Review: Beard in Mind by Penny Reid


Title: Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers #4)
Author: Penny Reid
Publication Date: 01 Aug 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Humour, Romance

Author's links: Website • TwitterFacebookGoodreads
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My rating: 5 Stars


All's 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 missing out on what matters most.


I have only two words for this book - LOVED IT. I know I often say this about Penny Reid's books but this one is definitely my favourite of all her books so far. I didn;t expect it to go in the direction it did, though by now I shouldn't be surprised by anything Ms Reid writes, but it was one tough emotional journey which I love with all my heart.

I rarely cry at the romances I'm reading but Shelly's story brought tears to my eyes more than once. It is so powerful, so raw and at the same time, tender and loving. I'd describe the novel as a story about love and family and friends and true life partners. It's a kind of enemies-to-lovers romance starting with animosity on the part of Beau and misunderstood rudeness from Shelly.

While I liked the complexity behind the easy-going, charming Beau but it was Shelley who stole my heart in this book. Her struggles with OCD, it was nothing like I have read before. I can't attest how accurate the presentation of her mental illness is (though the author includes a detailed note about it in the end of the book) but it was powerful and moving and made Shelley feel like a real person dealing with a serious mental illness in the best way she could. There is no sugarcoating, no making OCD about arranging your library alphabetically or sorting your wardrobe by colour. We see the terrible impact of this disease on all aspects of Shelley's life, and how it affects the people around her.

Beau, oh Beau, he was thee sweetest, kindest, most gentle and considerate man after he got over himself and his initial confusion and hurt over Shelly's rude attitude towards him. He had to deal with a rather nasty revelation about himself which I didn't expect and which broke my heart. It took him a while to figure out how to handle the situation and he made a mistake or two regarding this and it made it all the more real and relatable to me. We see the Winston family being their amazing selves and providing uncomnditional love and support when he needed it the most.

It was I liked how much emphasis the story placed on Beau and Shelley being truly partners to each other. The awesome sex they had was just one aspect of their relationship. Being there for each other, supporting, giving space and alternatively providing comfort and advice when needed.

I especially appreciate all the insight the author offers on friendships/ love relationships/sibling relationships - it's so rich, nuanced, colourful. We get the usual bit of crazy shenanigans though this story very much like Ashley's (though for completely different reasons) felt more serious, not dark but difficult to read at times.

I really can't put into coherent words how much I loved this story. Just go read it (it could work as standalone though I recommend reading at least Cletus' and Duane's books before it, or better add Jethro's to the mix too).

Purchase link: Amazon

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  1. My new favorite from Penny for all of the reasons you shared! I read it twice! I'm sure I'll read it again. Love Beau, fell IN love with Shelly.

  2. I'm just seeing this now. And yes, it was outstanding wasn't it. I can't really say who I loved more, Beau or Shelly. They are both amazing <3


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