Sienna Diaz is everyone’s favorite “fat” funny lady. The movie studio executives can’t explain it, but her films are out-grossing all the fit and trim headliners and Hollywood’s most beautiful elite. The simple truth is, everyone loves plus-sized Sienna.
But she has a problem, she can’t read maps and her sense of direction is almost as bad as her comedic timing is stellar. Therefore, when Sienna’s latest starring role takes her to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park she finds herself continually lost while trying to navigate the backroads of Green Valley, Tennessee. Much to her consternation, Sienna’s most frequent savior is a ridiculously handsome, charming, and cheeky Park Ranger by the name of Jethro Winston.
Sienna is accustomed to high levels of man-handsome, so it’s not Jethro’s chiseled features or his perfect physique that make Sienna stutter. It’s his southern charm. And gentlemanly manners. And habit of looking at her too long and too often.
Sienna has successfully navigated the labyrinth of Hollywood heart-throbs. But can she traverse the tenuous trails of Tennessee without losing her head? Or worse, her heart?
Find on Goodreads
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1TS9IBk
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1U2wm8M
Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/1Vclw2e
Reviewed: May 2016.
Have you ever had that moment where you're so in awe of an authors work that you feel a sense of trepidation every time you pick up one of their books? When Grin & Beard It landed on my kindle it was with a sense of both heady excitement and nervous trepidation, I was desperate for this book, but what if it didn't live up to my expectations? I was clearly foolish to be concerned, within the first page Sienna's voice gripped me, she was quirky and forthright, captivating almost immediately, there was something about her that was both enticing and yet so incredibly real, it's a hard task, making a Hollywood starlet still seem like the girl next door, well not the boring girl next door, but the one you desperately want to be friends with.
"I honesty don't know. It's everything about you, I guess. Everything together that makes you impossible to leave, impossible to forget."
If Sienna Diaz is all sexy, confident, friendly and outgoing, Jethro Winston is somewhat of an enigma, he's the black sheep of the Winston clan, he's definitely had the most colourful past, and yet has truly changed his ways becoming an upstanding member of the local community. When Sienna and Jethro meet there's a connection for sure, but Reid writes it so eloquently that it's slow burn at it's finest, their increased interaction purely stroking the flames of attraction, slowly building so that the more they spoke with one another, the more they interacted, the more that spark deepened into something real, something beautiful, the more I fell in love with both the characters and with Reid's words.
"Our past would always be part of us, but it would never wholly define us, either together or as individuals. Each moment was a decision. We could either live up or down to people's expectations, or blow them completely away. We had no control over what other people decided to think, but we did have control over our own actions, who we wanted to be, and how we lived our life."
Therein lies the beauty of Reid's books, it's experiencing everything from those first twinges of attraction, to the sly smiles and longing looks, it's the sweet words and the tender moments, it's the burning desire and lust, so explosive that it jumps off the page. It's all of those moments, and all of the others in between, it's the feeling of completely losing yourself in the story, in the small town that the Winston brothers call home, the sheer brilliance of Sienna, a woman that has been content playing the role everyone expects her to for so long that she's started to forget why she started this journey in the first place, a woman who is unquestionably a Hollywood megastar and yet uncharacteristically down to earth, she's found something in Jethro that she's never experienced before, from the undeniable attraction, to the butterflies to the constant need to just be near them, she's sure of herself, confident, has that thing, that x factor that makes someone impossible to forget, in so many ways she's Jethro's polar opposite, and yet in others they mesh more perfectly than either dreamt possible. There's a moment for every reader when you connect with a book, when you lose yourself in the author's words, when you forget time, forget what you need to do, forget everything that exists outside of the characters and their connection, that moment was instantaneous with Grin & Beard It, it was effortless in everyway, just like Jethro when he speaks to his feelings for Sienna, everything about this story was impossible to leave, impossible to forget, I was invested, captivated, utterly enchanted by the full of life lady and the mountain man who found each other unexpectedly, and in the midst of their normal lives found something extraordinary. Penny Reid once again reminded me why she is an automatic purchase author for me, her stories fanciful and yet full of universal truths, adults meeting and embarking on their something more, no angst for the sake of building drama, no silly miscommunication that leaves me tugging my hair out, her sheer brilliance reliant purely on her ability to captivate her reader, something she has done EVERY SINGLE TIME I pick up her books.
"Happy to hear it. Because when I'm with you, I feel like I'm both flying and falling."
About Penny Reid:
Penny Reid is a USA Today Best Selling Author of romantic fiction. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances she works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She's also a full time mom to three diminutive adults (boy-8, girl-6, and girl-4 months), wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.
Connect with Penny on Facebook