YOU GUYS I can’t tell if I like this author or if she makes me want to stab my eyes out. I think it’s both? This is how I feel when I watch, I don’t know, True Blood. I’m simultaneously entertained but I also hate myself for watching it and I hate most of the characters.
I didn’t hate everyone in Truth or Beard by I found myself confounded by many of their actions and thoughts and parts of this plot were just outright WHAAAAA.
Anyway. We first met the Winston brothers in Beauty and the Mustache, the fourth book in Reid’s Knitting in the City series, where Ashley Winston comes home to her dying mother and bearded brothers and falls in love with an Outlander-type. This kicks off the Winston Brothers series, and the first novel, Truth or Beard, focuses on Duane.
Duane is the surlier of the Winston twins. Jessica James (which my brain really wants to read as Jessica Jones for obvious reasons) has been in love with the other twin, Beau, for her entire life. She comes back to town after college, and is nervous about meeting Beau again. She downright doesn’t want to meet Duane again because the two have never gotten along, constantly arguing and playing pranks on the other.
You can see where this is going.
Obviously, Duane has been in love with Jessica forever and that’s why he’s mean. The two meet again and sparks fly, despite Jessica’s better judgement. She knows the two will never be together because she’s only in town to save enough money to travel the world. In the grand scheme of “things that are keeping our two heroes apart,” this one’s pretty yawnworthy.
Adding to the complications are threats by members of a biker gang, a former girlfriend, and Jessica’s well-meaning (?) brother. Duane’s attitude toward Jessica’s dreams is worrisome, also, as are the terms “old lady,” “my girl,” and “my man” that are thrown around but that might just be me? I don’t know. Is that a Southern thing? I don’t think it is but I remember when I was reading The Stand, similar terms were thrown around and they made my brain cringe every time.
Anyway. I did like Duane and Jessica together, if only because it satisfies my “people who’ve always disliked each other fall in love” thing, but everything else was kind of a mess. Still, it’s not enough to turn me off of this author forever, I’m sure I’ll end up reading EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE BOOKS, no matter what, because I just can’t help myself. Also because BEARDS.
PS: If they ever make any of these into movies and don’t cast bearded Chris Evans I’M GONNA BE SO PISSED.