★BOOK REVIEW★ Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

Hilarious and full of warmth, this book took me by surprise, it provided laughter of enormous proportion, all the right feels, and ruined me for all the book boyfriends to come! Be prepared to meet Drew Runous!

Publisher : Caped Publishing
Series : Knitting and the City #4

Pages : 387
Release date : August 28, 2014
Genre : Romance

The Story

BeautyAtMustache-375x563There 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.

My Review

I must begin this review by apologizing to Penny Reid.
For I received this arc in august and I read it not too long after it landed on my kindle app. Unfortunately, or quite the contrary actually, this book struck me deeply emotionally and I wasn’t expecting it. I was in a fragile space at the time, personally, due to family matters and the subject treated in your book was both linked to this and my personal situation in regard of cancer.
So I read the book, I inhaled it, voraciously consumed it in a few hours. I was so enthralled by it all, I felt a vast array of feelings, good, bad, but when it was over I felt dumbstruck by it all. I cried a lot at certain times, but I laughed ten times more.
Now thinking about it, I realize I felt overwhelmed by this story, both the romance and the Winston family. So overpowered that I needed to distance myself from it.

Not to discourage or scare any potential reader, Penny Reid writes quirky romances, and Beauty and The Mustache doesn’t waive to the rule. It was sweet, lively, fun, goofy, entertaining, endearingly so.

“Why are heroines in romantic novels—despite their cleanliness and enviable lifestyles—so unlikeable? It’s like they’ve been hit with a vanilla ninny stick, devoid of personality and blind to the gift before them. They’re doomed to wander in ignorance until the last thirty pages of the book. By then I’m usually actively rooting against a happy ending, because the fantastical fictional men deserve better.”

But it wasn’t just a romantic comedy, no this was even better, I think it was just the perfect romance novel. A story about family, friends, regrets, love, with just the right amount of heartache, grief and pain.

If you are a fan of romances, look no further, you have your next read right here.
Looking for some bossy no nonsense alpha male? Meet Drew Runous, ladies.

An alpha male is not quite what you are looking for? I can’t hear you… A romantic and caring lover you say? Then meet… Drew Runous!

Oh, you’re an historical romance fan? No, I’m sorry I don’t have any Jamie Fraser right now, I heard the lad is spoken for by millions of women anyway. But in the same category, may I interest you in… Drew Runous?

Oh I’m sorry, you were saying you want to swoon over a man every words? Ladies, I present you… Drew Runous!

Yes, Drew Runous is all that an even more. Penny Reid might have created the man of all my dreams here. ( sorry, Swissman if you come to read this, mon ange. Or please take lessons in poetry.) Can you imagine all that in one package? Penny did! And she is just that awesome that she decided to share that with us!

“I finally figured out what kind of handsome he was. He was fiction-handsome. Like, romance novel handsome. But not the clean cut (billionaire) alpha male or even the tattooed (billionaire) bad boy archetype.
He was the bodice ripper, Scottish highlander or Viking conqueror, historical romance kind; an unshaven, lion wrestling, mountain man recluse, toss you over his shoulder and plunder your goodies kind of handsome. He was both scary and swoony. I wanted to braid his beard. I also wanted to run away.”

Once again, she delivered a superb heroine! Ashley Winston, is just everything I wish for a lead female character to be. She was kind, passionate, feisty, caring, strong, independent, assertive, smart, fun. I kid you not, she was all this in that cute little package that is Ashley Winston.

Beauty And The Mustache is undoubtedly my favorite of the Knitting in the City series. I loved all the previous couples, their stories, they were all unique characters and I never felt like I was reading the same story twice. What made Beauty And The Mustache particular is how close to home it hit me. I could relate to some things, to Ashley relationship with her family, and maybe that’s what made this book so much more than just a romance comedy to me. You get to experience a large display of feelings and love of all forms.
I positively think that any reader will find a personal connection to Ashley and Drew’ story.

About the story…

After 8 years of leaving her own life in Chicago where she is working as a pediatric nurse, Ashley is coming back to Tennessee, due to a disturbing phone call. She needs to check on her family.
Although she kept a permanent contact with her Mom over the phone all these years, circumstances made her estranged to her 6 brothers for a long period.
Her decision to leave home in part due to her brothers behavior, she expects to find back 6 obnoxious bearded men.

