Truth or Beard by Penny Reid
“Everything is temporary, Duane. This,” he gestured to our surroundings, “this is temporary. Even mountains fall. Nothing lasts forever. You got a chance at happiness, even for a week, a month, a year? You grab it and you hold on to it for as long as it lasts.”
Jessica has always known that she would leave her small town life and travel the world. After graduating from college, she has taken a detour back home for a while where she teaches to save up money and pay off her student loans. She’s also always had a crush on a Winston boy, Beau to be exact. When she runs into him at a town get together, the two end up hitting off and getting steamy. Except for one problem, it isn’t Beau but his twin brother Duane who Jessica hates, or at least she thought she did.
I have yet to read a Penny Reid book I didn’t like. The majority of them I tend to love. Mostly because of Ms. Reid’s sense of humor, and the fact that she assumes the reader is smart (which I appreciate). She’s an author I can honestly say that I would read any book, no plot description required. In fact, Ms. Reid could hand me an essay on a description of paint drying and I would happily read it.
Truth or Beard doesn’t disappoint, and I loved getting to know Duane and Jessica. The two of them bantering was my favorite part of this book. Fighting or friendly conversation, spoken out loud or inner monologue, I had a smile on my face the entire time.
For example, my two favorite quotes from the book:
“Have you ever seen someone and thought to yourself, Whoa, he’s hot! I’d like to screw his brains out. And then, you talk to the guy and realize someone already has?”
“There will be no bananas!” “There will be entire tropical rainforests of bananas! And coconuts!” I gestured to my breasts. “And, hopefully, bananas rubbing against coconuts.”
I myself have thought that first quote many a time.^^^
I like the idea that the surly brother got a chance at the girl. Beau and Duane are similar as twins, but Jessica very obviously saw the differences in both. I also like that Penny Reid has the heroes of her books fall for the girl off screen. That way going into the story, they begin with pursuit straight away instead of the fumbling process of how to pursue a girl upon discovering their feelings. That make any sense? I also like the idea of a man liking a girl without her knowing it. It gives me warm and fuzzy feelings.
Jess and Duane didn’t have an easy love story, but they had one that I felt deep in my bones. I got a little frustrated of the yes or no aspect of their relationship, but only a little! (I may or may not have mentally been yelling at them to get their shit together, and then get with each other).
The Winston brothers as a group I also loved about this book. I cannot wait until each of them gets their story. Cletus is a crowd favorite and I want to pinch his cheeks. I also desperately want to read Billy’s book (which is last, sobs).
Basically I highly recommend reading anything Penny Reid writes, including this book. I am a stickler for reading things in order so I recommend doing it that way, but this book can also be enjoyed as a standalone novel. Happy reading!
“Is this place home?”
“No, Duane .. You are.”