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Beauty and the Mustache is part of both the Knitting in the City series and the Winston Brothers series by Penny Ried. It takes place in Tennessee with the Winston clan that I adore as well as gives us snippets with the knitting girls (and guys) we love.
Ashley is a pediatric nurse practitioner in Chicago but heads home to Tennessee when she learns here momma is in the hospital. One of the seven Winston siblings, she finds herself back in the chaos surrounding them. She is thrown into a tizzy when her old life that she worked so hard to escape comes rushing back.
When she arrived home she meets the mysterious Drew who has somehow implanted himself into the Winston family’s life and she has no idea his connection. Confused, she tries to push him away, but soon she finds there is a reason he is sticking around.
I loved this book!! In true Penny Reid style, the heart and humor, mixed with pain and seriousness, creates a beautiful story full of depth and emotion. The storyline is heavy but with the laughs she delivers, this story is a wonderful rom com that will put a smile on your face.
Like the other books in this series, Ashley and Drew’s story did not disappoint. They are well-developed characters with distinctive personalities. Ashley is fun, easy going, and a “prim pervert” that will have you laughing-out-loud. I loved her ferocity and bravery to stand up for what she believes. The pain she goes through is heartbreaking yet her love for her family is resilient and her strength shines through. I loved how she worked through her feelings about how things have changed in her hometown and the transformations her brothers have made. Her feelings towards Drew confused her but no matter how she pushed them away, they always came back and I totally felt the pull she had towards him.
Whether I liked it or not, whether it was convenient or not, Drew’s proximity after me. I was awake to him now, fully aware.
Drew is amazing and nothing like Ashley initially thought. He has so many layers and he seems to bounce between hot and cold whenever they meet.
“Don’t call me Sugar, I’m not your Sugar.” I said…
“You can’t hide the sweetness, Ashley. It’s not something to be ashamed of.”
“I’m not sweet.” This emerged somewhat breathlessly.
“Yes. Yes you are…You’re so sweet you are giving me a stomach ache and cavities.”
…He was looking like I was sugar, like I was cake covered in frosting, and he couldn’t decide wheterh he wanted to bite me or lick me first…
Then, abruptly, he turned away.
His tone was clipped and low as he said, “Infuriating woman.”
The tug of war going inside of his head had me smiling but it’s his beautiful heart that I fell for. He is there for Ashley and comforts her in a way no one else could by helping her through the rough times. He is generous, selfless, and an all-around great guy who anyone would be lucky to snatch up. He is so wonderful to the Winston family. He has a special bond with each one, especially with Ashley’s momma which warmed my heart. I could tell how much family meant to him.
Ashley and Drew are great together. Their emotions are convincing and I could feel what they were going through. I loved how they challenge each other yet showed support and strength when they each needed it most. There’s a tension between them that simmers in the background just waiting to explode. You don’t know when it will happen but you know it will be good. And it is!
This book is really funny. So many scenes had me laughing-out-loud with tears in my eyes because of the things that went on around the Winston family. There is also heartbreak and seriousness in their book, all of which are really well done. It is written in a way that is not too morose and I loved the love described while bringing the family together.
Penny Reid always writes amazing secondary characters and the ones in this book are no different. They are supportive, understanding, and surround our main characters with unconditional love. Reid also gives us such an amazing introduction into the Winston brother series! *happy sigh* Those Winston boys have my heart! We also see plenty of the Tuesday Night Knitting crew who provide the much needed distraction from the hurt and pain Ashley is living through. I love the solid friendships they share and I can’t wait to see more of them.
The epilogue is perfect! I loved being able to see inside Drew’s head and everything he thought just emphasizes his swoony personality from his POV. I just love Drew!
Overall, it was fantastic. I love that the books in this series are so different but oh, so good!! Up next…Ninja at First Sight!
*Note: I listened to this book on audible and the narration was great! I highly recommend all of the Knitting in the City audiobooks!
The Knitting in the City series
Marriage of Inconvenience (#7) (Kat & Dan)
To be released – 2018
The Winston Brothers series
Beard in Mind (#4)
Expected publication: July 2017
Dr. Strange Beard (#5)
Expected publication: 2018
Beard Necessities (#6)
Expected publication: 2018