Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers #4) by Penny Reid

All's fair in love and auto maintenance.

Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.
Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.

Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever.
She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words.

Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.

The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean missing out on what matters most.

Pet’s $0.02

I always learn something from a Penny Reid book, and this one was no different. The amount of research Reid has to put into her books is mindboggling.

I also didn’t think, from book one, that there was another Winston sibling that would ever take the place of Cletus as my favorite. Again, I was so wrong.

Because, Beau? That man has kicked Cletus right the hell out of top spot!

I absolutely adore Shelly. And I love there is another connection between the Knitting in the City and the Winston Brothers series. At first glance she’s just the new mechanic at the Winston garage. She’s prickly and rude and she gets on Beau’s last nerve. She’s the only person in the entire town that has found some kind of fault in Beau’s appearance or temperament and has no problem calling those out. And she has a dry sense of humor and quirkiness, that even though is harsh, will make you laugh out loud. She was endlessly entertaining and reminded me of Quinn, with less tact.

Beau is a hard one to pigeon hole from the start. You want to like him, because he IS incredibly likeable. He never has a harsh word to say to anyone. He’s helpful and charming. He’s the Winston brother who smoothes rough edges in conversations or situations. And, he’s ready to settle down. He wants what his brothers have and he has no idea why he can’t get a handle on Shelly. He’s at a complete loss as to how to handle her, because she’s so completely outside everything he knows or understands.

What these two have going on in their lives, and what they show to the rest of the world, does not match. Although Shelly’s issues are something she has no choice in dealing with, I think Beau’s issues are just as heartbreaking. Both of them want to be accepted for who they are and what they can bring to a relationship. I’ll admit, Shelly’s reasons for self improvement made me get misty and won me over completely. I was totally invested in her finding her HEA.

You couldn’t find two people who are less suited for each other and who are more perfect together. Beau has never found a person he could not charm or did not like, before Shelly. And Shelly turns off everyone she comes into contact with, except for Cletus, which is reason enough to be intrigued by her. I liked that they had a lot to overcome before they could even begin to get to know each other so nothing felt rushed or too easy.

But once Beau figures out why Shelly behaves the way she does, he won my heart with the way he went about winning her.

I challenge anyone to pick a Winston brother who has put more thought or effort into winning the woman of their dreams. Sorry Cletus, you’ve been nudged to the side by Beau.