Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City #4) by Penny Reid

Beauty and the Mustache book coverBeauty and the Mustache is the fourth in the Knitting in the City series and effectively book 0 in the Winston Brothers series. For those of you familiar with the Winston Brothers brothers series, this book feels more a part of that one than Knitting in the City, even though the knitting group makes multiple appearances, as do Nico and Quinn.

So this book is about Ashley, the sole Winston sister. Ashley left Green Valley, Tennessee eight years ago to go to college and then take up life in Chicago, and she’s never regretted that choice. Especially since she’s kept in touch with the one family member she really liked, her mom. But when her mom disappears into the hospital and won’t see anybody, Ashley braves the journey there to find that her mom will see her. (I admit, I never got the reason for this, but whatever, people do weird things.) And she has late-stage cancer and mere weeks to live.

So now Ashley has to settle in with her brothers and a broody mystery man named Drew Runous who seems to just always be there at the house. Eventually, they find out Drew is the executor of Ashley’s mom’s estate, which matters because she actually has quite a bit of money and never managed to get a divorce from Ashley’s horrible father. The Winstons bring their mom home and two hospice nurses come in to help, with Ashley or one of the brothers constantly sitting with her.

But Drew. For Ashley, she can’t get him out of her head because he’s broody, unfairly good-looking, and a fan of poetry. He’s always quoting his favorite philosopher—Nietzche, who Ashley can’t stand even though she’s as familiar with him as Drew is. He’s also got some nice hands and lips which she keeps accidentally coming into contact with. But still, he seems to dislike her and she can’t figure him out. Plus, she’s there for her mom, not some fling.

Drew is definitely committed to her brothers and her mom as if he were part of the family and he keeps helping the family, so Ashley’s confused. And he keeps doing little things for her, until finally she thinks she sees him for who he is.

The book is told entirely in first person and is full of Reid’s customary humor despite the dark topics of the book.

If anyone had told me just a week ago that I would be kissing Drew on the back porch of my momma’s house as though his lips and body were my only source of nourishment, and I would be left with a lingering craving that could not be satiated, I would have told that person about the alien invasion happening in Poughkeepsie.

Drew’s pretty appealing, nice and swoon-worthy with his soft side contrasted by the fact that he casually wrestles bears when the need arises. And of course like all the books in the Winston Brothers series, this one is full of family and heart, because Ashley realizes her brothers have grown into decent people, despite being total buttwads while she was growing up.

Recommended for fans of Reids and also humans.