Tag Archives: Winston Brothers

Dr. Strange Beard by Penny Reid

Overview
Dr. Strange Beard : Penny Reid : 9781635763515

Title: Dr. Strange Beard
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers #5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Chic lit, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 15th – 25th March 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: SmartyPants Romance
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: I see your point.

Synopsis

Beards, brothers, and bears, oh my!
Hunches, horse races, and heartbreak

Ten years after Simone Parton broke his heart, all Roscoe Winston wants is a doughnut. He’d also like to forget her entirely, but that’s never going to happen. Roscoe remembers everything – every look, every word, every single unrequited second – and the least thing he needs is another memory of Simone.

Unfortunately, after one chance encounter, Simone keeps popping up everywhere he happens to be…

Ten years after Roscoe Winston dropped out of her life, all Simone Payton wants is to exploit him. She’d also like some answers from her former best friend about why he ghosted her, but is she never gets those answers, that’s a-okay. Simone let go of the past a long time ago. Seriously, she has. She totally, totally has. She is definitely not still thinking about Roscoe. Nope. She’s more than happy to forget he exists.

But first, she needs just one teeny-tiny favor…

Thoughts

As usual, I love the works of Reid. She is funny, engaging, generally awesome and just all round, a lot of fun. The fact that, yet again, Reid finds characters that are not mainstream and a little in the minority… well, it just draws you further and further into the storyline. In this case, we have a POC lead female, and a male with a seriously awesome memory… one that I’m not exactly jealous of, because I can understand how painful that would probably be for him.

Roscoe is such an absolute sweetheart. He has been throughout all of the Winston Brothers books but getting to read about him as a sweetheart from the very beginning… oh. My heart just melted. Of all of the absolutely delectable brothers, he is most definitely the sweetest. Which is lovely considering that he is also the one that is in love with his childhood best friend… and the way he goes about it? Oh, honestly, once I actually got into this book and had the time to pick it up, I just devoured the whole damn story.

Although this is a contemporary romance series, Darrell Winston is a scary, horrible villain. He is just… so damn evil. And probably because he is also believable… he is also one of those villains that seriously give me the heebie jeebies. So, having a story that much more heavily featured him in the present (for the first four books he’s in jail) was… awesome. And horrible. It just made this story all that much more difficult to put down. Plus, it also is a great story point and methodology to pull Simone into the tale and the world of the Winston’s again.

Simone and Roscoe are a great couple. One that you fall in love with from the very first moment. I mean, all of the Reid couples are ones that you are pulling for from the beginning. But something about these two… it’s just wonderful. I love the stories about those who grew together as friends and become lovers. There is something just… adorable and impossible to forget about such a story line. There is a horrible cliché about falling in love with your best friend. One that is so completely true – and Roscoe and Simone definitely work with this cliché perfectly.

Not only does this story hit all of my happy points for diversity and romance. But it also helps to kind of round out the story with Darrell, who hovers throughout all of the tales. And it sets things up for the next two books – Billy’s story. I’m not exactly jumping to read Beard With Me because I know that it’s probably going to break my heart. But then, the other part of me… just can’t wait.

<- Beard in MindBeard with Me ->

Image source: Bookdepository

Beard in Mind by Penny Reid

Overview
Image result for book cover beard in mind

Title: Beard in Mind
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers #4
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Chic lit, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 14th – 15th February 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: SmartyPants Romance
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: We’d barely spoken in weeks.

Synopsis

Beards, brothers, and birds! Oh my! 88 All is fair in love and auto maintenance.

Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually. Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a hand-basket.

Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever. She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She wont’ shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words.

Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.

The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity – exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity – and Beau Winston soon discovers being II nice II and II accommodating II might mean losing what matters most.

Thoughts

Ever since meeting Beau in Truth or Beard – after all, he’s Duane’s other half. And considering he is about to lose Duane, I really wanted to see how the poor boy would cope. And you know what? He actually did a lot better than I had anticipated. And I enjoyed this story so much more than I thought I would. Particularly when the lady-love is Shelly, who we got to meet in Neanderthal Seeks Human.

One of my favourite things about Penny Reid’s books is that she takes characters that really aren’t considered mainstream. Characters that have different issues that you don’t normally see in romances and stories. In the case of Beard in Mind, it’s OCD. I know that many people joke about being “a bit OCD”, but there are very few people, if any who actually understand what this is really and truly like. I might not have this disorder myself, but I know what it’s like to have a psychological issue and battle constantly to overcome it.

I love that the saga of the Winston Brothers furthers throughout this story. Beau finds out yet more secrets that tie them to the Iron Wraiths, Duane continues to try and protect his brother. And just, in general, the whole family continues to try and pull together, tighter and tighter than before. It’s the kind of family that you kind of wish you had. Alright, not the insane father, but the siblings, the close knitedness and acceptance of them all? I have that with one sister, imagine if I had even more siblings!!!

