Beard Science (Winston Brothers) – book review

Beard Science
by Penny Reid
Release Date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: Cipher-Naught
Book #3 in the Winston Brothers series
Number of Pages: 386
Contemporary Romance
Ages 15 and up
CW: emotional & verbal abuse,
physical abuse mentioned
Make a deal with the devil and you might get what you want, but will it be what you need?

Jennifer Sylvester wants one thing, and that one thing is NOT to be Tennessee’s reigning Banana Cake Queen. Ever the perpetual good girl and obedient daughter, Jennifer is buckling under the weight of her social media celebrity, her mother’s ambitions, and her father’s puritanical mandates. Jennifer is officially desperate.

And desperate times call for Cletus Winston.

Cletus Winston is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery covered in conundrum sauce, and now he’s in a pickle. Despite being convinced of his own omniscience, extortion by the exalted Banana Cake Queen of Green Valley has taken him completely by surprise. So… what’s a maniacal mastermind to do?

Likely, the last thing you expect.

Man, I love Cletus. Going into this book I had high expectations. Not only because of how much I’ve come to enjoy the character of Cletus throughout this series, but because I’ve heard so many great things about this book it was a bit pumped up in my mind. This gave me a bit of worry because how could it possibly live up to my hopes? And, truth be told, the first few chapters even gave me pause. Was this story really going to be what I wanted it to be? The answer is YES.

While I’m still in love with Cletus and enjoyed getting to know the more vulnerable side of the guy, Jennifer’s journey really sealed the deal for me. This was one of those books where I wanted to crawl into the pages and give a character a hug. Her parents are awful! Just when you think you heard the worst of it, a few chapters later something else is revealed. The fact that Jennifer, even after starting to come into her own and shed her chains, cannot see how terrible her parents are is written so well. When you’re in it you just can’t see it for what it truly is, and that comes across here. Seeing Jennifer bloom was delightful.

As much as I love Cletus, he can be his own worse enemy. That literal mind of his gets in the way. It’s not that he can’t think outside the box, it seems that’s the only way Cletus can think. But outside of the box or not, he needs things to be orderly and he must always be in control of the narrative. Yeah, love doesn’t work like that. Jennifer and Cletus are a match meant to be. She may be the one who seems to need more, but that’s not the case. He needs her just as much.

This family is fantastic. They are the most open and joyful bunch, even the grumps among them. I am getting more and more intrigued with Billy. He stands alone in many ways when it comes to the Winston family. Yet he’s always there to lend an ear or a shoulder and he gives surprisingly great advice. He seems to often be a calming presence to his brothers and sister. I think I’m anticipating his HEA more than I anticipated this one.

Oh, and one more thing in case you didn’t know. There is a spin-off series for Cletus and Jenn! It sounds like a lot of fun and hijinx. The first in that series, Engagement and Espionage, wasn’t published until years after this book so I have to look into reading order to know for sure, but I think it comes after the end of this series.

4.5 stars

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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3 Responses to Beard Science (Winston Brothers) – book review

  1. Woohoo! I’m so happy Cletus lived up to your expectations. He’s my favorite character in this series. After you finish this series, you need to read the spin-off series about Cletus and Jen. I think otherwise there might be spoilers.

    • Cheri says:

      Good to know that for sure. I was going to go by publication date because I wasn’t positive. I’m looking forward to more from those two!

  2. Pingback: Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers) – book review | All In Good Time

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