Beauty and the Mustache

by Penny Reid

Mr. Blond Beard considered me with impatience, as if I were gum on his shoe. I returned his malicious glower, as if he were gum in my hair.

3.5 stars. I bought this on Kindle for 99 cents on a whim after reading all the great reviews. It was the first one I have read by this author. I generally don’t buy kindle only/self-published books, but this one surprised me. Ms Reid is a very good writer. She is funny, and her characters are likable and engaging. My emotions were definitely engaged. I was drawn in right away by her good fun and fast witty dialogue and descriptions and was even moved to tears a few times. It was a page-turner. She is not quite on par with Kristan Higgins or SEP, however. It was too long through the middle, and very repetitive. Although strong in dialogue and character development, it was very weak in plot. I had no trouble doing some skipping here and there. After establishing the setting and the overall direction (Chicago Nurse goes home to sit vigil at her dying mother’s side and re-establish a relationship with her beloved but estranged 6 brothers) and a good romance (very intriguing and mysterious hero, if a little over the top) she kind of went around in circles in the middle with the romance and it didn’t pick up again until her evil father showed up. She could have brought in more about her childhood (lots of fodder there!) and played up more conflict and hurt and final reconciliation with her brothers, for example. She missed some real opportunities to deepen the novel. She brought in a lot of good characters and all were well-developed individuals: Her 6 brothers and her 4 friends from her knitting club AND their husbands (whew, there were a lot of characters!), all held my interest and I will definitely be pursuing their individual stories. Listen to me. Obviously, I missed my calling as an editor.

One final criticism of this 3 1/2 star book: That last chapter where we go into the mind of the hero where he looks back on their relationship a year later, was kind of creepy. He was a very strange dude, which wasn’t apparent in the rest of the novel.

Also, it has a dumb title which has nothing to do with the book. Why not Beauty and the 7 Beards?

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

May 10, 2016

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