Marriage of Inconvenience

Marriage of Inconvenience by Penny Reid

4 stars 

“This isn’t a movie. Sorry, but I do not believe people just get married to protect themselves from greedy family members’ nefarious scheming.” 

When her pharma-bro cousin tries to take legal action over her life, Kat must turn to a friend for marriage right away to escape his evil grasp. When she asks her friend Dan, he’s happy to help her with her situation.

I wish I could say more than that, but anything else is much too spoilery.

“It doesn’t seem fair. I’m asking so much of you, and you get nothing out of this.” 

This is the book that all of Penny Reid’s fans have been waiting for and it’s here! There were swoony parts, funny parts, sexy parts and frustrating parts. But it all made up an excellent romance novel that many readers will thoroughly enjoy.

I liked that we finally got to see Kat and Dan’s perspective, after so many books before where we saw the perspectives of the other characters in the Knitting series. I think this book did a good job of clarifying what took so long for these two to get moving with their romance (I mean seriously it was like a 3 year slow burn or something).

I really liked Kat as a heroine, she’s not perfect and while she strives to be, she also knows she’s made mistakes and tried to own up for them along the way. Because of her past some things aren’t what she’s used to but with a little love that could all change. Dan was a great hero, with all the handsome and broody aspects he was there for Kat and was exactly what she needed.

I do wish this book had been a tad bit angstier, but that’s just me and my angst whore preferences. Reid is excellent at dishing out the angst and I had my spoon ready to eat it up. There were also parts of the book where I couldn’t tell if some things the characters said were their own opinions and not the author’s opinion, and that took me out of the story a bit. It felt a little preachy and that’s not something I enjoy in my romance/escape reading.

Overall a really solid novel and as I said before I think all of Penny Reid’s fans will love this story. Now I just have to impatiently wait until Billy’s novel in the Winston Brothers series is here!

“Trust me that I want every part of you.”
“What if parts of me are messy? Or ugly?”
“Parts of you are ugly and messy. I still want you. I want the ugly and the beautiful and everything in between. You don’t pick and choose the parts of a person you want.” 

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. All/any quotes in this review came from an advance unedited copy and may be subject to change in the final product. 


Beard in Mind

Beard in Mind by Penny Reid

4 stars! 

“People, all people, are blinded by their own expectations.” 

Beard in Mind is the fourth book in the Winston Brothers series and can be read as a standalone novel. This book follows Beau Winston, twin brother of Duane from the first book, and Shelly, sister of Quinn from the Knitting series. Beau and his brothers Duane and Cletus own and run a mechanic shop in town. With Duane leaving the country soon to travel with his girlfriend, Cletus hires a new mechanic, the beautiful and cold Shelly Sullivan.

Right off the bat, due to a misunderstanding, the two don’t get along. Beau doesn’t like Shelly’s demeanor toward him and her unfriendliness toward customers. Shelly is highly intelligent and Beau had insulted her. But, at the end of the day, Beau is a good and friendly man and he makes the effort with her, discovering her secrets and becoming her friend. But eventually they both want more, and Beau’s brother Cletus stands in the way of that.

“I don’t think Beau Winston would purposefully hurt anyone.” 

I know when it comes to a Penny Reid novel, I can always expect the unconventional romance. You don’t get the same old story when you read one of her books, you get something unique, and something special. It’s why she’s an auto buy author for me, the woman has never let me down. In a time where many authors are spitting out repetitive and unoriginal stories, Penny Reid offers something more to readers with her work.

This book made a few observations about society without being preachy about it. The most obvious, being the cultural norm of how we perceive OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder, and the misunderstanding of what the actual disorder it. The heroine, Shelly, has it, and it’s an everyday struggle that she has to conquer, that she works hard at, but it makes her misunderstood to those around her. It has something interesting for the reader to take away and think about, maybe not use the phrase so casually in conversation.

The second one I noticed, which is less obvious, is the subject of rape culture. Shelly is a beautiful woman, and because of that, many men think it’s okay for them to hit on her/assume they have the right to do so, and it isn’t. Just because someone is beautiful, doesn’t mean it’s okay to assume you can make advances on them or touch them without permission. Granted, Shelly’s sharp wit and intelligence proved no match for whatever man came her way, but just because she can handle herself still doesn’t mean it’s okay.

I liked Shelly and Beau equally, neither one of them drove me crazy or made stupid decisions. They each had some issues to work on and work through, and they made the decision to include each other in their problems. It doesn’t mean that being together solved everything, but now they had someone to support them throughout what was happening. As a couple, they didn’t seem to have that spark between them. Personally, while I liked them together, I didn’t feel the attraction between the two like I had for other couples in this series. And at times, I felt this book was more about the side characters than them as a couple. Which is fine, I loved the side characters, but to me, something lacked.

