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, reclusive mountain man, 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 Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid
Jethro: hair brown, askew; beard unkempt, in need of a trim (personality – shrewd, yet big-hearted) Ok, so his beard may not need trimmed, but look at him, he’s HOT!
Billy: dark brown, almost black hair, blue eyes – wide mouth; tanned muscular (personality – logical and level-headed but hiding a sensitive side) This is Billy getting ready for work.
Cletus: hair brown; brown beard, hazel eyes (personality – sweet and often oblivious)
Duane: red beard; one of the twins (personality – shy)
Beauford: red beard; the other twin (personality – bold) The picture I chose for them – well, couldn’t you see those two putting maggots in her macaroni and cheese and spitting in her mouth?
Roscoe: wore beard trimmed close, hair cut close and stylish maybe using hair product. He’s the youngest, 20 years old. (personality – rascal) My picture – well, that is a ladies man.
Drew: blond beard, gray eyes, almost silver, bronze tan VIKING MAURADER 6 ft 4 (personality – sigh intellectual, sensitive, kind, caring)
Ashley: looks like Billy – without the facial hair. (personality – kind, caring)
5 BUTTER MELTING STARS
You know how when you finish a wonderful book and you just sit and revel in all the beauty you just read? Well, that’s what I have been doing for the last couple of days.
Emotionally deep, Beauty and The Mustache, pulled at my heart so many times. Before I realized what had hit me I was crying; either because of heartrending moments, or heart-melting sweet ones, this book had me FEELING! I love when I become emotionally invested in both the story and the characters. Penny Reid delivered strong, intelligent characters within a solidly built, emotionally and intellectually deep plot. It was the perfect blend of funny, sweet, happy, sad, intellectually challenging (yes, I needed a dictionary sometimes) and sexy!
Being from the Midwest, and having had a grandmother from Tennessee, I felt at home reading quotes like, “Bless her heart” – I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard that in my life. Ashley’s mother-Bethany’s “wisdom’s”, were like my grandmother whispering in my ear and made the book genuinely real for me. “Happiness and rheumatism keep getting bigger if you tell people about them.”
Drew Runous— local Game Warden, was a man. A 6-foot-four inch, Viking marauder of a man. All broad-shouldered, solid abs of steal, he was “Scottish highlander, Viking conqueror, bodice-ripper historical romance kind of handsome.” He was an intellectual, sensitive, kind, caring, man. He was a lover of poetry and Nietzsche. But, Drew was also guarded and afraid to be vulnerable. Having been burned his fair share of times by important people in his life – women included, he struggled with intimacy, feared it even.
“Not all women are bad, you know. We’re not all viperous bloodsuckers. There are some good ones…like Ashley. She’s a good one. You might have noticed: the outside matches the inside.”
Ashley Winston — a pediatric ICU nurse, and former beauty queen was beautiful; she had thick, dark hair and bright, blue eyes. A lover of reading romance novels and poetry, she was NOT a lover of Nietzsche. She too feared intimacy and feared allowing men in her life. Because men had not proved themselves to be trustworthy, kind, nor gentle with her, she was determined to keep them at arm’s length. All they saw was the beauty on the outside. ”Pretty face, nice piece of ass, low-class accent. That’s what I was.”
“Men are so clueless, self-centered, and undeserving, each a bland replica of the other. They’re motivated by sex, sports, hunting, cars, and food. If they can’t screw it, cheer for it, shoot it, drive it, or consume it, then it might as well be a diva cup or a maxi pad.”
The two meet when Ashley goes home to find out why her mother after 8 years of daily conversation, suddenly stops contacting her. While they instantly find each other attractive the slow development of their relationship and appreciation of each other is so swoon-worthy and romantic you can’t help but root for the two of them!
“I would never hurt her, not through action, deed, or word. I long to soothe her, pet her, hold her fears, burden her sorrows, be the instrument of her ecstasy. I am her safe place and she is mine. I need her.
This story is about family, love, loss and acceptance. It’s about being willing to be vulnerable and risk your heart. It’s about giving yourself to others and expecting nothing in return.
Of course, the ever wonderful knitting crew was present. They shared invaluable wisdom with Ashley in her time of need. It helped her through her most troublesome times.
Drew is smokin’ hot, got a head full of brains, doesn’t bother much with chit-chat, and will be coming by DAILY. But he’s also pushy and entitled, and he rubs me the wrong way.”
Elizabeth muttered under her breath, “If you let him, I think he’ll gladly rub you the right way.”
I have to mention the Epilogue…it was fantastic! Beyond words, I was blown away with how different it was from the entire book. Reid’s ability to switch voice was powerful and effective and now I want DREW’S POV! Please!
Reid captured my heart with this one, and I can’t wait to read about the brothers.
Arc graciously given by author in exchange for honest review