Truth or Beard by Penny Reid // Review + Excerpt

March 02, 2021


I had an odd thought just then, that I should only ever whisper her name, and that she should always be close enough to hear it.


Truth or Beard by Penny Reid


Standalone - Winston Brothers #1
Release - July 21, 2015
Genre - RomCom
Dual POV - 1st person/Duane Winston & Jessica James
Heat Level - 3 out of 5/pretty plain & vague
Format/Source - Kindle purchase
Length - 392 pages
Publisher - Cipher-Naught

Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!

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?

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3dYewG7
Nook: https://bit.ly/3bOwyrE
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/truth-or-beard
iBooks: https://apple.co/3bQlY3m



I can't get enough of the Winstons and after reading this series out of order, I always knew I was going to make my way to the beginning. I'm so glad I did! Loving Duane Winston is easy. He's a broody, charming, honorable, gorgeous mess of a man and I thoroughly enjoyed knowing him. He had loved Jessica James for most of his life and when he finally gets the chance to claim her, he wastes no time.

There's only one problem... Jessica believes that it's his twin, Beau, who has a chance of winning her heart. Duane was the her constant tormentor, the one person she argued with the most, her prank buddy, someone who didn't even like her very much. When she realizes his true feelings (and her own), she's quick to jump in with both feet and it was wonderful to watch.

I loved these two together for the most part. This story was hilarious! Honestly, I wasn't a fan of the beginning or the end, but everything in between was incredible.
I was going to kiss her.

But first I was going to strangle her.

“Duane…” She said my name again in that breathless way, making my neck itch and my throat tight.

Jessica was looking at me expectantly. Her big amber eyes on mine like I was the center of her world. I liked it too much. It was also irritating because I didn’t know what it meant, what she was thinking. She hadn’t said a damn word to me on our walk back from the lake. She hadn’t called me. We hadn’t spoken since Friday.

Five days. Five days without touching or tasting her.

I was going to kiss her while I strangled her.

“Yeah?” I said, the edge of my irritation clear. I wasn’t trying to hide it, there was no need. One way or the other we were coming to an agreement that involved definites, not definitely maybes. Better she knew I wasn’t planning on rolling over unless it involved her beneath me.

Jessica blinked at me, likely because of my tone, and I watched her shake herself a little like I’d startled her.

“Uh, so… the truck.” She cleared her throat, her eyes sliding to the side and away from me.

“What about the truck?”

“You towed it.”

“Yes I did.” I allowed myself a moment to look at her body. She was wearing a pink shirt with buttons down the front, thin fabric with a white, lacy tank top under. It was tucked into a tan skirt that ended at her knees. She was also wearing brown high heeled boots, the kind that don’t make sense.

Boots are for working, for walking through wet mud, for keeping feet from getting shredded by broken glass and falling machine parts. Boots with spiked heels were just as practical as sandals with steel toes.

Still not looking at me, she asked, “So, you want to buy it?” Her voice was different, higher pitched.

“That’s what I just said.” Again, my irritation was clear.

Her eyes cut to mine, throwing me splinters of frustration. “Well there’s no need to be rude, Duane.”

“I’m sorry, was I being rude?” I couldn’t help myself, I took a full step forward, forcing her to lift her chin to keep eye contact. “Should I have called?”

“Yes.” She ground out, “You can’t just tow other peoples’ cars without asking.”

“Excuse me, princess. But Mike McClure called me and asked me if I minded moving the truck here. I figured he was calling on your behalf.”

“No he wasn’t calling on my behalf. If I wanted to call you, I would have just called you.”

I felt those words in my stomach, just under my ribs, a quick slice. I’m sure I winced because her expression changed, but before she could explain away her meaning, I cut her off.

“Fine, I get you, loud and clear.”

“Duane-”

I lifted my hands to keep her from talking. She was so lovely, even her voice was pretty. But suddenly I couldn’t wait for her to leave and put me out of this misery of being with her when she wasn’t interested in being mine.

“We want to buy the truck and I’m willing to offer you a fair amount.”

“Would you just hold on a sec-” Jessica took my hand between hers, her grip surprisingly strong, her skin against mine sending a shock up my arm. I ignored it and ground my teeth.

“You can use the money for a new car, something smaller that gets better mileage.”

Paying no heed, Jessica took a half step forward catching me unawares. One second she was glaring at me, the next she was lifting to her tip toes and brushing her lips against mine.

And that was it, I was done for.

Penny Reid is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers, Knitting in the City, Rugby, and Hypothesis series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

For more about Penny Reid and her books, check out her website: http://pennyreid.ninja/

2 comments

  1. This series was so much fun! I'm glad you're enjoying it - even out of order. This was my least favorite in the series, I think.

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    Replies
    1. This was definitely my least favorite of the bunch. I didn't like that Duane had to give up so much just to be with Jessica. Her 'need' was silly, irresponsible and childish and I didn't get it. It took away a huge part of my like for this book.

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