Review: Beard Science by Penny Reid

Beard Science
Series: Winston Brothers, #3
Author: Penny Reid
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: Penny Reid
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult, Humor

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Make a deal with the devil and you might get what you want, but will it be what you need?

Jennifer Sylvester wants one thing, and that one thing is NOT to be Tennessee’s reigning Banana Cake Queen. Ever the perpetual good girl and obedient daughter, Jennifer is buckling under the weight of her social media celebrity, her mother’s ambitions, and her father’s puritanical mandates. Jennifer is officially desperate.

And desperate times call for Cletus Winston.

Cletus Winston is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery covered in conundrum sauce, and now he’s in a pickle. Despite being convinced of his own omniscience, extortion by the exalted Banana Cake Queen of Green Valley has taken him completely by surprise. So… what’s a maniacal mastermind to do?

Likely, the last thing you expect.


Move over Duane and Jethro, there’s a new favorite Winston in the house!

Cletus Winston is unlike any other book character I’ve come across. He’s eccentric, but his oddities mask the genius within. Cletus is perfectly happy hiding in plain sight if it means he can put his secret plans in motion. No one, besides his family, knows what Cletus is capable of.

No one except Jennifer Sylvester that is. Banana Cake Queen Jennifer may be the local celebrity, but she’s not exactly sought after. Everyone looks past her and considers her to be just a pretty face. Jennifer, like Cletus, has more going on behind her mask than people believe. Jennifer watches people. She’s knows what Cletus is up to. She’s smart and might just be able to give Cletus Winston a taste of his own medicine when she blackmails Cletus into helping her find a husband.

Cletus and Jennifer were a match made in book heaven. Seriously. These two were so perfect together. They were both smart and weird in the best of ways. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved their story and the time it took for them to realize what they had found in each other. It was such a fun journey — my favorite book in the series so far!

If you’re a fan of romantic comedies, you’re going to want to read this book and the entire Winston Brothers series. It’s non-stop laughs and love.

WWW Wednesday – August 16, 2017

Welcome to WWW Wednesday!

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. The purpose is to share what I’ve reading lately. The three W’s stand for:

What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Recently Read

I continued with my binge read of the Winston Brothers series this week. If you like humorous romances, you must read these books. They’re delightful. I also read an ARC of a romantic suspense novel, and an ARC of one of my most anticipated books of the summer.

Beard Science (Winston Brothers, #3)
Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers, #4)
Some Whisper, Some Shout
Fallen Heir (The Royals, #4)

Click on the book title to be read my review.


Currently Reading

I am currently reading an ARC of Hate to Love You.


Reading Next

My plan is to look at my NetGalley books and pick one to read next.


What are you reading? Make sure to leave me your link below so I can check out your post. 🙂

Review: Some Whisper, Some Shout by K.K. Weil

Some Whisper, Some Shout
Author: K.K. Weil
Publication Date: August 16, 2017
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Romance, Suspense, Contemporary
Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Devices. Jolie’s got tons of them. Coping mechanisms that ensure she’s not falling victim to the mental illness that’s taken hold of both her brother and father. Helping the homeless gives Jolie much needed consistency. But when a stranger struts into her Jersey Shore creperie, writing cryptic songs on napkins and then disappearing, her world becomes anything but routine.

Reed can play the soul out of his saxophone, but he’s hiding something. Why else would he reveal so little about himself, or plan one secluded, albeit eccentric, date after another? And what’s in that backpack he carries everywhere? Then again, with her distressed brother missing, an estranged mother returning home, and a feisty grandmother acting weirder than usual, Jolie can’t decipher whether her suspicions are valid or dangerous delusions.

When inexplicable slashings of the homeless occur in her otherwise safe town, Jolie’s devices begin to fail.


Some Whisper, Some Shout is the second book I’ve read by K.K. Weil. I enjoy her writing and the mysterious stories she comes up with. I do have to admit that I didn’t like this book as much as the other book I’ve read by Weil. It was good, but there were a couple of things that kept me from falling in love with it.

