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Winston Brothers #1

Truth or Beard

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Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!

Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level-headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life.

His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…

But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.

Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?

390 pages, ebook

First published July 21, 2015

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About the author

Penny Reid

103 books21k followers
Sign up for the newsletter of awesome: www.pennyreid.ninja/newsletter

Penny Reid is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she writes kissing books. Penny is an obsessive knitter and manages the #OwnVoices-focused mentorship incubator / publishing imprint, Smartypants Romance. She lives in Seattle Washington with her husband, three kids, and dog named Hazel.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pennyreidwriter
Twitter: www.twitter.com/reidromance

Just Released:
October 20, 2022: Folk Around and Find Out, Good Folk: Modern Folktales, Book 2

Upcoming Releases:
December 13, 2022: Drama King, Three Kings Series, Book 2

Currently Working On:
2023: Pride and Dad Jokes, Ideal Man, Book 1

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5 stars
15,401 (30%)
4 stars
19,677 (38%)
3 stars
11,432 (22%)
2 stars
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1 star
1,188 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,597 reviews
Profile Image for Penny Reid.
Author 103 books21k followers
November 2, 2021

Truth or Beard is currently is zero pennies on Amazon. HUZZAH! But only for a few days. STILL Huzzah! If you’ve been waiting to start the Winston Brothers series, today is the day, y’all. And if you’ve already read all about those rascally brothers, perhaps consider spreading the weird book word.

★★Grab Truth of Beard for FREE★★
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Rj7leO
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2RIH1uF
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2wzhv4e
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3338koL

** BLURB **
Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!
Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why perpetually level-headed Jessica James has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…
But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks.
When Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?
Truth or Beard is book #1 in the Winston Brother’s series. Each book is a standalone, full length (110k words), contemporary romantic comedy novel, and follows the romantic exploits and adventures of one of the six Winston Brothers

Audible*iTunes*Authors Direct*Kobo*Nook*Google Play

Amazon US*Amazon UK*Amazon AU*Amazon CA* Apple Books*Nook*Kobo* Google Play

Buy a Signed Paperback Copy from Penny's Store
Profile Image for Christy.
3,919 reviews33k followers
July 25, 2015
5 STARS!!!

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Truth or Beard has easily made it’s way to my top favorites of 2015. It’s one of those books that really had it all. It’s smart, witty, sweet, original, sexy, fun and the writing is fantastic. The characters are so lovable and great. Really, I couldn’t have asked for more in a book. As soon as I finished reading, I was craving more from this series! I can’t wait to read about the other Winston brothers.

This is the story of Jess and Duane. Duane has an identical twin brother named Beau. Beau has always been the nice twin, the twin people like. The twin Jess has crushed on most of her life. But as much as Duane and she have butt heads, he’s always carried a torch for her.
She disliked me. But she worshipped my brother. He didn’t see her, not really. Not like I did.

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I was always running after her, but this time I wasn’t going to let her get away.

I truly loved the relationship between Jess and Duane. They started as that couple that could hardly stand each other and then it clicked. Things changed. They couldn’t stay away from each other. These are really my favorite type of reads. They bicker and can’t stand each other, then realize they are perfect for one another. Seriously. SO great!

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Everything seems so perfect for the two of them, but there are a few other factors that make things in their relationship interesting. Like the fact that Jess has big plans to travel the world and Duane is settled and happy in small town Tennessee. Add in some drama with the local MC club, and you’ll see a relationship that isn’t easy. Their love isn’t easy, but it is a love worth fighting for.
Love is the greatest adventure, where you risk the most for the greatest reward.

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Not only were Duane and Jess fantastic characters, but I loved Duane’s brothers as well. Especially Cletus. He was a hoot. I can’t wait to get more of this group and even though this can be read as a standalone, I still have one lingering question I hope will be answered later in the series

Overall, I fell in love with Truth or Beard. It’s probably the best book I’ve read all summer and for sure is one of the best books I’ve read this year. Penny’s writing is clever and consistently good. I was enamored with this story and these characters. This is one of those books I think all readers would enjoy and I’d highly recommend to all!

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Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,862 reviews30.1k followers
July 24, 2015
4 - 4.5 Stars

Oh my facial hair, Batman.

How delightful was this little book of chin curtains? *rhetorical question alert*







So, obviously, I wasted dedicated entirely too much time and had way too much fun surfing through the plenitude of wicked awesome beard memes available on the interwebs.

Either that or I have an unnatural and slightly creepy interest in Abraham Lincoln...

But I digress.

Anystache, this is how you feel when reading Penny Reid:


You're having So. Much. Fun .

(I mean just look at that guy Whip his Nae Nae.)

And you are getting in some good exercise.

Some brain exercise, that is.


And by this I don't mean that my brain has to work harder to read a Reid book...but rather, I am reminded that my brain actually does work pretty damn well and that it really can comprehend words bigger and more complicated than, "Oh yeah baby," "harder," and "p*ssy."


In theory...

Now with the same breath I used to explain that little nugget of brain efficiency, I will now also endeavor to contradict it completely.

Because the ONLY reason I didn't give this book a full 5 stars is because I wanted a little more "Oh yeah baby," "harder," and "p*ssy" sprinkled in with my goatee flavored witticisms.


Beard with me.

I don't always need some snap with my crackle...


Oh wait, yes I do.


Especially when the two main characters have as much chemistry as Jessica and her bearded hunk of man sexy.

But anyflavorsaver, aside from this book's smarty pants ensemble, did I mention hilarious?


Like, people-giving-you-weird-looks-as-you-laugh-randomly-to-yourself-in-public hilarious.


But above the hilarity and even more than the jazzercise, is the writing itself.

Penny Reid is just an amazing writer.

I love her prose, her flow, and simply put, her style.

Everyone has certain writing styles that crank their tractor more than others.

And Penny Reid is my John Deere.

Can't wait for book two!

Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,334 followers
March 5, 2017
I've been meaning to get around to this series for quite a long time. Finally, I downloaded the audiobook and decided to find out what all the fuss was about surrounding these bearded brothers. I wasn't disappointed.

In the first book in the series, readers/listeners are introduced to the Winston brothers. Listening to the Audible version, I couldn't help but envision the men from the 'Duck Dynasty'...which wasn't exactly sexy. However, with time, I was able to overcome that and mold the brothers into sexier versions of bearded bliss.

Despite being rather over-the-top at times, each of the brothers stood out as being unique and loveable. They were definitely a quirky bunch, but very endearing. I think they might be my latest guilty pleasure.

Jessica James is the leading female character in this first book in the series. She is dying to get out and see the world, but her plans have been temporarily derailed. She's returned to her hometown to earn enough money to pay off her student loans so that she can travel the world. Long-term relationships or any other commitment that would tie her down are not in her plans.

When she runs into the object of all her young fantasies, Beau Winston, she acts in an uncharacteristically passionate way. Nobody is more surprised than her to discover that her impromptu make-out session was actually with Beau's twin brother, Duane, her childhood nemesis. She certainly wasn't prepared for the jealousy and longing that she felt toward her one-time rival.

I enjoyed the progression of Duane and Jessica's story, from stand-offish to inseparable. This was a sweet, heart-warming kind of story. I smiled and laughed at the personality quirks of the various characters throughout this story. There was just enough action and mystery to keep me engaged as well.

Eventually, everything works itself out. We get the HEA that we craved and are left feeling contented. This story can easily be read as a standalone, even though it is the first book in the series.

If you're in the mood for a sweet, humorous, feel-good type of love story, then this is a great choice. I can see why so many of my friends have fallen in love with the Winston brothers. I will definitely continue this series. I look forward to seeing what the other brothers have in store for me.

Check out more of my reviews at www.bookaddicthaven.com
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,245 followers
May 13, 2018

Yeah, the beard thing doesn't work for me. And, when you put a ginger in a giant beard, I get this image in my head:

It's a childhood thing.

But still, I could have handled it because the girl in the story was cracking me up at first. She's snarky and has a cat named Sir Edmund Hillary who is actively trying to kill her on a daily basis. What's not to like about that?

Until.... well, let's start with this: the guy, Duane, tells her he wants to court her and take her out on nice dates, bring flowers to her mother, etc.. he wants to do it right. So, when he takes her on their "big date", you just know it's going to be somewhere nice, right? Um... yeah. He takes her out to a dirty illegal racing event. He doesn't tell her where they are going, so she is wearing a white dress. Surprise!! They get to eat chili while sitting on the ground, with bikers and trashy people surrounding them, and the roar and dirt spraying off cars racing next to them. Romantic, huh? But wait, it gets better! He then doesn't say a word to her, but leaves her alone, and goes off to race illegally. In the car that they drove an hour in to get there. And, there have been tons of accidents in each race. So, he is willing to allow this girl he treasures to sit in the dirt while he possibly has an accident in the car, leaving her stranded in a strange place surrounded by very shady characters. Of course, she is angry about this.

And, where was he keeping the bear suit? Why did he bring that on the date? I don't like where this is going...

