November 22, 2015

Review: Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City #4) by Penny Reid

Title: Beauty and the Mustache
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Knitting in the City #4
Genre: new adult, contemporary romance
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, reclusive mountain man, 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.

Amazon US | Amazon UK


Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

6 **philosophical** STARS

“We are most awake to the world and to our own longings and desires when we suffer.”

I'm legit speechless. This book was absolutely perfect to me - from beginning to the end. I can only warn you, this is going to turn into a huge gush fest. It took me a week to put my thoughts in order and write this review and still I don't feel I can do this book justice in any way. I'm just going to say it, and it's already November, so it's not such a far leap...Beauty and the Mustache was my favorite book I read all year.

I laughed, I cried, I had a stupid grin on my face even when I wanted bawl my eyes out. I was so moved, it made me think and in the end I'm just so happy. I honestly just love this book. Starting with my favourite Winston brothers, a kick-ass non annoying heroine, a silent type slightly grumpy hero. And of course knitting, bear and raccoon attacks, oh and not to forget bathroom schedules. If you want to find out what that means, I suggest you pick it up.

It's been eight years since Ashley Winston last went home to Tennessee to see her six brothers and her mother. In fact she has been avoiding it. Once she had the chance to go to college she was out of there never to be seen again, save for the daily phone calls with her mother. Now she is pediatric nurse, living in Chicago, but a strange phone call forces her to make the trip home. Her mother is in the hospital and she only wants to talk to Ash. Time to take care of the family and find out what is wrong with her mother.

I love Ashley as a character. She is a tough chick, mostly thanks to the hellraising brothers who made her life a bit of a nightmare growing up and helped her develop a thick skin - dealing with their antics. The whole Winston household is a comedic goldmine. The boys are so lovable and weird in the most adorable way. Getting to know them and Ashley starting to really see the men they are today and not the boys they were was just beautiful and heartwarming. Family is the best thing about the book and they really come together here. Well family is one of the best things, there is also this guy:

“He was the bodice ripper, Scottish highlander or Viking conqueror, historical romance kind; an unshaven, lion wrestling, mountain man recluse, toss you over his shoulder and plunder your goodies kind of handsome. He was both scary and swoony. I wanted to braid his beard. I also wanted to run away.”

Completely exhausted after travelling all day and night, Ashley promptly has a run in with non other than Drew Runous. Spoiler alert: he is the romantic interest and he is best described in the quote above. There really is very little to add. ;D He is a game warden and Jethro's boss, and for some strange reason has a very deep connection with Ash's mother and her brothers. No escaping the stoic and mysterious man.

The instant attraction between Ash and Drew, that is more irritation than love is what makes this couple the best for me. Circumstances force them to 'work' together and it's a battle of wills most of the time. Drew has a way of getting under Ash's skin and riling her up with Nietzsche quotes is just one weapon in his arsenal. He is highly intelligent, very unconventional and he loves poetry. I really can't stress enough that you need to meet this guy.

“You underestimate how deeply you cut when your intentions carry no knives.”

For people who follow my reviews it comes with no surprise that I love Ms. Reid and her quirky heroines. The Knitting in the City series in particular is one of my favorite light hearted, feel good, funny escapes. While I absolutely adored the first book. The second and third were only ok reads for me. I was entertained but the wow effect was missing. Now with this installment she knocked it right out of the park.

I was hooked from the first page. Partially because I was already invested in the girls from the knitting group, but also because I read Truth or Beard before and I was familiar with the Winston brothers. There was no warming up period for me. I knew everyone and could jump right into the fun.

The writing was a little unlike her usual style. It was a lot more poetic and lyrical. It's almost as if Ms. Reid has the ability to really embody her protagonists. Every book has a distinct voice and recall value. Of course just like the books before it a very clever book, that makes you laugh out loud and introduces some rather brilliant and equally unique characters, but it also is a lot more existential in its themes. Death and family play a big part and it creates a certain mood that makes the book reflective and thoughtful.

I read Beaty and the Mustache in pretty much one sitting. And not necessarily because I wanted to know what happens next, but because the writing and the characters captured me. It really is the best book in the Knitting series so far. I can't wait to read some more, but also go back and re-read this gem.

Now, just out of curiosity...does anyone know why the ketamine is under Drew’s sink? ;P

Books by Penny Reid, Flo has read:

(click cover for amazon link - reviews below)

★5 Stars★★4 Stars★★4.5 Stars★★3.75 Stars★
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★4 Stars★★5 Stars★★3.75 Stars★★5 Stars★
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