Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous— local Game Warden, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee.
This is a full-length novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the fourth book in the ‘Knitting in the City’ series.
★★★★★ Ten stars★★★★★
It never ceases to amaze me how much Penny Reid amazes me and she truly did with Beauty and the Mustache.
While most of Penny’s stories are generally heavy on the comedy, BatM is funny in parts but has a more somber tone than the other Knitting in the City series. Ashley Winston, a pediatric nurse heads home to Tennessee when she finds out her mother is not well. She has not been home in over 8 years and does not relish the idea of spending inordinate amounts of time with her 6 hillbilly brethren.
But what she finds when she gets there is exactly what she expects and then shortly thereafter is not at all what she expects. And the biggest surprise comes in the form of a Viking God like conservation officer that has become a huge part of her family in her absence.
One of the things I found to be so lovely about BatM was the banter that went back and forth between Drew and Ashley. The fact that he was not only well read, but highly sensitive and romantic without ever displaying weakness made him the epitome of the strong silent type. Every few chapters peeled back another layer of the onion that was Drew.
The support Ash received from her friends and family as they faced a terrific loss was incredibly touching. The fact that even Quinn and Nico made an appearance speaks volumes about the relationships this group of friends.
The Winston family dynamic is one I can identify with. Not so much the unusual bathroom schedule, and I do not consider my siblings hillbillies, but more in the way that your family has no problem torturing you, but they are the first ones to have your back if someone else starts to mess with you.
This has truly been my favorite book in the KITC series. The skill and artistry it takes to create diverse characters who are both lovable and believable is truly something that Penny has mastered and I love the way her inventive mind works.
SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).
By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.