Beard with Me

Beard with Me (Winston Brothers #6) by Penny Reid: Review by Cupcake

Beard with Me (Winston Brothers, #5.5)

Blurb:

‘Beard With Me’ is the origin story of Billy Winston and Scarlet St. Claire (aka Claire McClure) and is just the beginning of their epic love story.

No one is better at surviving than Scarlet St. Claire and making the best out of circumstances beyond her control is Scarlet’s specialty. In an apocalyptic situation, she’d be the last person on earth, hermitting like a pro, singing along to her CD Walkman, and dancing like no one is watching.

Scarlet is clever, Scarlet is careful, and Scarlet is smart . . . except when it comes to Billy Winston.

No one is better at fighting than Billy Winston and raging against his circumstances—because nothing is beyond his control—is Billy’s specialty. In an apocalyptic situation, he’d be the first person on earth to lead others to safety, overcome catastrophe, or die trying.

Billy is fearless, Billy is disciplined, and Billy is honorable . . . except when it comes to Scarlet St. Claire.

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4 Stars

God gave us free will so that we’ll stumble and learn how to pick ourselves back up. But He also gave us folks who love us, to clear away the obstacles before we trip and fall.</b

Let’s just start with the obvious, this is the prequel to the long, long, looooonnnnnggggg awaited Billy-n-Claire HEA that everyone and their cousin has been waiting for since forever. We all know they have a small ocean’s worth of water under their bridge and this book gives insight into where and how all that water got there.

If you’ve not read the series, this is a fantastic place to start, actually, because not only does it cover Billy and Scarlet/Claire but all of the Winston brothers are featured to varying degrees from Cletus and his… Cletusness to the twins and their yin/yang thing to Roscoe and his preciousness.

However, it is not the easiest book to read. Scarlet and Billy have monstrous fathers who play pivotal roles in their development. I knew that but I did not know the details of Scarlet’s backstory, most of which is awful. So, if you’re triggered by abuse this might not be the best read for you.

On the other hand, Billy’s backstory didn’t surprise me and probably won’t surprise fans of the series. He’s responsible, altruistic, loyal and intense through circumstances beyond his control foisted upon him at a young age. Case in point:

I redoubled my resolve. She deserved someone looking out for her first, someone who’d set aside selfishness for her sake. So, yeah, I would keep her safe, even if it meant sending her away.

My heart broke (again) for both of them and I am beyond ready for them to be exceedingly selfish when it comes to each other. Enough with the doing the right thing and always putting others first nonsense.

It’s your time, #Clairilly! Carpe diem!

My only quibble is the lack of a more comprehensive backstory; the whole thing takes place in 2003 when they are 14 and 16. They fall in love in a week which was a surprise to both of them and extremely gratifying for me to read. But I know there are more heartbreaks, more disappointments, more sacrifices and more missed or wasted opportunities and I wish a couple of them would have been included as well.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. It applied to life and hopes and dreams and expectations too.

Needless to say, I would like Beard Necessities and my equal and opposite reaction, like, yesterday. I find Green Valley extremely comforting even when things are tense so while it might seem counterproductive to long for the final installment (a) I will always have this series and (b) there are not one but TWO spinoffs in the works!!! One of which involves Cletus and Jennifer and undoubtedly some shenanigans so I’m owning my greediness. I’m ready to soak in a tub filled with Billy and Claire’s happy happy joy joy until my fingers get pruny.

Recommended with the caveat mentioned above.

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Beard with Me by Penny Reid

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“This is Penny Reid at her finest.” — L.B. Dunbar, author

Beard With Me, an epic and breathtaking story from New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Penny Reid, is available now!

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No one is better at surviving than Scarlet St. Claire and making the best out of circumstances beyond her control is Scarlet’s specialty. In an apocalyptic situation, she’d be the last person on earth, hermitting like a pro, singing along to her CD Walkman, and dancing like no one is watching.

Scarlet is clever, Scarlet is careful, and Scarlet is smart . . . except when it comes to Billy Winston.

No one is better at fighting than Billy Winston and raging against his circumstances—because nothing is beyond his control—is Billy’s specialty. In an apocalyptic situation, he’d be the first person on earth to lead others to safety, overcome catastrophe, or die trying.

Billy is fearless, Billy is disciplined, and Billy is honorable . . . except when it comes to Scarlet St. Claire.

‘Beard With Me’ is the origin story of Billy Winston and Scarlet St. Claire (aka Claire McClure) and is just the beginning of their epic love story.

