This Chick Read: Beard With Me and Beard Necessities (Winston Brothers #6-7) by Penny Reid

Scarlet St. Claire has spent her whole life flying under the radar from her father and the kids at school. While doing exactly that, camping out in the woods behind the Winstons home, she comes to the attention of none other than Billy Winston, the boy that Scarlet has hated her whole life. What she doesn’t realize is that this boy that’s she’s run from may actually be the answer to her salvation. Beard with Me is the story of Scarlet and Billy, love found and love lost.

To say that I had been eagerly anticipating this novel would be an understatement. However, when the author, Penny Reid put out a statement saying that some people may not be happy with this story I paused on reading it. What did she mean people might not be happy? I hate second guessing my reading choices, so I waited until the follow up came out to read both novels back to back. Hence my late review.

Scarlet St. Claire is the daughter of Razor, the head of the local motorcycle club, and the bane of her existence. He is one seriously bad hombre and for some reason he is fixated on Scarlet, so she tries to remain as scarce as possible. This is tough for a 14 year old girl, and occasionally when she needs money she has to bite the bullet and deal with dear old dad. After one such incident Billy stumbles upon her campsite behind his house as she’s singing very loudly with headphones on. Captivated he decides to help her instead of reject her as he’s done numerous times before. Never having been helped by anyone who didn’t want something in return, Scarlet tentatively accepts his help and through those moments she and Billy fall madly in love.

This is not a light hearted Penny Reid novel, so now I kind of understand why some people may have rejected Beard With Me at first. I think if I didn’t have Beard Necessities to immediately read at the end of this novel, I would’ve had a hard time bearing the burden of this ending. It was a perfect set up for the next piece of their story.

Beard Necessities is the story of Billy and Claire (aka Scarlet). Misunderstandings, miscommunications, and broken hearts have kept these two apart for almost 20 years. I know what you’re thinking. Claire? Yes, Claire! She has been in almost every single one of the Winston’s novels. The reader knew there was some kind of back story between she and Billy because it was hinted at and in this novel we finally are told the whole story.

This novel takes place in Tuscany where the whole family is together. Unbeknownst to Billy and Claire, their lives are about to be managed. Thrown together at every circumstance (some of them are quite clever and funny) Billy and Claire finally overcome their bitterness and mistrust and dare to dream that they could find their happily every after.

Beard Necessities when paired with Beard With Me is the epitomy of a knockout punch. We are given the heart break of the first novel and see them struggle so much with all of their past beliefs about each other. Most of which were complete misunderstandings. Billy, when he finally realizes he has a chance to be with Claire/Scarlet is so tender. I think this story must be the most tender and beautiful of all the books in this series. Maybe it’s because I got so invested in these characters? I don’t know, but Penny Reid deserves an award for how full of love these characters are for each other. It was sad and beautiful all at once.

I believe this author said in that note I was talking about before that if you can’t handle it you can skip Beard with Me and just read Beard Necessities. I hope I got that message wrong because I think you really need to read Beard With Me first so you can feel as much heart ache as these characters do so you can be fully invested in their happily ever after in Beard Necessities. Without that first story, I think BN might have felt a little flat. Anyway, I’m glad I read them the way I did so I can only say to you how effective it was and how much I adored the conclusion to their story.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Click this link to read Beard with Me: First Love Small Town Romantic Comedy (Winston Brothers Book 6) and ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Beard Necessities: Second Chance Small Town Romantic Comedy (Winston Brothers Book 7)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: Kissing Galileo (Dear Professor #2) by Penny Reid

Synopsis: What do you do when your freakishly smart and wickedly sarcastic Research Methods professor sees you mostly naked? You befriend him, of course.

I did read the first novel in the series, Kissing Tolstoy, but if I hadn’t would the above synopsis sound like something I’d want to read? Not really. However, I love this author and I thought Kissing Tolstoy was pretty good so I gave Kissing Galileo a try. However, when does it become wrong to normalize the teacher/student relationship? This is in college, so everyone is legal, but…..

Emily is a lingerie model. It’s a club of sorts, no not that kind of club, but you have to be a member to view the models in their lingerie, and the pay is really good. Good enough to pay for her tuition and her mother’s therapy. What happens when one of your professor’s views you in a bra and panties? Victor Hanover, when he finds out she’s a student, immediately does the right thing and notifies the dean, who then gets someone else to handle her grades and tests. That Emily accepts this situation means that it has made her “feel” things for her professor. Either turned on or off, from what I understand. However, neither of them makes a move until Emily shows up at his office.

