REVIEW: Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers Book 1) by Penny Reid

Published: 28th July 2015

Publisher: Self-published

Pages: 388

Format: Paperback (gifted for Christmas)

RRP: $  $24.95 (Audible or $14.95 with subscription)

4/5 Stars 


Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!

Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level-headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life.

His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…

But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.

Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?

Truth or Beard was the first Penny Reid (soley) book I had ever read, and it absolutely blew me away.

Truth be told, I started reading this as a print book after receiving it from my Elfster for Christmas, for Penny Reid was scheduled to sign at this years Sydney Author Event and I was curious as to the hype surrounding her books. Needless to say, after devouring this book like crazy both in print and audio, I then moved on to swallow her entire back list and became a full fledged fan. That’s right people, Penny Reid officially became one of my favourite authors and one of my Unicorn authors all in 2018 alone.

Truth or Beard is the story of Duane Winston, a content red-headed mechanic from the small town of Green Valley, Tennessee and the love of his life Jessica James, a school teacher who yearns for something greater. Two worlds kind of crash headfirst in this hilarious rom-com, as both Duane and Jessica try to stay on top and keep their competing life goals in sight, while desperately hanging on to each other.

Jessica James is yet another quirky, and instantly likable character in what I’m learning is Penny Reid’s trademark. Stubborn, down to earth, and knowing exactly what she wants in life and how to achieve it, the last thing Jessica James was expecting in Green Valley was to fall in love. No, that wasn’t on her cards at all. Teaching by day, and dreaming of her escape from small time life every other second of the day and night, Jessica was only in town long enough to pay of her collage loans and get the hell out of dodge. But life appears had other plans, and on Friday night at the town’s regular community night of food and music, Jessica runs into her child hood nemesis and her world is thrown a little of kilter.

Duane Winston has been in love with Jessica James for as long as he can remember. But as the quite, more abrupt and honest speaking twin, lacking his brother Beau’s natural charm, he has never quite been the most successful ladies man. When the girl of his dreams, accidentally mistakes him for his brother … well Duane can’t help but play along. Before long, the pair are inseparable, fighting each other like cats and dogs, while loving each other with everything they have. Duane, slightly older than Jessica, believes one should court the gal of your dreams, for slow and steady wins the race, while Jessica is all for a little play before she leaves. Can Duane give up the girl when the time comes, and can they find a medium ground that doesn’t destroy each other and everyone they know and love in the process?

Truth or Beard is a long, slow burn romance; aka the best kind. It’s the type of book that took me unexpectedly by surprise and I seriously had no idea how Penny Reid was going to solve their issues and the characters over come their ‘black moment’. With both Duane and Jessica fighting to be alpha characters, and some rather big mystery, intrigue and romantic suspense plot elements at play, you really can’t put this book down!

Truth or Beard is a laugh out loud and swoon worthy read that will keep you on your toes. Featuring  strong and formidable leading characters, back-lit with a cast of  engaging and lively supporting characters, the narrative ensures that there is something for everyone, and hooks you into the series for a  long time to come.

I highly recommend this one!


To learn more about  Penny Reid, visit the following social media sites:

Goodreads | Author Website | Instagram | Twitter |  Facebook | Pinterest


To purchase a copy of Truth or Beard, visit the following online retailers:

 Ibooks | Amazon Aus | Amazon US | Amazon Uk | Audible | Google Play | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

4 thoughts on “REVIEW: Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers Book 1) by Penny Reid

    • Jess says:

      Her books are a breath of fresh air. Her other series (which this one one of spins of) has a tag line of Smart Romances and it’s so true for all her books. The characters are strong and fearless, and just real…

      Also Unicorn Authors as those ones that you love and are at the top of you all time favourite lists of people you want to meet if you were ever given the chance of a lifetime to do so. Kind of like, if by some chance the world granted you three wishes, who would you choose to meet kind of thing. Does that make sense? I’m explaining this horribly.

      • Ally says:

        Oh sweet! I may have to borrow this book from you then! It sounds really great!

        And that makes total sense! Such an awesome term 🦄

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