To be honest, I didn’t connect with Jolie’s character. I didn’t like her. She was immature and self-centered when it came to her friends and family. Jolie couldn’t see past her own needs or the rules she gave herself. That was weird considering how self-less she was when it came to her homeless charity endeavors and her brother, Tristan. It was frustrating reading the story from her point of view. I hated the choices she made.

Reed was a more enjoyable character. I loved when the story switched over to his point of view. I liked that Reed had flaws. He was trying to become a better version of himself, even if he did mislead Jolie at times. His character was easier to relate to.

Another thing that I wasn’t quite on board with was the speed at which Jolie and Reed’s relationship progressed. It happened too fast for me. She knew nothing about him, and knew she knew nothing about him, yet she jumped into a relationship with him quickly. They were in love before they truly even knew each other.

I hate that this sounds so negative. Some Whisper, Some Shout actually had a lot of great things going on. The writing was good and the story moved at a quick pace. I loved all of the social aspects that were included. The spotlight on both homelessness and mental illness was awesome. I think I would have loved it had I loved Jolie.

Overall, Some Whisper, Some Shout was a good read. I have a feeling other readers are really going to enjoy it, especially those who like romantic suspense novels. I wish I would have connected better with Jolie and enjoyed it more myself.

Cover Reveal: Legs by Kelly Siskind

Title: Legs
Series: One Wild Wish #1
Author: Kelly Siskind
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: September 27, 2017

Running into your one-night stand is a special kind of awkward. Competing against him in a wine tasting contest is delicious torment…

On Rachel’s twenty-seventh birthday, she wishes to finally find a rewarding job. What she doesn’t wish is to drink a boatload of wine, sleep with a tattooed bad boy, and drunk email her boss in one glorious, career-ending move. But the fiasco pushes her to pursue a career inspired by her late father’s love of wine: sommelier. 

Unfortunately, she’s competing against her infuriating one-night stand, a man as intoxicating as a Pinot Noir.

Two years ago, Jimmy was set to inherit his family winery. Then it got ripped from his grasp. To close that dark chapter of his life, he plans to win a local sommelier contest and use the press to expose his family’s tainted wines. 

Jimmy loves studying the streaks of alcohol that cling to a wineglass, known as the wine’s “legs,” but other shapely legs are stealing his focus. Tantalizing legs. Legs that had wrapped around his waist for one wild night. Jimmy, sadly, has a weakness for legs. 

He also hates to lose.

LEGS is a full-length, standalone Smart, Sexy Romantic Comedy with a swoony Happily Ever After. No cheating or cliff-hangers here! Perfect for fans of Christina Lauren, Avery Flynn, Alice Clayton, Emma Chase, and Lauren Blakely.


LegsComingSoonFINALHD.mp4

 

The last person I wanted to see walked into the restaurant, and I tensed.Her frantic gaze was forced to me, and the only three vacant seats. She searched the room in vain, the rounding of her spine a clue she wasn’t thrilled about her options. She looked out the way she came, squeezed her eyes, then squared her shoulders and marched toward me.

Part of me—the lower half—wanted to pin her to the wall with my thighs while I hitched that proper little skirt higher. The other part hoped she’d wandered into the wrong place. Not because our night together had been bad, or the fact that she’d disappeared without a trace. No. The thing that had the tendons in my neck bunching was remembering how good it all was. Too good and too much fun, and I’d imagined rounds two and three and four ad nauseam. But rounds always ended in a knockout punch.

This girl was nothing but trouble.

She paused at the table, drew in a long breath, mumbled something as she exhaled, then glared at the seat beside me and the ones across. She chose beside, probably to face the room.

The only reason we’d hooked up two weeks ago was because there were no names and no strings. She’d admitted how hard it would be for her to relax, how awkward she’d feel afterward. The relaxing part I took care of with one brush of my lips. The awkward was still alive and kicking.

