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The Filipina Booknote

Hi I'm Ella! A piano teacher and a bookworm who found solace in fiction books and music. 

Beauty and the Mustache

Beauty and the Mustache - Penny Reid Originally posted at The Filipina Booknote

This book literally took my breath away. It will tug your heart and yet comfort you too. It was disease and medicine in one. It will pull you down but definitely help you rise again. It was an experience I'd love to go through again and again. Damn, see what happens when Penny Reid does her magic? (I apologize for my lame attempt in poetry-sizing this book.)

Beauty and the Mustache exceeded every expectation I had on Penny Reid. She wasn't just good in making quirky and sexy characters, she was also good at pulling your tear plugs out. I already know that this will be a good read because, duh, anyone/everyone who has read her will know how amazing this writer is. But what I never expected was the rumble of emotions I was gonna feel upon reading this fourth book in her Knitting in the City series.

Another unexpected thing? How many times have you seen a fictional character talk about a fictional character from a book she read? Yes, Ashley did it here.

Reading, for me, was like breathing. It was probably akin to masturbation for my brain. Getting off on the fantasy within the pages of a good novel felt necessary to my survival.

Take romance for instance. Fictional women in romance novels never get their period. they never have morning breath. They orgasm seventeen times a day. And they never seem to have jobs with bosses.

Here we meet bookworm knitter Ashley Winston and her six hillbilly brothers. As she described, growing up with six brothers was like experiencing "perpetual adolescence" and hell in one, added to that is her father who is similar to evil on earth. That's why, growing up, she has always dreamed of leaving Tennessee and having a different life, a life she wanted, on a different place. But when her mother suddenly falls ill, she had no choice but to go back home and face the life she escaped.

But when she came back, she was surprised to meet Drew Runous. A "fictionally handsome" game warden who was seemingly close not just to her brothers but also to her mother. At first he seemed repulsive to Ash because he first thought the "Ash" the Winston family was talking about was a man. He didn't expect that Ash was short for Ashley, a beautiful and sexy nurse.

He was fiction handsome. He was the Scottish highlander, Viking conqueror, bodice-ripper historical romance kind of handsome; an unshaven, lion wrestling, mountain man recluse, toss you over his shoulder and plunder your goodies kind of handsome. He was both scary and swoony. I wanted to braid his beard. I also wanted to run away.

If there was someone who could describe Drew best, it would be Ashley. Someone has read Outlander!

Although she was already lusting at first sight with Drew, she can't help but see him as a trespassing Viking in their lives. She was gone for eight years and her mother never told her how big everyone and everything has changed. She felt like an outsider. But this feeling gradually changed as her six adorable brothers warmed up to her and finally they were a family again. With a little bit of help from momma bear, Ashley began warming up to Drew too. AND with a little bit of poetry, their love flourished. I can't even imagine reading their story in Drew's POV. I might just die in a see of swoons and feels. Just because... AAAAH.. *dies*

I've decided units and measurements of distance are bullshit. With you there are only two distances that matter:
Not here.

You're not here.


I might have died a bit from Drew's never-ending ammo of sweet words, and this man has a way with words. Forget about abs and smolders and good hair because admit it or not, a man without substance won't give you the romance you're looking for.

Half of the story revolved around Ash and Drew's taking comfort in each other midst the family's trials, and their dance around what will really happen to a Chicago woman and a Tennessee man. The other half of the story was how Ashley made her way back her family.

Not really surprising anyone, but I LOVED this book. My cheeks actually felt a little cramped from too much smiling! It had the right mix of feels on it that will surely make you laugh and tear a bit. Honestly, I was already expecting the Penny-humor in this, but never the I'll-clench-your-heart-you-better-get-ready part. I thought Penny Reid was only good at making me laugh and swoon, she was also good in making you feel things you never expected. Reading this was like getting inside the mind of a fellow fiction reader and experiencing her own fictional love story unfold. It was amazing. 

Smart romance? Check. Quirky characters? Check. Irresistible with a large brain man? MILLION CHECKS. Sometimes she makes me want to be one of her characters.

Aside from Drew, each Winston brother has his own handsomeness and I can't wait to read about these adorable men! Seriously, if they were already this charming in Ashley's book, I wonder how swoony they'll be once they get their own parts.

Penny Reid addiction is not healthy because the length of time in waiting for her next smart romance book will be painful and excruciating. I might even feel sorry for whatever book I'll be reading next because my book-high  will take a while before it subsides.

Hopeless romantics out there, if reading how I rave about this series doesn't push you to start reading these books, we will need to have a serious talk. This is an addiction I have to spread.