Victor is kind of socially awkward. Until the previous year he had been grossly overweight but after losing 150 lbs, he now finds himself uncomfortably attractive. He hates how he had been ignored, but now people want to know him and it pisses him off. He finds himself with feelings for Emily that he doesn’t know how to act on, so they become friends… just friends.

This is a story of a friendship that should become more, but one person doesn’t know how to move it forward, and the other person is judging the situation in normal male/female standards. Talk about awkward! It’s an unusual take on a friends to lovers theme and was quite cute and alleviated any kind of uncomfortableness very early on. This was obviously a guy that had rules, morals, and value’s so the fact he had a crush on his student was kind of minimized and forgotten.

Kissing Galileo was a very quick read. It was awkwardly cute but not my favorite of Penny Reid’s stories, but it easily filled a void until the next great Penny Reid book was released. You can easily read this novel as a stand alone, but Emily’s best friend is from Kissing Tolstoy so if you want, you can start with that novel first. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“This is one of those rare moments where I didn’t really enjoy a Penny Reid book but considering I adore the vast amount, I won’t worry. There are many fans of this book, just not me.” A Take From Two Cities

Click this link to purchase!* Kissing Galileo (Dear Professor)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I will receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Dating-ish (Knitting in the City #6) by Penny Reid- Audio Review

I am in love with the Knitting in the City series! Each time I read a book, I think ‘this is my favorite’! Until I read the next book in the series, which quickly surpasses the previous and becomes my favorite book in the series. This time, instead of reading, I decided to try out my new Romance Audible package on Amazon and listen to Dating-ish, narrated by Joy Nash. Boy was that a delight!

Marie, our heroine, is just about to cancel her subscription to an online dating service when she gets a notification that she has a PERFECT match! Excited at the prospect of meeting her perfect match, Marie eagerly meets this date at a local coffee house and proceeds to have the most confusing and weird first date she’s ever had before in her life! This strange man is her perfect match? After doing a dump and run, Marie runs into him again when her knitting group next meets. It’s a surprise to find that he’s the next door neighbor and childhood friend of her knitting buddy Fiona, but even more surprising is the fact that their date was part of a research project on what women want in a man. As it turns out, Matt is a scientist and is working on a project to create an compassionate AI (artificial intelligence) that will provide a person with all of the emotions they need from a mate. Marie is upset, horrified and angered that her perfect match was a fake! To get even, she blackmails Matt into letting her read his research for an article she’s going to write about how there are services available to facilitate emotional fulfillment. Think professional cuddlers, not hookers!

As Marie and Matt hang around each other, an undeniable chemistry is sparked, but as this is a slow burn novel, the two of them have plenty of hilarious emotional hijinks before their feelings become their reality. In typical Penny Reid fashion, these two odd ducks have found their perfect match, but they really have to work at the happy in their ending.

Part of the reason I love this series is because these characters are not new to us when we start the novel. Marie, as part of the knitting group is known as the level headed, organized friend. In fact, as a professional journalist, she can compartmentalize with the best of them, and we’ve seen her do this in the past. Matt, as Fiona’s neighbor, is also a familiar character. Although I didn’t quite realize how much of an emotional oddball he really was from our previous interactions. Joy Nash reads his character so well! Kind of aloof and very sciency in a nerd-voice. You’d have to listen to it to figure out what i’m talking about, but she does a great job! Marie’s narration is also spot on, and Joy Nash acts out the narration so that I feel as if I’m listening to a movie rather than someone reading from a book. She is seriously good!

Each book in the Knitting in the City series can be read as a stand alone. Be warned though, previous characters sometimes have big parts in our main characters romance, so it may be better to start at the beginning so that you don’t miss out on any subtle character arc’s. Although Marie and Matt’s romance is brilliant enough on its own merit. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I would have never thought a book about robots would be sexy but Penny Reid makes being smart sexy! Matt and Marie have an amazing love story. It is defiantly a slow burn kind of love story and it is so much fun to read. ” Cup of Tea Book Blog

“The book is full of computer and AI jokes and banter that should make you laugh. Marie and Matt are both complex characters with their own issues to deal with. And the cast of secondary characters, which has grown as the series has progressed, is charming as usual. ” Kat Vinson

Click this link to purchase!* Dating-ish (Knitting in the City) (Volume 6)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Love Hacked (Knitting in the City #3) by Penny Reid

The Knitting in the City series by Penny Reid follows a group of friends in Chicago who have formed a knitting group. They meet every Tuesday to drink, laugh and talk about each others lives, often solving problems and giving great advice (and sometimes not so great…). Love Hacked is Sandra’s story. In this group Sandra is always the level head, picking through everyone’s thoughts to find what drives them. Sandra is also trying to find love. Every other Friday she meets a new man at her favorite Indian restaurant hoping this guy will be the one and every Friday she is disappointed. Until one Friday after her latest date leaves in tears her waiter, Alex, sits down at her table.

