Monday, October 26

Title: Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

Title: Beauty and the Mustache
By: Penny Reid
Series: Knitting in the City #4
My Copy:
The BookWhisperer's Rating: 

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.

I honestly, in my small-minded self, thought that I was going to love each character the same.  That I was going to love their stories the same. And this was all because Penny Reid writes on only one level…excellence.  And I found that I was wrong. 

Yes, Penny Reid still writes on only one level…excellence – I am not wrong about that.  I am wrong about the fact that I finally found a favorite couple and a favorite story; Ashley and Drew.  I wasn’t expecting them to be my favorite but it swiftly happened and now I am completely at loss with my emotions.

Ashley left Tennessee years ago because of her father, because of her brothers, and because she didn’t want to marry a mountain man.  She made a life for herself in Chicago, she found a knitting group, and she made a home.  But now she is returning because her mother is sick and needs her (go ahead, start crying now because you won’t stop.)  When she returns, she finds that her brothers have grown up, gotten jobs, and do not hold her down and spit in her mouth anymore but she is still weary of them.  And her brothers have also brought another threat, Drew.  Very quiet, very stoic, very giving but never taking, very handsome and knowledgeable kind of guy.  I was smitten.  I was smitten the first scene that he was in and I was hooked on to him for the rest of the book.  And while this new threat, Drew, revs into Ashley’s life within the first pages and you slowly get to see the growth of his character, who he truly is, how he truly feels, and the beauty that surrounds him, you really do not get him until the last few chapters.  You get glimpses of his poetic words and feelings but never really get the whole package until the end and all that wait is totally worth it
But this story isn’t about just Ashley and Drew.  It is about Ashley and her brothers; the bond that was broken and how it starts to reform.  It is about Ashley and her mother; the everlasting bond that is secure in life and death. And it is just about Ashley and how she grows from all these experiences. 

I loved the two main characters.  I loved the story behind them.  I loved the brothers. I loved her momma. I loved that my heart broke into thousands of pieces because I felt the loss that Ashley felt.  I loved the small little bits of wisdom that Bethany left Ashley during her lucid times.  I loved the quick scenes that Ashley had with each brother and how she realized that they were not as bad as she thought, in fact, they were just boys when she left but now they were men who loved her.  And I loved our meddling knitting group and the constant need to meddle.

Oh, and of course Penny provides an excerpt from one of my all time favorite books - North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell.  It is one of my favorite scenes in Gaskell's book and the movie and one of my favorite scenes in Penny's book.  If you haven't read North & South, please do.  It is most wonderful (how about that…a book review inside of a book review.) And now that I think about it, Mr. Thornton (from North & South) is very much like Drew.  Never verbal with his wants and love but communicates through his eyes and actions. *multiple deep sighs*

The best book in the series so far by my account.  I can’t wait to start the next…

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