What went down between us couldn’t happen again. Distractions over the next two months weren’t an option, and repeat affairs led to feelings, and feelings led to promises, and promises were nothing but lies dressed up to seduce. Not an outcome I was keen to revisit. Still, I couldn’t ignore her anxiety, as long as she wasn’t here because of me.

I leaned toward her. “You’re the last person I expected to see.”

She squished her lithe body farther from mine. “Kind of coincidental, don’t you think? Did you follow me?”

“I got here before you. If anyone is stalking, it’s you tailing me.”

Indignation colored her cheeks. “I didn’t follow you. I saw a flyer and thought the contest looked interesting, but you obviously read it, too. If I’d known you’d be here”—aggravation laced her hushed tone—“I’d never have shown up.”

Her harsh words had me fisting my hands, or maybe it was how tempting the line of her neck looked, that column of tanned skin shifting as she swallowed. But she was right: having a diversion wouldn’t help my plan. “Then we’re on the same page.”

“Excuse me?”

“Since we’re both here for the contest, we can pretend that night never happened.”

Her face fell, but a beat later, she said, “Good,” nothing but ice in her voice.

I followed with “Great.”

She spat, “Fine.”

So much for stamping out the awkward.

Kelly is the author of CHASING CRAZY, MY PERFECT MISTAKE, A FINE MESS, and HOOKED ON TROUBLE, the latter three being part of her Over the Top series. A small-town girl at heart, she moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in northern Ontario. When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head. She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.

HOSTED BY:

Review: Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

Stillhouse Lake
Series: Gwen Proctor, #1
Author: Rachel Caine
Publication Date: July 1, 2017
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Genre: Thriller, Mystery

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Gina Royal is the definition of average—a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband’s secret life as a serial killer, she must remake herself as Gwen Proctor—the ultimate warrior mom.

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband’s crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace.

But just when she’s starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake—and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address. Gwen Proctor must keep friends close and enemies at bay to avoid being exposed—or watch her kids fall victim to a killer who takes pleasure in tormenting her. One thing is certain: she’s learned how to fight evil. And she’ll never stop.


When I heard Rachel Caine was releasing a thriller, I was excited. I read her YA Morganville Vampire series years ago, and I really enjoyed her writing style. I was interested to see how that writing style would transfer to an adult thriller.

Stillhouse Lake was an addicting read. Everything about the story held my attention. It was fast paced and constantly changing directions. I loved the depth of the characters and the fact that everyone was hiding something. It made it fun guessing who the bad person was. (I guessed correctly!) It also had a great cliffhanger. I wish the next book was available!!!

I’m not going to go into the plot or characters in this review because I would hate to give anything away. If you like a great thriller, I highly recommend Stillhouse Lake. It was such a fun ride.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten New Adult Book Series to Binge Read

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Ten book recommendations for __________.  My choice for the week is Ten New Adult Book Series to Binge Read. These are some of my favorite new adult series and why I love them. You can click on the series name and author to be taken to the Goodreads series page.


1.Falling Series by Ginger Scott


Ginger Scott has a way with words. Her romances are more than just romances. There’s always something more to be learned from her stories.

2.Bright Side Series by Kim Holden

This series is very near and dear to my heart. It’s about living every day to the fullest, grief and love. Bright Side is probably my most recommended read.

3.Alabama Summer Series by J. Daniels


J. Daniels is really good at weaving humor into her love stories. I can always count on her to make me smile or laugh.

4.The Ivy Years Series by Sarina Bowen


I love what Sarina Bowen has done with her Ivy Years series. It starts out following a group of hockey players and their friends as they fall in love, but it also digs into deeper social issues young adults that age deal with. I love the diverse characters from all walks of life that Bowen created. Each of their stories are important.

5.Nine Minutes Series by Beth Flynn


The Nine Minutes series can be categorized as either a psychological thriller or maybe a romantic suspense. I would say psychological thriller. There’s some romance to it, but the meat of the story is in the set up. This series has so many twists and turns. It’s dark and probably isn’t for everyone, but it’s my favorite thriller ever. This is probably my second most recommended series.

