Truth or Beard (Wintson Brothers #1) by Penny Reid

Romance, 390 pages, published in 2015

After moving home after college, Jessica runs into Beau, the boy from her hometown that she’s had a crush on since she was a teenager, but through a bizarre chain of events, she becomes involved with his twin, Duane.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Content Warnings: graphic sex, guns, gangs, questionable consent

I was hoping I was really going to love this series because they are all free on Audible Plus, but unfortunately, this was a huge miss for me.

The initial scene already put a bad taste in my mouth. Jessica and who she thinks is Beau, do some things worthy of consent right at the beginning of the book, but in reality, it is his twin Duane, who is making her think that he is Beau. She has very different relationships with the twins, so it just felt really gross to me to have her duped in this way. Duane even gets mad at her when she is mad about the situation, which I thought was ridiculous.

I was hoping it would improve from there, but it didn’t for me. I just thought that everything was so drawn out and there were so many side plots and unnecessary twists that it just felt like a slog to get through. There was a whole biker gang plotline that I felt was barely mentioned in the synopsis, but took up so much of the book. There was also a whole plotline with Jessica’s aunt that really had no purpose in this story.

I felt neutral about Jessica, but I really didn’t like Duane. At times, he was cute, but he just kept doing really stupid things. He also insisted on doing things “the right way” with Jessica, which felt old-fashioned, especially because Jessica didn’t care about that.

Their relationship was just filled with so much miscommunication. The deal breaker for their relationship that caused tension had such an easy answer in my mind, but it took them the entire book to get there. By the time they got to the resolution, I just didn’t care.

I really don’t have anything positive to say about this book. I didn’t even vibe with the narrator and none of the side characters were interesting to me. I’ve seen quite a few people enjoy this book, but it really wasn’t for me.

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