Beard Science by Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers #3
Also in this series: Truth or Beard, Grin and Beard It, Dr. Strange Beard
Published by Caped Publishing on October 11th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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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.
‘Beard Science’ is the third book in the Winston Brothers series, is a full-length romantic comedy novel, and can be read as a standalone.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Cletus’s famous sausage is indeed famous.
Cletus is definitely my favorite of the Winston brothers. Wait, I think I’ve said that about Duane and Jethro… ok, so all of them so far have been my favorite and I’m pretty sure all the rest will be too. Let’s just say I have a bunch of new top book boyfriends and I don’t mind they’re related!
But I digress or more like my train of thought derailed and there were no survivors… oh well. I had been eagerly anticipating Cletus’s story from the very beginning of Truth or Beard, and that eagerness was only intensified after Grin and Beard it. Let me tell you, Beard Science was epically epic, which was actually the only possible outcome as Cletus is just plain awesomesauce.
Cletus is a Machiavellian mastermind, always thinking 78 steps ahead of everyone else, but for people he puts up a simpleton and affable veneer. There’s only one person in town, outside of his family, who actually sees the real him: Jennifer, aka the Banana Cake Queen.
Jenn is used to being ignored and looked over, as her life’s every decision is made by her mother, who got her into beauty pageants and baking fair competitions faster that she could say “choice”. While baking is something she enjoys, her mother’s approach couldn’t be farther from hers. The Banana Cake Queen (BCQ) persona she was more or less forced to become means she is perpetually looked at as a joke. Her upbringing and perpetuating of her parents desires keeps her apart from people and from becoming involved with them.
When her mother’s new plans for her push her over the edge of doormattery, she goes to Cletus, who she knows for absolute certain will be able to help her. In case he doesn’t agree to do it right away, she has a foolproof motivator to get him to agree. So what if blackmail is not strictly on the up and up, desperate times do call for desperate measures. And anyway, is not like Cletus Winston is not familiar with blackmail, just maybe not this side of it.
Cletus finds himself taken by surprise by the as-to-now seemingly innocuous BCQ, and is forced to agree to help her out. Which of course is absolute bull as he’ll just take the cards off this girls sleeves without her knowledge and then renege on their deal. He has very important dealings to deal with and has no time for unimportant costume-wearing, backboneless caricatures of women.
Soon, though, Cletus realizes that hidden depths is actually a real thing and that Jennifer only needs a little help in breaking out of her duty-made shell. As she starts to do just that, her true self is nothing like he thought and being “perfectly pragmatic together” with someone goes out the window.
“Absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder. Whoever said that was a damn fool. Absence makes the heart suicidal.”
Can two apparently completely different people have a chance? Could Cletus’s sausage be a perfect fit for Jennifer’s pie? Well, let me just tell you that you’ll have a blast finding out.
While Jennifer starts off as a doormattingly pitiful creature, her coming into her own person, standing up for herself, and reaching out for what she truly wanted was a thing of beauty to witness. She was exactly what Cletus needed and never knew that wanted. Jaded by a cynicalish view of people, Jenn gave him a whole new outlook on life and a new sense of purpose.
I have to say though I sorely felt the lack of sextivities all through the book, the steaminess, the feels it evoked and the utter brilliance of a Cletus with feelings, made this book just fantastic.
“ Holding her in my arms was one of my favorite states of being.”
Beard Science is probably my most favorite book in this series so far. And as always, Ms. Reid has a way with words that’s just too awesome to express. I wouldn’t have minded a longer and more detailed epilogue with them as a togethering couple, but what I did get, was beardational.
4.5 “I wanna try Cletus’s famous sausage” Stars
About Penny Reid
SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).
By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.
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