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Book Review – Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City #4) by Penny Reid

This book was received from the Author in return for an honest review

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Welcome to my current obsession!!! I’m a relative newcomer to Penny Reid fandom, but from the very first book of hers I read (Neanderthal Seeks Human) I was obsessed… Every new story I read of hers I am SURE that there’s no way she could possibly top it… no way I could love anything more than what I just read. Turns out, I should know better by now.

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.

I wasn’t too sure what to expect with this one. I had seen it be posted that this book was ‘different’ to her other ones, then I saw readers posting that they were crying over it and I was really starting to wonder what I was getting myself into! Turns out, that yes, this book is different, yes I did cry, but yes, in actual fact, this book is my absolute favourite of this series to date. Penny Reid doesn’t just write one type of story, or one type of character, she doesn’t even write with just one type of formula, this book proves that without a doubt.

Yes, I was a creeper, but I didn’t care. Drew brought these compulsions out in me, so he could just suffer through my leering and take it like a man.

The story of Ashley and Drew is, to put it as simply as it can get, beautiful. There is still quirky laugh out-loud humour; there are also still the one million and one things that I stop to search Google/Wikipedia about. (In this case it was mostly Nietzsche) But there is no argument that this book is all about heart, about the swoon-worthy romance, the poetry and the butterflies in my stomach that just would not quit. I’ve come out of this book with ridiculously high romantic ambitions. It’s a problem.

Meanwhile, there was a wild boar of need within me; one that he’d awakened with his quick silver eyes, poetic words, velvet baritone, heroic deeds, and expertly choreographed kisses. He’d left me to drown in want.

The situation that Ashley is in is impossible. This background, this reason why she has returned home really makes what could’ve been a relatively simple ‘girl meets boy’ situation into something which has so many layers of emotions, improbabilities and impossibilities and while this meant that I spent a great deal of time trying to not sit there and sob, it did mean that we got to explore this romance from the perfect imperfections of the universe’s timing… because as we all know, when has the universe EVER timed things to be easy. Ashley as a character is sweet and sassy all at the same time. Sometimes she definitely underestimates herself. She is loyal and it has to be said, she can be very, very stubborn. Watching her work through everything that had encouraged her to leave her small town and everything that encouraged her to return was truly like watching a friend, because that’s what she became. Oh and how awesome was it to get to see the rest of the knitting group! Honestly those girls (and men) just inject so much inappropriate fun into whatever situation they’re in; their appearance was always a nice distraction from the reality of what Ashley had to deal with.

“Tell me what you need.” He said between raining soft kisses against my hair, temple and cheek. “I’ll do anything for you.”

There is no way I could attempt to review this book and not cover the menfolk. Oh my goodness the men! Drew was written like every girls fantasy should be. He was a big Viking of a man (yes, Viking! Actually make that gorgeous Viking!) But not only is he beautiful and swoon-worthy on the outside, he’s also beautiful and swoon-worthy on the inside. I swear I was close to spontaneous combustion by the end of the book. Then we have Ashley’s brothers. Her 6 brothers… While I can understand how 6 brothers could possibly drive a girl insane, I loved them. They each brought so much to the story in their own way (although the bathroom schedule is something no sister should EVER have to be aware of!) I have too many amazing moments to list, but possibly my absolute favourite moment with any of the Winston brothers was the scene where Jethro made sure that Ashley knew that he’d ‘always do what was best for her’ I won’t give away what the circumstances were around that statement but it was just perfect. Oh, and in case we are in any doubt about these brothers… here is what Penny Reid pictures them to be…

So if you already are a fan of the Knitting in the City series then I know you’ll read this and love it. If you’re not familiar with this author and/or series and are wondering what all of the fuss is about then I suggest you get reading. If you love your romance to be different from the norm then this book and this series are definitely for you.

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