Title: Beard Necessities
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers #7
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Chic lit, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 22nd October 2021
Publisher: SmartyPants Romance
5th sentence, 74th page: “Then why are you drunk?”
Beards, brothers, and bears! Oh my!
Billy Winston’s family is going to see him happy and in love if it’s the last thing they do.
No one deserves happily-ever-after quite as much as the second oldest Winston brother and his lady love, Claire McClure (aka Scarlet St. Claire). Cruelty and circumstance tore them apart almost twenty years ago. Secrecy and bitterness kept them separated.
But you know who’s tired of their separation and stubbornness? Everyone. Especially billy Winston’s family. And now they’re going to do something about it.
Well-meaning interference means the star-crossed lovers can’t stop tripping over each other in the hills of Tuscany, the catacombs of Rome, and the waterways of Venice. Billy and Claire find themselves thrown together and at the mercy of the Winston siblings’ shenanigans.
But will their forced proximity bring them together? Or push them even further apart?
It’s taken me a while to get to this story. I’ve been attached to the idea of Scarlet and Billy from fairly early on in my reading of this series. But, it’s taken this long to actually get to this book. Partly because I obviously read all of the other books in this series first. But, mostly because I knew that they had the most tragic of backstories. And sometimes I really struggle with the sad backstories. They’re just so… sad.
Having said that, I did get the worst of the “sadness” over during my reading through of Beard in Mind. But I was worried about how long Reid was going to prolong the pain. I mean we’re talking a love story that is decades in the making and filled with lots of tragedy. I was still feeling tentative reading this. Luckily, it was NO where near as painful as I was expecting.
In fact, Scarlet seems to jump on board with the whole plan fairly quickly. And she’s able to stick with Billy as all of the secrets of the oast unravel. Don’t get me wrong, she’s no dishrag – she most definitely gives him what for when she finds out what he’s been keeping secret. But, her willingness to finally get over her crap and finally try made the hard parts so much more pleasant.
I loved the plotting and scheming of the Winston family throughout this. Surprisingly, nothing hugely backfired on them. And it filled this story with many, many beautiful, lighthearted moments. Finally, the epilogue helped to tie in all of the Winston family’s happily ever afters. Leaving me feeling grateful and at peace. Now onto the next series in my Penny Reid pile…