6.Ten Tiny Breaths Series by K.A. Tucker


I love the Ten Tiny Breaths series because it deals with rebounding from the pain life can sometimes deal out. All of the characters evolve so much throughout the series. I enjoyed the way finding love helped them through their struggles.

7.Kick Push Series by Jay McLean

Where the Road Takes Me isn’t technically part of the series, but it does kind of start it out. What I loved about Kick Push was the pure emotion of the story. Both characters have had some major obstacles in their short lives. How they find love, comfort and family in each other was so special. Jay McLean is a great writer.

8.Hearts Series by Claire Contreras


The Hearts series is one of the first NA series I read. I loved the depth of the characters and the love stories.

9. WAGS Series by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy are my author dream team. They write some of the funniest books together. Their characters are so amazing and I always fall in love with them falling in love.

10. Addicted / Calloway Sisters Series by Krista & Becca Ritchie




The Addicted / Calloway Sisters books are a journey. There’s some hard truths in their pages and it’s nice sometimes to read about characters who are flawed.

 


Have you read any of these? Do you want to?

Blog Tour REVIEW & Excerpt: Beard in Mind by Penny Reid

BEARD IN MIND BT BANNER.jpg

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

BIM-cover (2)

All is fair in love and auto maintenance.

Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.

Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.

Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever.

She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words.

Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.

The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean losing what matters most.

Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Note: I received an ARC from Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an unbiased review.

If you’ve been following my blog the past week, you’ve probably noticed I’ve been on a fun-filled journey reading The Winston Brothers series to prepare for the release of Beard in Mind. I’ve had such a good time getting to know all of the Winston brothers. They’re an always entertaining and almost always mischievous bunch. Each of them is individually interesting and lovable, but Beau has been portrayed as the charismatic flirt and most liked brother. I couldn’t wait to read his story.

In Beard Science, the reader is introduced to Shelly Sullivan. Cletus hires her as a mechanic in their shop. She’s an awkward, straightforward person and Beau is not her biggest fan. Beard in Mind shines a light on what was happening between Shelley and Beau in Beard Science and takes the reader on a special hate to love story.

Beard in Mind had a different feel than all of the Winston Brothers books. It was humorous, but there was a seriousness that overshadowed the humor. All of these books have dealt with a different issue or life choice, but this one was much deeper. Shelly was dealing with a disorder that affected her daily life. She was struggling but working to get herself in a better place. Her story was presented in a brave and inspiring way. I really appreciated that.

The seriousness of Shelly’s condition brought a seriousness to Beau’s story. In the past, we’ve only seen the happy-go-lucky side of him. I was impressed with how Beau dealt with Shelly and her needs. It made me respect him in a way I wasn’t expecting to. Everyone needs a Beau in his or her life.

One of my favorite things about this book and series is the Winston family dynamic. They’re always looking out for and trying to keep each other safe. I especially loved the twin dynamic between Beau and Duane in this one. We got Duane’s side in Truth or Beard, and it was fun getting Beau’s side. Their personalities and strengths complimented each other so perfectly.

Overall, I enjoyed Beard in Mind. It was an inspirational love story. I do have to admit that I missed the constant humor that I felt during the other books, but I was okay with that. Beard in Mind was a special story that needed to be told.

Now, I just need Roscoe’s and Billy’s story…

Excerpt:

She’d taken the sofa, in her own house, and given me the bed. That didn’t make a lick of sense.

I crouched next to her, threading my fingers into the silky hair at her temples. “Honey.”

“Mmm.”

I bent to whisper, “Shelly.”

“Hmm?”

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

“Mmm.”

I grinned at her soft noises, at the untroubled expression on her face, and how her brow—even in sleep—still looked regal and stern.

Sliding my arms under her legs and shoulder, I picked her up. And, unfortunately, that woke her up.

She jerked in my arms. “What are you doing?”

“I’m taking you to the bed.”

