Knitting, Beards, and Tennessee: What I Almost Missed by Not Reading Penny Reid

I think the first time I came across Penny Reid’s name was in this Smart Bitches Trashy Books post in which Truth or Beard was on sale. I read the synopsis and looked at the cover and thought, “Cute cover. That could be good, but I don’t like facial hair.” SO I SKIPPED THE BOOK. Y’all. This would soon prove to be a mistake.

At some point, Beauty and the Mustache showed up on my radar as either free or a reduced price. I don’t remember how I found it, but the point is that I did. And thank goodness because, y’all. This book is so funny! And it’s sad! I cried reading this book. More than once. And the friendship in this book gave me all of the feels.

Perhaps most importantly, I loved this book enough that I went out and discovered that many of Penny Reid’s books are on Kindle Unlimited. THANK GOODNESS. Because if I had missed out on these books because I don’t like beards, my life would be sadder.

Beauty and the Mustache is both Book 4 of the Knitting in the City series and Book 0.5 of theWinston Brothers series. It is also the book that brought me out of my funk induced by The Underground Railroad. If you read my post re: TUR, you might have picked up on my book hangover that I just really couldn’t get past. Since it wasn’t a headspace I particularly wished to stay in I binged Kate Perry’s What a Girl Wants and Penny Reid’s Beauty and the Mustache.

So let’s talk about BatM. The book opens with Ashley Winston being abruptly woken up too early in the morning by (she assumes) several of her brothers. She has six brothers that she hasn’t seen in eight years, but she remained extremely close to her mom. Her brothers tortured her when she was younger and she assumed that they stayed the same immature and rather awful humans that they were when she left. But when she realizes the man whose nipple she just twisted is not her brother’s, but rather is Drew Remus, a man who looks like a Viking, she is confused. This is the first of many revelations and discoveries Ashley makes throughout this book. I cried for the first time in chapter two when she discovers that her mom has cancer and only six weeks to live.

Drew is a fascinating character who seems to be all things at once? He’s got alpha male qualities, but he’s a broody romantic hero at the same time who reads poetry and won’t stop quoting Nietzsche, and bakes pies. Like, really good pies.

The things I loved about this book were the family dynamics being explored and the friendship. I really liked Ashley and Drew’s relationship, in that it developed so slowly and was a sort of hate to love that didn’t involve too much hate.

I was less of a fan of all the ridiculous non-swears because I found them funny about 40% of the time and the other 60% I was just rolling my eyes. And I really hate romantic heroes who have decided to blame all women for the actions of one woman. Or even two women. Like, just stop. STOP IT. If you do this in real life, cease and desist. Go find a therapist. Really just get over it. I mean, it’s absurd, frankly.

This book was really excellent though and I would hazard a guess, will almost definitely make you laugh out loud. So I cannot recommend it highly enough if you’re having a bad day or worried that we’re all going to die because nuclear warfare is apparently a thing we need to be worried about.

Let me know what you think if you give this book a shot!


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