Until he wins his race. And, then it's on. She runs over to him and starts dry humping his leg in front of everyone. She gets him into the car and is all over him like white on rice while all of the spectators are surrounding the car and watching them get it on. Classy!!

That was when I started to question my friendship with this girl. But, it was thoroughly over between her and me when she then becomes a pathetic suction cup who gives up every single bit of dignity and self-respect she has to be with this guy. She literally BEGS him at more than one point to be with her. She cries and whines and begs him to love her while she is telling him that she loves him ever other second when he never returns the sentiment.

You see, girls, men are stronger than women. While we have no control over our hormones and are begging for the D, they have self-control and will refuse to have sex with us for our own good. Duane is a noble character, while Jess is a sex-starved pathetic creature in heat. Duane will not have sex with her until he's good and ready. Definitely not when she wants to have sex. No, it will be when she says "no", and never when she's climbing him like a monkey in a coconut tree.

So, I kind of had a problem with this book. It just wasn't for me. I know, I'm picky. I expect too much. I actually think men should be respectful and women should be given a little dignity in stories. It's crazy talk, I know. Sorry (not sorry).
Profile Image for • Lisa •.
555 reviews1,532 followers
July 20, 2015

"Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!"


I'm not convinced I have the right words to summarise how I feel about this book. I've said it before and I'll say it again; Penny Reid is a complete word genius and I don't think there is any review that I can throw together that would give this author's talent justice. Full of originality and fabulous narrative this English book addict willingly got carried away by this gorgeous tale set in a small stateside town. Now begins the painful (yes, torturous) wait for more from the Winston brothers. I'm already in love with this series and I'm sure you'll soon be just as addicted as I am.

What's it all about?
For Jessica James having a long life crush on the one man who can make her knees go weak can be problematic especially when she has never had the chance to show how she really feels. It doesn't help matters when the object of her affections has a set of bearded brothers who have never seen eye to eye with her law enforcing family. Add into the mix a chance meeting of mistaken identity, a local MC club, one passionate encounter and a desire to leave the small town that she has grown up with and you have yourself one romantic story that leads to the best kind of happily ever afters. Jump headfirst into this bearded romantic soirée and not only fall in love with this heroines journey of finding her soul mate but be prepared to fall in love with a set of unforgettable brothers ...


What did I love?
In addition to having a story line that I was able to fully enjoy and appreciate, I also happily adored the romance of this story. I laughed, I cried, I wanted to hug the characters (I also may have wanted to strangle them on occasion) and ultimately I fell head first into book and hero love. Everything and I mean everything including all the full stops, chapter quotes, heroine, hero, beards, bad buys, apple pies, small town gossip, cute American references, family dinners, (need me to go on? Ok, I'll stop) all made this book an absolute winner. Every single one of the twenty nine chapters led me happily into the five star rating zone and I knew from the start that I would have zero complaints about this hero who won over my heart and landed himself straight into my favourite lists. From steamy start to heart warming finish this novel appealed to my romance addiction and I couldn't call out one thing that didn't have me dying to spend time with Penny Reid and her imagination put to paper.


Final thoughts ...
If you are looking for a romance novel with a quirky feel to it that will sweep you away and at the same time give you a healthy vocabulary lesson then you have come to the right place. Penny Reid combines all that I love about reading a loved up novel and gives it an original, intelligent twist. The characters, storyline and swoon factor are all on point and I'm desperate to discover more about the Winston brothers and the possibility of them all finding their own happily ever after. Brilliant plot, simmering chemistry and Duane Winston made for one perfect reading combination. Bring on the re read. Enjoy readers, kisses.

*ARC generously provided by Penny Reid to read and review as a guest reviewer for 'Reading is sexy book blog'.*

Profile Image for Wendy'sThoughts.
2,658 reviews3,254 followers
December 6, 2021
4.5 Finding Your Siren's Song-What, What, IT'S FREE!!!
* * * *1/2 Spoiler Free>
It is important to note when reading this review, it was written by a reader who has great affection for the past works of the author. It has been stated in past reviews but for complete transparency, it is repeated here.

There, I have covered my ass.

I happen to love the way Penny Reid thinks and writes. She takes ideas, fleshes them out, gives them life, and then adds her Secret Sauce.

Secret Sauce, you say... What the hell does that mean...
Well, it means if I were even to attempt to do a poor man's imitation of her style, I would have to do the following:

Create a female character who has a very distinct personality. One who is natural in her intelligence and beauty; open in her curiosity and unassuming in her looks. She would dance to the beat of a different drum; highlighting her unique take on everyday things. She would be accomplished in whatever career she was in; however, there would be more to her than what she does...it would be who she is or what she feels may be missing in her life which would be the crux of the matter. She would not always take things seriously and have a great sense of humor but she would see things with a discerning eye and be the one to look to if another opinion was needed.

In other words, she would be very special and others would see it even if she didn't.

I would need a strong focused man.

One who had past issues of some kind but not the violent or nonredeemable. He would have all of the physical attributes a woman would want...Beautiful eyes that resemble some of nature's perfection, a chiseled face which could be on any billboard, possible dimples or cheekbones to wish for, or a delicious beard to tug. There would be broad shoulders, long legs, and a muscular chest with a happy trail pointing in the heavenly direction of the promised land...

(sorry, I got carried away in my mind's eye)

You get the idea... the man could stop traffic. But he was not just eye-candy. He would have a sly sense of humor which worked perfectly with the woman he pined for... they would both have active minds and the banter would snap and crackle with undercurrents of amazing sexual need.

But the best, the most important part of this man, would be his heart; his inner workings of what he thought was right...just...and righteous in his path of living. He would see the person he desired... and somehow, someway have her understand the sun and moon were nothing compared to her. He would fight himself to do right by her and be sometimes too sensitive in wanting to do the right thing... and do the wrong hurtful thing... thinking it was right.

Surrounding these two characters, there had to be families and friends... those who would be important parts of the story. Those who would be sounding boards or "Devil's Advocates" or comic relief which would lay the groundwork for surprises later in the story. These other characters would keep the reader thinking and surmise as to what could be the idea down the line in the story...Would the twists and turns one thought they knew were coming, actual be exactly that ... or would there be that added twist to make it even better.

And speaking of the story- it would make sense... It would have a purpose; not just something thrown together to keep the two main characters having earth-shattering sex...

Oh...and the sex... we might have to endure an amazing amount of mental and physical foreplay...because the coupling of these two would mean something to both of them.

The last part of this puzzle would be the location and community. All of the descriptions of lakes, land, skies, and stars. The way the words would transport you to a place where you heard the gravel move when one walked it or feel the chill and nervousness of being in the woods when at any moment a bear or other unwanted creatures could make a showing. This ability to have the elements described in a way where you may be sitting in the dead of summer but when reading this book, the winter's chill is on your back.

So with all of these elements...I could try to create a type of Reid book... but then again it goes back to that missing element-

The Secret Sauce... The mind of Reid... and try as a writer might... without the inner workings of how to add the quirk, which really isn't because it comes as natural as breathing to the character, or collect and use colloquialisms of regions or times or use vocabulary which just fits right but is more than most... it won't be done.

That is not to say other books by other authors will not be quick, smart, unique, charming, and winning. Not At All. They just will be their own special books, hopefully.

So, if you really want to know about this particular entry of the Winston Brothers I will quickly tell you... it had it all.

Smart endearing Jessica- Check.
Hot, Intense Duane- Double Check.
All of the other Winston Brothers around or in the book- Check.
A heartwarming, sometimes very humorous, sometimes sexually hot, all the time thinking story-check.

There is plenty of Specific Reid all over this... so if you are used to reading her... it should be a no-brainer. If you loved Beauty and the Mustache (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), then you already know of the Winston Brothers and their ways, yum.

This is a blatant love story, no shame in it being right out there. We get all of it plus clues to more ... More love stories with the Winston's... more secrets revealed and all the feelings of knowing they love... loving hard and deeply.

Please, Penny Reid, keep producing that Secret Sauce and sprinkle it all over your upcoming books.

Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4; Winston Brothers, #0) by Penny Reid Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City4/
Winston Brothers, #0.5)
Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers, #1) by Penny Reid Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers, #1)
Grin and Beard It (Winston Brothers, #2) by Penny Reid Grin and Beard It (Winston Brothers #2)
Beard Science (Winston Brothers, #3) by Penny Reid Beard Science (Winston Brothers #3)
Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers, #4) by Penny Reid Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers, #4)
Dr. Strange Beard (Winston Brothers, #5) by Penny Reid Dr. Strange Beard (Winston Brothers, #5)
Beard with Me (Winston Brothers, #6) by Penny Reid Beard with Me (Winston Brothers, #5.5)
Beard Necessities (Winston Brothers, #7) by Penny Reid Beard Necessities (Winston Brothers, #6)

And the series that started it all:

Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City, #1) by Penny ReidNeanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City, #1)
Neanderthal Marries Human (Knitting in the City, #1.5) by Penny Reid Neanderthal Marries Human (Knitting in the City #1.5)
Friends Without Benefits (Knitting in the City, #2) by Penny Reid Friends Without Benefits (Knitting in the City #2)
Love Hacked (Knitting in the City, #3) by Penny Reid Love Hacked (Knitting in the City, #3)
Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4; Winston Brothers, #0) by Penny ReidBeauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4; Winston Brothers, #0.5)
Happily Ever Ninja (Knitting in the City, #5) by Penny Reid Happily Ever Ninja (Knitting in the City, #5)
Dating-ish (Knitting in the City, #6) by Penny Reid Dating-ish (Knitting in the City, #6)
Marriage of Inconvenience (Knitting in the City, #7) by Penny Reid Marriage of Inconvenience (Knitting in the City #7)

~~~ Before Reading ~~~~
And the Clouds opened and the Bearded Gods looked down and said...

" Give her the damn book...I can't listen to her whining anymore"...

Thank you and I will shut up now :D

I want, I want, I want...

And the amount of how much I want this...

Leaves me a little scared...

Does that qualify me to have a Winston Brother experience???

I think, Yes.

A gifted copy from the Author was received with gratitude in exchange for an honest review.

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May 18, 2018

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DNF @ 43%

My romance group, the Unapologetic Romance Readers, picked this as our May group read. Some of us really enjoyed it - but others fell into the camp of, "Excuse me, what is this?"

As far as I can tell, the plot of these books can be summed up as "Men Who Have Beards... and the Women Who Want to Do Them." (The men, that is - not the beards, although given the strangeness of this book, beard sex probably isn't off the table.)

Beau and Duane Winston are two of these Men with Beards. They are identical twins, although with opposite personalities. Beau is the Elizabeth Wakefield of the two: friendly, sociable, intelligent, good ol' boy, whereas Duane is the Jessica Wakefield: moody, sarcastic, mean-spirited, and selfish.

Jessica - I mean the Jessica of this book, Jessica James (not to be confused with the far more awesome Jessica Jones) - has been in love with Beau her whole life. So when one of the twins decides to cop a feel and then more than a feel, she naturally assumes it's Beau and just rolls with it. Little does she know that the twin she nearly does in the shadowed corners is actually Duane (and if that weren't icky enough, he knows that she thinks he's his brother and doesn't tell her).

Honestly, this happens so much in romance novels, and I think it's such a gross, fetishy trope. I can't imagine twins IRL pulling sex pranks on their love interests or pretending to be their twin in order to get some booty. That feels almost rapey to me, because you don't technically have their consent to have sex with you. I didn't like Duane from that moment on, and his treatment of his stripper girlfriend, Tina, and his creepy, Travis Maddoxy assertion that he and Jessica are "suited" just continued to make me like him less, and less, and less.

I also didn't really care for the writing style or the humor in this book. Penny Reid kind of reminds me of L.H. Cosway with her awkward asides and weird, rambling humor about totally random stuff, and I believe Reid and Cosway actually did a collab, so that's probably a match made in heaven. Not my heaven, obviously, but somebody's. Somebody who is not me.

I was going to try to force myself to finish this but I have so little time these days that I may go back to rating and reviewing books I haven't finished. Normally I just chuck them to the side, unread, but I feel like if a book is so bad that pushing yourself to continue actually ruins your day a little, the public should be informed.

P.S. What is up with the biker gang sub-plot? It's like the author herself realized, "Hmm, this book is actually kind of boring. Better add in some pointless action."

P.P.S. Does Jessica have a circumcised penis fetish? She was really into the fact that Duane was circumcised. Like, REALLY into it.

1 star
Profile Image for Stacey.
1,446 reviews1,154 followers
October 6, 2020
I loved it, even more, the second time...

Listening to Truth or Beard was an absolute treat. I haven't re-read this series until now and I'm loving that I 'know' these characters this time around. So much has changed since the first time. I'm familiar with the town, the people, and where they are all heading. I've 'seen' them endure the loss of their mother. I've 'seen' them struggle, survive and win against the motorcycle club. I've 'seen' them all meet and fall in love with their own perfect match. I've 'seen' them live, love, and learn.

I've bumped my original rating from a 4-star to a 5-star. Both narrators brought this story to life and made the experience so much better. I look forward to listening to more Winston Brothers ... and Ashley's story (again) in the future.


The Winston Brothers – 6 Bearded hotties up for grabs…

I mean seriously … hot guys with beards … and we’re not talking about just one either … 6 of them … and two of them are identical. I really loved the Winston Brothers.

This is a family who is getting over the loss of their mother to cancer and a despicable father who showed no love or regard for any of them. They are not perfect by any means but they do have such goodness within them that you can’t help but love them.

Duane, the hero, is a daredevil. He loves challenging his mind and body with dangerous activities. Duane cares about his family and tries to solve all of their problems. Jethro is the oldest. Unfortunately, he started to follow in his father’s footsteps but realises his mistake and makes every effort to change his ways. Cletus…Oh My Lordy, this guy is funny but it’s the kind of funny where he’s not purposely doing it. He’s extremely smart and is the one all the brothers go to when they need a problem solved. Beau, Duane’s twin, is the easygoing one. Smiles for everyone and manages to manipulate most people into seeing and doing things his way. We don’t really get to know Billy, Roscoe and their sister Ashley, that well. The one thing that stands out is that they love each other unconditionally and will always have each other's back.

The James Family is made up of Daddy, who’s the sheriff, Momma who is a God-loving mother to Jackson, a police officer and Jessica, a teacher and the heroine of the story. TBH, they came across as a bunch of people who lived in a house together. We don’t see them checking in with each other or finding out how their lives are going. We do see Jackson show brotherly concern and (unwanted) advice to Jessica but he then turns around and acts like a jerk to the Winston brothers. Yes, this is his version of brotherly love, but he never actually asked or took notice of Jessica’s desires or wants. Jackson and Jessica didn’t seem to mind each other but they just didn’t feel connected to me. The Sheriff seemed quite nice and I respected him for not being narrow-minded, but he obviously did not pass these values on to his son. There is also mention of an Aunt Louisa in Texas. It’s not until later that we learn more about her and this part dragged down my opinion of the James'.

Jessica and Duane’s love story spans years. Jessica is friends with both Duane and Beau. One brother is nice to her, and one enjoys tormenting her. Guess which one likes her??? It’s the old pull the pigtails of the one you like, kind of story. You can’t help but love Duane and his devotion to Jessica. He had dreams and made plans that he hoped one day might come true. Jessica made dreams and plans too. Unfortunately, their dreams aren’t on the same track. This story is about finding love and whether sacrificing or compromising can help your dreams meet on the same track.

There are some dramas for the Winston’s with the local motorcycle club trying to take advantage of the boys. The connections between some of the characters to our main characters reinforced the small-town vibe. Between the teacher friend connected to the President of the MC, Jess’s cousin also connected to the MC and history with Duane, it’s got an *everyone knows everyone* vibe.

I really enjoyed Truth or Beard and will definitely be going back for more. I want to find out who is the perfect match for each of the brothers. I have not read Beauty and the Mustache from the Knitting in the City series, which has Ashley the only sister to the Winston’s in it. I didn’t feel like I missed anything but it has now been added to my TBR pile because I don’t want to miss any of the Winston’s story.

Stacey is Sassy, received an advanced copy of this story. The copy provided is not the final copy and may be subject to edits and changes.
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,072 reviews51.4k followers
August 3, 2020
when in tennessee, read bearded romances?

i've heard a lot of good things about this series over the years, and when i saw it pop up in audible escapes i decided an audiobook was a safe bet. safe because i don't normally pick up wholesome small town romances and i'm really not into beards (have you seen my fiance? lol) but ya know... it was free and available and i was visiting my parents in tennessee.

and this was surprisingly good! it did have all the small town charm but it didn't have the cheesiness i expected. our hero was the perfect amount of mysterious and brooding without being a jack ass. and our heroine had some shit she had to work thru that explained a lot of her hesitance to enter into a relationship!

the only thing i would have changed was perhaps the speed with which the heroine professed her love. like.. i understood it. the hero was hot and i was into it. but it also felt a little quick given her hesitance to settle down.

