Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers #1) by Penny Reid

wintson brothers1


official blurb
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?

my blurb!
A funny book that starts with mistaken identity and ends in X’s and O’s.

3.25 out of 5
So get ready to buckle up because I am about to embark on reading an entire romance novel series! That’s right- this is a 6 book series! (Well, okay maybe a few more, but those are novella’s I think.  Do those count?)  I knew I wanted to try to read a romance series and had randomly picked up this book based off of the bearded man on the cover.  Let’s all just agree that bearded is better! Fast forward to me posting a picture of me holding the book on my bookstagram.  I made a statement in my post that you can be a Christian and read romance novels.  Well Penny Reid replied to my post and said “Of note, you can also be a Christian and write romance novels.”  And with that statement alone, I knew I would read this entire series!  So without further ado…

what i liked
This book started off SO strong. I was cringing with embarrassment and laughing out loud to myself in the first few chapters.  I read it quickly and did I mention this book was funny?  Oh I did… because it’s funny.  I loved that the heroine kept hearing music in her head all of the time with different moments.  (I mean, that’s coming from me- the blogger who includes music to listen to while reading these books).  Looking back on this book- I remember the good moments- which makes me want to rate it higher than I am rating it. But alas, along with the good comes the bad.

what i didn't like

There were a lot of sex scenes in this book. A. Lot. Prepare yourself.
I wasn’t obsessed with the relationship between Duane and Jess- and that’s kind of lame for a romance novel.
Parts of the book didn’t make sense. Duane has forever been in love with Jessica, yet when he finds out she’s leaving he is SOMEHOW able to not invest himself completely into their relationship because he doesn’t want to get hurt… by this girl that he’s been pining after for 10+ years.  Ya, it was not remotely believable.
There were also a lot of plot elements (cough, cough… tropes) that were just too much for me. Duane’s need for speed allowing for Jess to have the moment of being mad/thrilled when Duane is fine.  Duane’s super possessive and jealous.  A love triangle of sorts… twice.  There were a lot more plot stereotypes but I feel like I can stop there.

Overall I didn’t love this book but I did enjoy it enough to be interested in the plots of the other brothers.  What other brothers you ask? This is a romance novel series! The Winston Brothers novels are all stand alone novels but have crossover characters, as each book is the love story of one of the 6 brothers.  I know, how could I not read on?  Wait what did you say?  Sorry, I couldn’t focus because I already started reading the second book…

while reading you should
Make: a list of placed you’d like to visit overseas
Listen: Your ex-Lover is dead by Stars (When I thought of this song while reading the book- I had NO idea this was the title.  And the song really doesn’t seem morbid to me at all. haha)
Say: “Holy moly Moses”

DuxSignature smallercopy


8 thoughts on “Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers #1) by Penny Reid

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