If you haven’t read the Winston Brothers series yet you need to. If you haven’t read a Penny Reid book yet, I can’t even with you right now. The series only has two books left, making me just one book closer to my love Billy!!! I need Billy ASAP!

“Don’t let anyone in your life who isn’t the best, and don’t hesitate walking away from a person who can’t give you what they need.” 

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review 


Dating-ish by Penny Reid

5 stars!

“I’d had some terrible first dates since breaking up with David, but this one took the cake. It took all the cakes. In less than twenty minutes, my perfect match had irrevocably propelled himself to the top of my worst dates list.”

I want to study Penny Reid’s brain. Like not in a murdery creepy way, but a you fascinate me tell me all of your secrets and make me interesting kind of way. Not weird at all, right? Nope. K. Brilliant.

Anyways my first draft of this review looked like this:

But I’ve had a while to think on it now and I may sound a bit more coherent. On Facebook Penny had mentioned she didn’t know how readers would respond to this novel, citing it as really weird. To be completely honest, I get really friggin excited when she says things like this, because those are the books by her that I love the most. I always enjoy her books, but those are the ones that feel most free to me, like she had no barriers when writing them.

I should probably talk about the plot. This book opens with Marie going on an internet date, meeting a stranger and it just goes completely wrong in every possible way. Like it is literally her worst date EVER. As a result of this Marie decides to do research for an article on alternatives to men. This leads Marie to an interesting world of professional cuddlers, dry humpers and orgasm meditation.

While researching, her date reappears, and he’s not the man she met on that disastrous date. And he may have a solution to her dating problem….

“ Where are all the men? And I don’t mean man-children. I mean men. You know, the guys whose interests extend beyond playing Halo on their Xbox, and who actually make eye contact, and aren’t constantly scanning the room for a better option.”

It’s hard to say this fellow Reiders, but Dating-ish may have become my favorite book in the Knitting in the City series. It hurts me to say that because I feel like I am betraying/cheating on Sandra and Alex, but this book was SO DANG GOOD. Like I mentioned above, I had a very hard time writing a review after reading it, my mind just needed to wrap itself around all of the awesomeness that was thrown my way. I loved Marie, I loved Matt. I loved them together, I pined, I burned I perished when they were apart. This book had the perfect combination of humor and angst that we only ever get in a Penny Reid novel. I am like a drug addict waiting for my next hit of Reid, even though the woman puts out numerous quality books a year I want MORE. There will never be enough!!! Lol.

Honestly, go into this book without spoilers, don’t even look at key plot points. I feel this book is better experienced if you go in almost blind. I went in not even knowing who the hero was and it totally enhanced the reading experience for me.

There’s a reason Penny Reid has made a name for herself in a community that is oversaturated with thousands of authors and books. She delivers original and unique concepts, is able to make them relatable, and she makes you fall in love with her odd yet realistic characters. You’ll never get the same book twice with her. And that’s why she’s one of my all time favorite authors EVER. And why I will read any book written by her, even if it’s about a person watching paint dry while eating rice crackers.

“You are my person.”

ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

The Cad and the Co-ed

The Cad and the Co-Ed by LH Cosway and Penny Reid

4 stars!

“I was the villain of the piece, and we both know it.”

The Cad and the Coed is the third book in the rugby series by LH Cosway and Penny Reid and can be easily read as a standalone novel. The plot centers around rugby player Bryan, a former womanizer and party boy, he’s since turned his life around and enjoys his new quiet way of living. Eilish is the cousin of Bryan’s teammate Sean and has recently started working for the team.

Bryan is immediately attracted to Eilish, and thinks he may be ready. Eilish seems less thrilled to see Bryan and is always dodging him. What Bryan doesn’t realize is he’s met Eilish before. He just doesn’t remember her.

“If I wasn’t careful, Eilish Cassidy would be elevated to sainthood level in my mind. I decided I should debauch her before this happened.”

Reading this book just made me want to go back and reread this series and rediscover all the characters in this world. I liked that the hero was a reformed man, he wasn’t perfect but he saw what he wanted in life and made the necessary changes to be the man he wanted to be. Eilish was a very endearing heroine who was put in a touch spot and made the most of it, and her life was all the better for it.

I loved seeing Sean and Ronin in this book, it was like seeing old friends again. We got to know Eilish a little book in previous books but I am glad I got to read her as a fully developed character in her own novel. She and Bryan were sensual and sweet, they made a lot of sense together, even though they didn’t always see it that way on their journey to each other.

Cosway and Reid are known for their unique and sometimes odd romances, and while this one was sweet, it was a departure from their distinctive writing styles for me. This book is a great story for readers who enjoy a more established love trope and want a sweet storyline. I look forward to more installments in this series, and more collaborations from these two wonderful authors.