but! i'm excited to continue on with this series, and i'm hoping more of the audios in this series become available on escapes :)
Profile Image for Helen 2.0.
410 reviews915 followers
June 12, 2023
Reread 2023: I loved this the first time I read it. This time, I just couldn’t get it to work.

Maybe it’s the fact that so much of the premise and the conflict I was expecting resolves within the first few chapters. I needed a lot more tension, more drama, more build-up before the resolution. Maybe I’m just in need of a proper slowburn read.

Then there’s the fact that Jessica refused to stop mentioning Duane’s “circumcised penis”. What’s with you and circumcision, Jessica? Give it a rest, please??

I love Penny Reid’s writing style. She writes funny, original characters with great narration and good chemistry. This particular pairing is just not working out for me.

This is a series buddy read with the lovely and wonderful Daisy and Rachel. We’ll be jumping ahead to book 3 because it’s officially Cletus time now.
Profile Image for Brandi.
634 reviews1,275 followers
July 27, 2015

I was always running after her, but this time I wasn't going to let her get away.


I loved this one! I have a feeling this series is going to become one of my favorites, these Winston boys are something special. Truth or Beard was one of those reads that had me constantly smiling, I am definitely becoming a Penny Reid fan. Her style is a wonderful combination of fun and heartwarming, with relatable characters you can't help but fall in love with.


Jessica James has returned home after college, but only plans to stay for a few short years, she wants to travel, to see the world. Growing up with identical twins Beau and Duane Winston, she has always had a favorite. Beau was sweet, safe and easy going - the perfect guy to crush on. Where as Duane was broody, argumentative and complicated - he was easily placed in the nemesis category. Years, later it doesn't seem like much has changed, or has it...
"I hope you wander into a hornet's nest and die of an acetylcholine overdoes," I spat.
"You say the prettiest things."

A moment of mistaken identity is about to open Jessica's eyes. Maybe Duane wasn't as indifferent to her as she thought. It seems that quite the opposite is true. Time is of the essence, with Jessica's plans, but will a year be long enough for this couple?


I adored this story, every single minute of it. Duane was swoon-tastic, trying to treat his girl right. *sigh* I did have a few unanswered questions, but since this is the start of the series, I have a feeling I will get answers. Also. I CANNOT wait to get my hands on Cletus' book.
"Maybe Duane should show you around the house, it might help you cool off."
"Sitting so close to my sausage likely has you overheated and excited," Cletus mumbled as he indicated to the grill with his chin.

Profile Image for Sleepless Readmore.
163 reviews308 followers
August 2, 2015
Be with a guy who still opens the car door
for you even when he’s mad at you.
5 #CatastrophicEngineFailure Stars

Jessica and Duane .. ♥

Jessica wasn't going to break my heart.
I was going to break hers.

I wasn't all in.
I wasn't even half in.
I was ready to leave the whole time,
looking for a reason.
Because every second we spent together
was better than the last.

BILF = Beard I'd Like To Fondle. Whose beard would I like to fondle? To be completely honest .. ANY of these brothers! I LOVE BEARDS. I could go on and on about my love for BEARDS. Thank YOU Penny Reid for showing others how AMAZING beards can be #BeardAppreciation. Bearded men vs Clean-Shaven viewed as 38% less generous, 36% less caring, and 51% less cheerfulness. Based on those numbers it seems as if beard intimidation keeps the less adventurous women away. WHICH MEANS MORE BEARDED MEN FOR ME .. HOO-RAH! Men with beards are all ALPHA-MALE, RUGGED, and did I mention MIGHTY FINE. Duane over here is no exception .. why hello #BookBoyfriend or shall I say #BookHusband. His mission is to court Jessica and he is doing a swell job I may add. They grew up despising one another however that's all in the past. Definitely hubby material .. gents need to take a few pages out of this swoon worthy BEARDED man's book.
I tried to shrug, but I'm sure
it looked like a minor seizure.

"Jessica," he whispered,
"arguing with you is one of my favorite things to do."

What I gotta do for a piece of a pie
Tell me you feelin' alright ..►♫

Six fine specimens. I wouldn't mind switching them each day of the week (need a rest day)! The beautiful brotherly love just made the novel even more BETTER. You can see and feel the love they have for one another and the sacrifices they would make. They truly are a great bunch and I am BEYOND excited to read how each of their individual stories play out. They are absolutely HILARIOUS and had me laughing through out. Duane confided in them when he was unsure or hurt. They gave the best advice and helped him realize what truly matters.
When a guy sees a car he likes,
all he can think about is getting under the hood
or taking her for a ride.

"I'm not letting you leave this car
until we make it to second base. At least."
"Jess, you know how good I am at baseball, right?"

I can't do anything about the fact
that our dreams don't align. And since
I do love you, I want you to live yours.

This story line was pretty EPIC. It had me on my toes from the car racing to the bikers and all the other PLOT TWISTS in between. Without a doubt ALL STAR worthy! This is the second novel Penny Reid has made the stakes for rating novels SO MUCH HIGHER. This book is pretty close to PERFECTION if you ask me which is why YOU SHOULD and YOU MUST read it.
Baby, just be comfortable
I'll be right here next to you ..►♫

"Is this place home?"
"No, Duane .. You are."


Truth or Beard Penny Reid
Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers, #1) by Penny Reid
December 17, 2016
DNF This is the last time I say a read is safe without reading it first. It's not bad, just not for me.

******Update Still free on Dec 17th (18th for us Aussies)
Unfortunately I won't Finish this one. Apparently (I don't know what to think anymore)No cheating and I'd say I have a lot of fun so far but this has more OW drama than what I usually like.

I'm sorry when I said that this was a safe read. I was told it was, but I didn't checked the reviews first and now I don't want to finish. However if you're less picky about who the OW is as long as you're having fun, you might enjoy this one. I would have loved it if OW was someone else and she hadn't been a constant in his past and his present. I'm glad I didn't pay a penny for this one. It's still free so go for it. Maybe I'll read book 3 because my friends love it and these are separate stand-alones but no way I'm recommending this to everyone. This is only if you don't mind OW and like a free funny read.

More on OW and spoilers

London's review
Denitsa's review

*** FREEBIE ALERT ***** on Dec 13th 2016

The always awesome Heather K has just told me that this book is free today on Amazon!!! The best is that this book is a safe read no cheating! EDIT Dec 18th 2:00 a.m I said this and now I'm correcting my mistake. I just didn't like the way OW was handled.

Thank you Heather!
Profile Image for Christie«SHBBblogger».
965 reviews1,248 followers
July 7, 2015

Title: Truth or Beard
Series: Winston Brothers #1
Author: Penny Reid
Release date: July 23, 2015
Cliffhanger: No

Penny Reid gives good words. She writes---> I read. Done deal. I have more than a little author crush. No, it was a full blown infatuation from the very start. Of course, if you've known me for any amount of time, this will be obvious to you. So as I sat down in front of the computer, my hands hovering over the keyboard, I gave myself a little pep talk.

*deep breath* "This is it, you will not write another gushing fangirl review. This time, you will maintain some dignity. You will not talk about how this author impresses you every. Single. Time. You won't talk about
how she writes unique and quirky characters that are incredibly endearing and extraordinary. (Besides, everyone knows that anyway). Finally, under no circumstances will you say how talented she is in writing intelligent and funny storylines. Been there, done that.

Loophole: dictionary screenshots don't count.

Dignity is boring anyway. Ha! Moving on!

Duane Winston is one of six brothers who live in the small town Green Valley, Tennessee. These are not your stereotypical country boys. These are the kind that are well versed in classic literature, they're smart as a whip, and so pretty, they hurt your eyes. They're audacious all by themselves, but throw a handful of them in a room together and you've got yourself some guaranteed laughs.

I'd once overheard my Daddy tell my momma that the six Winston Boys had inherited their father's ability to charm snakes, the IRS, and women.

Jessica is one of those charmed women. For as long as she can remember, she's had a crush on Duane's identical twin brother, Beau. But where Beau is easygoing and good-humored, Duane has always been a stoic thorn in her side.

Growing up together, they had an argumentative association and a fierce rivalry. Never would it be labeled a friendship. The only time you might catch a smile on his face was when he was playing a prank on her and getting the better of her. All that changed one summer when they were teens, when Duane finally started seeing her. Really seeing her. But he kept his changing feelings to himself.

I hadn't noticed she was a girl-or the existence of any other girl-until I was nearly thirteen. By then it was too late. She disliked me. But she worshipped my brother. He didn't see her, not really. Not like I did.

Fast forward to now. Duane owns an auto shop in town with two of his brothers. Jessica is temporarily in town teaching high school math trying to save her money. Her life's ambition is to travel the world and experience all the beauty that she possibly can. She has a serious case of wanderlust-the intense pull to travel and seek adventure.

I'm going to be honest, I didn't really identify with her in the beginning. Her dreams are not fleeting and they're not casual. They're a compulsion. And I didn't really understand her dislike of settling down and her inability to be satisfied with having roots. But the way it was explained later on, I got it. And I really commiserated with the situation she was in.

What is that situation? Take one mistaken identity, add a hot and heavy make out session, a dare to go skinny dipping, and you've got The Situation. Penny's trademark humor entered early on and had me laughing at our unorthodox introductionto them.

Less than five hours ago, he's pretended to be his brother and I'd held his penis in my hand. I'd stroked it for hootenanny's sake! I'd given him a penis stroke under false pretenses.

Suddenly she doesn't know what she feels for Duane anymore. Her sense of self-preservation isn't working out too well and she finds herself desperate to be in his orbit.