Every time I read a Penny Reid novel I say to myself, this is my favorite novel of hers! Well, yes, this is my favorite novel to date. I’ve read every Winston Brothers novel (including Ashleys story which falls after this one in the Knitting series and is a prequel to the Winston series) and am making my way through this series, with luckily a ton of other books to mine of Penny Reid’s. They are all great books so why do I connect so much with Sandra and Alex’s story? I think all women have put themselves in Sandra’s shoes. At one point or another we’ve all wanted to find that special man that we’d live the rest of our lives with, hopefully fulfilled and loved. Of course, I didn’t have her talent for getting men to reveal their inner soul and leave the table in tears, (which was hilarious while at the same time kind of sad), but I could certainly put on those I want to be loved shoes. Really, it was her interaction with Alex that walked me over the line into loving this book so much.

Alex was an enigma wrapped in a conundrum and completely fascinating. His interactions with Sandra weren’t your normal interactions between a man and a woman who were attracted to each other. Sandra may have been the psychotherapist, but Alex was doing his own analysis of Sandra right back but at the same time throwing up walls to protect himself. Watching them tear down each others walls while coming to care for each other in a totally unique way was enthralling, gripping, and heart wrenching. And I ATE IT UP.

Needless to say, I loved this novel. I had picked it up so many times and put it down. I’m not sure why and am kicking myself for not enjoying their story before now. However, sometimes those novels that surprise you with their strength and your emotional impact to them are read when you need to read them. This was the perfect time for me. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!*Love Hacked: A Reluctant Romance (Knitting in the City) (Volume 3)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Friends Without Benefits (Knitting in the City #2) by Penny Reid

Elizabeth Finney has come a long way since her shy, skinny days in high school. She’s now a well respected doctor in Chicago and her looks are decidedly different. As soon as she see’s Nico Manganiello in her emergency room she slides right back into old bad habits. The two of them grew up together and had always  antagonized each other. Nico was the best friend of the boy she had loved who had died tragically in high school. When she see’s him all of those old feelings come back, including the back and forth bickering. What she doesn’t realize is that Nico has always been in love with her and he’s determined to show he’s worth her love in return.

Most of the Penny Reid novels I’ve read are more relationship building than sex and this novel is no different. The chemistry between these two characters is off the charts and you almost feel like you’ve been reading sex scenes after finishing an emotional exchange between these two characters, it’s that sizzling. Nico is a famous underwear model turned talk show host. He’s hot with a capital H and makes Liz feel small by comparison. Seeing him again drums up old feelings, including Liz feeling bullied by Nico in her youth. His past behavior was the typical tease the girl you love behavior, but Liz never got the message. She is gobsmacked when he reveals he’s always been in love with Liz and reluctant to let him back into her life.

This was not my favorite Penny Reid novel. It did have all of the humor and relationship building I’ve come to expect, but that hint of childhood bullying threw me off Nico a little bit. When Liz finally realizes her love for Nico I went all in on my feelings for them as a couple because I liked her character so much. I just wish I had liked Nico just a little bit more! I still really enjoyed reading this novel and love Penny Reid’s quirky characters and fun dialog. Reading her novels are always worth my time.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Friends without Benefits

Click this link to purchase! Friends Without Benefits: An Unrequited Romance (Knitting in the City) (Volume 2)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small stipend if you purchase through the above link.

This Chick Read: Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City #1) by Penny Reid

I have never had a friend like Janie Morris, you know, that friend that delivers too much information? OK, now that I think about it I may have had a few, and it’s usually really personal stuff that you just shouldn’t be sharing. Janie also has that TMI disease, however when she starts talking it’s usually extraneous facts and figures. She does this when she gets uncomfortable and no one makes her more uncomfortable than Quinn Sullivan. Quinn is that hot security guy at work that all the women whisper and steal glances at, and Janie is guilty of doing just that. However, when you are having the absolute worst day of your life, you find out your boyfriend cheated on you and you break up with him, you have to move out and you have no where to live, and you lose your job? You do not want THAT guy (aka Quinn Sullivan) to witness it. Just her luck, he’s the one who helps her pack up her things and escorts her out of the building. Obviously this is not the end of Josie and Quinn’s story, it’s just the beginning!