“I don’t care which of you hillbilly, disease infested, flea bitten, cattywampus-heads are in here making this ruckus, but you will stop right this instant!”

On her first day back in her childhood home, Ashley is woken up by an irritating and loud noise, reckoning one of her brothers to be the origin of the morning racket. But she’s unexpectedly confronted to a wall of a man, the reason of her rude awakening. (Yes, I wouldn’t mind being woken up by this sight either. Come on over my house with your morning racket, Drew Runous. A.N.Y.T.I.M.E.)

“Gray-blue eyes, almost silver, held mine in a vice grip of anger and surprise. I felt an electric bolt, like I’d been tazered in the stomach. Other than a very slight shadow of wonder, he wore an expression that would have made a thunderstorm proud.
As well, he was so ruggedly sexy I’m sure my mouth fell open to protest the unfairness of his existence. Luckily, no sound emerged. I was too busy oscillating between stunned, mortified, and turned on.
This man was definitely not one of my brothers.”


Left flabbergasted by the news about her mom’s condition, she is bewildered to observe her brothers acting like grown, caring and mature adults. They all changed for the best, and the sad purpose of her presence back home is the perfect opportunity to reacquaint with her brothers.

I screamed.
He screamed.
My hands flew to my face.
He cursed.
I heard a thud and I turned away. I was now fully, and mortifyingly, awake.
“Shit, Ash. What the hell are you doing here?”
“Sorry, sorry, sorry—I should have knocked.”
“Nah… I should have locked the door. It’s just that everyone knows Tuesday mornings are my slot.”
I shook my head, my hands over my face, my back to my younger brother. “Your slot? What do you mean, your slot?”
“It’s my private time in the tub, you know, to get my rub on”

The dynamic of the Winston’s family was caring a good part of the entertaining factor in BaTM! The banter issued by living in a house full of bearded men was to die for! Hilarious situations, dialogues as well as lovely demonstration of feelings. I wish I had my own Winston brothers.
Their mom was a hoot, too! I wouldn’t expect less from the woman who gave birth to Billy, Cletus, Jethro, Duane and Beauford and Roscoe.

“What I wanted to do was hide in my room with my latest novel and escape into a world without bearded, masturbating hillbillies.”


As it was the case in every Knitting in the series novels, you’ll get to experience the awesome that is Ashley’s support group. Her close friends, her knitting group, they are crazy. The good kind of crazy, occasioning more than one uncontrollable fit of laughter. So if Beauty And The Mustache is your first book in the series, you’ll be introduced with her woman posse, and have enough time to familiarize with Janie, Elizabeth, Sandra and their men, Quinn, Nico and Alex.

“You’re off your rocker and Janie is nuts. You’re both cracked nuts.”
“I would have brought a life-sized cut-out of Charlie Hunnam, but this one,” Sandra indicated to Elizabeth with her head, “thought it would be awkward.”


And then there’s Drew. Drew, quiet, caring, helping, supporting, admiring, giving, longing, staring, writing.

I could try to describe how wonderful, fascinating and appealing Drew Runous was, but I would fail, miserably.
My words would fail to do his character justice. The only and appropriate way to appreciate Drew’s qualities would be to read HIM. Penny Reid did here what very few authors can do, she created a man, not a dream man really, but someone tangible, someone who can be just for you to reach, a man whom even in a book commands the atmosphere in a room just by his presence. A man whose stare is as compelling as his words. A man whose words I can guarantee you, will be your undoing. Be very scared of Drew Runous, for he might become your absolute fantasy.

Your sheets, still a white pile on the table, know that envy keeps me from washing them. You left an impression, deep creases where you lay your head, where they cradled your body. It was only three days, but they memorized your scent, they carry it even in their stillness.
Were they too gentle? Was their touch too light? Do you remember how it felt when they held you? Or did you never commit it to memory?
Was I too gentle? Was my touch too light? Do you remember how it felt when I held you? Or did you never commit it to memory?
– Drew


I’m not going to say much more about the story, as usual I don’t want to spoil all the fun, but I would HIGHLY recommend you to check Penny’s bright and wonderful world, she is a singular being, Miss Reid.

`*•. ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. .•*´


Wonder Woman, smitten, over.

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