Top Ten Tuesday: Ten YA Books Set in High School

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 Back To School Freebie. My choice for the week is Ten YA Books Set to in High School. At first, that might seem weird because most YA books are about high schoolers, but not all of the books are set in high school. These are some of my favorite YA books that are actually set in school. You can click on the book name and author to be taken to the Goodreads series page.


1. The Hard Count by Ginger Scott

All of Ginger Scott’s books are amazing, but The Hard Count holds a special place in my heart. There is so much to learn from this book, especially in today’s social climate.

2. First & Then by Emma Mills

First & Then is a guilty pleasure type book. It brings back those feelings of being in high school (more years ago than I like to admit), and it was filled with so many fun characters.

3. Love and First Sight by John Sundquist

This book was so eye opening for me. I have thought before about what it might be like to be blind, but there were so many things I had no clue about. Love and First Sight really made me think about what it would be like to be blind and what getting your sight back might be like.

4. Paper Princess by Erin Watt

No one does high school quite like the Royals. Plus, it has one of the best cliffhanger endings ever. I would say this book is borderline NA, though, so for a more mature YA reader.

5. Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn

Not all YA books are fun and games. Delicate Monsters is a dark psychological thriller set in high school. It’s really good, but definitely disturbing.

6. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landou-Banks by E. Lockhart

This is my favorite book set in boarding school. Frankie is an amazing character and she gets into all sorts of fun trouble.

7. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

I loved the 80’s setting of Eleanor & Park. I also loved the way these two kids who were from such different walks of life found something so profound with each other.

8. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Another book that pays tribute to the 80’s, but in an entirely different way. Ready Player One is set in a futuristic video game high school. I loved all of the 80s’s references and teh unique plot.

9. Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman

I have no problem admitting I picked this book simply because it was so cute.

10. One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

I could not leave off my favorite debut author of the year so far. One of Us Is Lying was so cool. I loved how the mystery in it was set up and how everything was revealed. It was a great YA thriller.


What books set in high school are your favorite?

Review: Fallen Heir by Erin Watt

Fallen Heir
Series: The Royals, #4
Author: Erin Watt
Publication Date: August 28, 2017
Publisher: Timeout LLC
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
Note: I received an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

These Royals will ruin you.

Easton Royal has it all: looks, money, intelligence. His goal in life is to have as much fun as possible. He never thinks about the consequences because he doesn’t have to.

Until Hartley Wright appears, shaking up his easy life. She’s the one girl who’s said no, despite being attracted to him. Easton can’t figure her out and that makes her all the more irresistible.

Hartley doesn’t want him. She says he needs to grow up.

She might be right.

Rivals. Rules. Regrets. For the first time in Easton’s life, wearing a Royal crown isn’t enough. He’s about to learn that the higher you start, the harder you fall.


“These Royals will ruin you.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Every single book about the Royals ruins me in some way. Fallen Heir did it more than once.

There was more to Easton Royal than I expected. I knew he would be a cocky young man with the world at his finger tips. What I didn’t know was the extent of his past and how it affected him. He was such a strength for Ella in the first three books. I was surprised that he was different in Fallen Heir. I didn’t quite love his character as much as I expected to based on that role. His truths were more and different from I imagined.

As for Hartley Wright, I still feel a little in the dark. I learned about Hartley through Easton’s eyes since she didn’t get her own point of view. I started to like her, but I really wanted to know her thoughts and motivations. It feels like Hartley is going to be a good influence on Easton. I’m hoping she gets to voice her own thoughts in book 5.

The thing that ruined me the most in Fallen Heir was that ending. If you’ve read the first three books in this series, you know that Erin Watt are the queens of the cliffhanger. They didn’t disappoint with the one at the end of Fallen Heir. It completely blew my mind. I could have never seen what happened coming, and now I’m frustrated that I have to wait until January to find out what’s next!!!

Fallen Heir was a great addition to The Royals series. It ruined me in the best ways. It took everything I thought I knew about Easton Royal and both altered and built upon it. I’m really looking forward to seeing his character continue to grow in the next book. If you’re a fan of the series, you won’t want to miss this book!

Review: Fired Up by Anna Durand

Fired Up
Author: Anna Durand
Publication Date: July 28, 2017
Publisher: Jacobsville Books
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Note: I received this book from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

He sets women on fire, but the only one he needs is fireproof.