Around halfway point, I was asking myself if it was even remotely possible to love Duane more. Aaaand...I'm going to have to say no. This man who yearns for her with every beat of his heart was so tender and vulnerable, he thoroughly won me over. And he had a slight bad boy edge to him that made him that much better.

He nibbled on my ear, whispering my name like it was a dirty word-but not a curse word-a dirty word. Something erotic and scandalous.

Jessica was sassy, and smart with a little wild streak running through her. That's one of the things that made them fit so flawlessly. His love for adrenaline, speed, and pushing the limits made you feel like they were the perfect pair for each other. It was difficult knowing that they were heading towards a crossroads. But even knowing what was coming, perhaps it made them treasure each moment more.

What they weren't expecting was trouble with the local Motorcycle Club, and unexpected revelations to turn everything upside down and sideways. There was drama, an achingly sweet romance, and plenty of brotherly, bearded shenanigans and hijinks to give you big grin cheek pain. If you haven't added this book yet, I don't know what you're waiting for.

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Profile Image for ♥Sharon♥.
971 reviews142 followers
July 13, 2015

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters most, in the end.” ~ Ernest Hemingway.

If only I had one ounce of the cleverness that Penny Reid has running through that mind of hers, I would have that perfect opening line for this review but sadly I don’t.

So I have to go with good old faithful and tell you that I LOVED IT! What did I love about it? Let me count the ways…..

❤ I loved the humor. Penny’s wit is superb.
❤ I loved the sexy moments. They were heart melting and rather tender.
❤ I loved the other Winston brothers. Cletus is pretty funny and sweet.
❤ I loved that Duane was such a gentleman when it came to Jessica.
❤ I loved that Jessica attempted to resist Duane…..not that she could for too long.
❤ I loved the story that surrounded them and it provided for some Winston Brother’s excitement.
❤ And finally, I loved that Penny keeps things real with her writing. You never have to doubt what you’re going to get when you open up her books. The wit and originally is always there.

Truth or Beard is Duane Winston and Jessica James story. Growing up they were each other’s adversary. Jessica always saw Duane as a trouble maker but his twin Beauford was the one she had a crush on. He was the guy of her dreams.

Jessica returns home after graduating from college with a plan and she was going to stick to it. It didn’t matter what anyone thought about her plan, she knew that staying in Tennessee forever wasn’t part of it. But there would be a rather sexy bump in the road for Jessica, one that she didn’t see coming.

Duane ~ what a sweet, charming and sexy gentleman he was! He also had a bit of an edge too. Duane had the need for speed and was a lover of cars. He also had a need for a woman in his life. He wanted Jessica James to be that woman but it wasn’t clear whether she had room in her life for him.

 photo Duane_zps8csxk8di.jpg

Jessica ~ was super sassy and a lot of fun. She was passionate about her dream and knew she needed to explore the world. What she hadn’t planned on was Duane. One night, one kiss would have her questioning this perfect dream of hers.

 photo Jessica_zpsvcsyatrz.jpg

After that unexpected kiss Jessica was more confused than ever because Duane wasn’t supposed to send chills through her body or make her want more of him. And boy did she want more of him. They needed some boundaries and some rules because something was brewing between them that neither could deny.

 photo e221ef1647087fd721797d631e94cae2_zpspwtfjtei.jpg

Duane was all set to do whatever he needed to show Jessica exactly where she belonged. But Jessica couldn’t let go of her desire to explore other places. She didn’t want to miss out on that unexpected experience.

 photo c11add027a282377e1ad6ce2f74a6621_zpst62lcuei.jpg

Duane and Jessica are both dealing with some events that the other isn’t completely aware of. It appears that one of the Winston brothers has gotten himself in a pickle with Iron Order the local biker club and Jessica’s life is turned upside down when something happens to her aunt. In true PR form….the craziness ensues. In the end would they both get what they wanted??

 photo b562bd103a3498fca18a545a6824fe3c_zpsxifjiyqd.jpg

Within the fist 20% of Truth and Beard, I knew this was going to be another winner. I loved the sweet and sexy romanced that blossomed. Duane and Jessica’s story was a lot of fun to read and to think, this is just the beginning of this series!! How great is that. We have 5 more Winston brothers coming our way. ❤

ARC kindly provided by Penny Reid.
Profile Image for ♥ℳelody.
633 reviews660 followers
April 7, 2021
*1 WTF are SKINHEADS doing in this book?!! star*

I'm so glad I didn't pay a fucking cent for this.

I was hoping the bearded men would distract me. *sigh* Alas no luck.

Another favorite among many that just didn't work for me. I'm trying to figure out how to write this review without ranting my head off over a completely infuriating offensive scene that seems to have not phased anyone but me. I'm honestly so upset and bothered by it that I'm never touching another Penny Reid book again after this. But let me first start off with the small things...

Overall I thought this was trying too hard to be funny and witty when it just fell flat. I don't know, I've heard so much about this author and her knack for writing humorous dialogue and smart characters. I love good funny. But this.....just.....

I was in a funk. It wasn’t a fun, funky-town funk.

I didn’t get much time to mull over what units of measurement I would apply to hot looks—would it be Celsius? Calories? Watts? Voltage? Or lumens?—because Beau did three things, driving all thought and ability to reason from my brain.

I reminded myself what I thought was hilarious, like my ironic sexy Gandalf costume, was often the cause of censure and elicited abject horror from others. I was always going to be a circle peg in a world of squares.

“See now, that’s a great excuse. I usually blame all the silly things I say on syphilis.”

Not my kind of funny. Or smart.

I found it trying extremely hard.

The heroine Jessica is not as funny or witty as the author thinks she is. I really wanted to hurl a dictionary at this girl's head, who is a teacher no less. Cause I mean seriously, note to author: If something is meant to be "ironic" you don’t need to label it as that every time it’s brought up. Just saying. 😕

I've never wanted to shove a fake beard down a character's throat more. Good grief.

And let me just put this out there, this is very much a NA book. Had I known this I wouldn't have given this series a second glance. I didn't know this going in. This reads very very young given the green tone and immature characters. The drama in this is so weak and after school special and not very gripping. I could have tolerated it more if the characters didn't come off so much like they are still stuck in their hormonal high school feels and bickering and angsting over stupid things. You guys can't be together because she is planning to travel the world 2 years from now? Oh noooos!.......Seriously? 😑 NA/YA stories are just not my thing, and this book is perfect example of why. You have a 22 year old heroine who is daydreaming and stammering over her girlhood crush Beau Winston, he's everything magical, dreamy and heroic to the point her brain bleeds out of her ears and she's struck mute every time she sees him. So charming. And did I mention her mind breaks into songs during fantasy-induced romantic moments?
(Did I forget to mention that my daydreams actually present themselves as music videos à laPaula Abdul’s Rush, Rush complete with glowing, imperfection-blurring lens filters?)

I think Reid tried too hard with her heroine that it got distracting and came off insufferable rather than charmingly offbeat and quirky. To me the funniest character in this was Cletus and the brothers arguing. The heroine, I wanted someone to shove her "ironic" (😒) sexy Wizard beard into her mouth and tell her to STFU once and for all.

Moving on.

Now onto my big issue. And it's a big one. Just when I was starting to warm up to the couple and overlook the overall triteness everything came to an abrupt halt at the 48% mark when this happened:
In the end we weren’t allowed to buy our dinner because a skinhead named Sheldon bought us a tray of food without asking permission. This caused a bit of an upset as Devon and his biker brethren had offered first.

He bent and whispered in my ear, “They only like me so much because I make them money and they enjoy watching me race.”
I shook my head, “Do you know everyone?”
“More or less.” He shrugged, “Or they know me.”

Look I read for escapism. Brain food. Anyone who knows me knows it takes a lot to upset me or bother me when it comes to reading, I read romance simply for the escape and fun. But this was just too jarring and hit buttons for me that were all wrong. And I don't like to get all serious and heavy on here. But where my mind was escaping to here....the conclusion it kept drawing to here was not a pretty one. How else am I supposed to interpret this scene? This is insanely in poor taste and offensive. I was very personally offended by this and why it didn't stir up even a blip of controversy stuns me more. I don't like to get all morally righteous but honestly how can I look passed this or excuse it? This hit a really raw nerve for me.

It just really lacks awareness, sensitivity and education. Yes education, because you cannot tell me any writer with sense and worth his/her salt would write a freaking white supremacist group in her book and have her characters interact with them like it's no big deal. Um. IT'S A VERY BIG DEAL. WTF Penny Reid? You either got to be so damn oblivious or irresponsible to do this. Writing them in is one thing, it's set in Tennessee after all. But having your hero and heroine break bread with them? Not ok. And before anyone comes at me with 'oh but they didn't eat the food' excuse that's not the point. I was sitting and waiting for amazing stupendous Duane Winston to call them out and draw a line like he does with that lame biker gang the Wraiths or whatever their name is, but he never did. The only reason he turned down the offer was because he promised his friends he would eat with them first. He just laughed it off. That's not ok and not normal. I can't say this enough, if you want to be a writer, no matter the genre, do your homework, do your research, be fucking conscious. KNOW YOUR READERS. Be aware. I don't fucking care if it's just romance or a 25 cent Harlequin novel. There is no excuse for this.

Be aware so you don't write things like this and think it's flippantly funny:
“He does it with a bunch of native Americans fellas, good guys. They all get together and run around the forest in loin cloths.”

