Review: Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

Posted October 17, 2017 by Mallory in Reviews / 2 Comments

Review:  Beauty and the Mustache by Penny ReidBeauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4; Winston Brothers, #0.5) by Penny Reid
Series: Knitting in the City #4
Published by Cipher-Naught on August 24th 2014
Genres: Romance, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 376
Format: E-Book
Source: Personal Copy

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.

Beards belong on lumberjacks.  Lumberjacks wear flannel.  Flannel is perfect for Fall – which made Penny Reid’s beard-filled Beauty and the Mustache a perfect Fall read!  (Note:  I’m not really sure where “Moustache” came from.  This book is all about the beards!)

Ashley Winston escaped from her rural Tennessee town and her six bearded hillbilly brothers eight years ago.  Preferring her city life in Chicago, she finds herself forced to return home after mother falls ill.  While dealing with her zany family, she catches the eye of Viking-esque game warden, Drew Runous.  Drew and Ashley slowly fall for each other over mild-verbal sparring and exchanging mildly infuriating poetry (it’s funny – I promise!).  

Where to start with this book!  Overall, “Beauty and the Moustache” was filled with humor, romance, and heartwarming family stories.  This was the first solo-authored book I’ve read by Penny Reid and the tone was truly funny and thoughtful, with a few great tangents on the character’s love of romance novels thrown in for flavor.  Here were some of my particularly favorite aspects of the book:

An Untraditional Romance Hero:

Drew is the large, strong, and silent type – basically the poster child for a bodice-ripping, Scottish Highlander romance.  Despite the gruff, bearded exterior, he spends his days studying poetry and playing guitar.  Also – he’s basically a forest ranger that wrestles bears (and yes, I totally Googled “Hot Forest Ranger”).  He’s patient and steady – a total change from the usual hot-headed alpha males I’m used to seeing.

A Heartwarming and Funny Cast of Supporting Characters:

Beauty and the Moustache is the fourth book in the Knitting in the City series and the prequel novel to The Winston Brother’s series.  Ashley’s brothers – the Winston Brothers – grew-up running wild and eventually drove Ashley away from Tennessee.  She returns to find this bearded-band has evolved into a still rough-around-the-edges, emotionally intelligent group of men with hearts of gold.  Take Cleatus for example, he’s a mechanic by day but banjo-playing chess extraordinaire by night!

More than Just Romance:

Despite the Romance billing, I enjoyed the book’s emphasis on the closeness of family, the fact that people mature and evolve, and that you can always come home.  The Romance vibes seemed subtle the first half of the book, with Drew and Ashley going back-and-forth between fascination and annoyance with one another.  

This was my first solo-authored book from Penny Reid and overall a funny and heartwarming experience.  Despite linking to two series, Beauty and the Mustache was easy to understand as a standalone book. Highly recommend if you’re looking for a good-fall flavored read!


2 responses to “Review: Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

    • Mallory

      Do you think we’d have a future as book title writers? (We should totally make that a thing!!) 🙂

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