Series: Winston Brothers #2
Published by Cipher-Naught on May 31st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romantic Comedy
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USA TODAY Bestselling Romantic Comedy 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 a full-length (118k words) standalone, romantic comedy novel, and is the 2nd book in the Winston Brothers Series. All books in the series may be read as standalones. Six books (total) are planned.
Series Description: Everyone in Green Valley, Tennessee knows that the six bearded Winston brothers have been imbued with an unfair share of charm and charisma... and are prone to mischief.
It’s official. I’m in love with the Winston brothers. Like so crazy, madly, deeply in love I’d be willing to go full-on Sister Wives for them. I’m not exactly sure how I went from reading a sweet Rom-Com to considering polygamy, but I blame Penny Reid. Damn her and her ridiculously talented mind, the magnetic and quirky characters she creates, and her clever humor. These attributes are on full display in Grin and Beard It, and it’s all kinds of awesome.
Jethro Winston is the oldest of the six Winston brothers and a reformed bad boy. He’s atoned for his past mistakes and is now living an honorable life as a wildlife park ranger in Tennessee. He’s all about work and family these days. Jethro is straightforward, strong but gentle, and hot as all get out.
“Don’t get me started on his eyes. Just…don’t. I can’t even with this guy. So. Gorgeous. They held an invitation as well, a twinkly, heated, mesmerizing invitation. And I wanted to RSVP so hard.”
Sienna Diaz is America’s Sweetheart—an Academy Award-winning actress known for both writing and starring in hit comedies. In an industry where thin is in and Latinas aren’t leading ladies, Sienna’s success defies all limitations. She’s a funny, plus size woman who is comfortable in her own skin, and her self-esteem makes her even sexier.
“Think of how much better the world would be if people craved compliments about the beauty of their heart rather than the beauty of their face.”
Sienna arrives in Jethro’s small Tennessee town to film her latest movie, and he comes to her rescue when she gets lost driving through the mountains. Jethro is immediately smitten, and they quickly begin a fun flirtation that turns into some seriously intense chemistry.
On a side note, shout out to Penny Reid for creating a witty, intelligent heroine who is a minority, and for successfully avoiding Latina stereotypes. I loved that Sienna’s ethnicity is part of her, but isn’t the main aspect of her character.
Every good romance needs conflict, and the prospect of Hollywood’s golden girl getting involved with a backwoods tree-hugger with a shady past provides the perfect opportunity for tension. For awhile I was worried I’d need to make room on my “Save the Drama for Your Mama” bookshelf, but there’s no extended melodrama here, and I wasn’t at all frustrated by the way problems are resolved.
Cletus, Jethro’s odd yet surprisingly insightful and endearing brother, is a definite scene stealer. He has the best one-liners, and I couldn’t get enough of him.
“Don’t ration the passion, i.e. put your best fuck forward.”
With Penny Reid’s perfect comedic flair and infectious banter, this book had me laughing out loud more times than I can count. It’s a winning romance that’s sizzling and charming—perfect if you’re looking for lighthearted entertainment.
Grin and Beard It is the second book in the Winston Brothers series, but can be read as a standalone.
Recommended for fans of:
Genuinely nice guys
**ARC received in exchange for an honest review.**
Finally releasing her hand, Cletus noted conversationally, “If you come next Wednesday, I’ll let you try my sausage.”
I gathered a breath for patience and squeezed Sienna’s waist.
“Here we go,” Drew said as he swapped a knowing look with my sister.
Meanwhile, Beau rolled his eyes and released a disgusted snort. “Not this again.”
“Cletus’s famous sausage is famous,” Jess added helpfully, her eyebrows bouncing. She was already giggling.
Not missing a beat, Sienna asked, “How do you make it? Do you bake it?”
“No way. The heat isn’t right. In order for the sausage to mature, it needs the right type and application of heat. It needs heat on all sides, and wet heat is best.”
“You are the worst,” Billy said, though his mouth hitched on one side.
“This joke never gets old.” Jess was now laughing so hard she’d gripped her stomach, tears leaking from her eyes.
“It does when you have to hear it every month for ten years,” Duane complained, but couldn’t quite manage a scowl.
“My sausage is no joke.” Cletus frowned, wagging his finger through the air like we were all juveniles.
“So you grill it,” Sienna supplied, moving the conversation back on track.
“Good.” She nodded once, sounding thoughtful. “In that case, I insist you taste my thighs and breasts.”
These words, so calmly and earnestly spoken, rendered us all speechless.
I do believe we stared at Sienna in a collective state of paralyzed suspension, no one quite knowing how to react to her offer.
I felt her shoulders shake, so I shifted to the side, wanting to catch her expression. Her irresistible dimples flashed in full force and she giggled as she explained, “I have a great mojo chicken recipe. We can grill the chicken and sausage together.” Then to Cletus she said, “It’ll help with the wet heat.”
I looked to the heavens, hidden by the porch ceiling. “God, thank you for sending me this woman.”
Meanwhile, Cletus blinked once as though startled, but then a slow grin spread over his typically solemn features.
Beau, holding his hand over his heart, took the bait. “Sienna, I would be honored to taste your thighs and breasts.”
I shot him a warning glare. “Don’t you say that to her.” But I couldn’t keep my face straight either.
“What? What did I say?” Beau tried to sound and look affronted. “I was talking about her chicken. Obviously.”
Cletus’s grin had grown into an immense smile as his gaze moved over my woman with plain appreciation. “Well played, Ms. Diaz. Well played.”
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