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There are three things you need to know about Ashley Winston: 1) She has six brothers and they all have beards, 2) She is a reader, and 3) She knows how to knit.
Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous— local Game Warden, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee.
This is a full-length novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the fourth book in the ‘Knitting in the City’ series.
“I love the fire most because of what it leaves behind.”
I am in awe of Penny’s writing skills. I knew she had a unique wit and humour about her writing and that was apparent in the quips she wrote inside people’s photo books at the Edinburgh signing in July. But, having not read anything of hers yet I didn’t know exactly how her style would affect me.
This book holds deep issues and broaches tough topics. There were emotional times but overall I was laughing. I found this book hilarious. How unfeeling am I to laugh at a book with a “family tragedy” in it? It’s all in the writing, appropriate humour and execution of a well thought out plot with amazing characters – both main and side.
Ashley was as human and normal as they come. She is a nurse, works hard, has a close group of friends, loves to read and knit.
Insert her back into her home town and childhood house and you find out that the surname Winston isn’t synonymous with “normal”. I adored her bearded brothers, all 6 of them. They downright made me laugh. The amount of highlighted sections of my book are just things that they said is phenomenal. Not many of them would make sense to you now but whilst reading them they offered the much needed light relief.
“Why’d he pull you over, Duane?” This question came from Billy. “He’s an idiot. He said my tail light was out.” “Is your tail light out?” “Yes. But he’s still an idiot.”
Drew Runous is a quiet man, not your typical alpha all-consuming male character. But he certainly has a presence about him. He’s deep, meaningful and has a head full of Nietzsche quotes and poetry. Perfect for Ash. But neither of them catch on to their connection. Both too afraid to say something or act on their chemistry. But they are not without their fireworks and declarations of affection.
He was the Scottish highlander, Viking conqueror, bodice-ripping historical romance kind of handsome; an unshaven, lion wrestling, mountain man recluse, toss you over his shoulder and plunder your goodies kind of handsome. He was both scary and swoony. I wanted to braid his beard. I also wanted to run away.
It was almost painful at times to see them so desperate to be with one another but pushing each other away. It just wasn’t their time, it wasn’t for them then. But my goodness, I wanted Drew to just pick her up, throw her over his shoulder and whisk her away to his cabin so deep in the wilderness that no one would ever find them again. Ever. Their budding love was beautiful to read and came at an unideal time for them, but are they going to deny it forever? Hmmmm.
Thank you, Penny for giving me the opportunity and chance to introduce myself to your amazing skill, leaving me very much like Ashley after Drew’s family related revelation “My mouth? The one that was already open? Yeah, that one. It dropped.” Awesome talent, lady, can’t wait for more from you! Especially the Winston boys’ books!
“What does the fire leave behind? Destruction? Death?” Drew didn’t respond until he was almost out of sight. Then he turned around and, walking backwards for a few steps, he called out, “Ash – the fire leaves ash.”
(click on photo to learn more about the series)
About Penny Reid
SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).
By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.