Monday, July 23, 2018

Audiobook Review: Beard in Mind by Penny Reid

Series:Winston Brothers #4
Pub. Date:Nov. 8, 2017
Narrator:Chris Brinkley
Angela Dawe
Length:13 hrs 19 min

Beard in Mind is the fourth installment of the fun and quirky Winston Brothers series, set in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee - a place very close to my heart. Reading and listening to this series never fails to make me nostalgic for home, even if Green Valley is a fictional place (based on one of the many similar towns in and around the mountains). 

Penny Reid typically gives us unique and interesting characters, and our heroine in this installment is no exception. Shelly Sullivan, who you may remember as being the somewhat odd sister of Quinn Sullivan from Neanderthal Seeks Human, has relocated to Green Valley to work at the Winston Auto Shop and deal with her issues. We now learn the reasons behind Shelly's rudeness and blunt speech, and see just what torture goes on in her head when she can't interact normally with others. My heart went out to Shelly, and I found it refreshing for a character to unashamedly discuss her therapy and issues with our hero, even though she hasn't confessed it to her family. I also loved that Shelly was both talented and super smart... the combination of artist and auto mechanic didn't strike me as common, so I liked the contrast. Shelly also had some great insults, which have now gone into my databank to mumble under my breath when presented with a truly trying person. 😈

Our hero of this installment is Beau Winston, the charming and affable twin whom everyone loves. Beau seems to be able to charm his way out of just about anything, so he certainly wasn't ready to be confronted with a beautiful but surly new employee, one who rubbed him the wrong way at almost every turn. I enjoyed watching Beau come to the realization that there was more to Shelly than meets the eye, and once his eyes were opened, he became as supportive and protective of her as he was of most everyone else (and broken refrigerators). I was impressed by Beau's willingness to help Shelly, despite some heavy things he was going through on his own. And man, were those revelations a doozy! There was quite a bit about Beau that surprised me, and that I did not predict based on what I knew of his character from previous books. It was fun getting to know him.

The relationship between Beau and Shelly was intense, compassionate and dynamic - and it unfolded at the perfect pace with the story. There were some secondary storylines that helped to advance the plot so that we weren't always focused on the romance, and I felt like those meshed well and did not take away from our budding relationship. 

The narrators did a great job with the performance. I particularly liked Chris Brinkley's portrayal of Beau and all the Winston brothers. He was able to affect a believable southern accent without making it over-the-top. Angela Dawe and her even monotone was a good choice for Shelly's stoicism. Though I did have a little problem adjusting to her in this role, as I'm so used to Angela's narration of the Psy-Changeling series that I forgot a couple times what I was listening to.

If you like southern themed romances or romantic comedies in general, I highly recommend the Winston Brothers series.

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