Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers, #1) by Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers #1
Published by Cipher-Naught on July 21st 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Buy on Amazon
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.
Sexy Gandalf, mistaken identity, catastrophic engine failure, and Truth or Dare. Leave it to Penny Reid to whip up such a delightful combination. Right from the start she had me in the palm of her creative and whimsical little hands.
Jessica James has just returned to her small hometown after college to take a job as the high school’s Calculus teacher. She’s only in town long enough to pay off her student loans and save enough money to pursue her wanderlust – her intense desire to travel the world.
Jessica grew up alongside the six Winston brothers, including identical twins Beau and Duane Winston. Beau and Duane are identical in looks but polar opposites in personalities. Whereas Beau is friendly and outgoing, Duane is moody and unsociable.
His smiles were reserved, secretive, like he rationed them.
Jessica has had a massive crush on Beau her entire life. She hero worships him and is positively tongue-tied in his presence. Jessica and Duane, on the other hand, have had an entirely antagonist relationship involving verbal sparring and one-upmanship of the pranking variety. As for Duane’s part, perhaps their love-hate relationship weighed more heavily on the love side?
After she is tricked into kissing the “wrong” Winston brother Jessica finds the Beau spell has been broken and she sees Duane in a new light. As Jessica and Duane come to know each other as the adults they are now, their feelings grow stronger. But can they commit to one another knowing their relationship has an expiration date? Complicating matters, Duane and the Winston brothers get dragged into a dispute with the local biker gang.
Penny Reid has a knack for creating quirky heroines who are also easy to relate to. Jessica is no exception. She is smart, sassy, quirky, and misunderstood by almost everyone. What’s more, nobody has ever tried to accept her – until Duane.
He admitted quietly, “I want to know you. And I want to be known.”
I loved Duane. He’s such a loyal man. I was charmed by his inherent goodness and his respect for Jessica. What girl wouldn’t swoon over his blatant adoration?
I had an odd thought just then, that I should only ever whisper her name, and that she should always be close enough to hear it.
However, like Jessica, I grew tired of Duane repeatedly putting the brakes on their relationship.
Given our historical pattern—my need followed by his retreat—I also needed to stop giving him all the say, all the power. If he couldn’t give me everything then I wanted nothing. I couldn’t keep bashing myself against a door he kept firmly closed. It hurt too much.
Preach, Jessica! And this may just be the perspective of an older reader, but the deal they made entering the relationship seemed unnecessary and rather ridiculous to me. Even so, this is a heartwarming story and a promising start to the series.
The Winston brothers seem like a wonderfully rambunctious brood. Each one is so different and I can’t wait to learn more about all of them. Odd, zany, and loveable Cletus really captured my heart and I’m especially looking forward to reading his story.
Hey there! I’m quite passionate about romance books. And musical theatre. And bacon. I live in Maryland with my husband and three daughters. Visit me on Goodreads.
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