Beard in Mind, an all new standalone in the bestselling, romantic comedy Winston Brothers Series by Penny Reid, is coming August 1st!
All is fair in love and auto maintenance.
Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.
Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.
Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever.
She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words.
Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.
The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean losing what matters most.
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~ My Review ~
My favorite Winston brother will always be Cletus. I like the shrewdness and the unapologetic mischief he gets his siblings in. But I must say that out of all the Penny Reid's Knitting in the City and the Winston Brothers series, I'm was very torn on this one. We saw glimpses of Shelly and Beau from the Cletus' Beard Science. Penny hinted that Shelly was quirky and was depicted as "odd" and "cold." I braced myself with this story. I was excited for Beau but wasn't sure if I would like Shelly. Unlike all the other books where I read fast and laughed and hollered and reread it again before the sun came up, I took my time with this book. I felt like it needed to be read slow, with grace and understanding.
I appreciate this book. I appreciate the pace she took to take this complex character that is Shelly Sullivan, and dissect her in such a way that it that didn't feel invasive. I grew up with a sibling who has OCD and it's hard to take all that I know, all that I have seen and lived with, and then to read about a character with this disorder and just hope that it doesn't become too stereotypical and pitying.
And she wasn't.
In typical Penny style, Beard in Mind gives us strong and flawed characters who own their faults and carry their pasts like shields. It's also sprinkled with dry humor and wit that allows us to catch our breath from the gravity and lessons and truths that accompany a person with a mental disorder.
Bravo, Penny. I think you did an amazing job depicting someone with the disorder.....I have generalized anxiety and I found myself stopping every so often during the sessions and repeating affirmations. I am not my compulsions. We are not our disorders. We are more than labels assigned to our neurosis. I loved that you had a strong, albeit wrecked character, actively seeking help. Sidenote: I love Dr. West. I am always a little grateful when I read about a character speaking with a therapist and deconstructing what therapy is like for people who need help. You also made sure to point out a few times that OCD looks different for everyone. Another sidenote: I love your notes from the author section. Thank you!
Most of all, I love that the acknowledgement in the end that essentially says, yes, I am broken and that's okay. "Perfect is boring."
***I received this book in exchange for an honest review. However, these thoughts and opinions are my own. I'm not required to write a positive review.***
About the Author
Penny Reid is the USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.