Published by Self Published
Copy for review provided by Indiesage in exchange for an honest review.
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.
So, I have this thing about reading in order. It’s not a secret. Apparently, my resolve is slipping and yet every time I do it, I cuss myself over it. Am I cussing myself over this book? HELL NO.
Today (the day you may read this) is my birthday, but honestly? I feel like I’m giving you the gift. I already got one from Ms. Reid because this effing book is fanfreakingtastic, with a capital EFF.
This series has been on my radar for MONTHS. MONTHS. I remember seeing Ms. Reid at Book Bash in June and thinking, “I need to read those books.” So, I came in on book 4. I regret nothing. NOTHING. (Well, maybe the fact that it took me this long to get to this series)
See, I have a thing for funny and smart books written by super witty/snarky authors. Let me clarify the snarky part. There is a certain amount and kind of snark that I appreciate. Some authors write snarky characters for shits and giggles and to add an OTT edge to a book or characters. I am not a fan of that kind of snark. Ms. Reid’s snark is my kind of snark, it’s the kind of stuff I hear my friends saying and that makes me laugh my ass off. As for the intelligent stuff? How about a hot Viking guy quoting Nietzsche? And poetry? Side note: Believe it or not, I was an English education major for awhile in college and I have a huge weak spot for poetry. HUGE. Walt Whitman totally “melts the butter” off my biscuit. Drew melted my resolve and gave me hot flashes. He was just so delicious. Quiet, caring and protective of the whole Winston family. I loved him.
Ashley was a trip. I truly enjoyed her character and she had me laughing from the first few pages of the book. You are out of your ever lovin’ mind if you aren’t laughing your ass off within 1%. I will come hunt you down and it will NOT be pretty.
The Winston Brothers. Six brothers and six beards. Did I mention that I have a thing for beards?
Those six brothers have a series all their own coming out in 2015 and I cannot wait! Winston Brothers series. As I read this book, I used a graphic that had pics of the brothers for reference. I had my Kindle in my lap and my iPad next to me, so whenever a brother spoke, I had a visual reference and I’m sharing it with you. HERE YOU GO. (You can thank me later for that.)
Oh and thank the baby Jesus for an author that can write southern characters that do not sound like uneducated rednecks or characters from Gone With the Wind.
I wish that this new breed of author would get more attention for the quality of their work. Penny Reid, you are officially on my list of badass, funny and intelligent writers. I don’t think I’ll be able to read the other books fast enough.
“Fine. You want to know my type?”
He half nodded, half shrugged, but his eyes were bright and betrayed his interest. “Sure.”
“Okay.” I crossed my arms over my chest. “My type has a romantic soul. He’ll make my brain and my heart fight over who gets him first. He does what’s right, even when it’s not easy—actually, especially when it’s not easy. He knows the value of discipline, education, honor, and restraint. And his strength of character is the only thing that outweighs the strength of his love for me.”
Drew’s eyes flickered across my face as I spoke. The earlier sobriety in his gaze sharpened; otherwise, he held perfectly still.
I readied myself to be mocked. But it didn’t come.
Several seconds passed during which we regarded each other like two wary statues. The air grew thick and my neck itched; it felt like a pressing weight on my shoulders. But the heaviness was weighted with a meaning I was likely too tired and aggravated to process.
When I could take no more of his steady silent stare, I added, “That’s my type. You know, fictional.”
I didn’t miss his wince or the way his shoulders bunched at my use of the word fictional, which he found so offensive. I surmised fictional was his least favorite f-word. In response, I gave him a rueful smile.
“Fictional,” he said in a flat, emotionless tone.
I nodded. “That’s right. Fictional.”
“You think no man exists who has honor?”
“You tell me, Nietzsche.”
He wrinkled his nose as though my words gave him a bad taste in his mouth. “Nietzsche wasn’t opposed to honor. He wanted people to challenge established societal norms that suffocate individuality and freedom.”
I shook my head, annoyed that I was now forced to quote Nietzsche. “Okay, you give me no option, Drew. Here’s Nietzsche, and I quote: ‘To strive for honor means to make oneself superior and wish that that also be publicly evident. If the first is lacking and the second nevertheless desired, one speaks of vanity. If the latter is lacking and not missed, one speaks of pride.’ Nietzsche equated honor with pride and vanity.”
Drew stared at me, his eyes filled with wonder. “How did you…?”
“Of course you’re surprised. You think women are cows.” While he was distracted, I picked up my fork and nabbed a large bite of his pecan pie. It was good pie, and if he wasn’t going to eat it then I would.
Just for fun, I said, “Moo.”
At length Drew released a long-suffering sigh that ended with a laugh. He shook his head, staring at me like I was a fascinating new species. I liked how his white teeth were framed by his lips and beard when he grinned. I hated that I noticed.
“Your ability to quote Nietzsche verbatim is incredibly annoying,” he finally admitted.
“Is it?” I lifted my eyebrow and stole another bite of his pie, pausing before I stuffed my face to say, “Or is it fantastic?”
“It’s fantastic…” he mumbled, his eyes lowering to my mouth, “…and sexy.”
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