Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!
Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level-headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life.
His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…
But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.
Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?
CW: Sexual content, profanity, mild violence
If you know me, you know I’m not the biggest fan of romance. I will read it, but I don’t love it, and I definitely don’t continue with a series of it. This one is an exception.
I’ve fallen in love with Green Valley, Tennessee and most of the people who live there. While I’m not in love with the Iron Wraiths biker gang, I am intrigued by the one they call Repo. He seems different than the rest of the gang, especially when it comes to Jessica James.
I love Jessica’s character. She’s funny, sweet, and sassy. She knows who she is and what she wants. Or at least she thinks she does.
Jessica’s brother Jackson is a royal pain in the butt to both Jessica and the Winston brothers. I often found myself groaning at some of the things he did in this book.
The Winston brothers are a collective group of characters – we don’t see them all for very long in this book. The ones we see the most of are Beau, Duane, Cletus, and Jethro. Billy and Roscoe are seen and get a bit of dialogue time, but not a whole lot. It’s mostly Beau and Duane (twins), Cletus and Jethro.
Jethro isn’t seen for a whole lot of the book, I’d say the last 1/4 – 1/3 of the book has Jethro in it. I got the sense that there is much more to Jethro than meets the eye. This is a character I want to see more of – fortunately it appears he is the featured brother in the second book of the series, Grin and Beard It.
Beau Winston is the identical twin brother of our main man in Truth or Beard, Duane. He’s a sweet, easy-going guy. You don’t get to see too much of his personality other than to tell that when the twins are on the loose, Beau is “good cop” and Duane is “bad cop”. He is the focus of the fourth book in the series, Beard in Mind.
Cletus is, to me, adorable. He’s a nerd in the highest sense. He’s good with machines and is just a sweetheart. He’s also a smart aleck at times, which is pretty fun. It seems he got the third book, Beard Science.
Finally, we have the male star of this book, Duane Winston. He’s gruff and no-nonsense. He loves Jessica with every fiber of his being. He’s the bad cop to Beau’s good cop. He’s a great guy even if Jessica can’t see it at first.
It took me a bit to figure out the actual plot behind this book other than Duane loves Jessica and Jessica hates Duane because she thinks he’s a jerk. It’s a classic enemies to lovers trope, but it is done in a way that doesn’t make it as cheesy or obnoxious as a lot of authors do it.
The plot twists aren’t something you see coming. However, there is one plot twist I was expecting that didn’t happen. I won’t say what it is, because it might come up in one of the later books. All I can say is that there are hints to it in this book, so I’m hoping it comes up later.
I gave this a 4 out of 5 stars. It’s not perfect but most books aren’t. I can’t wait to dig into the second book to find out what happens with Jethro.