ARC provided by Penny Reid in exchange for an honest review




Bryan Leech is a cad.

Or, he *was* a cad.

No one is quite certain.

Once the quintessential playboy, Bryan claims he’s done with wild parties and weekend benders. No more one night stands leading to mornings he can’t remember; no more binges and blackouts; no more exploits plastered all over the tabloids and rag sheets. According to Bryan, he’s cleaning up his act.

The only problem is, no one believes him.



Eilish Cassidy never thought she’d be a mother at nineteen or still in college at twenty-four. Cut off from every member of her family except her favorite cousin, she’s finally managed to put her life back together. Stronger and wiser, Eilish enters her last semester of university determined to stand on her own. Now she just needs to find an internship.

The only problem is, her best option—by far—places her directly in the path of her son’s father, and he doesn’t remember her at all.



Bryan is determined to prove he’s changed. Eager to settle down with the right woman, he’s got his sights set on the gorgeous redhead who seems terribly familiar.

Eilish is determined to hide her secret. She’ll do anything to keep her child safe, even if that means ignoring her own wishes and desires.

But what happens when Bryan starts to remember? And what will it take for Bryan to convince the girl he forgot that she’s unforgettable?



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Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.


Connect with Penny:



Twitter: @ReidRomance




Meet L.H. Cosway:

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favorite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.


She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

Connect with L.H. Cosway:



Twitter: @LHCosway





Best Books of 2016


Best books of 2016!

Here’s my list of my 15 favorite books that I read in 2016! Not all of these were published this year, but it’s the year I read them and I won’t overlook greatness for something as silly as a publication date. Without further ado:

Wolfsong by TJ Klune!!!!

If you would have told me that my all time favorite book of 2016 would be a gay shifter romance, I would have thought you were on crack. But Wolfsong touches your heart and just brings out every feel you have, and then finds more and brings them out too. Beautiful writing, a breathtaking story and a stunning romance, this is one I won’t ever forget. Plus the main character Ox is up there with the likes of Elizabeth Bennett, he’s one of my all time favorite characters.

Beard Science by Penny Reid

I’ve yet to find a Penny Reid book I haven’t liked, this woman is like nerd girl magic! Beard Science is my favorite Winston Brothers book (so far, I have a feeling Billy will be everything) and Cletus. Oh Cletus, I want to find a shrink ray, use it on him and make him the tiny devil on my shoulder. That man, sigh. There are no words. Instead, read the damn book already, will ya?

Paper Princess by Erin Watt

I have to say Paper Princess was a book that slapped me in the face with it’s amazingness. I feel like it came out of nowhere but now that it’s here, everyone has become obsessed with The Royals (myself included). The best YA/NA series I’ve read since Fallen Crest by Tijan, there is no doubt in my mind these Royals will ruin you. I also equally loved the second book Broken Prince, and enjoyed the third. I want more from this author duo!

Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn

Quite simply, the ANGSTIEST book of 2016 and I loved every bit of it! I learned to never doubt the dirty girl book friend who recommended this to me, and I discovered an amazing new author. Military family, regret and angst? Not for the faint of heart and it gets worse before it gets better. But in the end you get a beautiful story. The second book Change of Heart, a standalone was equally as amazing as this one.

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

I took a chance on a new author with this one and I am so glad I did! Bryn Greenwood is an evil genius and leaves the reader with so much to ponder. This is the kind of book that makes you reflect on yourself and how your perception of others can affect their life. It also portrays that just because something seems a certain way, doesn’t mean it is. Bravo Greenwood! I cannot wait to read more from you in the future.

In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish

An MM romance between a graduate student and a quiet man who lives in a cabin in his new town. Both have issues when it comes to love that they must overcome, but this book was the journey to both of them healing one another. Roan Parrish became a favorite author and a go-to author with this book, I love her writing style and her complex and realistic characters. The second book Out of Nowhere is a fantastic read as well.

Painted Faces

An unconventional romance between a straight drag queen and a curvy Irish girl. This is one of those books I was so skeptical about going into it and came out the other end of the book in awe. My favorite Cosway book to date, she did an amazing job with these two characters. It’s a very special novel.



It happened. THIS BOOK HAPPENED!!! This is a spin off of the Experiment in Terror series BUT it can be read as a standalone novel!!! Veiled is about a young girl named Ada who slowly discovers demons and other beings around her. Add in a sexy ginger guide as the romantic interest and I was thrilled! Everything I had hoped it would be. But like I said you can read and enjoy it as a standalone.



Romance with a porn star, sounds raunchy? It’s not! Sweet wonderful slow burn romance between two people who genuinely care for each other. I loved every second of this novel!! Mariana Zapata is the queen of slow burn romances!


