Sunday, August 27

Review: Beard in Mind by Penny Reid

Title: Beard in Mind
By: Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers #4
My Copy: Ebook from Publisher
The BookWhisperer's Rating: 

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.

Since the beginning in "Truth or Beard", I have always been curious about Beau.  I mean, he is written as the better of the twins, right?  He is the more sociable, he is kind, he is caring, he is a charmer through and through and never uses it for evil - only good, he is basically less surly than his twin Duane.  How could one not be curious about him?  And now enter his story and *fans my face* he was worth the wait!  Was he a Drew? (Confession - Drew is the love of my life!)  No - but his story is just as good.  

Beau and Shelly's relationship at first is rocky, really rocky.  No words are pleasant if there are any words being said at all.  Shelly calls Beau's face asymmetrical and Beau tells Shelly that she doesn't have to strip for him (he was a little confused on who she was at the time.)  Needless to say, they weren't best friends from the start.  However, when they both open their minds to each other and what is created was absolutely beautiful!

Now, I am going to stop you right here.  I have a few things that I would like to say and I don't want to ruin anything for all of you but I also want to warn you that some slight spoilers are coming your way.

When I first read the synopsis of Beard in Mind, I thought it would be like every other book would be; wonderful and brilliant with a side of quirky.  I didn't know that we were going to get in really deep quirky territory with Shelly.  Never did I think that this wonderful character was going to have extreme OCD and anxiety.  Out of all of Reid's characters, Janie and Cletus seem to stick out the most.  Janie because of her list of random facts and Cletus because, well, he is just Cletus.  We never really got to see a Reid character so extremely vulnerable before and I must hand it to Penny, she did a brilliant job writing Shelly as such.  I found myself worked up when Shelly was worked up on the pages. I felt like I lived every fear with her and every worry with Beau when it came to her fears.  I didn't expect these two characters, especially Shelly, to be so deep.  And I should have; this is Penny Reid for Pete's sake!  I am always astonished with her ability to write in-depth and real human-like characters, complicated family issues, and budding romances.  

Even if you took Shelly and her extreme OCD and anxiety out of the picture, Reid still presented us with a wonderful story about Beau, a Winston sibling to the end.  His interactions with his friends and family show you what kind of beautiful human he is.  

I wasn't expecting this plot line.  I wasn't expecting these twist and turns. I wasn't expecting the absolute love I felt for Shelly and Beau.  And I wasn't expecting the more love I felt for the rest of the Winston gang and associates to grow either. But I got them and so much more that rounded this book into a favorite of mine because Penny Reid writes real people, guys!  And as real people, how could be not love them?

1 comment:

You won't believe this Fishing Lodge Alaska said...

This is a story about what it’s really like to love someone—to support them, to be their partner. I think this book has the most heart of any Penny Reid book. While that is a difficult quantity to measure, it’s more of something you just have to feel. And Beard in Mind made me feel a lot.