Tuesday, October 25, 2016

ARC Review: Beard Science by Penny Reid

Series:     Winston Bros. #3
Pub. Date:Oct 18, 2016
Length:384 pages

The whole Winston Brothers series has been fantastic, and Cletus has been a favorite from the beginning. So I knew that there was no way that I wouldn't just love this book. I did the prior two books in audio so I will say that I totally missed hearing Cletus and all the southern accents. Penny chooses fabulous narrators for her books and they really bring the characters to life... much better than I can do them in my head. So I may grab this one in audio as well just so I can get my fix.

Cletus Winston is one of the five fabulously bearded Winston Brothers that drive the females crazy in Green Valley, Tennessee. (Side note - why didn't I meet any guys like this when I lived in Knoxville? Sigh.) Cletus is such a unique hero... probably the most unique that I have read this year. He is uber intelligent and devious and manipulative as all get out. He hides his handsome visage behind untamed hair and an unkempt beard to misdirect everyone from his calculating mind and dubious activities. What I previously thought of as Cletus' oddities, I have now come to learn was actually carefully crafted behavior that allows him to be a sneaky super genius. Although I loved Cletus in the previous installments, I wasn't sure how I would feel about him as a romantic interest. But I just loved him to pieces! I found it humorous that he knows everything about everyone, but he was totally blind to what was happening in his own situation. It was a classic case of a disconnect between the brain and the heart.

Jennifer Sylvester is best known as the Banana Cake Queen, always perfectly coiffed and costumed as the quintessential 1950s housewife. At 22 years old, she still lives with her parents and is pretty much their doormat. She has no choices when it comes to her hair, makeup, nail polish... she doesn't even get paid for busting her butt 70+ hours per week at the family bakery. Normally this is the type of heroine that I hate. However I was strangely sympathetic to Jennifer, even getting a little misty-eyed sometimes at how she was treated and just how desperate she was. I couldn't believe how rude and hurtful some people were, and Jennifer's way of dealing with it just showcased how poorly she was treated on a regular basis. I ended up really enjoying watching Jen bloom under Cletus' tutelage and grow a backbone.

So the relationship between these two was a slow burn. Cletus was somewhat oblivious to his own feelings, and Jennifer didn't have the confidence at first to go after what she wanted. I loved the whole blackmail scenario because it was funny to see Cletus get so flabbergasted over this slip of a girl that he never saw coming.

The secondary characters in this series are stellar. We are introduced to a new character in this installment that shows great promise for the future. I believe she will be the romantic pairing for Beau, and it promises to be explosive. I can't wait.

I received an advanced review copy of this book as part of the blog tour with IndieSagePR.

About the Author

Penny Reid is the USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she's not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She's also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

Winston Brothers