I loved, loved, loved this story. I love how Beau finds out about Shelly’s issues and tries to work with her. It reminds us all that support is what is important, that ability to look at someone and just accept them for who and what they are. It’s a difficult thing to do. One that a lot of people struggle with, and I always love seeing this in a story. The fact that Beau chooses to support Shelly and accept that her OCD will always be there – not everyone is so lucky, and I love the feeling of hope that this story provides.

<- Beard ScienceDr. Strange Beard ->

Image source: Goodreads

Beard Science by Penny Reid

Overview
Beard Science (Winston Brothers Book 3) (Volume 3): Reid, Penny:  9781942874256: Amazon.com: Books

Title: Beard Science
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers #3
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 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Penny Reid
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: Her hand trembled slightly where it held the spoon.

Synopsis

Beards, brothers and bananas! Oh my!

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.

Thoughts

I think that Cletus may be my absolute favourite Winston Brother thus far. He is a little bit sick and twisted, he is definitely devious, but mostly I just love that he refuses to take crap from… well, anybody. But, mostly I just love how damn devious and sneaky the man is. And how he eventually gets his comeuppance…. That is also completely hilarious and brilliant.

Of all the characters that would seem to match Cletus, I love that it’s Jenn. Her supposed innocence and lack of a backbone not only lulls him into a great false sense of security, but it also acts as a reminder not to make assumptions about others. That, and just had me laughing. Frequently. After all, the man who thinks he’s infallible and bullet proof and knows who is going to be a perfect match for him is so completely wrong. It left me laughing quite a bit throughout this story and entirely unable to put down the damn book.

Jenn’s journey of self-discovery was a really nice storyline. Although there is a great character arc for Cletus throughout this, I actually love Jenn’s moment in the sun the most. It’s all about finding out what she wants, and realising that pleasing those you love isn’t necessarily always the way to go. The fact that her father may actually be the devil doesn’t overly help matters… but still, it makes for a fantastic story and has you hoping for the happily ever after that you’re going to get.

My favourite thing about this couple is the fact that Jenn seems to be the only one in the whole damn town who can see how truly evil / devious / sneaky Cletus is. To the point that she fears him. I think that this is a great way to start of the relationship. She knows exactly who she is getting involved with… but decides to take the plunge anyway. And what is love if not seeing somebody, flaws and all and still deciding that you want to keep them?

<- Grin & Beard ItBeard in Mind ->

Image source: Amazon

Grin and Beard It by Penny Reid

Overview
Grin and Beard It (Winston Brothers): Reid, Penny: 9781635764871:  Amazon.com: Books

Title: Grin & Beard It
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Chic lit, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 21st – 22nd October 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Penny Reid
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: Thus, I couldn’t help but usually greet her as follows: “Susie… Moist?”

Synopsis

Beards, brothers, and bears! Oh my!

Sienna Diaz is everyone’s favorite “fat” funny lady. The movie studio executives can’t explain it, but her films are out-grossing all the fit and trim headliners and Hollywood’s most beautiful elite. The simple truth is, everyone loves plus-sized Sienna.

But she has a problem, she can’t read maps and her sense of direction is almost as bad as her comedic timing is stellar. Therefore, when Sienna’s latest starring role takes her to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park she finds herself continuously lost while trying to navigate the backroads of Green Valley, Tennessee. Much to her consternation, Sienna’s most frequent savior is a ridiculously handsome, charming, and cheeky Park Ranger by the name of Jethro Winston.

Sienna is accustomed to high levels of man-handsome, so it’s not Jethro’s chiseled features or his perfect physique that make Sienna stutter. It’s his southern charm. And gentlemanly manners. And habit of looking at her too long and too often.

Sienna has successfully navigated the labyrinth of Hollywood heart-throbs. But can she traverse the tenuous trails of Tennessee without losing her head? Or worse, her heart?

Thoughts

Sienna is just all things that are awesome in a woman. Like, honestly, she is freaking amazing! And funny, and quirky, and… well, I have a huge girl crush on this character (can you tell?). Not only did I thoroughly enjoy her character… but I also loved the voice / narration that she provided. It was kind of like sinking into my own brain when I was feeling chirpy and optimistic…

The Meet Cute between Sienna and Jethro is wonderful. I love that she’s pretty much cracking an absolute tanty and stomping on her map. All because she’s lost. It’s the kind of insane and completely off-kilter thing that I would probably do. The hulking out moment and the humour in the situation… I was smiling and giggling from the very beginning of this story.