Humiliated by her cheating ex, control freak Mel Thompson has resolved to avoid sex and romance. But her plans skid off the rails on her birthday, when she overindulges in champagne and tries to seduce her best friend, Adam Caras, exposing her long-repressed attraction to him. She’s determined to remain just friends, but her erotic fantasies have other ideas…

Firefighter Adam Caras has seduced more women than he’d ever admit to, earning the nickname the Arsonist, thanks to his explosive sensuality. Unfortunately, he realized he’s in love with his best friend Mel five minutes after she hooked up with her sleazebag ex. For two years, he’s kept his true feelings a secret. His libido, on the other hand…not so easy to rein in. Now that she’s free, he has a plan of his own. He’ll win her heart the only way he knows how–in bed–by employing every weapon in his lady-killer arsenal.

As their firecracker chemistry transforms into much more, past mistakes and a new crisis converge to test their loyalty to each other. But will it forge their bond into an unbreakable love or tear them apart?


A while back, I read Anna Durand’s novella Tempted By A Kiss. It was so much fun, and I wished it wasn’t just a novella. I really wanted to read a full length novel about Mel and Adam falling in love. Luckily, I wasn’t the only one who wanted more of them. I was very excited to get the opportunity to read their new, full length novel Fired Up.

Fired Up begins similarly to Tempted By A Kiss, but is slightly different. Instead of stopping after Mel’s birthday night the story continues. Best friends Mel and Adam go through a torturous time of figuring out what their friendship really is and where it should go from there. I loved watching them navigate their newfound relationship and how they adjusted to no longer being just friends.

The one tiny issue I had with the story was Mel’s instant forgiveness of Adam’s secrecy. I expected more of a reaction from her at times. The one time she did react, I was a little surprised. It didn’t seem like as big a deal as the other times when she didn’t react.

Overall, Fired Up was a very fun friends to lovers story. It was sweet, steamy and everything you would expect in a great contemporary romance.

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.

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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Review: Grin & Beard It by Penny Reid

Grin & Beard It
Series: Winston Brothers, #2
Author: Penny Reid
Publication Date: May 31, 2016
Publisher: Penny Reid
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Comedy

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Sienna Diaz is everyone’s favorite “fat” funny lady. The movie studio executives can’t explain it, but her films are out-grossing all the fit and trim headliners and Hollywood’s most beautiful elite. The simple truth is, everyone loves plus-sized Sienna.

But she has a problem, she can’t read maps and her sense of direction is almost as bad as her comedic timing is stellar. Therefore, when Sienna’s latest starring role takes her to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park she finds herself continually lost while trying to navigate the backroads of Green Valley, Tennessee. Much to her consternation, Sienna’s most frequent savior is a ridiculously handsome, charming, and cheeky Park Ranger by the name of Jethro Winston.

Sienna is accustomed to high levels of man-handsome, so it’s not Jethro’s chiseled features or his perfect physique that make Sienna stutter. It’s his southern charm. And gentlemanly manners. And habit of looking at her too long and too often.

Sienna has successfully navigated the labyrinth of Hollywood heart-throbs. But can she traverse the tenuous trails of Tennessee without losing her head? Or worse, her heart?


If you read my review post for Truth or Beard, you know I’m currently binge reading the entire Winston Brothers series. I loved that first book and I was so excited to read the second, Grin & Beard It.

Grin & Beard It is Jethro Winston’s story. He’s the ex-troublemaker of the Winston family. He put his brothers and sister through a lot growing up, and he still feels the guilt of his former life. Jethro doesn’t feel he’s worthy of love.

Enter Sienna Diaz. Sienna is the hottest actress and screenwriter in the business right now. Her “plus size” curves and witty sense of humor set her apart from the rest of the Hollywood crowd. Sienna loves her career, but having a family has always been her ultimate goal.

Jethro and Sienna’s relationship was a slow burn romance that was built on humor, acceptance and an immediate connection. I loved their witty banter. The way they saw things in each other no one else did was so special. Their support of each other was unwavering and inspirational.

Reformed Jethro was an amazing character, but Sienna is the one that stood out in this story. Sienna is one of my all time favorite female characters. She’s so much more than an actress. She’s a writer. She’s a comedian. Most of all, Sienna is happy with who she is. I loved that she loved her body. She was proud of her curves and knew she was more than what the media or society saw her as. I also loved that family was Sienna’s first priority. Her relationship with her mother was so sweet.

I adored Grin & Beard It. Penny Reid’s writing is brilliant. The Winston Brothers is one of the best series I’ve read in a long time. Each book gets funnier and funnier. If you like funny romance, you have to read this series! I can’t wait to read Beard Science next. I can only imagine what Cletus has in store for me!