Monday, August 3, 2015

Blog Tour: Excerpt, Review, and Giveaway for Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers #1) by Penny Reid

I'm so excited to share my love of the Winston brothers with you today. I have an excerpt from Duane's book. You'll laugh, cry, and fan your self! Enjoy it and then one-click this awesome story. Don't forget to enter the giveaway! 

Tour: Truth or Beard by Penny Reid
Truth or Beard by Penny Reid Winston Brothers #1
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 na├»ve 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.

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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.  

His smile growing, the redhead stepped forward and into my space, his eyes at half-mast as they glittered down at me. “Go ahead, Jessica…Touch it.”

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★★★★★ stars

Waiting is one of the cruelest and hardest things to do. I've been anticipating this book since last October. I've counted down the days and thankfully my wait was fruitful; Truth or Beard was totally worth the wait. Penny Reid has this way of writing that gets to me every time. She manages to mesh humor, emotion, drama, and serious issues together in a way you'll love.

Boy did I laugh. Jess and Duane both narrate and it's often as hilarious as it is hot to listen to their thoughts. There were even times when I laughing and turned on at the same time. That's disturbing since most people don't equate arousal with laughter, but it's done well. There were also moments when I couldn't control my tears. I wasn't all out sobbing, but there are poignant moments that took me by surprise. I feel like I devoured this book. The pages flew by I had no idea where I was in the story. All that mattered was reading it.

I loved Jess and Duane. I loved how Jess pushed the envelope on what was "okay" with her over protective father and brother. I loved how she followed her heart and didn't let anyone disparage her dreams. She didn't let any one's opinion color what she wanted or how she felt, especially when it came to Duane. I loved how she fiercely she felt for him and his family, even if she initially fought her reaction to him. I loved how Jess was with Claire, her best friend. I admired the heck out of Claire too. I have a feeling she'll be getting her own story sooner than later and I can't wait to read it! Most of all I loved how brilliant and motivated Jess was. I admired the way she was bold and determined to get Duane fully invested in their relationship.

What can I say about Duane? He may be one of the trouble making Winstons, but there's so much more to him. He's honorable, dedicated, and a planner. There was so much about him I didn't know and loved learning. I was taken aback at how much he felt for Jess. He was really a case of still waters run deep. I loved how Duane was willing to go all out for those he loved. That man was so not what I thought he was going to be. He might not be a charmer like some of his brothers, but his straight forward manner really made him who he was. He definitely knew how to woo.

There's no denying the attraction between Jess and Duane. You could feel the heat radiating from them when they were together. I absolutely loved how Jess couldn't deny it even when she was upset bout finding out it was for the "wrong" twin. The back and forth between the two was delicious. It was easy to see why each had fallen for the other. I was slightly surprised at Duane's reticence to go in whole hog with Jess. Duane might have ignited everything that happened between them, but for most of their relationship, it felt like Jess was the driving force behind them moving forwards. If it's not already clear, I adore the Winstons. I loved seeing them with each other. The bonds that bind them together are strong yet resilient.  

This book was as close to perfect as it could be. The only thing I would've liked is for there to be closure for Jess about a secret that was revealed to her. My heart broke for her and I understood her confusion and pain. I have my guesses as to who the other responsible party is, but I would've loved confirmation. As it is, I'm already looking forward to the next Winston brother book.  I can't wait to come back to Green Valley, Tennessee and sit a spell. There's never a dull moment in that town.

*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 Reid
Author-Photo-Penny-Reid-300x300SEX! 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.

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