I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
by Penny Reid
Released: August 1st 2017
Series: Winston Brothers #4
Published by Self Published
“Beard in Mind was an unexpectedly touching and insightful romance”
~ Under the Covers
You know what I have learnt? Never listen to Penny Reid. I’ve been seeing posts on Facebook on the run up of the Beard in Mind release where she seems to be apologising. Apologising! And you know what? Damn right she should be sorry. Only, not for the reasons she thinks. Every year I have to wait for what seems an eternity for the next one. What I want to know is, why? Why can’t she publish more frequently? It’s not fair that each year I get stuck in this cycle of having to wait agggggges to get my next injection of Winston Brothers goodness.
You may have guessed by now…but I loved Beard in Mind. And what I love about Penny Reid’s book is, ironically, why my reviews all sound very similar; they’re unique. Each book taking a slightly different and more thoughtful look at concepts in romance that are worn out and tired and taking a more modern and intelligent gander at them. And I love it. I find myself laughing, swooning and thinking all at once, which makes reading these books in public completely out of the question. A thinking, gigging swooner isn’t a pretty sight.
I am also a little ashamed. Until I read this I wasn’t that excited about Beau Winston. I should have had more faith. Because, like with actual people Beau was both more than I thought he was and more than he thought he was. He had hidden depths. Depths that I was gleefully paddling around in in this book. And then there was Shelly, a familiar character if you have read the Knitting in the City series, and Reid once again presents us with a character who is more than just the sum of her cliches. The romance between them was all the usual sexy and sweet etc, but it was also a little raw and provoked nuances in each character that we hadn’t seen before.
What I particularly liked about this book, was the way she treated Shelly and Shelly’s mental illness. I know, saying mental illness sounds so dramatic and scary, but Shelly has OCD. And not in the casual throwaway sense people use as a short hand for tidy. I mean, as in the actual definition you would find in the DSM. As someone who knows a little something about mental illness, I really appreciated Reid’s way of looking at the subject. She wasn’t some object to be fixed by the hero, as fantastic as Beau was, OCD had shaped her life but she was striving to not let it consume it. At different points in the book I found Shelly to be both heartbreaking and inspiring; Reid has crafted a character I am not likely to forget.
So, the morale of this story? Ignore Penny Reid when she’s talking smack about her books, she doesn’t know what she’s on about. Beard in Mind was an unexpectedly touching and insightful romance, unfortunately I don’t have Reid’s skill with words to relate exactly how fantastic this book was. So, in my own meagre words: it good, go read it.
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Annnnnd I will stop myself there, before I start waxing lyrical about my love of historical romance and fantasy as well; no one needs to know about my elf fantasies. As you can tell, I adore and day dream about most romance genres, and my three big loves are 1) reading about romance 2) writing about romance and 3) talking about romance with my gals. Which, is why I love Under the Covers so much, I get all my bookish needs satisfied and don’t get judged when I talk about my favourite characters like they are real people. Which they are right?