Swear on this Life

This is one of those books that hits you with emotion like a friggin mac truck. A journey of self healing and discovery, this also has an unforgettable love story. I ended up bursting into tears on an airplane while reading this book, and I don’t cry in public EVER.


Black Swan Affair

An angsty love story that centers on a love triangle between two brothers and the woman they both love. I know what you’re thinking, that you hate love triangles. Trust me, let that part go and enjoy the ride. I was blown away by this book and so so happy when I got to the end! Nothing is what you think it is, remember that.


The Bourbon Thief

A beautiful love story in the 70’s between a young rich girl in the South and the stable hand who is forbidden from her. A family full of secrets, this romance is almost haunting and beautiful at the same time. Proof that Tiffany Reisz can write an amazing book not centered on BDSM or sex.


Wicked Heart

A second chance romance between a movie star and a stage director. Liam broke Elissa’s heart years ago and she never fully recovered. Now years later they are working on the same stage production and old feelings come back. But Liam is engaged to his costar and Elissa knows falling for him again would be a tragedy. I loved the Bad Romeo books and this is my favorite of the bunch. Is a standalone read with only connected characters.


The Mind

Kate Stewart is possibly the most underrated indie author out there, this woman writes pure romantic genius!! The Heart is probably one of the few novellas I have ever loved, and I fell in love with Grant and Rose immediately. This is a prequel to The Heart and may not have an HEA in this book, but does in the next one (I promise). I sobbed big ugly tears when reading this and kind of wanted to kill Kate (I didn’t, obviously) but this is proof of how amazing Kate is.

Beard Science

Beard Science by Penny Reid

5 leprosy stars!

“ You’ll know one day, Cletus. You’ll discover what it’s like to find the other part of yourself. You’ll know it’s her, only her, always her. Maybe not right away, but eventually you’ll know. She’ll be your beginning, middle and end. And your intentions won’t matter. Love brings its own intentions, and all other plans, hopes and dreams fade to insignificance in the face of love.”

So let me start off with why I am the worst Penny Reid fan ever. I’ve read all but one of her books, and I have enjoyed every single last one of them. Do I enjoy some more than others? Yes. But never, not once has this woman ever let me down. So when I went into Beard Science, I went in with extremely low expectations and to be honest, some reservations. Because, (AND SHAME ON ME) my messed up brain thought “there’s no way Cletus can live up to the hype.”

Let me tell you something:

CLETUS LIVES UP TO THE HYPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Did you get that? Once more:

CLETUS LIVES UP TO THE HYPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, I think you got it now.

Beard Science is the third book in the Winston Brother series (not including Beauty and the Mustache) and can be read as a standalone novel. Cletus is the overly intelligent and odd brother of the Winston clan. But what many do not know about him is behind his innocent and peculiar behavior there is a dark and conniving mind filled with revenge plots and espionage. Jennifer Sylvestor is the town sweetheart, the Banana Cake Queen. Often overlooked or written off as simple, she lives a lonely life dictated by her parents.

When a happenstance situation gives Jennifer some valuable information about Cletus, Jennifer uses it to have Cletus help her with something she needed. Knowing how smart he is, Jennifer has observed Cletus among the rest of the town and she can see through the front he provides to everyone else. When Jennifer comes into his life, she’s not what Cletus expected. As he helps her with her problem, he discovers there is more to her than meets the eye, just like him.

“I’m not scary, I’m ridiculous.”
“You are many things, Cletus Winston, but nothing about you is ridiculous.”

This is the first time I have ever finished a book and then sat there and felt anger begin to course through me because it was over. That has never happened to me before. I sat there for 30 minutes, mad because that story had ended, and I was no longer a part of Cletus and Jennifer’s world.

Then I reminded myself of this:


There were so many time when reading this book when I cracked up, I even did a very unattractive laugh snort. I even teared up a couple of times. There’s something about Cletus and Jennifer together that was magical, their understanding and respect of each other, and how they both share vulnerabilities. I loved how Cletus is so intelligent and yet so oblivious at the same time, how Jennifer saw him for all he was. I just flat out loved this book!

And Billy fans out there (who by the way is MINE) Penny throws us a bone!!! Gah! Love that man! Le sigh. I suspect a lot of feels in the future.

Anyways, this is one of my favorite books Penny has ever written, it’s something really special. There is not one thing I did not love about it, every single bit of this book was pure awesome.

“I loved her both rationally and irrationally. And I wanted her with a ferocity that had kept me awake at night and tortured during the day.”

ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Grin and Beard It

Grin and Beard It by Penny Reid

3.75 “put your best fuck forward” stars!

“It’s good to care what other people think but only when those other people matter.”

Grin and Beard It is the story of the eldest Winston brother Jethro, and Hollywood starlet and funny girl, Sienna. Sienna is a famous actress and comedian filming in Tennessee when she gets lost trying to locate the house she’s staying in. Ranger Jethro rescues her from the side of the road and the two hit it off right away.

