I’ve enjoyed other books by Penny Reid, including the first in the Winston Brothers series. I read Truth or Beard back in 2018, and it was my first book by the author. I liked it, but not as much as I had expected to, so it was a while before I picked up the series again. But for the 50 Romance Novel Reading Challenge I am working on completely, Book 2 in the series seemed like one I needed to visit. I already bought in back in 2018, so it was in my Kindle library, waiting for me. I really loved this one and am excited for the rest of the series.

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The summary, from Amazon:

She’s America’s sweetheart and he’s the town pariah. . .
From the NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, & USA TODAY bestselling series

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 back roads 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 heart-throbs. But can she traverse the tenuous trails of Tennessee without losing her head? Or worse, her heart?

Grin and Beard It is book #2 in the Winston Brothers series. Each book is a standalone, full length (110k words), contemporary romantic comedy novel, and follows the romantic exploits and adventures of one of the six Winston Brothers.

50 Romance Novel Reading Challenge

I chose this book as my first choice for my 50 Romance Novel Reading Challenge, created by Love, Sawyer. The prompt was Week 36: Small Town. This series takes place in the world of Green Valley, a small town of the author’s creation. There have been a lot of other novels and series that take place in this small town, by Penny Reid as well as other authors publishing with Smartypants Romance.

Buy Grin and Beard It here!

(And don’t forget to check out Book 1 in the series, too.)

It took me a little bit to really get into this book, but once I did, I really enjoyed it. Sienna is a gem, and Jethro has a heart of gold despite his troubled past. These two have a communication bump in the beginning of the novel, but it’s short-lived. I loved how Sienna and Jethro talk about their feelings, expectations, and worries.

Be warned: this is a slow-burn with a tablespoonful of angst mixed in. Jethro was a member of a motorcycle club in his early twenties, and one of his many crimes, he feels, was leading women on. Because of that, he’s spent the last five years in celibacy, determined to only sleep with the woman he will make his wife. He communicates this with Sienna early on enough, and she accepts it – and we get plenty of hot scenes before doing the deed, no worries! The two also have Sienna’s fame to contend with. Sienna does not want Jethro’s privacy to be invaded, especially because his criminal past will be revealed. It’s not her reputation she’s worried about, but rather Jethro’s feelings. Jethro, on the other hand, does not want Sienna to miss out on movie roles for choosing to date someone with a shady past.

All in all, this book was light, fun, and romantic. Jethro is a wonderful book boyfriend. One of the dates he takes Sienna on in this book straight up made me swoon! Despite this, I have a feeling Cletus or Billy will wind up being my favorite Winston brother. This book was exactly what I needed during this difficult time, and brought a smile to my face many times. This was a 4 star read for me and I will read the rest of the series for sure.

P. S. I love Penny Reid’s humor, and also her honest, wholesome characters. Here are some of my favorite quotes from this book:

If I have wild success, and I hope I do, it’ll be as a husband and father, a brother and an uncle.

“You’re going to be my girl,” he growled, nipping at my jaw. “No.” I shook my head, evading his mouth and correcting with, “I’m going to be your woman.”

Claire McClure was clearly one of those rare souls who was more concerned with the beauty of her heart than she was with the beauty of her face. I decided I loved her. It was friend-love-at-first-sight.

“So you haven’t looked me up?” “Nope.” He smiled, clearly pleased I was pleased. Yep. I love him. “Not at all? No googling, or yahooing, or binging?” “I don’t know what binging is, but it sounds like something we should try later.” “No. We shouldn’t. It’s the shameful receptacle of thwarted hopes, where dreams and searches go to die . . . ”

You’ve just used a double negative; obviously you’re distressed.

Grin and Beard It (Winston Brothers, #2)Grin and Beard It by Penny Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This one took me a little bit to get into, but once I did, I was invested. I love how, despite a bump in the beginning, Jethro and Sienna are super communicative with one another. This was a fun, light read and I really needed it right now.

View all my reviews

P. S. Grin and Beard It is free to read with Kindle Unlimited. Check out Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans to score this and other great reads for free. You can thank me later.


Interested? Buy Grin and Beard It.
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