Introvert, Worrier, Owner of the blog "Caught in a FAB Romance", and resident Romance Guru on Parajunkee's View. I've been blogging about books for four years - if it's got romance in it, I'll read it! You can also find me on twitter, tweeting about books, my family, and sometimes, The Saints: @TheLoveJunkee Find me on Instagram:
PJV QuickieI've said it before and I'll say it again: if you haven't read any of Penny Reid's books - why not? I've enjoyed her Knitting in the City series and while reading book 4, Beauty and the Mustache, I fell in love with the Winston brothers. If Truth or Beard is any indication of the rest of the series, all I can say is "Take my money and give me all the books!"
Jessica James is a high-school math teacher who's come home to teach and pay off her student loans before fulfilling her dream of travelling the world. Her plan is to stay home for two years and then travel. She's not planning on starting anything with hunky Beau Winston, the twin she's had a crush on for as long as she can remember, but when he approaches her at a community gathering, she can't believe it. When she finds out it was actually his twin, Duane, she's furious - she and Duane have had an antagonistic relationship since they were kids, so why is he kissing her and looking for more?
Duane Winston has had a crush on Jessica James since they were teenagers - he can remember the exact day his feelings for her changed from aggravation to affection. When he sees a chance to kiss her, he takes it, even though he knows she'll be furious. As he gets to know the grown-up, post-college Jessica, he likes her even more. But she doesn't plan to stick around, and he wants something permanent with her.
Oh yes. Truth or Beard was so funny and so sexy! I have a weird one-sided love affair going on with Penny Reid, or her books anyway, and Truth or Beard is another example of what I love about her writing. If you've read a Penny Reid book before, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't read any of her books before, you're missing out! Penny Reid writes absolutely delicious heroes. I'm talking grab an imaginary spoon, dig in, and go back for seconds delicious.
Jessica and Duane have a hate-on for each other that goes back years to when they were kids. Watching that turn around into a real attraction was delightful to read. I enjoyed the back-and-forth between them and Duane's plan to court her was swoony. You've got this tough, bearded mechanic who is actively woo-ing his former childhood nemesis, and a sexy math teacher who's got one foot out the proverbial door. Throw in a side story involving one of the brothers who got into some trouble with the local motorcycle gang and you've got a story that's almost impossible to put down.
Some of the conflict felt a bit forced at times - I wish Jessica hadn't fought so hard to push Duane away, and his brilliant plan to 'have her while he could' really wasn't so brilliant, but in the end it all worked out beautifully. Of course there's a little something that the author may be saving for a future book story line, but the seed has been planted (in my mind at least).
As Jessica and Duane's story came to an end, all I could think was that I want every brother's story. Right now. (Their sister Ashley's story was told in Beauty and the Mustache.) Whhyyyyy do I have to wait????
Penny Reid is an 'auto-buy' author for me. I highly recommend her books if you enjoy smart, funny contemporary romance. I think that Truth or Beard can be read as a stand-alone, although if you read 'Beauty and the Mustache' I think you will enjoy it even more. Fans of Alice Clayton and Molly Harper should give Penny Reid's books a try.