Both are hesitant to pursue the other, Sienna with her Hollywood career constantly interfering with her personal life. Jethro has a wild past he is ashamed of and made vows about the kind of man he wants to be. Both need to figure out a way to fit the other into their life plans, but the chemistry between them is potent and undeniable.

“It felt real. He felt real. I loved that he was real.”

I enjoyed this newest book from Penny Reid. It follows along the lines of a traditional romance, one with a sweet story and a slow burn. But while the romance itself is traditional, I felt there was a lot that was progressive about this story. For one, this is a movie star romance novel, but instead of the star being a man, it was a woman. Not only was she a star, but she also wrote her own movies and was Latina (something unfortunately hard to find in the white-washed genre of romance). I loved reading about Sienna because I love strong intelligent women who work hard for what they want instead of lying down and letting a man take charge.

“Every step of the way I’d been scolded for being happy with myself. How dare I be happy with who I am, my size, the color of my skin, that I can make both men and women laugh.”

The portrayal of Hollywood was something else I liked in this book. Growing up in LA I am pretty jaded about that whole industry and I hate how it’s glamourized. Yes there are positives to it, but many authors gloss over the negatives and Penny didn’t do this. Sienna’s career affected her daily life in ways we take for granted, such as how to look, act, eat, drink, speak and more. The fact that she was size 14 and working in Hollywood successfully is impressive to me because you don’t see that all too often.

As per usual in Penny’s books, there’s sharp wit and humor laced throughout the story. I found myself laughing out loud at many points and smiling a lot as well. I wouldn’t say this is a romantic comedy but I think readers will connect with the humor spread throughout.

“Where I’m from they call your kind a hipster or lumbersexual, with the beard and the flannel and such.”
“Ah. See, where I’m from, they call my kind a man.”

Side characters: Cletus gets MVP. Oh. My. Gawd. That man!!!!!! I need more Cletus in my life. I can’t ever put my finger down on what he will say or do next, or even what he is thinking. He managed to be a comedic relief, relationship guide, and a scary MoFo all at once! Also, I am dying to read Billy’s book. I’m not kidding, the wait for his book will be the death of me!

“I think we all need someone who sees the best in us.”

So why not a full five stars? Well, I blame it mostly on personal preferences. Sweet romance isn’t what I normally choose to read, and this book was fairly sweet and romancey. I also didn’t have that spark with it, the one you get when you absolutely love a book? Overall I liked this book, but it wouldn’t be my first choice to reread.

Readers far and wide will love this book and these characters, Sienna and Jethro make a delightful couple many will enjoy. The Winston brothers are a fun and unique bunch and I find myself cursing my parents for making me an only child, even though I suspect my siblings wouldn’t be half as cool as these guys. If you want a book to curl up with on a rainy day with some tea, this is the book for you.

“Jethro Winston was my forever person. I would never be strong enough to let him go.”

ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review


Giveaway Link

Sienna Diaz is everyone’s favorite “fat” funny lady. The movie studio executives can’t explain it, but her films are out-grossing all the fit and trim headliners and Hollywood’s most beautiful elite. The simple truth is, everyone loves plus-sized Sienna.

But she has a problem, she can’t read maps and her sense of direction is almost as bad as her comedic timing is stellar. Therefore, when Sienna’s latest starring role takes her to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park she finds herself continually lost while trying to navigate the backroads of Green Valley, Tennessee. Much to her consternation, Sienna’s most frequent savior is a ridiculously handsome, charming, and cheeky Park Ranger by the name of Jethro Winston.

Sienna is accustomed to high levels of man-handsome, so it’s not Jethro’s chiseled features or his perfect physique that make Sienna stutter. It’s his southern charm. And gentlemanly manners. And habit of looking at her too long and too often.

Sienna has successfully navigated the labyrinth of Hollywood heartthrobs. But can she traverse the tenuous trails of Tennessee without losing her head? Or worse, her heart?

penny author photo for blog post
About the Author
Penny Reid is the USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.


Grin and Beard It Release Blitz


Grin and Beard It is now LIVE!

Penny Reid GABI 01TEASER

Sienna Diaz is everyone’s favorite “fat” funny lady. The movie studio executives can’t explain it, but her films are out-grossing all the fit and trim headliners and Hollywood’s most beautiful elite. The simple truth is, everyone loves plus-sized Sienna.

But she has a problem, she can’t read maps and her sense of direction is almost as bad as her comedic timing is stellar. Therefore, when Sienna’s latest starring role takes her to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park she finds herself continually lost while trying to navigate the backroads of Green Valley, Tennessee. Much to her consternation, Sienna’s most frequent savior is a ridiculously handsome, charming, and cheeky Park Ranger by the name of Jethro Winston.