“Don’t do that.”

“I don’t mind, I’ll take the sofa.” Our mouths were just inches apart, and hers was distracting.

She squirmed. “Put me down.”

Sighing unhappily, I did. I set her on her feet next to the couch. The blanket pooled at her feet and I stepped back to give her some space. It was dark, but I could see her just fine, and that meant I had to force my eyes to remain above her neck. The woman was wearing two pathetic scraps of fabric as pajamas. A thin little tank top and shorts. That’s it.

I set my jaw and turned to the side, waiting for her to walk past.

“Where are you?”

I glanced at her and realized she couldn’t see at all. She didn’t have a hand out, but the way her eyes were moving about the room gave away her blindness.

“I’m here.” I didn’t touch her, because if I did, I wouldn’t want to stop.

Shelly turned her head in my direction and took a deep breath. Still she didn’t reach for me. I didn’t know the specifics of what to expect after her Friday session, but I recalled Dr. West saying something about Shelly doing self-guided ERP exercises over this week.

“Can you see?” She licked her lips, her voice sandpapery. “Because I can’t see at all. It’s so dark.”

“I can see.” Unbidden, my eyes dropped to her body, to the swell of her breasts, the panel of bare stomach, the curve of her hips. Pinpricks of heat raised over my skin and I curled my hands into fists.

She shuffled forward and I caught her before she bumped into me, setting my hands gently at her waist.

“Let me take you to your room.” My voice was rough, for obvious reasons.

Saying nothing, she brought her hand to my forearm, her body gently colliding with mine. And then her hand on my arm slid up my bicep to my shoulder.

“Shelly.” I was running out of breath.

“I like this.”

“What?”

“Touching you.”

Oh fuck.

I held still and endured her hands moving over my body, down the front of my shirt, stopping at the hem, then pushing it up.

“Take this off.”

I did. I pulled the T-shirt over my head and let it drop to the floor.

We stood there, facing each other in the dark, not touching. Despite the session on Friday and the progress that had been made, I realized she wasn’t quite there yet. Dr. West was right, Friday was just a step, the first step. Shelly wasn’t able to initiate contact. Not yet.

Her hands balled into fists and she swayed forward, her breath struggling little puffs.

If anything was going to happen tonight, I had to initiate it. I had to be the one to touch first.

God, how I wanted her. How I wanted her above me, beneath me, surrounding me. But how could I?

“I know why I hesitate,” her voice was breathless, “but why do you hesitate?”

“Lots of reasons.”

“Give me one.”

“I don’t want to you use you.”

“I wish you would.”

That pulled a laugh from me, just a small relief from the mounting tension. My eyes moved over her body, an undeniable impulse to devour the sight of her, her legs, stomach, chest, then up her neck to her lips.

“You asked me on Saturday if sex was a big deal for me, or if it was you. The answer is both.”

She held very still, and I got the sense she was holding her breath, straining to listen.

“You are a big deal to me. I don’t want a fling. I don’t want a flirtation. I want promises.”

“What can I promise you?”

That you’ll love me. That I’ll be your priority.

She shifted her weight from foot to foot. A spike of anxiety that she might leave me like this had me acting without forethought. I lifted my hands to her waist again and immediately, her fingertips skimmed over skin of my lower stomach in response, making my muscles tense in hot anticipation. She grew more assertive as she caressed my sides, abdomen, ribs, chest, shoulders, and then back down.

Shelly stepped closer, a hint of thrilling contact between her breasts and my torso, and all the words and worries melted from my mind, died on my tongue, suffocated by the feel of her body, and the possibility of this moment.

Her finger hooked in the waistband of my jeans. “Take these off.” Her hand turned, her fingers and palm cupping me over my zipper.

Instinctively, I pressed myself into her touch even as I grabbed her wrist.

“Beau, I promise—”

She didn’t get to speak, because I kissed her, hard and wild, unbuttoning and unzipping my fly with one hand and bringing her palm inside my boxers with the other.

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Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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