Publication Date: July 23, 2015
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?
Series Description: Everyone in Green Valley, Tennessee knows that the six bearded Winston brothers have been imbued with an unfair share of charm and charisma… and are prone to mischief. 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.
He gave us a crooked smile that looked completely delectable and mischievous, his eyes darting between us. “You can’t tell the difference?”
Claire returned his smile with a small one of her own. Beau’s charm was contagious and addictive. 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.
I was also smiling, although mine probably looked dazed and weird. I was thankful for the long gray beard around my mouth. I hoped it camouflaged my expression of dazed worshipful adoration.
“I’m pretty sure you’re Duane,” Claire said, then indicated me with a tilt of her head. “But Jess thinks you’re Beau.”
His eyes moved back to mine—somehow more intense, interested, and more piercing than they’d been before—and he swept me up and down again. On the return pass I saw what I thought might be appreciation, and that’s when I remembered I was wearing my ironic sexy Gandalf costume, which basically hid nothing except my face and hair.
The point of the costume was to irritate my daddy and Jackson, and amuse myself with delightful irony while doing so. I might no longer be the bratty teenager who left home four years ago, but I still enjoyed little tokens of rebellion against the overprotective males in my family. It hadn’t occurred to me until that very moment someone who mattered might look at me, my curves in this scrap of fabric, and see more sexy than irony.
“What’s this costume, Jessica? Are you a wizard?” His lips tugged to the side, but his tone deepened when he added, “I like it.”
The tenor of his voice paired with the words sent a new jolt racing through my body. But it was different than anything I’d felt in his proximity before. This wasn’t me going gaga for a childhood hero crush.
This feeling was…mature.
I gripped Claire tighter in surprise.
“She’s sexy Gandalf. She was going to be a sexy bee, but the shop sold out of pollinator costumes.”
Beau laughed—a sound that, for reasons unknown, I felt in my uterus—and reached for the beard at my navel. The back of his fingers brushed against my stomach as he plucked the length of synthetic facial hair from my inconsequential sheath of a costume.
“The beard adds a certain something…” He tugged just gently and winked at me.
Of course, my response was to stare at him mutely because the grin plus wink plus the light touch of his fingers meant I was terribly confused. Instead of outgrowing my crush, apparently I was now unwillingly compounding my adoration by adding new, very adult feelings. Some odd little corner of my brain briefly thought about the logistics of wearing this long white beard always, every day.
“Hey, if you tug her beard, she gets to tug yours,” Claire teased.
*Thank you to the author for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*
About Penny ReidSEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing). By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.