Sienna is accustomed to high levels of man-handsome, so it’s not Jethro’s chiseled features or his perfect physique that make Sienna stutter. It’s his southern charm. And gentlemanly manners. And habit of looking at her too long and too often.

Sienna has successfully navigated the labyrinth of Hollywood heartthrobs. But can she traverse the tenuous trails of Tennessee without losing her head? Or worse, her heart?

penny author photo for blog post
About the Author
Penny Reid is the USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.


Giveaway Link:

Happy Ever Ninja

Happily Ever Ninja by Penny Reid

5 badass mother stars!!!

I gotta say, Penny Reid continues to deliver a different kind of heroine to the romance genre. And every single one of them is incredible! Fiona was a heroine that I’ve never seen before and I fell in love with her almost immediately. Seriously, I have a girl crush on her (the kind where you idolize, not attraction lol). How many romances have you read that contain a badass mother who balances a job, kids and more? Other than this one I couldn’t name another title.

“Someone needs to appreciate Fiona for her badass skills, Greg. Because they are fucking awesome.”

Greg and Fiona were college sweethearts and have been married for about fourteen years. Greg works in Africa on oil projects while Fiona stays at home in Chicago and watches the kids and works. It’s a difficult situation but the two of them make it work. When Fiona learns that Greg has been kidnapped and held for ransom, she takes it upon herself to go after him and get him back.

If you’ve read the previous books in this series, you know that Fiona used to be a member of the CIA. So the idea of her going off to rescue her man wasn’t at all preposterous, in fact it was pretty much expected. And with the help of her friends she’s able to sneak into Africa.

I loved this book. Seriously. I’m not a mother, I’m not a wife, and yet I was easily able to relate to Fiona and her struggles and issues. And just because the characters were already married, doesn’t mean that the romance factor isn’t present in this book. In a way it enhanced it because we know these two people are in love, and watching them fight for their love was every bit as romantic as watching a couple fall in love.

There’s also the distinctive brand of Penny Reid humor we come to expect from her books, it’s one of the things that make her books so special. I laughed a lot while reading this book, it never failed to put a smile on my face. Greg and Fiona have this wonderful banter that makes me want to hug them both, but not interrupt them so as I can continue to watch them banter.

“I need you to clean the apartment, and pick up your goddamn socks, and stop making mindless messes-like we have magical cleaning fairies who orgasm every time they do the laundry.”

Separate from the story, my all-time favorite part of this book was the letters and notes at the beginning of each chapter from real life couples. Some of them made me laugh, some smile and others made my heart flutter. It was such a nice touch that added a lot to the book. I found myself wanting to highlight the letter before every chapter I loved them so much.

Every Penny Reid book I’ve read I have loved or enjoyed. I think it goes without saying now that she could write anything and I would love it. Even a description of paint drying on walls.

“My heart keeps discovering new ways to love you.”

ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review

Truth or Beard

Truth or Beard by Penny Reid

4.5 stars!!!

“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.”

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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.

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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.”

Best Books of 2015

Best Books of 2015

2015 best books

Hello all! These are the books I read in 2015 that were my favorites. I read so many great books this year, it was hard to decide on just 10, so I included more and bunched some series together. Many of these were published in 2015, but I did not restrict the books by year, so essentially these are books I read in the year, not specifically ones published in 2015.

-Elements of Chemistry (Attraction, Heat, and Capture)

This is technically 3 books in 1 volume, but they are short so combined they amount to about 500+ pages, making 1 large volume. Angst galore, this is the series that convinced me that Penny Reid is my spirit animal.

My reviews:




-Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

This YA fantasy heist novel blew my mind and left me wanting more.

My review of Six of Crows

-A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

A YA fantasy take on Beauty and the Beast with Fae and humans. Enchanting!

My review

-Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

One of my all time favorite series, this fourth installment made me feel all the feels and blew my mind! Can I have the next book please?

My review: Review to come soon….

-Breaking Him by RK Lilley

Super angsty romantic read with a slight cliffhanger, but I couldn’t put the dang book down!

My review

-Love Hacked by Penny Reid

Quirky romance between a psychologist and a computer hacker. Alex is one of my all time favorite book boyfriends!!!

My review

-Racing the Sun by Karina Halle

A beautiful romance between a young American girl and a dark brooding Italian man. Karina Halle swept me away with this book and I’ve been dying to go to Italy ever since.

My review

-Long Way Down by Krista & Becca Ritchie

The final book in the Addicted series, it details the relationship of Ryke Meadows and Daisy Calloway, and had me tearing up the entire time.

My review

-Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

A darker more intense book from this author, I couldn’t put this book down. Part mystery, part revenge novel, it’s the ultimate guilty pleasure read.

