I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you haven’t read any of Penny Reid’s books – why not? I’ve enjoyed her Knitting in the City series and while reading book 4, Beauty and the Mustache, I fell in love with the Winston brothers. If Truth or Beard is any indication of the rest of the series, all I can say is “Take my money and give me all the books!”
Jessica James is a high-school math teacher who’s come home to teach and pay off her student loans before fulfilling her dream of travelling the world. Her plan is to stay home for two years and then travel. She’s not planning on starting anything with hunky Beau Winston, the twin she’s had a crush on for as long as she can remember, but when he approaches her at a community gathering, she can’t believe it. When she finds out it was actually his twin, Duane, she’s furious – she and Duane have had an antagonistic relationship since they were kids, so why is he kissing her and looking for more?
Duane Winston has had a crush on Jessica James since they were teenagers – he can remember the exact day his feelings for her changed from aggravation to affection. When he sees a chance to kiss her, he takes it, even though he knows she’ll be furious. As he gets to know the grown-up, post-college Jessica, he likes her even more. But she doesn’t plan to stick around, and he wants something permanent with her.
Oh yes. Truth or Beard was so funny and so sexy! I have a weird one-sided love affair going on with Penny Reid, or her books anyway, and Truth or Beard is another example of what I love about her writing. If you’ve read a Penny Reid book before, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t read any of her books before, you’re missing out! Penny Reid writes absolutely delicious heroes. I’m talking grab an imaginary spoon, dig in, and go back for seconds delicious.
Jessica and Duane have a hate-on for each other that goes back years to when they were kids. Watching that turn around into a real attraction was delightful to read. I enjoyed the back-and-forth between them and Duane’s plan to court her was swoony. You’ve got this tough, bearded mechanic who is actively woo-ing his former childhood nemesis, and a sexy math teacher who’s got one foot out the proverbial door. Throw in a side story involving one of the brothers who got into some trouble with the local motorcycle gang and you’ve got a story that’s almost impossible to put down.
Some of the conflict felt a bit forced at times – I wish Jessica hadn’t fought so hard to push Duane away, and his brilliant plan to ‘have her while he could’ really wasn’t so brilliant, but in the end it all worked out beautifully. Of course there’s a little something that the author may be saving for a future book story line, but the seed has been planted (in my mind at least).
As Jessica and Duane’s story came to an end, all I could think was that I want every brother’s story. Right now. (Their sister Ashley’s story was told in Beauty and the Mustache.) Whhyyyyy do I have to wait????
Penny Reid is an ‘auto-buy’ author for me. I highly recommend her books if you enjoy smart, funny contemporary romance. I think that Truth or Beard can be read as a stand-alone, although if you read ‘Beauty and the Mustache’ I think you will enjoy it even more. Fans of Alice Clayton and Molly Harper should give Penny Reid’s books a try.
I received this book for free from Provided by Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Truth or Beard by Penny Reidon July 21, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Provided by Author
Also by this author: Neanderthal Seeks Human: A Smart Romance, , Neanderthal Seeks Human
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-headed 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 (120k words), contemporary romantic comedy novel, and follows the romantic exploits and adventures of one of the six Winston Brothers.