Review copy was received from Publicity team. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Beard Necessities by Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers #7
Published by Self-Published on November 4, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publicity team
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple
No one deserves a 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?
This second-chance romance brings back the entire Winston gang, playing cupid in one last story of love, hi-jinks, and family collusion.
I have enjoyed every book in Penny Reid’s Winston Brothers series. Now we are down to Billy. Next to Cletus, he is my heartbreaker. Although the book before this was Beard With Me which was Scarlet and Billy’s early high school years, ending with her leaving town at age 14..
Beard Necessities begins 20 years later. I would have benefited greatly from having read all the books in a row instead of reading the earlier books 4-5 years ago, and even then, I would have LOVED a prologue / timeline from the end of Beard with Me to now helping me place major events in time such as Ben’s death. There are things in that time period which there are hints of in the earlier books and in BWM and BN, but I have some confusion.
Billy and Scarlet have based their entire adult lives on some misconceptions and stuffing down what they wanted because of personal traits and habits learned in their unusual childhoods. The easiest way to shut down those emotions was avoidance. It was still a bit unbelievable they did for so many years. The primary people causing the misunderstandings were Ben McClure, Jethro Winston and Bethany Winston. The Winstons had some incorrect information which was also mostly from Ben McClure. Yeah, I hate Ben.
Now Cletus, who is the only one with the full picture, decides it is time for the truth. Of course he does, because not only does Cletus have his nose in everyone’s business, but he likes to manipulate everything to his view of how things should be. Oh how I love Cletus! Also can I say his wife Jenn is amazing! But why did it take him SO long? He could have done this 5-10 years earlier.
The story is how the family plots to get Billy and Scarlet together so they have a chance to talk, and how the truth is brought out in pieces. It’s wacky but fun how the family guides all the events. For me, it was also great to see all the other brothers with their wives and families to catch up on their lives. This aspect is a love letter of sorts to the fan readers who love this whole series so much. There is even an epilogue with a big family gathering even further in the future about 10-12 years after the events in Beard Necessities.
I read this as a COYER buddy read with Linda, at the Unconventional Bookworms.
Strolling to the desk, I set down the milk and cookies, crossed my arms and turned to face my brother. “You’re pointing out that Scarlet and I will see each other during various family functions.”
“And, therefore,” I continued reasonably, “I need to be nice to her.” I knew that already, and tonight—after watching her face crumple and feeling a part of my soul shrivel at the sight—I’d finally accepted it. I would be nice. I would be so damn nice. I’d be a saint.
But then Cletus said, “No, Billy. Not nice. Nice is for tea parties and doctor’s visits. You need to woo her.”
I blinked once. “Woo her.”
“That’s right. You need to woo the pants off her, hopefully literally, and then make that woman yours. Permanently. Once and for all. Put a ring on it. Woo is where it’s at. Jenn still has the centerpieces from our wedding if you’d like to borrow them.” During this enlightening monologue, he’d moseyed over and picked up the glass of milk and a cookie, dunked the cookie into the milk, and then took a bite just as he’d finished his listings of delusions.
“That’s never going to happen.”
“Why not? Those centerpieces are lovely. You don’t know your color scheme yet. Ask Scarlet before you decide.”
I ground my teeth. “Scarlet and I are never going to happen, Cletus.”
He shook his head firmly. “I’m disappointed in your lack of ambition, Billy. I thought we’d be on the same page. But I see now, I’m going to have to take a tough love approach.”
“I’m going to give you one chance,” he said, then pushed the rest of the cookie in his mouth and spoke around it as he continued, “One more chance is all you get. I’ve waited long enough for this and you know my feelings on delayed gratification.”
“It’s overrated.” He took a gulp of milk and picked up another cookie.
“No, Cletus. One chance on what?”
“I’m giving you one chance. One.” He pointed the cookie at me. “Tomorrow, you’re going to go find her, apologize to her for whatever that kerflufflefuck was I walked in on. Tell her you were suffering from temporary insanity, hopped up on illicit drugs, abducted by asshole probing aliens, whatever. I’m giving you one chance to make this right, and if you don’t take it, you are not going to like what happens next.”
This is a tour wide giveaway.
Enter the giveaway for a signed paperback set of the entire Winston Brothers Series!
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2019 Releases
- COYER Friends
I’m committed to starting this series in 2020! I love your enthusiasm about it, Anne? Great Post!!
Thank you! You need to start with Knitting in the City or at least Beauty and the Mustache which includes the only Winston sister who at the time lives in Chicago and is part of the knitting group. I hope you love them as much as I do.
I’ve seen this book so much, but I didn’t realize it was part of a series! I would like to read it and with it being further along, that will be nice for a good binge 🙂
It’s the last in the Winston Bros series which is really a spinoff series from the Knitting in the City series. I would take them in order both because it is easier to figure out what is going on and because they are all excellent!
I only tried book 1 but I haven’t read more. I really should though
Well it depends on whether it is to your taste. I love this author so I can’t miss anything she writes.
That excerpt was a hoot.
Good to know that this is a continuation from a previous book. I can see how getting it much later and not much lead in would be a struggle.
I really love this series but it would be easier if I binged it to put things together. Just the few months between #6 and this one #7 isn’t really the problem. #6 covered the teenage years ending when Scarlett left Green Valley at age 14. #7 starts 20 years later. The events during the 20 years in between are referred to some in this book, but are in some details as background in books #1-5. That’s the part which is harder to put together.
I’m really looking forward to getting to Billy’s story!
Billy is so dear to my heart. He takes on every responsibility with such integrity. He doesn’t ask for help but expects to give it to others consistently. He chooses to take pain on himself rather than others having any. I feel so badly it has taken this long for him to get his HEA. His delight in his love is delicious. Enjoy!
Well said!!! I wholeheartedly agree!! His HEA is long overdue!!
I am starting her Knitting series on Audible Escape. This series sounds good too! I own several of them on Kindle…lol
I have a mix of purchased ones on Kindle and audio also. It’s great it is in AE. Did you meet the narrators at Book Bonanza – they are awesome!
that’s a lot of beards. i must admit the title and cover did make me curious
It’s the end of a really fun series. The emotional depth and the laughs are priceless in Penny Reid’s books.
This is another series i’ve been wanting to try. if only I had the time! Thanks for your wonderful review.
Thank you. I want to read everything so I know the feeling. I’m starting to feel like I grabbed too much for January and also from the library. This is a really wonderful series though.
I have got to start reading more from Penny Reid. I love the sound of this series and I do love a good buddy read 🙂
Penny Reid is amazing. I am enjoying the buddy read. I wish we could have done some kind of joint post but our background messages are too spoilery and questioning some details so they wouldn’t be great here. But it is great to have Linda to toss around ideas about what happened and why and such.
I love it when an author finishes up a long series and then gives the reader that nice payout at the end with an epilogue set years later. I’m a big fan of getting to see all the HEAs down the road.
It is really heartwarming and they all have the kind of big family events I dream of having. The food porn was pretty high level in this book too.