Monday, October 6, 2014

Review Tour, Excerpt, Giveaway: Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

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Beauty and the Mustache
by Penny Reid
Knitting in the City #4
Publication Date: August 28, 2014

Blitz and Tour: Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid
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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.

  Penny Reid has done it again! Beauty and the Mustache has it all, and here's just a hint of my gushing:

1. BEAUTY: Yes, it's in the title. But I'm not talking about beautiful people, though you might say they are. I'm talking about beautiful words, beautiful writing, beautiful moments that steal your breath and grab your heart. There are so many layers to this story: family heartbreak and rebuilding, coping with tragedy, trust and hope, forgiveness, vulnerability, new love and hope, and more. Each layer and each person is important and they are beautifully interwoven into the fabric and seams of this story. The story itself, the heartache and the joy, all of it, was a treat. Though, just because it's a beautiful story, doesn't mean Penny's trademark awkward situations and humor hasn't also been infused. Let's just say with six bearded brothers, and Sandra, something's bound to happen.

2. MUSTACHES: And beards. Hairy brothers and philosophers alike. There is incredible character development. From the oh so swoony Drew, to the half dozen Winston siblings, who each has a standout personality of his own, I was in love with the bearded goodness. (Nietzsche's 'stache was good for banter, not so much for looks.) These men are funny, strong, sensitive, firm, intelligent, determined, and hot. I vote for a Winston brother spin-off series! Beyond the menfolk, our heroine Ashley is all kinds of fire and sass, but also sweetness, heart, and a mix of humility as she faces so much in this story. I loved getting to know her. And let's not forget about the old friends who offer their support, their banter, their opinions, their humor, their private jets, their private jokes, and their love.

3. ROMANCE: Yes, I'm saving the best for last. This is full of romance! Drew's romance. Because Drew is all kinds of subtle gestures, sensitive insights, and soft considerations. But he's also all man. Manly man. Sexy man. But he also writes poetry. Sexy, romantic, bearded, woodsy, sensitive, strong, deep, and poetic. Penny managed to make all these qualities in one man completely work. And while Ashley had so very much to deal with, Drew was ever the strong presence, yet not overtaking the enormity of what Ashley and her brood were facing. (Though Drew's poetry was epically swoontastic and scene-stealing.) Watching the romantic gestures and natural progression of their love story was so beautiful and genuine and touching. I absolutely loved Drew and Ashley's story.

Bottomline, I absolutely loved Beauty and the Mustache! Penny continues to outdo herself, and I have once again found a favorite to add to my shelf and my to-read-again-and-again pile. If this is your first Penny Reid book, you are in for a real treat. Penny is a favorite of mine, and I've yet to be disappointed by her amazing writing. If you've been following this series, then prepare yourself for a new level of awesomeness. If you have not been following this series, Beauty and the Mustache can be read as a standalone. It is a complete story by itself. And then you'll have to go back and read the rest of the series because you won't be able to stop yourself.
Swoony Drew!
     “Yes?” He had a freckle just below his right eye, and it was very attractive...and distracting.
     “Sugar, are you okay?”
     “Yes.” I sighed. Usually I wouldn’t put up with being called Sugar; yet when Drew said it, especially like that—all soft, concerned, rumbly, and shirtless—it made me want to taste him.
     Whoa...where is this coming from? What is wrong with me?
     “What’s wrong with her?” This came from one of the other men. “She high or something?”
     “No, asshole,” Drew snapped, but his eyes remained on mine. “She’s in shock, and she’s got a lot of adrenaline in her system.”
     I was aware of the room plunging into stunned silence. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I remembered that Drew was infamous for his lack of verbosity. I imagined his outburst was quite a shock.
     Drew’s striking and bold eyebrows came together and he frowned, studying my face, one hand in my hair, the other holding mine. “When is the last time you ate?”
     I shrugged.
     “We need to get some food in you. It’s a wonder you’re still upright.”
     “Thanks for catching me,” I said dumbly, gazing into his eyes like a lovesick teenager. I didn’t care. He was so epically handsome, and he was being so nice, and his hands felt so good, and he was so strong and sturdy, and did I mention epically handsome? And shirtless?
     I was vaguely aware of another person walking into the cabin and the men shifting, shuffling their feet, and making room for the newcomer.
     “Sugar, I’d be honored to catch you anytime you’d like to fall.”

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About Penny Reid

SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).
By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.
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