Beard in Mind by Penny Reid
Winston Brothers Book 4
Release Date: August 1, 2017
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 so much to say about this book and these characters, I don't even know where to start. Beard in Mind features characters so unlike any that I have read about before and I absolutely loved it. Shelly was a very unique person and she had all of my emotions bleeding out of me. I was sad for her, anxious for her, and so happy for her that I sometimes looked like a complete loon for just smiling at my Kindle for awhile. And of course there were times I was laughing out loud and making everyone around me question my sanity.
"If you were any more inbred, you'd be pastrami."
"You know, 'in bread' like pastrami. In a sandwich."
Shelly and Beau were very intricate characters that needed a compassionate author to do them justice, and Penny Reid was the best author to do that. The way she portrayed them and shared their feelings had me ridiculously happy. Shelly did not have an easy go at life and she was trying her best to get through the hard times. Seeing her struggles had me literally crying, but I was smiling while I was doing it. It's not often I come across a book like this one, that makes me want to hunt down the author just to give them a big hug and maybe a basket of mini-muffins as a thank you. And Penny Reid deserves the biggest thank you for sharing Shelly with the world and showing that no matter what you're going through, or what your struggles are, you deserve love and happiness.
I will probably rave about Shelly many more times because I loved her so much, but that does not mean her and her struggles were the main focus of this book. Ms. Reid expertly wove Beau's and Shelly's lives together, the good and the bad, so they both had an equal place in my heart while I was reading. Beau was the "good guy" of the Winstons, the one always trying to do the right thing and help everybody. So when we got those moments that we saw just how exhausting that was for him and the stress that came with him, it made me love him even more.
What really impressed me about Beau was when he finally realized that he can't fix everyone and that sometimes he needed to lean on someone else. That someone else being Shelly, of course. Watching them help each other through the bad times was truly amazing. Neither of them tried to take over and fix whatever it was that the other person was dealing with, instead they were just there for them to hold their hand while they fixed their own problems.
I've probably ranted on way too long about this book so I will leave you with this one last thing. Please read this book, I don't think you will be disappointed.