These characters are unabashedly redneck. Fine. I'm not asking for straight and arrow characters, what I'm asking for is smart conscious writing. Not insensitive tacky shit that gets overlooked because the writer is oh so clever and funny with her one liners and she's young and fresh. And I guess it bothers me that this hasn't been called out for what it is. I've just seen enough insensitive, offensive ignorant tone-deaf things get justified or brushed aside with broad strokes in the writing world and I won't do it here. Skinheads consider me a dirty Jew. So yeah it’s very personal to me. Sorry if I'm not laughing. Hate groups like this have no business being normalized in any story in any way. If you have the nerve to do so, and be so blasé about it (and oblivious) you have no business being a writer IMO.

So Final Thoughts: While the characters didn't wow me and the barely there plot was tepid I was curious enough about Cletus and Jethro but now....now I can't bring myself to touch another Penny Reid book because of this. I honestly was very tempted to stop after that scene I was that uncomfortable and upset over it. I can't and will not support an author who writes things like this and so flippantly. A friend of mine I was talking to about this mentioned Penny Reid had a dust up before with her readers regarding writing people of color and she addressed it in a blog post. I'll post it below for those inclined to read it. I stopped after the 5th line. She strikes me as someone while good-intentioned, really doesn’t get it. And I have no interest in supporting an author who is tone deaf to serious issues like this. Especially at a time like this in today's world. Not everything is meant for a cheap padded joke. Especially if you are making money off it and excusing it away.

Penny Reid's Blog Post
Profile Image for Geri Reads.
1,232 reviews2,066 followers
July 11, 2015
4.5 stars!

In all honesty, I'd enjoyed the horse ride more than the man ride. At least the horse had been a stallion. Looking back, my lab TA was more like a Shetland pony—hairy and small."

And just like that, I fell for this book hook, line and sinker. I've always loved humor in my books, and in Truth and Beard, Penny Reid dispenses it deftly and liberally.

Truth and Beard is the first book off of her Winston Brothers series, which is a spin off of her wildly popular Knitting in the City series. While the Knitting in the City series is more focused on the group of women who bonded over their love for knitting (of course), the Winston Brothers is more focused on...the Winston brood (well, duh). The Winston brothers were all introduced in Beauty and the Mustache and I've been waiting for their stories ever since. With their gorgeous beards, good looks and strapping physique, the Winston brothers have a bit of reputation in Green Valley.

First up is Duane Winston. Duane has been in love with Jessica James ever since she threw his swim shorts up in the tree after he'd dunked her in the lake. But Jessica has a thing for his twin Beau instead. Things changed after Jessica came back to Green Valley to teach high school calculus. A simple case of mistaken identity had Jessica rethinking everything she knew about Duane. But Jessica isn't staying long in Green Valley and Duane isn't planning on leaving anytime soon.

"You can't just go around giving people cars. You're not Oprah."
Duane's lips flattened in a way that made me think he was trying not to laugh because his eyes were shining."What gave me away? Was it the red hair?"
Without thinking, and in a way reminiscent of our bickering childhood, I responded flatly, "No. It was the feel of your circumcised penis last week."

Told in dual POV, readers get to live inside Jessica and Duane's head. We get to know the depth of their feelings for each other and the length they're willing to go through for each other. Duane was a revelation. I enjoyed his POV the most. He's loyal, funny and smart, and he loves Jessica and is willing to support her and understand her.

I liked Jessica too but she lives in her head way too much. I'm not saying being in her head isn’t enjoyable because it was, but I just find her POV a bit bland compared with Penny Reid's other heroines. Her dreams of traveling the world and not having roots are something I couldn't relate to. But it's the only thing I really found interesting about her. I couldn't quite put my finger to it. Maybe Duane's POV is just so overwhelmingly good that Jessica's paled in comparison. But that's just me.

And for those who like their book on the steamy side, this one is definitely on that side. Probably not as graphic as other books out there, but it's steamy enough to satisfy my inner perv. Of course, my inner perv also spent a huge amount of time laughing her ass off because even during those steamy moments, Penny still managed to make me laugh.

So even though I just finished the book, I'm already looking forward to the next book in this series and the next and the next. Truth be told, I'd love to gobble them all up right now. But like all good things, there's waiting to be had.

Truth and Beard goes live on July 23rd. Go ahead, click that pre-order button now. You won't be sorry.

ARC provided by Penny Reid in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,592 followers
August 25, 2016

Amazon US: http://tinyurl.com/TOBamazonUS
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Barnes and Noble Nook: http://tinyurl.com/TOBnook


I can't even express how much I loved this book!It was so good,that I couldn't put it down till the end!!I have read Beauty and the Mustache and I have met Ashley's brothers!So when I saw that Penny Reid had a new series with the Winston brothers I was super excited!!I couldn't stop thinking about this book and I counted the days until the moment I could finally read it!!

Jessica is the Sheriff's daughter and when she was younger she had a crash for Beau Winston, Duane's twin brother!Beau was her hero when she was kid and he was friendly.On the other hand with Duane she didn't get along well!Now after years things have changed...Duane is the owner of an auto shop with two of his brother and Jessica is a math teacher in high school!But her dream is to travel the world and experience new things. Halloween night at a party she will see Beau...or is he Duane? She doesn't know..and she is confused because this guy was something else!!And yes he isn't Beau it's Duane...Can she believe it???He has something that makes her fall for him...I don't want to give anything else about the story,I will only say how much I loved the plot and the characters!!


At the beginning I had a problem with Jessica because I couldn't understand her but then I loved her so much and I could relate with her!!She is so sweet and funny.Duane is simply amazing!!I'm so in love with him!!If I was Jess I couldn't resist him!!He is so charming,smart and sweet!This book is so beautiful,I loved the story so much and Duane with Jess are so adorable,sweet and cute!!They definitely become one of my favorite couples!!Their dialogues are funny and smart and their chemistry is out of charts!I have so favorite quotes from this book I couldn't choose which ones to put in my review!


But one is for sure!That I'm going to read this book again and again!!
OMG I want to go and live with the Winston brothers!!I love all of them and I want them for me!!Can I have them??? Penny Reid is an intelligent author who can captivate you with her smart and funny stories!!I highly recommend it to everyone!! I can't wait for the next book!!

Profile Image for Catarina.
896 reviews1,975 followers
August 1, 2015
4,5 Adventurous Stars.

Duane and Jessica know each other since they were kids. But for many years not only Jessica was convinced she had a crush on Beau, Duane’s twin brother, but they also spend their time fighting/ pranking / annoying each other without rest.
Now, when Jessica is back in town with a teaching position after finishing college, Duane is decide to show her that they were always fighting for a reason and that he wants her. The problem? Duane has his life planned out, Jessica wants to leave and travel the world and their plans doesn’t collide. Joint that two stubborn heroines, a bitchy cousin, a crazy group of brothers and some drama with the local MC club and you have the contents for an awesome story, So come on in and join the ride, after all the best of a trip isn’t the destination… is what happens during the journey!


Penny Reid is one of auto-buy authors because I always end up falling in love with her books. This was no exception.
With a great southern setting and small city feeling, amazingly developed characters and a simple but sweet storyline this books grabbed me by the first pages. It was a slow burn romance and to be honest there was times where it was too slow for me and I needed a little more “fastness” and there was some moments of annoying with the story but overall it was a great beginning to a promising series. Give it a try.


Rating: 4,5 Stars.
Characters Development: Jessica was pretty good. She was honest, knew exactly what she wanted and didn’t play games. Just for that she was an awesome heroine. I LOVED Duane! Loved. Yeah, there was a point where his stubbornness was annoying the hell out of me, but he was so sweet and so set on doing things right that was impossible not to love him. However Cletus was without a doubt my favorite brother. I can’t wait for his book.
Steam: Some hot moments.
Sensible Subjects:
Love Triangle:
Profile Image for Samantha Young.
Author 101 books25.7k followers
July 8, 2015
***Lucky enough to receive an ARC from the author***

Penny Reid never disappoints! I absolutely fell in love with Duane and Jessica’s story. The chemistry between the two characters is immediate and intense and hot and hilarious and just freaking fantastic. What I love most about Penny’s characters is how real they are, and Duane and Jess are no exception. Jess’s backstory was great and I adored her development. An incredibly likeable, smart and sassy heroine and she had me rooting for her from page one. As for Duane… yup, I have a new book boyfriend! My favorite thing is a well-balanced hero — a kind, funny, down-to-earth sexy cool guy with a touch of alpha.
Duane Winston, I think I love you.
And I love your brothers.
Truth or Beard not only entertained the heck out of me, it made me desperate to read every single brother’s story. It amazes me how much individuality each brother has and I already know that the Winston Brothers series is going to be a firm favorite on my shelf.
Five out of five stars for Truth or Beard.
Witty and steamy with a hint of suspense and a whole lot of feels.
Profile Image for Patrycja.
639 reviews3,793 followers
July 25, 2015

Title: Truth or Beard
Series: Winston Brothers #1
Author: Penny Reid
Release Date: 21 July, 2015
Rating: 4 stars
Cliffhanger:. No

I decided to write few short sentences about how much I liked Truth or Beard.
