Monday, June 13, 2016

Grin and Beard It (Winston Brothers #2) by Penny Reid: Blog Tour Review, Excerpt & Giveaway


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 backroads 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 heartthrobs. But can she traverse the tenuous trails of Tennessee without losing her head? Or worse, her heart?

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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.

“That’s right.”

“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.

Even Cletus.

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.”

About Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is a part time author of romantic fiction. When she is not immersed in penning smart romances she works full time in the biotech industry as a researcher. She's also a full time mom to two diminutive adults (boy-7 and girl-5), wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought hijacker.

Connect with Penny Reid:

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Review by Yvette:

There is nothing better than the feeling of opening a book and, within a few pages, becoming so absorbed in the story and in the characters that the world around you disappears. I’ve read enough of Penny Reid’s books to recognize that she’s a consistently brilliant storyteller whose signature mixture of eccentric charm and wit is infused into every story, and her newest release, Grin and Beard It, is no different. Like its predecessor, the second book in The Winston Brothers series is an outrageously funny, swoon-worthy romance that had me glued to my Kindle from start to finish. With her newest release, Grin and Beard It, the author is at her comedic best. I laughed. I teared up. I mourned the fact that the Winston brothers are, in fact, merely fictional characters. Grin and Beard It is undoubtedly Penny Reid's most hilarious book to date.

What do you get when you pair a plus-sized Hollywood comedienne and a devilishly charming Park Ranger? Comic gold, apparently. When actress Sienna Diaz is stranded in the backwoods of Tennessee en route to shooting a film, she’s rescued by the handsome and well-mannered Ranger, Jethro Winston, who, coincidentally, happens to be one of the few people on the planet who has no idea of Sienna’s star status. Their lives couldn’t be more different yet, from the moment they meet, they just click. Jethro’s good old-fashioned Southern charm is an entertaining complement to Sienna’s outrageously funny (and often inappropriate) humor. Grin and Beard It made me hysterically laugh aloud and that alone is enough for me to recommend this book.

What I absolutely loved about this pairing is Sienna and Jethro’s instant and natural rapport. Sienna is naturally vivacious and endearing while Jethro is an incorrigible flirt. Their banter is good-naturedly teasing, seductive, and suggestive. The heat between them combined with their obvious chemistry is enough to have you fanning your face and collapsing into a puddle of swoon. Grin and Beard It is filled with humor and passion but it’s also emotionally compelling. We get to delve a bit into Jethro and Sienna’s backstories and become intimately acquainted with both their strengths and their weaknesses. Both these characters have what they see as flaws, yet it’s these “flaws” that made their stories so captivating and relatable.

With its quirky, but lovable characters, swoon-worthy romance, and lighthearted feel, Grin and Beard It has all the perfect ingredients for a must-read romantic comedy. I will go ahead and say that Grin and Beard It is my favorite book of the author’s so far (which it is) but I think I might have to alter that distinction once again with the release of Cletus’s story, Beard Science. Is it possible to love a book before even reading a single sentence? Because I do. And I need this book. Soon please.

*complimentary copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 5 Stars

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