Title: Beauty and the Mustache
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Knitting in the City #4, Winston Brothers #0.5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Chic lit, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 22nd – 23rd August 2020
Publisher: Caped Publishing
5th sentence, 74th page: Elizabeth muttered under her breath, “If you let him, I think he’ll gladly rub you the right way.”
There are three things you need to know about Ashley Winston
1) She has six brothers and they all have beards,
2) She is a reader, and
3) She knows how to knit.
Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous – local Game Warden, reclusive mountain man, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favourite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophising in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions – or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands – to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee.
This novel may be about Ashley, but for me, the brothers just steal the show. There is something about a clan of brothers coming together around their little sister and their mother that makes me incredibly happy. Ashley is great. But it’s the Winston Brothers and Drew that made me feel seriously emotionally vested. Which makes it a brilliant prequel to the Winston Brothers series and a great little teaser into another series that needs to fill my shelves.
This is a reminder that, in spite of what is happening in the world, sometimes you just need to return home. Sometimes it’s the things that you ran away from that truly leave you feeling happy and complete. I like that although Ashley fled her family and hometown eight years before the beginning of this story. And obviously needed to in her own way to figure out who she was. Part of really figuring out what she needed in life was coming home and embracing all that she left behind. Returning home might not always be the answer. But I love that it is in this novel…
Although this is a beautiful and sweet romance, there is a little bit of heartbreak in this story. Namely in the passing of Ashley’s mother and her illness. It is done so well though. It is serious and does wrench at your heart quite a bit, but it also leaves you focusing on all of the positives that take place in the blossoming new relationship and the hope that Ashley finds for the future. Plus, the heartbreak that Ashley experiences highlights the beauty of her friendship with the girls.
This might be the most tragic and sad of the Knitting in the City stories. But it is also the one that seems to show the power of love and friendship the most. Everyone willingly and lovingly rallies around Ashley and her family. And I absolutely adored this show of love and affection. It’s something that I hope (but kind of doubt) that we all have…