Monday, June 13, 2016

Blog tour + Giveaway + Review: "Grin and beard it" by Penny Reid

Author: Penny Reid
Book 2 in series Winston brothers
Main characters: Jethro Winston and Sienna Diaz


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?

You have no idea how ecstatic I was when I was lucky enough to get my hands on the ARC of this gem :) because not only I am a huge fan of Penny and her writing style, it was one of my highly anticipated releases of this year :) and what a phenomenal book it was... *sighs happily* and even though Alex and Sandra from "Love hacked" are definitely still my favourite couple out of all her books, I swear you guys... those Winston brothers are going to be the death of me... a swooning, heart-melting and oh so delicious death of me... ;) technically this book is part of a series, and I usually recommend a series to be read in order... and in this case you should read ALL the books written by Penny Reid cause she is amazing... but if you want to, this story can be read as a standalone as well ;) and since I have sooo many good things to say about this book, let's just jump right into the details, shall we? :)

First of all, let's talk about that main couple... ;) and I need to start with Sienna, because once I'll think about Jethro... *sighs dreamily* ok, snap out of it... ;) sorry, but that tends to happen when I think about him... ;) so Sienna... ;) I absolutely loved her... :) she was yet another addition to a whole spectrum of strong female protagonists that appear in Penny's books :) don't get me wrong, she's not perfect, far from it :) she's flawed, but in an honest and real way, not this "damsel in distress, I need a man to save me" sort of way ;) she's hilarious, but also uses that great sense of humor of hers to hide sometimes... and then there's Jethro... *sighs dreamily again, and it will probably happen one more time before the end of this review* ;) Jethro was a swoonworthy hero, that made me week in the knees and just melt all on the floor... I absolutely loved him... :) and again, he's not perfect or anything :) he actually has a very... let's call it "complicated" past, but for the last few years he's been a changed man, turning his life around and trying to make amends with his family... more about them in a moment ;) Jethro was... just... *sighs dreamily for the third time* told you it would happen ;) Jethro was everything I love in a main character... he was smart, charming... and when I say charming I mean that he would be able to flirt his way into your pants in a flash... ;) it's like a superpower that needs to be used with responsibility ;)

They meet when Sienna is lost and he's the one to find her on the side of the road... ;) and all I can say about this situation is... I get lost all the time, cause my sense of direction is awful... why can't I be found by someone like Jethro?!? ;) life is just not fair... ;) but back to the story :) after that first meeting he actually doesn't know who she is, but fortunately that little secret of hers is out in the open pretty quickly, and I was very happy about it, cause one of the things I don't like in books is when there are secrets between characters... :) their relationship is actually quite slowbuilding... it takes place over some amount of time and I absolutely loved it... that slow seduction... the banter between them... because they are both smart and charming... ;) but like I mentioned before, both of the are flawed and I adored seeing it... because it felt honest and real, their struggles and arguments were about some very important things... and sorry, I can't be more specific, you don't want spoilers... ;) all you need to know is that their whole story is absolutely wonderful and you need it in your lives... ;)

Now about some secondary characters... ;) first of all, there's this whole Winston family... ;) overall there are six brothers and one sister :) and all of them make at least an appearance in this story... if I would start writing about all of them, we would be here all day, so I'm gonna contain myself to just the two brothers... ;) Cletus and Billy ;) Cletus is the hero of the next book in this series, coming at the end of this year :) at least that's the plan for now, so fingers crossed it will work ;) he's the most peculiar of all the members of that family and that's saying something, cause they are all... unique and awesome... but he has that extra something and I can't wait to read his story and get to know even more about him... ;) and Billy... *sighs* he's going to be the hero of the last book in this series and it really pains my heart that I'm gonna have to wait so many months for his book... not to mention that I have a pretty strong feeling, that it will break my heart... don't worry, it will definitely also build it back up again... but... there are hints and glimpses about him in the books that make me think that his might be a very emotional story... and I can't wait to read it :) besides that family, I need to mention one more person... Dave, Sienna's chief of security :) he's fantastic... and I absolutely loved how he and Cletus... well, not exactly together, but they both did it... ;) how they both played the role of matchmakers... ;) it was at the same time hilarious and adorable... ;) and in Cletus's case downright scary, cause his mind can be pretty sinister and devious... ;) did I already mentioned how I can't wait to read his book??? :)

