Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Book Review: Truth or Beard by Penny Reid

Truth or Beard
By Penny Reid
Release Date: July 21, 2015
Source: Own Copy
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?

I was so excited to read Truth or Beard because I have heard nothing but amazing things about this series. I was lucky enough to meet Penny Reid back in March and it was such a pleasure! I was definitely looking forward to diving into my signed copy of this book!

Jessica James may still live at home and teach high school math, but she has dreams of going out, traveling, and seeing the world. Everyone in her town knows each other, which means the Winston brothers are definitely known by all. Duane and Beau Winston may be twins, but they couldn't be more opposite. When Jessica finds herself spending more time with Duane, she realizes the brooding, silent man is much more complicated than he seems. Duane has always liked Jessica, but with the mess he's found himself in and the knowledge that Jessica wants nothing more than to get out in the world while he has so many responsibilities at home, Duane knows it'll never work between them. But when Jessica finally reciprocates his feelings, can he really let go? 

For some reason, I found this book so hard to get into. I read about 150 pages in May, but didn't actually pick up and finish the book until the very end of June. I don't know what it was, but I just couldn't connect with Jessica and I wasn't a huge fan of her relationship with Duane. I didn't really care about their romance and I found it weird how they started their relationship with the deal that it would only last a year. While I understood the circumstances, I just didn't care for it. 

As for the whole part where Duane was in some trouble with a motorcycle gang, I just didn't care and felt like they got out of that whole situation a little too easily. And what happened with Jessica's Aunt happened too abruptly and was just summarized instead of giving us the actual moment where we could authentically see Jessica's reaction to the news. I did start to enjoy Jessica and Duane's relationship as they started to realize that their feelings were serious, but it did go from lust to love a bit too quickly for my taste. 

In the end, I just didn't really care for this book. I really wanted to like it because it has such good ratings, but I didn't like the main character and couldn't connect with the romance. While this may have been a miss for me, I definitely want to try out Penny Reid's other series.

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