Saturday, October 7, 2017

Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid (audiobook)

Title:  Beauty and the Mustache
Author: Penny Reid
My Rating: A
Narrator: Joy J. Nash

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Knitting in the City #4
Main Characters: Ashley and Drew
Release Date: December 2014 (audiobook)
Publisher: Audible
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
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, 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. 

This is a full-length novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the fourth book in the 'Knitting in the City' series.

Listening Length: 11 hours and 52 minutes.
My Review:
Overall: 4.5
Performance: 4.25
Story: 4.5

I listened to this audiobook after I listened to the first three Winston brothers books (I know, I did this whole series out of order), but I absolutely adored Ashley's story. It's an emotional story just because Ashley is home for the first time in 8 years because her mother is dying. She doesn't know her brothers at all anymore or Drew, the man that her mother has turned over everything to who seems to be somewhat of a cornerstone for her entire family. Ashley doesn't understand how this stranger has become such an integral part of her family's world and she knows nothing about him. 

That's a difficult situation to come home to, made even more complicated by the fact that Ashley has incredible chemistry with Drew. 

I loved this book. Ashley was the perfect balance of vulnerability and strength. I loved her and how real the author wrote her. She felt so genuine. This book is about so much more than just the romance. It's about family and what it means to be family. There's the relationship between Ashley and her mother which is coming to an end because her mother is dying. But there's the relationship between her and her brothers that has suffered because she left them behind, but they aren't the same men she thought she knew. Then there's this new stranger in their midst. All of those people are part of her family and she doesn't quite know what to do with all those relationships. Then there's the family she's had for the last 8 years...her girlfriends from Chicago. The story shows how family changes and evolves, but always should be something that you should be able to count on. The flip side of that is Ashley's father who also makes an appearance. 

It's a great story and I loved every moment of reading it. I highly recommend it. It's a fabulous story.

Note: It was interesting to see how underdeveloped some of the brothers were in this book (i.e. Cletus) compared to their characters in the Winston brothers books. Not that this was necessarily a bad thing, it was just interesting to see how much more the author developed them as characters between this book and the next series.

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