Monday, October 6, 2014

**Blog Tour Review, Author Interview & Giveaway** BEAUTY AND THE MUSTACHE (Knitting in the City #4) by Penny Reid

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Blitz and Tour: Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid


There are three things you need to know about Ashley Winston: 1) She has six brothers and they all have beards, 2) She is a reader, and 3) She knows how to knit. 

Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous— local Game Warden, reclusive mountain man, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee. 

This is a full-length novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the fourth book in the 'Knitting in the City' series.


Drew was now two feet away. “You say fine, but I know you’re going to go back in there and sleep on that cot again tonight.”
I gave him my stone face. This wasn’t any of his business. I wasn’t his business. What I did or didn’t do wasn’t his business. But for some reason, my brothers and my momma had invited the entitled Dr. Runous into their lives and given him the reins. 
I could do nothing about that, but I didn’t have to like it.
Brow furrowed, mouth stern, eyes piercing, Drew stepped closer. I was forced to tilt my head backward to maintain eye contact, and my silly heart began to pound out a staccato rhythm. 
Whether I liked it or not, whether it was convenient or not, Drew’s proximity affected me. I was awake to him now, fully aware. I might have been barely going through the motions and neglecting my personal hygiene; nevertheless, he was an irritating reminder that I was very much a woman, and my body responded to silver-eyed, fictionally handsome men—especially when this man seemed to make it his mission to look after my momma and brothers.
“Ash, Sugar, you need to take better care of yourself.” His voice dipped, deepened, and became soft and coaxing. He lifted his hand and pushed the hair behind my neck, his hand lingering for a beat. The back of his fingers brushed against my shoulder down to my elbow, making me fight against a shiver. 
Then, abruptly, he snatched his hand back as if he hadn’t realized what he was doing. 
“Don’t call me Sugar, I’m not your Sugar.” I said this dumbly and without energy, my neck hot and itchy. I had the strangest, most insane desire to press and/or rub myself against him. He was so ludicrously manly and gorgeous and swoony.
“You can’t hide the sweetness, Ashley. It’s not something to be ashamed of.”
“I’m not sweet.” This emerged somewhat breathlessly. 
“Yes. Yes you are. You are working yourself to ragged taking care of your momma. You’re so sweet you’re giving me a stomach ache and cavities.” He said the words as though he were both impressed and aggravated, and he said them suddenly, as if he hadn’t planned to speak them out loud. 
He was looking at me with the same intensity he’d employed that night in my room when Sandra was sizing him up. He was looking at me like I was sugar, like I was cake covered in frosting, and he couldn’t decide whether he wanted to bite me or lick me first. 
I held my breath as I watched him, wondering what he was going to do, wondering if I would stop him. His eyes grew unfocused as he gazed at my lips, our heads inching closer. 
The sound of voices from inside the house broke the spell, and Drew stiffened. His gaze moved over my face like he was surprised to see me there. Drew must’ve disliked what he found because his scowl intensified and his eyes narrowed into slits. Then, abruptly, he turned away.
His tone was clipped and low as he said, “Infuriating woman.” 



Why have I not read this series before book 4?!  I'm idiot that's why.   Beauty and Mustache is a romantic comedy and there is knitting involved (my two favorite things) so I had to jump on this book!  Penny Reid just zoomed to the top of my TBR list for damn sure (and I may have gone to Amazon minutes after finishing this book to buy the entire series).  Beauty and the Mustache blew me away!  I was expecting a fun story and hoping I would like this new to me Author, but what I ended up with was a book so rich, powerful and deep that I am in awe with Penny Reid and her ability to put words on a page and create magic.  I think I knew I was going to love this story on page 2, when Ashly declared she "was a ninja of mind over matter" and I was right.  I could not put this down and refused to stop reading for silly things like going to sleep so I stayed up all night reading one of the most surprisingly awesome stories I have read in months!  

Beauty and the Mustache sucks you in with its charm, wit, and hilarious encounters in just the first few pages but then Penny Reid takes the readers on a journey of unexpected/life-changing discoveries that will have you laughing, crying, praying and falling in love.  While I LOVE Penny Reid's writing style with its mix of snark, wit, intelligence and honesty it is her characters that stole the show.  I can't stop thinking about Ashley and Drew days after reading this story.  They were so real (yes, I get they are fictional) and I felt such a connection to them that is truly is hard to be "done" with this story.  Not only did Penny Reid create incredible main characters she infused such richness and realness to the Winston brothers, the knitting friends, Ashley's mom and the nurses.  Every character was placed perfectly in this story and added something to the mix and that is a crazy amazing talent that very few Authors have.  I wanted to sit around the kitchen table in the Winston house and just hang out with everyone and at times in the story you forget you are reading words on a page and not really there with the brothers, Drew and Ashley.  I can't wait to see what Penny Reid does with the brothers Winston, they charmed me and stole my heart.

However, as much as I loved the secondary characters (and it was a lot), I loved Ashley instantaneously.  She was quirky, strong and getting ready to have her whole life change.  Reading Ashley's POV for this story was fascinating.  I loved getting to see how her perspective changes as the chapters go by, how she was dealt with all the unexpected and how she truly loved her family.  Ashley's character is probably one of my favorite female characters ever!  I loved her and having gone through a very similar situation with my family recently she struck a cord with deep within me and I was in awe of the strength she shined with.  Ashley was a sweet, funny, caring person that has to learn that sometimes being strong means letting someone help you keep standing and the struggle she had with the emotions that Drew brings out was entertaining and heart-warmingly glorious. 

Drew!!  What an amazing puzzle Penny Reid created in this character!  When we meet Drew you think he is going to be this crazy alpha male that will take control and take over, but then our assumptions are shattered when we discover what an amazing soul Drew truly is. While Drew's character is intense, he isn't overwhelming, he is the type of man you want in a crisis and the type of man you can't help but hand your heart to (like I did).   I haven't had goosebumps with a single story as much as I did reading the interactions between Ashley and Drew, the quarrels, the poetry and that first kiss (swoon) I ate it all up and craved more.  I loved their chemistry and the way Penny Reid let their relationship unfold, change and take off!  What starts off on a very funny and humiliating first encounter, blossoms into a once in a lifetime kind of thing and I wanted the story to go on forever.

Penny Reid you amaze me!  I can't think of another story that moved me to tears then had me chuckling soon after.  Beauty and the Mustache was a beautiful story about so much more than finding love, it was about reconnecting, rediscovery and learning that even what you couldn't get away from fast enough years ago might just be the exact thing you need right now.  

If you have never read a Penny Reid book, you MUST!  You can read this book as a standalone and have no issues with connecting with the story (I didn't) so go get Beauty and the Mustache today and see why I am rambling on so much.  If you are one of the smart people reading this review and have read Penny Reid before you know that you are getting a fabulous story and I can't wait for you to read about Ashley, Drew and the Winston brothers.  

Go buy Beauty and the Mustache, I am going to be clearing my schedule so I can marathon read this series from the beginning (and maybe stalk Penny Reid on Ravelry)!



Learn more about the Knitting in the City Series:

Penny Reid- All Covers  
(click on photo to learn more about the series)


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.