I was intrigued to see what Jethro was going to be like… he is only kind of peripherally around throughout the rest of the Winston Brothers books (all two) thus far. So finding out what his emotions are surrounding his involvement with bikers, how he has grown… I was drawn in. And he is just so damn cute! Like put him in my pocket, and take him home cute… partner that with his past… and wow, I had SOOOOO many feelings while reading this! In all of the best ways possible.

Sienna’s issues with people’s perceptions of her body reminded me of all of the crap that we sometimes get as women. And the fact that even her own sister jumps on the stupid bandwagon… I honestly just wanted to reach through the pages and give the woman a huge hug. Although, the moment in which she publicly stands up for herself and takes charge of her own future again… oh. Be still my beating heart.

Loved, loved, loved this novel. And, since I was sick when I was reading it… it was the perfect antidote to feeling like crap and being seriously bored…

<- Truth or BeardBeard Science ->

Image source: Amazon

Truth or Beard by Penny Reid

Overview
Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers) (Volume 1): Reid, Penny: 9781942874126:  Amazon.com: Books

Title: Truth or Beard
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Chic lit, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 23rd August – 19th October 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Penny Reid
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: My mouth fell open – not a whole lot, just enough to be gaping – and my eyes narrowed as a small sound of disbelief tumbled from my lips.

Synopsis

Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!

Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why perpetually level-headed Jessica James has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…

But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks.

When Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?

Thoughts

I did take a bit of a pause halfway through reading this novel. Mostly because Duane was in some fairly serious trouble. And I didn’t like it. Sure, I knew that it would end up begin resolved… but I still really, really, really didn’t like him being in trouble. So yeah… apparently I got WAY too attached and then couldn’t face reading the story for a little while… I don’t need a life at all. 😊

Like the other Penny Reid books that I’ve read thus far. This is a great, funny and kind of cute / sweet romance. Duane and Jess work together really well, and I love that you get to find out more and more about the Winston Brothers and their many shenanigans. Add to that the fact that Duane is a red-head with a twin and a beard… well, like I said… I did get a little bit too attached to this one.

Jess had this great sense of spunk and attitude throughout. Even when things unravelled for her a little and she questions her relationship with Duane… she still manages to do it in a fire cracker way and with a fair amount of spunk and sass. These are the things that I tend to love in a lead woman. Particularly when she’s crying and smacking him at the same time to show her frustration. Because, honestly, who hasn’t been there?

To be honest though, you know that Jess is going to be a completely loveable and adorable lead when the first scene of the story opens with her dressed in a Sexy Gandalf costume… I mean, that’s kind of the dream Halloween costume in my books. Now I just have to figure out how to make one and find a party to wear it to…

Although the biker history is mentioned a little in Beauty and the Mustache, this really starts to bring in that idea. And the many, many issues that I’m sure this is going to cause the Winston Brothers as they fall in love and lust throughout this series. There is just enough history here for me to understand what is going on… but also all these tantalising hints that just make me want to find out more!

<- Beauty and the MustacheGrin and Beard It ->

Image source: Amazon

Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

Overview
Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid - BookBub

Title: Beauty and the Mustache
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Knitting in the City #4, Winston Brothers #0.5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Chic lit, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 22nd – 23rd August 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Caped Publishing
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: Elizabeth muttered under her breath, “If you let him, I think he’ll gladly rub you the right way.”

Synopsis

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, reclusive mountain man, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favourite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophising 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.

Thoughts

This novel may be about Ashley, but for me, the brothers just steal the show. There is something about a clan of brothers coming together around their little sister and their mother that makes me incredibly happy. Ashley is great. But it’s the Winston Brothers and Drew that made me feel seriously emotionally vested. Which makes it a brilliant prequel to the Winston Brothers series and a great little teaser into another series that needs to fill my shelves.

This is a reminder that, in spite of what is happening in the world, sometimes you just need to return home. Sometimes it’s the things that you ran away from that truly leave you feeling happy and complete. I like that although Ashley fled her family and hometown eight years before the beginning of this story. And obviously needed to in her own way to figure out who she was. Part of really figuring out what she needed in life was coming home and embracing all that she left behind. Returning home might not always be the answer. But I love that it is in this novel…

Although this is a beautiful and sweet romance, there is a little bit of heartbreak in this story. Namely in the passing of Ashley’s mother and her illness. It is done so well though. It is serious and does wrench at your heart quite a bit, but it also leaves you focusing on all of the positives that take place in the blossoming new relationship and the hope that Ashley finds for the future. Plus, the heartbreak that Ashley experiences highlights the beauty of her friendship with the girls.

This might be the most tragic and sad of the Knitting in the City stories. But it is also the one that seems to show the power of love and friendship the most. Everyone willingly and lovingly rallies around Ashley and her family. And I absolutely adored this show of love and affection. It’s something that I hope (but kind of doubt) that we all have…

<- Love HackedNinja at First Sight ->

Image source: BookBub