Recently I finished Beard in Mind (which I loved!) and was again entranced with Penny Reid’s style of writing. It’s engaging and funny but also packs an emotional punch. I didn’t want to let go! So, I thought I’d start a series that I hadn’t read of hers, and has a ton of books. That is the Knitting in the City series. Just as with the Brothers Winston, this book had kooky characters that while flying solo may be a bit nutty, but when together make the perfect matched set. Quinn and Josie were Salt and Pepper, that matched set.

Quinn played the straight man to Josie’s kooky mess. When she was spouting information he followed her train of thought, asking her questions to keep the conversation rolling. Who knows what was going on in his own mind at times, he was so stoic, but she seemed to bring out an inner light in him that seemed to be missing.

This novel was so much fun to read. Light, fun, and had all the emotions you would want in a romance. The best thing? There are seven more in the series! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Neanderthal

Click this link to purchase! Neanderthal Seeks Human: A Smart Romance (Knitting in the City) (Volume 1)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small stipend if you purchase through the above link.

This Chick Read: Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers #4) by Penny Reid

I have been waiting for Beau Winston’s story. Twin to Duane, Beau is his complete opposite, charming, handsome, funny and loved by everyone.  We saw just a hint of Beau’s turmoil of his new co-worker Shelly in Cletus’s story in Beard Science. Shelly, who is drop dead gorgeous but is socially inept. Beau loves her at first site, but then hates her when he realizes how rude she is, but it’s that kind of hate that rides the line of love and in Beard in Mind we see Beau cross that line into love and we are given insight into why Shelly is rude and impervious to Beau’s charm.

Shelly was a fascinating character. She was seriously flawed, in therapy, and very infatuated with Beau. When Beau finally see’s past the fact that Shelly didn’t fall at his feet, he opens his eyes to why she is the way she is and he is all in. No hesitation. I loved that about him. Shelly has some serious issues, she is OCD to a level I’ve never read before and she needs Beau with a capital N, and Beau needs her back in just the same way. This was a LOVE story full of trepidation, self awareness, and charm. It had a sweetness that was different than the other stories in this series. It didn’t have Duane and Jess’s sizzle, Jethro and Sienna’s humor, and Cletus and Jennifer’s oddity. It was singular in it’s own uniqueness and I enjoyed it a lot.

In addition to the love story between Shelly and Beau, we also had a story filled with the Winston family dynamic. I want to adopt myself into this family. Even though they are a strange bunch, they love each other infinitely. How nice is that? ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Beard in MInd

Click this link to purchase! Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers Book 4)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chicks Sunday Brunch Book Tag

Good Morning everyone!  I have gotten a little behind on writing my weekly Sunday Commentary. So, I’m sitting in my chair, laptop on my lap, dreaming of a big breakfast (that someone else would cook) and mulling over some books I have recently read when I thought Breakfast… Books… Breakfast…. Books. Wait, those two things go together splendidly! There’s nothing I like better than reading a book while eating breakfast. The next time you find yourself eating one of these meals, try doing it while reading these books or one of your own.

The American Classic- Eggs, Bacon and Toast

eggs-bacon-toastCome Sundown What matches up perfectly with our American Grand Slam breakfast? Come Sundown by Nora Roberts. Bodine Longbow is running the resort side of her family’s business. She is not looking for love but she definitely finds it when Cal Skinner moves back home. Their love story is the perfect silky fried egg that you eat with toast. That piece of crisp bacon is the family drama that sideswipes your emotions taking this novel beyond a normal romance. Perfection is often what you can easily grab out of your refrigerator and make. Yep, that’s Nora Roberts to a tee!

Cinnamon Roll– An oooey, gooey wrapped up bundle of goodness. OMG….

Cinnamon-Rollimage-1 Really any Kristen Ashley novel is a guilty pleasure. It’s like that cinnamon roll that sits on the plate in front of you. You gaze at it longingly knowing that once you start eating it you won’t be able to put it down until you have licked the last bit of frosting off the plate. For me, that’s a Kristen Ashley novel. I stared at The Time In Between on my kindle and waited until I knew I had the time to read it straight through to the finish. It did not disappoint, just as that cinnamon roll never has… I wish I had one of each right now!

The Denver Omelet- with Cheese please!