My review

-The Fall by Kate Stewart

Second chance romance with so much angst I thought my heart was going to fall out of my butt. Seriously, loved it. And you need to read it!

My review

-Fantasyland 1-3 by Kristen Ashley (Wildest Dreams, Golden Dynasty, and Fantastical)


Prooving that Kristen Ashley is a romantic genius at whatever genre she writes in, I devoured all 3 of these lengthy books in a matter of days. I can honestly say I would reread them again and again and never get sick of them.

My reviews:

Wildest Dreams

The Golden Dynasty


That’s all folks! Hopefully you love these books as much as I did, and that I convinced you to read at least one of them!

Beauty and the Mustache

Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

4.25 stars

“With you there are only two distances that matter: Here. Not here. You are not here.”

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Ashley Winston is a former beauty queen who left home as a teenager for college and 8 years later never returned. Tormented by her 6 goofy brothers, she distanced herself from everyone in her family except her mother. Ashley receives news that her mother is in the hospital and will not see anyone, so she rushes home from Chicago to Tennessee to see what is wrong.

Upon returning home Ashley discovers that her brothers have changed from rambunctious irresponsible young men into hard working and loving men. Among her brothers is a stranger, Drew, who has become a friend of the family in her absence. Soon Ashley’s world comes crashing down around her, and it’s up to her brothers and Drew to keep her afloat.

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I really enjoyed this book in the Knitting series. After having so many friends who loved it I was excited to meet Ashley and Drew and the ever famous Winston brothers. I also like that this book took us out of Chicago and into rural Tennessee, a place I’ve never been to physically, but after reading this book I felt as if I had visited there.

Ashley as a heroine is someone I admired, she worked hard to be where she was at in her life, and despite her reservations her love for her brothers was strong. She wanted to be valued for who she was and not what she looked like.

“No. Since I first saw you. Since I first laid eyes on you and felt sorry for every beautiful thing that was made no longer resplendent—nullified by your being.”

Drew was a hot viking man that makes another great addition to my book boyfriend collection, and I wouldn’t mind staying with him in his secluded cabin and not leaving (for weeks, months, years). He was a little bit too stoic for my reader tastes at some points, and near the end I was a bit shocked by his actions (more so his lack of actions) and alas I was hoping for a bit more from him.

For me the best part of this book was the family dynamics between Ashley and her brothers. Being an only child I always dreamed of having brothers, and this book only made me wish for them more. While not perfect, Ashley’s brothers were a strong support system and a little bit naughty. I cannot wait to read their series!!!

“Apathy between family members makes the blood they share turn to water.”

This is a romance I would highly recommend to EVERYONE! Honestly I cannot think of a single friend who would not enjoy it at least a little bit.

“When you cried, I learned what helplessness tastes like. Because all I could do was swallow.”

Love Hacked

Love Hacked by Penny Reid

5 stars!

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“There is boring. There is sensational. There is mediocre. There is lazy. There is good. There is evil. People do implausible things all the time, and they run the gamut of moderately weird to truly extraordinary. But there is no normal. The world is an unbelievable place full of unbelievable people doing unbelievable things.”

So, I kind of adore this book. I’m really kicking myself now for having put of reading it, I have no clue why I did. Love Hacked is my favorite of the Knitting series so far and unexpectedly blew me away!!!

This is the story of Sandra and Alex. Sandra has gone on a number of unsuccessful dates over the past three years, mostly with her dates ending up sobbing based on the personal issues unearthed. Most of her dates take place at an Indian restaurant where Alex works as a waiter. After her most recent date fails, Alex sits down and takes his place, but remains a mystery to Sandra. The two have an obvious connection, but Sandra has her doubts about Alex and how he’s so quiet about himself. Despite this, the two find themselves thrown together more often than not and tentatively forge a relationship.

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“When I was younger, I wanted plenty of things, plenty of people, until I realized there was no point in wanting. Since then, I’ve never had something I wanted, not really. Not ’til you.”

I loved the back and forth between Alex and Sandra. The two were so different and yet seemed so perfect together. Alex is an extremely intelligent individual and he wouldn’t fall for a dumb girl or a fake one. I loved Sandra in this book and her low bullshit meter. She fought hard for him, believed in him and didn’t judge him too harshly. In return Alex did his best to take care of Sandra despite his trust issues and more.

I also loved the intelligent sense of humor in this book. Lots of Star Wars references that made me smile. Much of the banter had me cracking up as well. Alex and Sandra had a great push and pull relationship but neither went too far. I also was impressed with the age difference, personally at 26 I would have a hard time dating a 21 year old guy, so I can kind of identify with Sandra’s struggle with the 6-7 year age difference between them, but ultimately age didn’t matter. It really was the case of loving someone for who they are despite differences.

