by Penny Reid
on August 1, 2017
Published by Caped Publishing Genres: Humor, New Adult, Romance
Series: Winston Brothers Series #4
Also in this series: Truth or Beard, Grin & Beard It, Beard Science
All's 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 missing out on what matters most.
An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review and did not influence my opinion of the book.
❝Look at me.❞
❝I love how it feels.❞
When I first met Shelly, I thought for sure she would be perfect for Cletus! Boy, was I wrong! Beau was the perfect hero; strong and supportive. I fell in love with his “humanness” is that a word? Maybe not, but it fits. He had his defense mechanisms and his flaws. Seeing him come to terms with them and learn how to get what he needed without taking from others, was refreshing.
I loved Shelly, I loved everything about her. I loved who she was, what she suffered from and how she struggled and worked hard to overcome each obstacle. She was a fantastic heroine who had OCD. Not the kind of OCD you hear people talk about, such as a person claiming to have “book OCD” where they have to read books in the order they are released ie # 1, #2, #3. (uh hem, ME) No, Shelly had a very serious, very debilitating OCD. She struggled with it daily. She needed someone who as patient and kind, loving and supportive. And she found those qualities in Beau. He supported her every step of the way.
❝How do you know whether a woman has substance? Whether her feelings for you go as deep as your feelings for her?❞
❝She makes you a priority.❞
Beau had his own issues. Always the comedian, he soothed other people, made them feel good. But his bucket was half-full. He wanted to be real, show his feelings and not always have a happy facade. He wanted a relationship, one where he was a priority. Shelly filled his bucket because she needed his support and strength. She cared about him as a person and wanted to make sure his needs were met, she wanted to take up for and take care of him. She made him her priority.
❝I love you when you break and I love you when you put yourself back together.❞
Another thing I loved about this book, I am a quote girl! I have a ton of them. So one of my favorite parts of this book was the chapter headings. I couldn’t wait to get to the next chapter so I could read what quote Penny had to share with us.
❝Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in❞ – Isaac Asimov
If you follow my reviews or have read any of my reviews for a Penny Reid novel, you know I love her stories. I love her writing and her characters.
I admit I was devastated by the “revelation” and it did distract from the love story. For me, it became the focus more than the relationship between Beau and Shelly and even more so than Shelly’s struggles and Beau’s needs. It changed the whole feeling of the “brotherhood” to me. As well, I felt this was a major life event and was smoothed over, and too easily accepted. The bond this family shared was suddenly stripped away.
But, one of the best parts about blogging is getting to chat about books with other readers and bloggers. Often times you share a common love of a great book. This was not the case here, however, because I did not come away from this novel feeling love. Rather, I was salty (as my kids say). I did not like the direction the author took the story. I am a die hard fan of this family and when the dynamics changed I had a hard time dealing with it. I needed to process and discuss my outrage. Fortunately for me, I had two wise friends who helped me see through my red tunnel vision. While I know the author had a reason for the revelation in the book (it sets into motion future events), I didn’t like it and just knew there was a better way. I was encouraged to, “Trust. Trust the process. Trust the author.” …. hmmm. So, after a few days, I trashed my original review and started over. Because isn’t this what I proclaim to love in books? Ones that make me think and feel? I experienced a whole bunch of feelings. Some were not positive. But you know what? That’s okay! I realized I don’t have to love everything about a story to make it good or even great! This was a solidly written book, with great characters and storyline.