[647]: Truth or Beard by Penny Reid

23314731 Truth or Beard by Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers, #1
Caped Publishing | July 21st, 2015
Adult Fiction | Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

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?

I know, I know. I’m reading this series out of order. But the beauty of  The Winston Brothers is that the order doesn’t matter. Just read them lest you’ll miss out on this breed of bearded hotness. Also, have I mentioned how much I hate facial hair? Like, I make my husband shave as soon as I feel the prickles of his stubble. But for some reason, I can’t get enough of bearded men in my fictional world. Weird, huh?

This is the first book to The Winston Brothers series. It’s the story of  Duane, the other half of the twins in the family. While Beau can charm the habit off a nun, Duane, on the other hand, can exact the same results but with him being all broody and surly. Jessica James has been in love with Beau all her life. But in a case of mistaken identity, she found herself sexually molesting the wrong brother. To her horror, she’d mistaken Duane for Beau. She’d hated Duane for as long as she’s been in love with Beau. But after the shock wore off, Duane and Jessica acknowledged that there was something there no matter how firmly resolved Jess was to denying it.

What Jess doesn’t know was that Duane has been in love her from afar. He thought it was time for him to man up. But when he did, Jess was skittish at best for reasons other than that she in want with the wrong brother. See, Jess has grand plans of getting out of their Tennesse town and seeing the world. That’s why she doesn’t get involved in relationships. She doesn’t want to be tied down. So they make a deal. One year then they cut ties. Just like that. Snorts. As if that agreement ever works in the history of relationships. The world has other plans. Jessica slowly falls in love with Duane. Or maybe she’s always been. Maybe her resentment all these years belies the fact that she was obsessing over Beau because he was the safe one. They have other problems, though. Duane got himself tangled with the Skulls, the motorcycle club his dad was the president of years ago. Thanks to Jethro, he might have no choice but to break up with Jessica just to keep her safe. Other than the fact that the Skulls have threatened everyone that he loves, Duane also refused to be the reason for the death of Jessica’s dream.

You know, the plot may sound simple and something that’s been recycled into something else, but Penny has a way of giving life to her stories and characters that make them fresh to the readers’ eyes once again. Her novels have an immersive quality to it that’s a number one requirement in romance novels.  What I enjoy best about these novels is the family dynamics between siblings. They all have each other’s backs no matter what. I especially love Cletus and the way he watches out for all his siblings. He’s hilarious and slightly obsessed with his sausage (don’t ask). This series is so much fun. If you haven’t read any of Ms. Reid’s books, then you’re missing out on fantastic stories you’d want to keep going back to when you’re in need of a feel-good, laugh-out-loud reads. Highly recommended!



  • karina

    Cletus’s book is next! I CAN NOT WAIT! :))) Awesome review, J.!

  • Whoo 😀 I’m so glad you loved this one sweetie. <3 YAY! And lol at reading them out of order 🙂 But nothing wrong with that ;p I haven't had a boyfriend before. Ack. So I'm not sure if I like beards or not. But.. well. I'm thinking not, haha 😀

  • Who doesn’t want a guy with a beard… It kinda makes you think what he can do with it!! * Snickers * I’ve read a lot of good reviews about this book… good to see you liked it!

  • Cletus sounds like a hilarious character, what? Lol bearded men don’t interest me in the slightest, but I’m glad you found something you enjoyed about this book, Joy.

  • Ooh, this sounds like a fun one. I must say, I am sick of the hipster beard trend in real life, lol. I don’t mind a little stubble, but I can’t deal with a full on beard.

    • I can’t deal with facial hair in real life. Lol.

  • This was a lot of fun. I wasn’t a fan of beards before, but the thought of them now kind of intrigues me. Maybe all the scruff could feel rather interesting? Lol! Wonderful review, Joy! 🙂

    • Yes. Ack. In real life, I imagine they would feel like a million spider legs crawling on my skin!

  • This is an author that I really need to read sooner rather than later. I keep seeing such good things about all of her books. I think I have one hanging out on my kindle that I should dig out and start working. I couldn’t agree with you more about the beards. They are great in fiction but in real life – keep it away from me. 🙂

    • You should read it! Perfect Chemistry is a personal favourite of mine. Start with that!

  • Finally, someone else who hates facial hair! I enjoyed the books she wrote with L.H. Cosway, so I may have to grab these!

  • Lauren Becker

    Sounds like a fun read! I haven’t heard anything about this book, but I do believe I saw the cover recently! Thanks for sharing – I’m glad to hear it was a good read.


    • Oh, these books are so much fun! You should get on that, Lauren.

  • I hate facial hair too, but I think I may still read this series, sounds good 🙂

    • Hahahah! I’m glad I’m not the only one. They feel weird.

  • OH Penny, I want to read you but alas, real life sucks right now and I can barely escape from its clutches.

  • I should totally read this one!

  • I’m a sucker for the hate-turns-to-love trope! (Also, new layout! Love it!)

    • Who isn’t? Fave romance trope! And thanks!

  • I’ve read one of these… I can’t remember which one!

    • I wouldn’t be surprised. She’s written so many!

  • Victoria (aka zEmfIrKa)

    Just finished Grin and Beard It. 🙂 Love me some Penny Reid books! Always quirky and fun. 🙂

    • I do believe you and Karina got me into Penny Reid!

  • Good to hear that she manages to give life to the characters

  • I can’t wait to try this one! I really liked her other books.

  • I love that this isn’t something new but the author makes it feel that way. Wonderful review!

  • I read this last year and had a blast reading it. It was funny and romantic! And hahaha! I feel you about the beards. I hate them IRL but in fictional guys, I love em!
    I’m going to have to pick up more books by Penny Reid. She’s a fun author. 🙂
    Great review, Joy!

    • I love beards as long as they don’t touch my skin. Hahahah!

  • Ooh, hipster beards! My hubby has a beard, but more a case of being too lazy to shave all the time, but I like it when it’s maintained rather than the mountain man look. This sounds like an absolute delight. I tend to shy away from a lot of romance reads because they tend to be typically just the two main characters, lots of drama and sex. I can’t decide if that cover is cute or horrendous though, not something you’d be seen reading out in public regardless 😀 awesome review Joy, going to add it to the wishlist <3

    • But how does it feel on your skin, though? I can imagine it’s ticklish?

  • Olivia-Savannah

    A change in comment section? Okay! When I saw the cover at first I was sure that I was reading the review of the other book and had done something wrong because they are pretty much exactly the same! But then I read the synopsis and realised this one was different xD I think this one sounds funny – ending up making passes on the wrong guy, coming to this agreement and then falling for him. I love it 😀

    • Sigh. And another change. Gah. Someone needs to slap my hand every time I get the aching to change things up. >.<