So again, like I already said, I loved this book. Loved the characters, story, angst and more and I highly recommend!

“You’ve shown me joy where before I saw only despair. You’ve taught me hope where before I knew only hopelessness. I may be broken, but all my pieces are yours. And I’ll work every day of my life to deserve you.”

Friends Without Benefits

Friends Without Benefits (Knitting in the City #2) by Penny Reid

4.5 Italian stars

“Nothing is more frustrating than being attracted to someone who is a complete jerk – except for maybe also caring about that person despite continued abuses. I was such an idiot.”

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Penny Reid just gets better and better with every book I read by her! After finishing a book that didn’t work for me, I needed to dive into something I knew I would love, so I turned to my spirit animal Penny Reid. Yes you read that right, Penny Reid is my spirit animal. Go and find your own!

Friends Without Benefits is the story of Elizabeth and Nico. The two of them grew up together, and Nico was a bit of a bully to Elizabeth when they were younger. The loss of a mutual friend in high school leads to emotions Elizabeth didn’t expect so she bailed and never contacted Nico again. Now, ten years later, he and his mother walk into the hospital she works at to get Nico’s niece on a clinical trial that will help her.

The two have an attraction which Elizabeth fights. But will childhood love prevail? Or will Nico lose the girl he was meant to be with?

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It’s obvious I love Penny Reid and her books. Some I like more than others and this one fits that description. I love the idea that Nico was a lovestruck kid for most of their lives and knew from an early age who his soulmate was. Elizabeth is a tough nut to crack but once someone is in her heart, they are there forever.

Elizabeth is dealing with a bit of loneliness now that her best friend and roommate Janie has found the love of her life. Considering her options lovers wise she is thrown for a loop when Nico reappears. It was perfect timing that he came back into her life because she ended up focusing more on him and his family.

“I wasn’t a hypocrite — well, everyone is a hypocrite, but I was trying hard to be less of one.”

I loved Nico, I loved Elizabeth, Angelica, Rose and more. The angst was deliciously sweet and knitted carefully into the story <— see what I did there? 😛 If you are looking for a book that will make you smile, laugh and believe in the power of true love, this is the book for you.

“You can’t tell me that I don’t know you. I see you. I see you better than you see yourself. And everything about you is beautiful.”


Capture (Elements of Chemistry #3) by Penny Reid

6 “gah right in the feels” stars!

“I don’t want a beautiful week with you. I want a beautiful lifetime.”

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I LOVED THIS SERIES!! Something about it just fit my preferences perfectly. I am always on the lookout for books that have the right kind of angst and this was the perfect fit!

Capture begins a few months after Martin and Kaitlyn have broken up with no contact at all between either of them. Kaitlyn has taken a semester off of school and taken up a job as a piano player in a group and another job as a barista. She didn’t want her parents to support her, so she’s doing in on her own. Kaitlyn wanted time to discover herself and what she wanted since she had been repressed for so long.

“I wanted to explore this part of myself for me, not in spite of or because of another person. If I was going to change my style or add to it, I wanted to do it because of how it made me feel. Not because I wanted to make someone else feel better or view me differently.”

About 8-9 months after last seeing Martin, Kaitlyn runs into him at an event. Things are a bit awkward and she leaves thinking that was her closure. But soon after Martin appears back in her life saying he wants to be friends. So as friends, around the holidays Kaitlyn stays with Martin in his apartment in New York while working at parties. But as she spends more time with Martin, Kaitlyn realizes she cannot just be friends, but can they go back to being something more?

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I think I’ve been a bit obvious about how much I love these books, and I did! I get that they’re not for everyone, but they worked for me. I loved that it wasn’t just a romance but was about two people discovering new things about themselves and having it change their lives. If Kaitlyn had never met Martin, she may have not followed her dreams and kept everything to a scientific level.

I also tend to love angst brought on by misunderstandings so I loved reading in this book how clueless Kaitlyn was. I thought it was kind of cute (but maybe because I am a bit clueless with men myself). I liked that this book was about the two of them getting to know each other and learning their motivations for previous actions in the past books. Like where they were right and where one or both of them went wrong. A week wasn’t enough to build a lasting relationship foundation, but in this book they had the time to learn more about each other.

“Maybe love, at its essence, is being a mirror for another person—for the good parts and the bad. Perhaps love is simply finding that one person who sees you clearly, cares for you deeply, challenges you and supports you, and subsequently helps you see and be your true self.”

Overall, this is my favorite series of 2015. I loved all three books (which is rare) and I got to devour them all at once. Like seriously, I was at a concert last night so I switched my kindle phone app to the black setting and hid my phone and was reading this at a concert. A Deftones concert. (Look them up, that wasn’t easy). Granted I was waiting for Incubus to come on but still!