Thursday, September 29, 2016

Audiobook Review: Grin & Beard It by Penny Reid

Series:     Winston Brothers #2
Pub. Date:Sept. 5, 2016
NarratorsChris Brinkley
Cielo Camargo
Length:12 hrs 20 min

I just love the Winston brothers. These good ol' country boys paired with the beautiful Tennessee setting really makes me homesick. (Hopefully my mother doesn't read this. It's been a few years since she told me I need to move home, and we don't want to start that again!)

Anywho, our featured country boy in this story is Jethro Winston, eldest of the Winston clan. As you may remember from Truth or Beard, Jethro was the troublemaker of the group. Or, at least he was in his youth. Now Jethro is all grown up and a responsible adult. He is a family man, trying to take care of all the Winston clan and restore the family homestead to its original splendor. He is also watching over Ben's wife, after Ben was killed in Afghanistan. In short, Jethro is now a good guy carrying around an extreme amount of guilt over his past. I just loved him to pieces. I loved that Jethro was such a cute and charming flirt, and hated that he was punishing himself so severely for his misspent youth. Jethro was everything good and right about a good ol' boy from Tennessee. (Another reason to be homesick!) Chris Brinkley did a great job performing Jethro's character... he has a great deep southern voice/accent. I'm not sure if that's authentic or an affectation, but it worked perfectly in this role. 

Sienna Diaz wasn't quite what I was expecting in a heroine. Both her written character and Cielo Camargo's performance were reminiscent of Anna Faris. As an uber-famous movie star, Sienna was quite self-deprecating and humble... and a little bit of a kook! I liked that she was so funny... and I could totally relate to some of her zany behavior. I also have a penchant for saying random things, so I understood how her mind worked. I liked that Sienna was a feminist without being over-the-top and in-your-face with it, and she was more concerned with inspiring other Latina girls than her own fame and fortune. I do wish that she had stood up more to Marta and Tom, both of whom I hated. But overall she was a good heroine.

The relationship between Jethro and Sienna was not instalove... it was a bit of one step forward and three steps back for the first part of the book. Neither Jethro or Sienna have dated too seriously in the past, so they each had to figure out what they wanted. Then, of course, there are repercussions to dating Hollywood's sweetheart. Sienna must come to terms with asking Jethro to give up his privacy, and Jethro must accept that his rowdy past could have an impact on Sienna's career. So this couple definitely had issues to work through, and I was happy to see them do that together.

I also loved the help that Sienna and Jethro got from outside parties... namely Cletus. Cletus is still one of my favorite characters and I absolutely cannot wait for his book, Beard Science, to be released. I am also now interested to see what is going on between Billy and Claire, and I expect a drama-filled second chance romance out of those two.

This is only my second time reading Penny Reid, but I definitely have to go back and read her other books now. I'm a fan!

Winston Brothers