Denver OMeletimg_1155  Penny Reid has written a wonderfully charming series about the Winston Brothers. These novels are quirky, fun, and have a ton of heart, just like a Denver Omelet. You have a hearty omelet filled with crunchy peppers and onion, and oh those bits of ham provide that bit of decadence and fun. In my world, I always add cheese, because well, cheese makes everything better. In the Winston Brothers world, Cletus is the cheese. If you’ve read these books, you know what I mean…

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes- 

Fluffy-Pumpkin-Pancakes-with-Butter-1img_0746 Who doesn’t love a stack of fluffy, buttery, dripped in syrup pancakes? I love them! This year I discovered the Others series by Anne Bishop. You may wonder how an urban fantasy series matches up with a stack of spicy pumpkin pancakes? Well, just as with this stack, you look at it and see pancakes. Yes, the butter is melting on the top of the stack, and the syrup is dripping off the sides. You think you know what you’re going to get. Then you take that first bite, and pow! The cinnamon and pumpkin flavor hit your taste buds. Surprise! Then you dig in and gobble up that stack. That’s exactly how I felt about this series. I had seen it and thought someday… Then when I actually picked it up and took that first bite? Wow…

The Egg Cup-

egg cupimg_1211-1 The egg cup. Oh so very civil and proper. You tap it with your spoon until you crack through the top and then eat the insides out of the shell. Alexander Rostov, the gentleman in A Gentleman in Moscow is the epitomy of civilized. Even though he is under house arrest in the grand Metropol hotel he is always elegant, cultured and charming. He and this egg in a cup had a lot in common. Smooth veneer, but with a little work you would taste that silky goodness that resides inside. All in a very civilized manner, of course!

This breakfast tag was so much fun to put together!  Warning though, if you choose to take part in this tag you will crave a massive breakfast at the end of it!

I am going to tag a few of my blogger friends. If you don’t feel like partaking, don’t worry about it!  If you do, pls tag me so I can read your breakfast match ups…

Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books

any of the ladies at Thrice Read

James @ This is My Truth Now

Eva@ Novel Deelights

Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books

Have fun with it!  Until next Sunday, (I’m off to make breakfast now!)

Deb

 

 

This Chick Read: Beard Science (Winston Brothers #3) by Penny Reid

Why did I wait so long to read this novel??!!  I’ve owned it since December and well, I guess I was worried about Cletus. If you are a fan of these novels, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Cletus makes a great quirky side character, and he was my favorite. How would that quirky weirdness translate into a romance hero? I’ll admit, when the novel first started and he declared that he and a different woman would suit, I had to read the synopsis again.  Wasn’t he supposed to be with Jennifer, the Banana Cake Queen? Yep, that other woman was just a red herring.  When the point of view switched to Jennifer, and I realized her scheme to get Cletus’s help, I knew he had no chance. Jennifer was going to steal his heart.

Cletus was just as quirky as he was in the first two novels, but the insight into his character showed that the quirkiness was actually a shield that he put up to protect himself. Jennifer, a rather odd duck herself, snuck under his defenses and pretty soon he was determined to win her for his own, forgetting Shelly, the woman he’d thought suited him at the beginning of the novel. Good thing, because Shelly is meant for his brother Beau.

Jennifer was a heroine you really wanted to root for. Treated horribly by her family and treated as a joke by the town you couldn’t wait to watch her grow into herself. I loved that she was just as unique and quirky as Cletus. They seem to be a perfect match.

Each time I read a Winston Brothers novel I worry about it not being able to live up to my enjoyment of the novel before, but once again, I didn’t need to worry. Cletus and Jennifer’s story, while different than the first two, was just as great. This family from Tennessee is charming, unusual and all are perfect gentlemen with their ladies. Their courtships are all unique and Penny Reid does a great job of maintaining the originality of the storyline yet catching the correct tone of a Tennessee southern vibe.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click link to purchase! Beard Science (Winston Brothers Book 3) (Volume 3)

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

This Chick Read: Grin and Beard It (Winston Brothers #2) by Penny Reid

I fell in love with the Winston brothers while reading Truth or Beard, the first book in this series. These boys have southern charm, southern names, and an aw shucks intelligence that reels you in. Oh and they all have beards. Hence the clever titles of their books. Grin and Beard it is the story of Jethro and how he falls for Sienna Diaz, a movie star who he has never seen nor heard of, dropped into his small town to film a movie. Jethro, who is a park ranger by trade, helps Sienna, a damsel in distress, lost on the way to her film shoot. Continue reading “This Chick Read: Grin and Beard It (Winston Brothers #2) by Penny Reid”