Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid
Series: Knitting in the City #4
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: August 28, 2014
Format: eBook, 387 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
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.
I started reading this book at the gym, which I discovered by the end of chapter two was a terrible idea. I always expect a fair few feels from Penny’s books, but I wasn’t prepared to deal with a terminally ill parent in public. I decided this book would be best consumed in private and quickly closed it. I did, however, pick it up a few hours later when I got home and proceeded to read it from cover to cover. Parts of it were sad and tough to take, but overall it was less emotional than I feared it would be. It was still respectful of Ashley’s mom, but Penny found a way to make the book about so much more than the grieving.
Despite the sadness surrounding the circumstances that took Ashley home to Tennessee, there were lots of light, sweet, sexy and even funny moments in this book. The scene where Ashley first met Drew had me literally laughing out loud, which did draw some weird looks from other people in the gym. I guess most people don’t laugh while on an elliptical. Haha. I loved Ashley and Drew, both. Yes, they got off to a rocky start together, but I enjoyed watching them come together. They had tons of chemistry and that slow burn I love so much in romance. But, more than that, they became a source of support for each other as Ashley’s mom’s illness progressed. Of course, the biggest question was what would happen with them once Ashley’s mom passed away and it was time for her to return to her life in the city. Would she? Could she leave her brothers and Drew?
Ashley was a wonderful character. I could relate to her all too well. And Drew? The game warden with the soul of a poet? *swoony sigh* I couldn’t get enough of him. While Ashley and Drew were the stars of this book, I fell hard for all the characters. Ashley’s brothers intrigue me. I can’t wait to get into reading the spinoff Winston Brothers series. If their stories have the same humor and heart that the Knitting in the City series has, I’ll be thrilled. But first, I need to continue on with this current series. I’m going to be SO SAD to see it end, but I’ll be SO HAPPY to get all the girls’ stories.
“He was both scary and swoony. I wanted to braid his beard. I also wanted to run away.”
“Pleased to make your acquaintance, Miss Winston,” he drawled, extending his hand in a show of ironic southern politeness, like older church ladies use when they say “bless your heart,” and what they really mean is “you couldn’t find your way out of a small shed with a map, lighted signs, and an escort.”
Reading, for me, was like breathing. It was probably akin to masturbation for my brain. Getting off on the fantasy within the pages of a good novel felt necessary to my survival. If I wasn’t asleep, knitting, or working, I was reading. This was for several reasons, all of them focused around the infinitely superior and enviable lives of fictional heroines to real-life people.
With enough use, practice, and honing of skill, words were the weapons of choice used by exceptional writers and poets. Minds can be changed, hearts can be lost and broken, souls can be surrendered given the right words.
My desire for Drew wasn’t a fire. It was a rainstorm. More precisely, it was a rainstorm in the wilderness of the Great Smoky Mountains.
When you cried, I learned what helplessness tastes like. Because all I could do was swallow.
Do you love Penny’s books as much as I do?
Which is your favorite?