Author: Penny Reid
Series: Knitting in the City Book #4
Rating: 5 Stars!
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, 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.
Fire burns blue and hot.
Its fair light blinds me not.
Smell of smoke is satisfying, tastes nourishing to my tongue.
I think fire ageless; never old, and yet no longer young.
Morning coals are cool, daylight leaves me blind.
I love the fire most because of what it leaves behind.
This book made me happy and in love. Full stop.
It’s one of those reads that didn’t have unnecessary angst, just a well thought out plot with awesome dialogue and great characters all around. I’ve enjoyed every couple in this series, from Quinn and Janie, Elizabeth and Nico, Sandra and Alex. But I have to say I fell head over heels in love with Drew and Ashley. Their story resonated with me the most. I know I sound like a broken record because I’ve been saying this as each book in the series gets published but this book just keeps getting better and better. And this is hands down my favorite in this series.
After 8 years Ashley is back with her family in Tennessee to care for her ailing mother. Being back home also means seeing her 6 bearded brothers again, who were partly responsible for her wanting to live a life away from Tennessee. But as days turned into weeks and as Ashley spends her time caring for her mother, she realized that things have changed. Her brothers were no longer the irresponsible hooligans that she remembered from long ago. They have changed. Everything it seemed has changed.
And a big part of that change was Drew. Drew Runous was also bearded, hunky, quiet and the most fascinating man Ashley has ever met. Their first introduction to each other was hilarious. But as Ashley soon found out, Drew was more than just a friend to her family. He played a big role is her brothers’ lives and ultimately her own life as well.
Beauty and the Mustache not only proved that Penny Reid is a talented author (we already know that), but it also shows the depth in the way she wrote these characters. While this book still retains her trademark humor and quirks, it was also more emotional and poignant. Even the subject that was tackled here was a departure from her previous works. But it was handled with such care and with humor that even though this book made me cry, it also made me cry. Sometimes at the same time.
“I’m glad you know my heart, because you are my heart.”
Drew. The fact that Charlie Hunnam and Travis Fimmel was the inspiration for his character had nothing to do with the reason why I loved Drew at all (liar, liar, pants on fire). I swears. Seriously though, Drew is PR best hero to day. He’s sexy alpha minus the asshole part. And he’s also sensitive, smart, and steadfast. Best of all, he writes poetry. I’m sorry but any guy character who writes beautiful poetry is a winner in my book. No doubt about it.
Ashley was just as wonderful. When I found out it was going to be Ashley’s book, I was hesitant because I couldn’t even remember her from the knitting group. She sort of flew under the radar. It wasn’t surprising though because Sandra was such a big personality that she overshadows even the other girls. But as I continue to read this book, I fell in love with Ashley as well. It broke my heart the things she went through in this book.
Ashley Austen Winston,
You don’t know how deeply you cut when your intentions carry no knives.
But what truly made this an inspiring read for me were Ashley’s brothers and the ladies of the knitting group. If you read this book, you’ll know the reason why I lumped them together. Ashley’s brothers were just phenomenal. Either you wanna sleep with or you want them to be your brothers as well. Each has a distinct personality that just jumps off the page. They’re bold, hot, loyal and most of all, they all loved Ashley in their own unique way. They provided some of the most beautiful heartrending moments in the books.
The ladies of the knitting group outdid themselves in this book as well. I loved that I was able to get to know these ladies through the course of this series. They are hilarious. I loved their friendship. Most of the time, in romance novels, the women are get pitted against each other; the virgins and the sluts, etc. But in this series, we get to read about a group of women who love and support each other. And it’s a beautiful thing to read.
Ultimately, I’d say this book is so much more about the romance between Drew and Ashley. It’s also about family, friends, loyalty and growing up. Definitely one of my favorite read this year. Oh, and the quotes at the beginning of each chapter were fantastic.
ARC provided by Penny Reid in exchange for an honest review!