This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Winston Brothers #4
Published on August 1st 2017
Published by Cipher-Naught
All's fair in love and auto maintenance.
Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.
Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.
Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever.
She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words.
Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.
The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean missing out on what matters most.
Beard in Mind was a beautiful story, it was raw, emotional, and real. Each time I read Penny’s book, I felt myself easily relate to the characters, I imagined this book would be the same for many as well. Penny’s creations are always more than a romance story, Penny takes risks and given a fresh take on the romance genre.
In Beard in Mind, Penny explored something we still consider as taboo, and reflecting the misconceptions we often portray on mental disorders.
There are people struggling externally, and others that struggle internally. It is easy to overlook at other’s struggles, people suffered with mental illness often feel alone, and sometimes all we need is to take a little bit more effort to get to know someone, and even more so to understand someone.
“Some seek help. Some don’t. But no one is ever fixed by another person. We can only work on ourselves. We are-using your analogy-our own refrigerators, no one else’s”
What really surprised me was how unexpected both Beau Winston and Shelly Sullivan turned out to be. Beau was known as the nice Winston twin, he was well-liked by pretty much everyone, he enjoyed being around people, he was kind and empathetic. While Shelly was new to the town, she struggled with her illness, she doesn’t get along with people easily. She was honest, but blunt, which tend to offended people, including Beau.
I thought their story was inspiring, in many ways they were perfect for each other, not only their personalities works out, but both Beau and Shelly tried to compromise, and go out their way to understand each other. Their relationship was not smooth, it started out with misunderstanding, but Beau was observing, and Shelly had wanted to take back control of her life. It was both of their efforts that have made the relationship work out.
What I really liked about this book, beside the love story of Beau and Shelly, it was the main theme of this book, Mental disorders. Mental disorders have many types, including functional, highly functional and non-functional. Shelly’s disorder was considering functional, as she was still able to carry on her daily routine, however, her disorder prevented her to be close to anyone, including her family. Like many people who suffered from mental disorders, Shelly feels alone and disconnected with others.
Shelly’s suffer from one of many forms of OCD, remember, while people may share the same characteristic, but not all individuals are affected in the same way; Penny didn’t skipped the raw stuff, as it was not easy for Shelly to open up herself to Beau. And while Beau may not fully understand Shelly’s condition, but he accepts Shelly as she was, and I thought that was important, that Beau was not trying to change Shelly.
As someone who studied Psychology in college, I’m a big advocate for Mental illness awareness. I really enjoyed reading this book, as statistics shown, one out 4 people in the world is affected by mental disorder, it is important to educate ourselves and increase awareness about mental illness.
Overall, this was another great addition to the series, as a shocking family secret was revealed in this book, I can’t wait to read the next book and find out what Penny has in store for the remaining Winston brothers!