. Seriously, there were times when I thought he might just be my favourite part about the whole book. Mind you, that's quite a challenge when you consider that this book and everyone in it is just damn near perfect. Cletus Winston, mark that name. I think he will become one of my all time favourite book boyfriends once he gets his own book in the hopefully near future.
Here is a little snippet of his wisdom...
“Everything is temporary, Duane. This,” he gestured to our surroundings, “this is temporary. Even mountains fall. Nothing lasts forever. You got a chance at happiness, even for a week, a month, a year? You grab it and you hold on to it for as long as it lasts.”
Every character in this book is so darn lovable and I really adored how Ms. Reid managed to balance such a large range of characters. Starting with all the brothers, town people, family, friends and the designated bad guys - the local biker club. Well done on the world building front, without losing sight of the romance. Makes you hungry for more.
As always the writing is phenomenal, it's witty and sucks you in. A great start to a new series and I can't wait to read the next book.
**ARC very kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Books by Penny Reid I have read:
(click cover for amazon link - reviews below)
|★5 Stars★||★4 Stars★||★4.5 Stars★||★3.75 Stars★||★4 Stars★|
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.