I have been a fan of Penny Reid and her writing style from the very start, but I do have to say, that she just gets better and better with time... ;) and this newest addition to one of her series is yet another example of it :) seriously, the way this woman creates characters and plots... the way she spins her tales, painting such stunning and real stories... :) I am in awe :) this particular book is told with 2 POVs which was just one more reason for me to love it, cause I absolutely adore this in books... to be able to see the perspectives of both main characters... and it was done exceptionally well in this case :) her stories are always unique and unpredictable... I learned long ago to never anticipate what might happen, because Penny never takes the obvious way... :) her stories, as well as the characters she creates, are always different from each other... each book is unique, that's why we can all find a little something special for us in them... ;) and this book, with the slowbuilding romance and the overall atmosphere is the perfect escape from reality... you all need a little bit of that kind of magic in your lives... ;)

I have a few quotes for you today and believe me... that is just a tiny glimpse into all the awesomeness that you can find in this book :) I just wanted to show you what awaits you in this story, without giving away much details ;) but since they are from an ARC version, there might be slight changes in the finished one :) happy reading :)

The very beginning of the book, when Sienna is lost ;)
"I was lost. I was lost lost. My throat was tight with how lost I was. A desperate lost, half wondering if I'd crossed over into a new dimension and would never be found lost. I hadn't seen another car, let alone a pedestrian, in over an hour. Perhaps I was now the last person left on the face of the earth. Perhaps everyone else had been abducted by aliens. I was so lost not even aliens could find me."

And still from that very first chapter... oh how I can relate to Sienna and the map ;)
"Calming breaths were coming out as slightly hysterical huffs as I snatched the map from the passenger's seat. I shook out the map. I enjoyed the violent sound of the paper rumpling in my hands. I cleared my throat. I glared at the map. I continued glaring at the map. I decided the map was clearly written by masochistic doodling ancient Egyptians because everything was hieroglyphics and unreadable doodads. I cursed the map.

A little something with Sienna and Jethro ;)
"Not waiting for her response, I exited the truck and crossed to her side. I opened the door, reaching my hand out to help her down, but she was changing her shoes. My eyes drifted to her legs, happy to have a reason to stare at the shapely calves as she pulled on black high heels.
'Nice shoes,' I said, the compliment slipping out. I hoped there'd come a time when she'd wear just those shoes for me and nothing else. In fact, I filed that thought away under my to do list.
'Thanks.' She grinned, flashing her dimples as she finished. 'I'll let you borrow them if you want.'"

Just a small part of a scene with Jethro and the rest of his family ;)
"Beau must've guessed my intentions as he swung open his door and jumped to his feet, continuing to poke at me. 'Jet, we're all dying to know what's going on with you and Sienna Diaz.'
'No one is dying.' Roscoe unfolded from the Pontiac after I pushed my seat forward. He grinned at me as he straightened. 'We're just close to apoplexy.'
'Well, I'm more worried about the blueberries.' Cletus climbed out on Beau's side and the frown he tossed at me was grim. 'Blueberries aren't in season yet.'
'Would you forget about the blueberries?' Beau hissed.
I spotted Jessica's Jag kicking up dust as it pulled up our drive. Ignoring Beau, I shut my door and made for the porch.
'I share Cletus's worry over the blueberries,' I said, just to rankle Beau.
'See? Jethro's worried, and he's never worried.' Cletus gestured toward me then pointed at Beau. 'You should be worried, too.'
Jess parked next to Beau's vintage Pontiac, and Duane held up two pints of blueberries as he stood up from her fancy Jaguar.
'You can stop panicking, Cletus. I have the berries.'
'Oh, thank God.' Cletus held his chest and stumbled a step backward. 'You should have live-tweeted your progress, I was near a fit.'"

And last one with Sienna and Jethro... *sighs dreamily* ;)
"Without warning, music reverberated from his phone. I recognized the song but didn't recall the title. It was an old recording. A woman's voice singing French words filled the space between and around us.
'What song is that?'
Jethro's warm gaze moved over me, an alluring smile just curving his lips. 'La vie en rose.'
'It's beautiful.' It was beautiful but it wasn't helping my mood.
Then Jethro held out his hand. 'Dance with me.'
Blinking, first at his offered palm and then at his features, I asked, 'Why?'
Not immediately replying, he reached for me, pulled me to my feet, and slid an arm around my waist. I allowed him to hold my body against his, fit our hands together, and sway to the lovely music. Begrudgingly, I admitted to myself he had great rhythm. Someone had taught him to dance.
Jethro dipped his mouth to my ear, his beard tickling my neck as he finally whispered an answer to my question, 'Because you want me to hold you, but you don't know how to ask.'"



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.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway About the author:

Penny Reid is the USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she's not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She's also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

Find her online: WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoodreads



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