It is just so adorable, cute and so good! I’ve fallen in love with this story. I really needed something to read that would just stop me from thinking about all the bad stuff and will put me in a great mood. I am delighted that Penny Reid managed to do just that! I think I have some serious crush on her… I love her sense of humor!

I had so much lighthearted fun with this one! It was very sweet, butterflies in your belly kind of romance, which I’ve been reading with a huge smile.


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Profile Image for Flo.
286 reviews591 followers
August 14, 2015
5 **run away with me** STARS

“When I think of my future and what I want, all I see is you.”

What can I say? Any book that starts out with a ironic sexy gandalf who ends up in a case of mistaken identity and makes out with the wrong twin gets my unconditional love just because of reasons. And I dare you to challenge that logic.

Suffice it to say, Truth or Beard -the first book in Penny Reid's new Winston Brothers Series- is pure chick-flick gold. It’s hilarious, makes you swoon, leaves you with a severe case of 'Fernweh' and also...BEARDS! Beards are very important at the moment.

This was my very first read involving the Winston Brothers. I'm slowly but surely making my way thorugh the Knitting in the City Series, which already featured the boys, but I'm not that far yet. Fortunately it doesn't matter. There really are no open questions and this series can very well be read as a standalone.

Let's talk story!

All her life Jessica James had two obsessions. Travel the world and Beau Winston. Exploring the world is not that much of a problem. In fact, she has a plan. Newly finished with college Jessica is back in Green Valley, Tennessee, working as a math teacher to earn enough to pay off student loans and after that escape her hometown. The second obsession - Beau Winston is a bit more tricky. Especially when said twelve year long crush is cut short by a case of mistaken identity and a scorching hot make out session with his twin brother Duane Winston.

Who would have thought after knowing them her whole life she couldn't tell one twin from the other? Add to that her life long frenemies status with the sexy mechanic and things could quite possibly get interesting.

“My momma once told me, you don't need to be pushed in order to fall. I don't think you'll need to do much pushing, Jessica.”

I guess I don't have to tell you how amazing both these main characters are, right? It's Penny Reid book. The heroine is smart, somewhat quirky and knows what she wants. The hero is good looking, patient, a straight shooter and a bit of an adrenaline junky. Also...BEARD!

I absolutely adored Duane and Jess's relationship and history. 'Enemies' to lovers is such a great romance trope, mostly because of the built in chemistry and conflict. Let me tell you, those two know how to work with their connection. And once they figure out what they want *cough*each other*cough* it gets so cute and adorable and bananas and coconuts and revved engines and wanderlust and read the damn book....

MVP - Cletus Winston. Seriously, there were times when I thought he might just be my favourite part about the whole book. Mind you, that's quite a challenge when you consider that this book and everyone in it is just damn near perfect. Cletus Winston, mark that name. I think he will become one of my all time favourite book boyfriends once he gets his own book in the hopefully near future.

Here is a little snippet of his wisdom...

“Everything is temporary, Duane. This,” he gestured to our surroundings, “this is temporary. Even mountains fall. Nothing lasts forever. You got a chance at happiness, even for a week, a month, a year? You grab it and you hold on to it for as long as it lasts.”

Every character in this book is so darn lovable and I really adored how Ms. Reid managed to balance such a large range of characters. Starting with all the brothers, town people, family, friends and the designated bad guys - the local biker club. Well done on the world building front, without losing sight of the romance. Makes you hungry for more.

As always the writing is phenomenal, it's witty and sucks you in. A great start to a new series and I can't wait to read the next book.

**ARC very kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Dee Montoya.
942 reviews587 followers
July 7, 2015
***** 5 DREAMY DUANE Stars*****

(ARC kindly provided by author <3 <3 <3)

If you read the book Beauty and the Mustache, chances are you already fell in love with the Winston Brothers and are desperately waiting to read this first installment of the spin off series. Book #1 aka Truth or Beard is about Duane. He is a twin, handsome, Alpha Male, ginger, bearded and completely dreamy. (I could go on and on with positive adjectives to describe how scrumptious he is...)

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Jessica James is back in her home town in Tennessee after graduating collage, her goal is to live at home with her parents for the next two years, while working as a Math teacher in the town's high school so she can save money to pay off her students loans, and then go on to travel the world. Her life dream has always been to travel the globe, she wants to live in exciting places and learn about different cultures, she can't see herself staying in her little town forever.

Duane Winston is one of the six notorious Winston Brothers, he's a mechanic and part owner of the town's auto shop, extremely handsome and a total Alpha male who is not afraid of much. He's known he is in love with his childhood nemesis Jessica James, since the day she threw his board shorts on top of a tree and now that she is back in town, he's putting in place his plan to court her. What happens when after a very hot and heavy make-out session, Duane realizes she's only kissing him because she's confused him with his twin brother, Beau?

Jessica's feelings are a mess after learning she's been kissed by the wrong twin, not the one she's been crushing on forever, the nice one, but by the one who has been a pain in her neck for the better part of her childhood. Duane has always been so mean to her, when they were kids they were always fighting. So why is he kissing her so good now and talking about them being suited? and why does she like him so much?

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Once the confusion is cleared and the truth reveals how much these two like each other, the possibility of a hot romance surfaces but leave it to Penny Reid to deliciously complicate the plot with an array of unexpected and crazy-funny situations that make this romantic story so much more than just another love story.

I'm not surprised that I loved this book as much as I did because I'm a junky for Penny Reid's smart and hilarious writing style and she is the main provider of hot Alpha Male material for my spank bank. The woman has a talent for creating the most amazing heroes and always paired with a super awesome and usually sassy heroine as well. I loved the combination of Duane and Jessica because they were such opposites yet they complimented each other beautifully and it was a ton of fun reading about their love story. Two thumbs up to Penny for delivering an impressive first book on a series that promises nothing short of one hell of crazy ride. Keep 'em coming Penny!!!!

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My Truth or Beard music Playlist:

*Everything has Change by Jasmine Thompson
*Halo by Beyoncé
*Kiss you in the Morning by Michael Ray
*Kiss You All Over by Exile
*Forever Mine by Andra Day

Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,868 reviews2,243 followers
January 11, 2016

4.5 stars!!!

“Everything is temporary, Duane. This,” he gestured to our surroundings, “this is temporary. Even mountains fall. Nothing lasts forever. You got a chance at happiness, even for a week, a month, a year? You grab it and you hold on to it for as long as it lasts.”

 photo t or b casting.png

Jessica has always known that she would leave her small town life and travel the world. After graduating from college, she has taken a detour back home for a while where she teaches to save up money and pay off her student loans. She's also always had a crush on a Winston boy, Beau to be exact. When she runs into him at a town get together, the two end up hitting off and getting steamy. Except for one problem, it isn't Beau but his twin brother Duane who Jessica hates, or at least she thought she did.

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I have yet to read a Penny Reid book I didn't like. The majority of them I tend to love. Mostly because of Ms. Reid's sense of humor, and the fact that she assumes the reader is smart (which I appreciate). She's an author I can honestly say that I would read any book, no plot description required. In fact, Ms. Reid could hand me an essay on a description of paint drying and I would happily read it.

Truth or Beard doesn't disappoint, and I loved getting to know Duane and Jessica. The two of them bantering was my favorite part of this book. Fighting or friendly conversation, spoken out loud or inner monologue, I had a smile on my face the entire time.

For example, my two favorite quotes from the book:

“Have you ever seen someone and thought to yourself, Whoa, he’s hot! I’d like to screw his brains out. And then, you talk to the guy and realize someone already has?”

“There will be no bananas!” “There will be entire tropical rainforests of bananas! And coconuts!” I gestured to my breasts. “And, hopefully, bananas rubbing against coconuts.”

I myself have thought that first quote many a time.^^^

I like the idea that the surly brother got a chance at the girl. Beau and Duane are similar as twins, but Jessica very obviously saw the differences in both. I also like that Penny Reid has the heroes of her books fall for the girl off screen. That way going into the story, they begin with pursuit straight away instead of the fumbling process of how to pursue a girl upon discovering their feelings. That make any sense? I also like the idea of a man liking a girl without her knowing it. It gives me warm and fuzzy feelings.

Jess and Duane didn't have an easy love story, but they had one that I felt deep in my bones. I got a little frustrated of the yes or no aspect of their relationship, but only a little! (I may or may not have mentally been yelling at them to get their shit together, and then get with each other).

The Winston brothers as a group I also loved about this book. I cannot wait until each of them gets their story. Cletus is a crowd favorite and I want to pinch his cheeks. I also desperately want to read Billy's book (which is last, sobs).

Basically I highly recommend reading anything Penny Reid writes, including this book. I am a stickler for reading things in order so I recommend doing it that way, but this book can also be enjoyed as a standalone novel. Happy reading!

“Is this place home?"
"No, Duane .. You are.”

