Monday, May 14, 2018

Truth or Beard by Penny Reid

DNF @ 43%

My romance group, the Unapologetic Romance Readers, picked this as our May group read. Some of us really enjoyed it - but others fell into the camp of, "Excuse me, what is this?"

As far as I can tell, the plot of these books can be summed up as "Men Who Have Beards... and the Women Who Want to Do Them." (The men, that is - not the beards, although given the strangeness of this book, beard sex probably isn't off the table.)

Beau and Duane Winston are two of these Men with Beards. They are identical twins, although with opposite personalities. Beau is the Elizabeth Wakefield of the two: friendly, sociable, intelligent, good ol' boy, whereas Duane is the Jessica Wakefield: moody, sarcastic, mean-spirited, and selfish.

Jessica - I mean the Jessica of this book, Jessica James (not to be confused with the far more awesome Jessica Jones) - has been in love with Beau her whole life. So when one of the twins decides to cop a feel and then more than a feel, she naturally assumes it's Beau and just rolls with it. Little does she know that the twin she nearly does in the shadowed corners is actually Duane (and if that weren't icky enough, he knows that she thinks he's his brother and doesn't tell her).

Honestly, this happens so much in romance novels, and I think it's such a gross, fetishy trope. I can't imagine twins IRL pulling sex pranks on their love interests or pretending to be their twin in order to get some booty. That feels almost rapey to me, because you don't technically have their consent to have sex with you. I didn't like Duane from that moment on, and his treatment of his stripper girlfriend, Tina, and his creepy, Travis Maddoxy assertion that he and Jessica are "suited" just continued to make me like him less, and less, and less.

I also didn't really care for the writing style or the humor in this book. Penny Reid kind of reminds me of L.H. Cosway with her awkward asides and weird, rambling humor about totally random stuff, and I believe Reid and Cosway actually did a collab, so that's probably a match made in heaven. Not my heaven, obviously, but somebody's. Somebody who is not me.

I was going to try to force myself to finish this but I have so little time these days that I may go back to rating and reviewing books I haven't finished. Normally I just chuck them to the side, unread, but I feel like if a book is so bad that pushing yourself to continue actually ruins your day a little, the public should be informed.

P.S. What is up with the biker gang sub-plot? It's like the author herself realized, "Hmm, this book is actually kind of boring. Better add in some pointless action."

P.P.S. Does Jessica have a circumcised penis fetish? She was really into the fact that Duane was circumcised. Like, REALLY into it.

1 out of 5 stars

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