Beard in Mind, an all new standalone in the bestselling, romantic comedy Winston Brothers Series by Penny Reid, is available NOW!
All is 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 losing what matters most.
Excerpt:She’d taken the sofa, in her own house, and given me the bed. That didn’t make a lick of sense. I crouched next to her, threading my fingers into the silky hair at her temples. “Honey.” “Mmm.” I bent to whisper, “Shelly.” “Hmm?” “I’m going to carry you to your bed. I’ll take the sofa.” “Mmm.” I grinned at her soft noises, at the untroubled expression on her face, and how her brow—even in sleep—still looked regal and stern. Sliding my arms under her legs and shoulder, I picked her up. And, unfortunately, that woke her up. She jerked in my arms. “What are you doing?” “I’m taking you to the bed.” “Don’t do that.” “I don’t mind, I’ll take the sofa.” Our mouths were just inches apart, and hers was distracting. She squirmed. “Put me down.” Sighing unhappily, I did. I set her on her feet next to the couch. The blanket pooled at her feet and I stepped back to give her some space. It was dark, but I could see her just fine, and that meant I had to force my eyes to remain above her neck. The woman was wearing two pathetic scraps of fabric as pajamas. A thin little tank top and shorts. That’s it. I set my jaw and turned to the side, waiting for her to walk past. “Where are you?” I glanced at her and realized she couldn’t see at all. She didn’t have a hand out, but the way her eyes were moving about the room gave away her blindness. “I’m here.” I didn’t touch her, because if I did, I wouldn’t want to stop. Shelly turned her head in my direction and took a deep breath. Still she didn’t reach for me. I didn’t know the specifics of what to expect after her Friday session, but I recalled Dr. West saying something about Shelly doing self-guided ERP exercises over this week. “Can you see?” She licked her lips, her voice sandpapery. “Because I can’t see at all. It’s so dark.” “I can see.” Unbidden, my eyes dropped to her body, to the swell of her breasts, the panel of bare stomach, the curve of her hips. Pinpricks of heat raised over my skin and I curled my hands into fists. She shuffled forward and I caught her before she bumped into me, setting my hands gently at her waist. “Let me take you to your room.” My voice was rough, for obvious reasons. Saying nothing, she brought her hand to my forearm, her body gently colliding with mine. And then her hand on my arm slid up my bicep to my shoulder. “Shelly.” I was running out of breath. “I like this.” “What?” “Touching you.” Oh fuck. I held still and endured her hands moving over my body, down the front of my shirt, stopping at the hem, then pushing it up. “Take this off.” I did. I pulled the T-shirt over my head and let it drop to the floor. We stood there, facing each other in the dark, not touching. Despite the session on Friday and the progress that had been made, I realized she wasn’t quite there yet. Dr. West was right, Friday was just a step, the first step. Shelly wasn’t able to initiate contact. Not yet. Her hands balled into fists and she swayed forward, her breath struggling little puffs. If anything was going to happen tonight, I had to initiate it. I had to be the one to touch first. God, how I wanted her. How I wanted her above me, beneath me, surrounding me. But how could I? “I know why I hesitate,” her voice was breathless, “but why do you hesitate?” “Lots of reasons.” “Give me one.” “I don’t want to you use you.” “I wish you would.” That pulled a laugh from me, just a small relief from the mounting tension. My eyes moved over her body, an undeniable impulse to devour the sight of her, her legs, stomach, chest, then up her neck to her lips. “You asked me on Saturday if sex was a big deal for me, or if it was you. The answer is both.” She held very still, and I got the sense she was holding her breath, straining to listen. “You are a big deal to me. I don’t want a fling. I don’t want a flirtation. I want promises.” “What can I promise you?” That you’ll love me. That I’ll be your priority. She shifted her weight from foot to foot. A spike of anxiety that she might leave me like this had me acting without forethought. I lifted my hands to her waist again and immediately, her fingertips skimmed over skin of my lower stomach in response, making my muscles tense in hot anticipation. She grew more assertive as she caressed my sides, abdomen, ribs, chest, shoulders, and then back down. Shelly stepped closer, a hint of thrilling contact between her breasts and my torso, and all the words and worries melted from my mind, died on my tongue, suffocated by the feel of her body, and the possibility of this moment. Her finger hooked in the waistband of my jeans. “Take these off.” Her hand turned, her fingers and palm cupping me over my zipper. Instinctively, I pressed myself into her touch even as I grabbed her wrist. “Beau, I promise—” She didn’t get to speak, because I kissed her, hard and wild, unbuttoning and unzipping my fly with one hand and bringing her palm inside my boxers with the other.
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SHANDA'S 4 STAR REVIEW
If you have read the Knitting in the city series, you know Shelly Sullivan’s brother Quinn. Shelly has moved to Tennessee hoping to learn how to manage her OCD. It has crippled her and it has caused her to make some big mistakes with her family; especially Quinn. Beau Winston is ready to find the one. He is watching his brothers fall in love and is yearning for his chance. When Shelly starts working at the shop Beau is not happy. Beau is a friendly guy and everyone loves him but Shelly’s cold demeanor has him riled up. Turns out Shelly is quite taken with Beau but doesn’t know how to go about connecting with him because of her OCD.
I loved Beau and his unwavering love and support for Shelly. Not many men would step in and help her with her OCD so early on in a relationship. I really liked Shelly and her pursuit to better herself. My heart broke for her on the days she was really struggling and you could feel it crushing her. Beau was exactly the kind of person she needed in her life because he was could be strong for her.
What did take away from this story was the use of the same timeline as Beard Science. I feel like Shelly and Beau could have been so much more if they weren’t competing with the events we already knew. This wasn’t my favorite Winston book but I still really enjoyed it. I especially teared up towards the end with the scene with her nephew.
Next up is Roscoe’s book but I am impatiently waiting for Billy’s books! Until next time……
AMY'S 3.75 STAR REVIEW
Beard in Mind is a hard book to review for me. I liked it, but I didn’t love it and that’s left me just a tiny bit befuddled. I’m always anxious to get my hands another Winston Brothers book, and this was no exception, although it took me 4 days to read it, when normally I could devour it in a day.
Beard in Mind occurs within the same time frame as Beard Science, which sort of through me for a loop, as I wasn’t expecting that. We learn fairly quickly that not all is as it seems with Shelly Sullivan. Yes, she’s standoff-ish and seems quite rude, but once you understand why, it makes more sense and I started to like her more.
Beau is that sweet, endearing fella that we’ve witnessed in previous books. When he learns of Shelly’s issue(s), he doesn’t run and hide; he forges in head first to help her in any way he can, which is nothing less than what I’d expect from him. He has an easy charm and it’s easy to see why everyone finds him so easy to talk to and adore.
The secret that was revealed really didn’t do anything for me and I didn’t really think it was necessary to the plot line. There’s always so much going on with this family that I didn’t think it really needed this twist thrown into the mix, but that’s just my opinion.
I think we got a hint at Roscoe’s possible love interest and I’m really looking forward to it, if that happens! And assuming I’m correct, I can’t wait to see what their back story is.
As I noted previously, while I did like it, I didn’t love it.
Enter the Giveaway!
Meet Penny Reid:Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.
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