Thursday, 24 August 2017

Blog Tour, Review, Excerpt & Giveaway ~ Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers #4) by Penny Reid


Beard in Mind, an all new standalone in the bestselling, romantic comedy Winston Brothers Series by Penny Reid, is available NOW!

BIM-cover (2)

Book Description:

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.


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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 5 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***

“Don’t set yourself on fire trying to keep other people warm.”

Damn, this series just gets better and better. I was late to the Penny Reid train and have read a fair few of her books now, but this series is by far my favourite. From the gorgeous covers, to her unique characters, to her fantastic penmanship, these books have it all. This book was a long book, but it never felt that way, each page captivated me one hundred percent as the story of Beau and Shelly evolved before my eyes. Penny Reid is truly one of a kind, she writes her stories…her way, her character connection and dialogue is always on point, her wit is prevalent throughout and the way that she crafts her stories is second to none. Each character comes to life to the point that you can picture them, their nuances and their personalities shine through, you live and breathe a Penny Reid story and Beard in Mind was no different.

“He needed to pick one muffin, and stick with that muffin. He didn’t get to lay claim to all the muffins, because that’s not how life worked.”

Beau Winston, OMG, this guy stole my heart. Selfless is an understatement for Beau, he helps anyone and everyone and his heart is the size of Texas. Beau is as pure as they come, his outlook on life, his love and dedication towards his family and then the relationship he embarks on with Shelly. Beau is basically perfect, he works hard, he doesn’t play around and loves with everything he has. Seriously, perfect.

“Your mother named you well…Every single part of you is beautiful.”

Shelly was a rose…beautiful to look at but incredibly prickly, but don’t let this deter you. Shelly was an amazing character and Penny Reid did a fantastic job of presenting Shelly and her issues. Underneath that outgoing frostiness was a woman desperate to find herself…her true self. Afraid of herself and those around her Shelly was a victim of her own self-inflicted prison, one that she was desperate to escape from and one where she was working towards her goals. A talented artist and even more talented mechanic, Shelly could give the Winston’s a run for their money, but this woman only had eyes for one.

“But mostly, I feel sorry for everyone else. Because from what I’ve seen, the glimpses of herself she’s shared with me, it’s a damn shame no one else gets to see it. It leads me to suspect that what we see of her on the outside has nothing on the beauty on the inside.”

I loved the relationship between Beau and Shelly, from that initial hate, to understanding, to friendship to more. Penny Reid perfectly captured this couple navigating their way through the trials and tribulations of life. Cletus was always the Winston brother for me, but Beau has knocked him on his backside. Seriously, any Winston brother would be a catch, but Beau, he was so much more.

“People need to be polished, to be stroked, touched,” her tone was abstract, “and when they’re not polished, their colors fade. They fade, they change, warp, become something different.”

This was a truly stunning story, the amount of research that must have gone into this book was phenomenal. Once again, I bow down to this authors greatness, the way she arranges those innocuous twenty-six letters of the alphabet is a true talent, she always delivers honest, real, relatable stories that never fail to tug at every heart string. You always learn something with a Penny Reid book even if you don’t realise it at the time, and the lesson from this book will be an invaluable one. We all have our idiosyncrasies but what may be a hill to some could be a mountain for others. Adored every single word of this book.

“What must that be like? To be a prisoner to your own mind? To have your actions and desires held hostage by irrational fear?”


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.”


I bent to whisper, “Shelly.”


“I’m going to carry you to your bed. I’ll take the sofa.”


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.”


“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.



Enter the Giveaway!

About the Author:

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.

Connect with Penny:

Twitter: @ReidRomance

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