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Profile Image for Addicted to Books .
273 reviews108 followers
July 28, 2015
5 I-love-redheads-with-beards stars !!!!!!!!!

Before I start the spoiler free review, Let’s ogle at the gorgeous men with beards and man-buns!

My tribute to the series :

More Beard Fun:

Finally Here is the review :

This is my first Penny Reid experience and I absolutely loved it!

Wow this is one of those books was sucked me right in from the first page. I pre ordered this book when I saw all the high ratings and it arrived on my kindle yesterday and since I am doing all kinds of odd jobs all day long to earn money before my move to NY, I get a lot of time to read while working.

What a ride! I love love this book so much!!! It is one of my best friends.

Jessica James has moved back to Green Valley where she grew up after finishing college and she is a math teacher at the local high school. She has been crushing on Beau Winston for a long time.

But it is his twin brother, Duane who has pined for Jessica a long time and when they first meet, he tricks her into thinking he is Beau and they have a sizzling hot make out session and the story continues about them finding each other all over again and falling in love.

Jessica wants to pay off her students loans and travel the world and Duane wants different things. You have a great conflict there.

I loved watching them fall in love and figure a way out for their HEA. This book is also more about Duane finding himself and what he wants and growing up emotionally.

I wanted to knock off one star because sometimes I wished they should have just talked instead of assuming but in the context of the book and both of them being inexperienced at relationships sure made up for such behaviour.

This books was prefect. The chemistry was sizzling and the sexual tension was great and the HERO was dreamy. I loved the fact he wanted to do right by Jessica and thus making the romance slower and more satisfying.

At times it was so hilarious and you will definitely fall in love with all six brothers. But Cletus somehow shines the most with his sense of humour and in depth analysis and always needs to see the common sense of everything he knows or observes! He is quite a unique character in the romance genre!

It was heart warming and so very well done! I highly recommend this book!

This series kicked off with such a bang that I cannot wait for the other books and pray that Penny Reid writes quickly. She is so talented. Penny Reid has become one of the better reasons as to why I love the romance genre and I keepy going back to romance!

A huge fan of Penny Reid for life! I just bought all her books!Gotta love Kindle!

Profile Image for S.M. West.
Author 39 books1,173 followers
August 2, 2015
5 "Fernweh" STARS

Simply. The. Best!!!

I’m falling for Penny Reid...

this woman just knows how to write! This is my second book by her and I'm left with this same wonderful feeling after the book is done.

Damn, this was an absolutely wonderful read! This book had everything I want in a book - lovable, layered characters, witty banter, flirty, sexy, an original and engaging plot and simply fantastic writing!!!

Here we have, Jessica James, the Sheriff’s daughter back from college but only staying in Green Valley, Tennessee, long enough to pay her student loans off and then she’s going to travel the world. She’s smart, sassy, sexy and has a dash of wild in her.

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Then there's Duane Winston, one of six brothers and twin to Beau. Where Beau is easy going, laughs and smiles, Duane is stoic, silent and glares. Yet Duane is also fearless and loves adventure. Jessica grew up with both these boys and had a huge crush on Beau and a huge dislike for Duane. Of course, the opposite was true for Duane. From his early teens, Jessica James was IT for him.

"I hadn't noticed she was a girl-or the existence of any other girl-until I was nearly thirteen. By then it was too late. She disliked me. But she worshiped my brother. He didn't see her, not really. Not like I did."

With Jessica's return, she finds herself up close and personal with who she thinks is the man of her dreams - Beau - only to discover, it's Duane. At this point, Jess' world is turned upside down by the contradiction of what her brain tells her about Duane and the way her body and heart feels when she's in Duane's arms, his lips pressed to hers, having his body up against hers...

Of course, Duane wants it all with Jessica: marriage, kids, a future but Jess has other plans. Here ensues complications as these two are drawn to each other like magnets but want completely different things.

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In addition to this fabulously sexy, funny, and heartwarming romance, there's also the camaraderie and brotherly love among the bearded Winston men, blackmail and mayhem as folks tangle with the local badass MC and the quirks and foibles that come with the characters of a small, quaint town.

“I fought to distance myself from her gaze, but she reeled me in. Her mouth, her eyes, her body – my bait. Jessica was so much more than beautiful.”

“And just like that, kissing Duane Winston jumped to the top of my favorite pastimes, my favorites list. Actually, debating, talking to, holding hands with, and hugging Duane Winston were also now on my list.”

And while I know I'm not alone...I’m seriously in love with the Winston brothers...

...each of them has their quirks and each are adorable in their own way. I can't wait to get to know all of these deliciously gorgeous bearded men!!

For more reviews and blog posts.

Profile Image for Jen .
804 reviews586 followers
July 30, 2015
5 Bring on the Beard Stars

“My momma once told me, you don’t need to be pushed in order to fall. I don’t think you’ll need to do much pushing, Jessica.”

What a fabulous way to lose my Penny Reid V-card! I absolutely adored everything about this book and I can’t believe it took me this long to give this author a shot. The basic premise for the story has already been detailed by other reviewers, so instead I’m going with my Favorite Things list a la Oprah and Duane.

Duane. Okay, I have to admit to not being a huge fan of beards but if anyone can rock ‘em, it’s the Winston Brothers. Along with the sexy facial hair came a character who was sweet, funny and loyal to a fault. He knew exactly what he wanted and what he wanted was Jess, even if his need to take things slow drove her out of her ever loving mind.

“Baby, I do not need those things. You need to realize, I don’t want to be put on a pedestal. I don’t want you to keep a respectful distance. I just need you. I like you wild and I love you reckless. Outside on a picnic blanket, inside the cab of your Road Runner, on the bed in this here cabin—where we come together makes no difference to me. It’s you I want.”

Jess. I loved the fact that Jess pulled no punches and was always honest, often at the expense of her relationship with Duane. Once she figured out Duane was the Winston twin for her it was lights out and put a fork in her, she’s done!

Did I want to wrap his banana and let him have his way with my coconuts? Yes. I wanted that to happen.

Cletus! The Winston Brother that entertained me the most is also the perfect example of why the humor in Truth or Beard worked for me so well. It’s subtle, smart and never feels like it’s trying to overwhelm the story with anything over the top.

“Duct tape is man’s answer to electrons and protons. It’s how we keep matter together.”

“But work up an appetite, woman. Because you’ve never tasted fine meat until you’ve eaten my sausage.”

Surprisingly, Cletus and his love for his sausage never got old. So I may be kicking my own butt for not having given Penny Reid a shot before now, but I’m thrilled Truth or Beard had the honor of being my first. This series is going on my auto buy list and I’m already looking forward to Jethro’s book.
Profile Image for ~♡AB♡~.
974 reviews668 followers
July 21, 2015
★★★★ 4 Stars ★★★★

Amazon US: http://tinyurl.com/TOBamazonUS
Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/TOBamazonUK

This is the first in a new series and a spinoff from Beauty and the Mustache, which incidentally, was the first ever Penny Reid book I read. I loved Drew Runous and Ashley Winston, and I immediately fell in love with Ashley's brothers. All 6 of them.

So, it won't come as a surprise that I have been gagging for this very book since then. I mean, who wouldn't want to read about a bunch of bearded, gorgeous, intelligent, sweet and incredibly unique brothers.

Truth or Beard tells the story of Duane and Jessica. Duane and his twin Beau are identical in looks but very different in personalities. Whilst Beau is charming and delightful, Duane is very aloof.

Since they were kids, Jessica has had a massive crush on Beau, and a massive rivalry with Duane.

After four years at college, Jessica is back home in Green Valley, Tennessee and her future plans are to save enough money whilst teaching calculus at the local high school, and then leave her home town to travel the world. Her dreams have always consisted of seeing everything that she has been reading about in magazines, and going wherever her heart takes her next. She suffers from an extreme case of Wanderlust.

"I wanted to experience the world, not just one tiny corner of it."

After a childhood of playing pranks on each other, Jessica never in a million years thought that she might see Duane in an entirely different light, but that is exactly what happens after a case of mistaken identity and it's as if she is seeing her past with a pair of new eyes. She is completely thrown for a loop.

When a shady biker club get thrown into the mix, and Duane has to simultaneously try and save his family from a dodgy deal, and attempt to make claim on a woman who will be leaving within the next 18 months, he is stuck between a rock and a hard place which made for a brilliant, funny and emotional read.
_ _ _ _

Duane may come across as closed and guarded and a little bit moody, but I think I fell in love with him in his very first scene. He was adorable and the fact that he had been pining over this woman for all these years and she was completely oblivious just made my heart ache for him.

Jessica was as quirky as they come, she had a wild side that was fun and endearing and her love for travel made her a very unique character. Her struggle with balancing her dreams and her unexpected feelings for Duane was very real and I completely empathised with her.

The brothers all make an appearance and they are just a great group of men, I really can't wait to read all of their stories. They are all so individual but together they make a wonderful team.

An excellent start to the series, and as always it's a pleasure to read a Penny Reid book.

This is a standalone novel, told in dual POV.

ARC gratefully received from the author in exchange for an honest review

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