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Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2lAQAj8

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2kwugqz

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/BeardWithMe

Nook: http://bit.ly/2kz1KV8

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2k8J1zM

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2kwnscx

Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/2koehLl

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2lzgOCt

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Enter the giveaway for a signed paperback set of The Winston Brothers Series!

http://bit.ly/2mGr64Q

Excerpt

*Scarlet*

“Do you want me to leave?”

Yes. That would be best, a wise voice said between my ears.

So of course I inhaled deeply and said as calmly as I could manage, “I thought we were going to go get firewood.”

“Okay. Good.”

“But then,” I blurted, flustered and irritated with myself for not speaking wisdom, “You should go. You can’t tell me carting firewood back and forth between your house and here is how you want to spend the last of your Thanksgiving weekend.”

“I didn’t say it was.” He began making his way up the incline.

“But you just said—”

“How about we make a deal.” Billy dropped the kindling next to my little woodpile, dusting his hands off on his pants. “I’ll cart the firewood, and you sing.”

“You want me to serenade you while we carry firewood?”

He smiled, slow and easy as he walked to me and reached out his hand. On autopilot, I accepted it and allowed him to help me up.

As soon as I was standing, his gaze moved from my hairline down to my nose, lips, and then chin, saying quietly, “I’ll take a serenade from you anytime.”

Thunk ka-thunk. That was my heart. It had been doing the thunk ka-thunk quite a lot around him. I ignored it, because what else could I do?

“And you’re not carrying the wood.” He tugged on my hand, pulling me out of my daze and past my tent.

“I will too carry wood.” Struggling to find my bearings, I stumbled after him. “I can carry logs just fine.”

“You’ll carry a log.” Billy fit his fingers between mine, pressing our palms together and grinning at me like he was waiting for me to argue and he couldn’t wait.

Snapping my mouth shut, I glared at him.

“Nothing to say?”

Maintaining my glare, I walked next to him. I wasn’t being led anywhere I didn’t wish to go. Not anymore. He wasn’t talking me into anything else.

“That’s an awfully mean look, Scarlet.” His grin grew, his brutally attractive eyes glowing happily as he peered down at me.

“Well, you deserve it. Always trying to tell me what I can and can’t do. I’m not arguing with you about this. I’m carrying as much wood as I want and you can take your stupid, chauvinistic opinions and shove them up your pretty-boy ass.”

Goodness. Where had that come from?

Billy’s steps faltered and his mouth fell open, his eyebrows rising high on his forehead. He stared at me, looking shocked as hell. And then in the next moment, he threw his head back and laughed. But he did not let go of me, instead bringing my knuckles to his chest as his deep, rumbly laughter filled the empty spaces between the trees, surrounding us.

Crushing me.

Yes. I was well and truly crushed as I could only watch Billy Winston laugh, desperately basking in the image of him so delighted and relaxed. I had the odd sense that his laughter also filled the empty spaces inside of me, the neglected, vacant rooms, and even a few places that felt brand-new, like he’d created them.

All that noble honesty he carried around like a boulder abruptly lifted, revealing him. Just him. Carefree and young and happy. Someone he might’ve been if his burdens hadn’t been so heavy, his responsibilities so broad.

It lasted only a minute, maybe two, maybe less, but I had the sense of being caught afterward. Billy’s laughter had receded, but he’d spun a web while I’d been staring at him, holding his hand.

His grin became smaller and he bit his bottom lip, his gaze dropped to my mouth. “You think I’m pretty?”

“You know you’re pretty,” I said, bizarrely out of breath, rattled, needing to anchor my focus to a tree beyond him and waging war against the heat climbing up my neck to my cheeks. Oddly, my eyes stung. I blinked.

His attention was still on me. I felt it, but I didn’t dare look at him. I couldn’t handle one of Billy Winston’s intense stares right now. He’d probably use my scattered wits to his advantage, talk me into something I shouldn’t want to do, and then I’d be kicking myself later.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, his voice deep with concern, all trace of his earlier humor gone.

I huffed, trying half-heartedly to steal my hand back from him. He didn’t let it go, instead taking my tugging as a signal to step closer, filling my vision.

“Scarlet—”

“Are you ever going to teach me how to play the guitar?” I closed my eyes.

He didn’t answer right away, and I felt him hesitate, his mind work before he muttered, “It’s only been a week.”

A quality to his voice made me think he wasn’t answering the question I’d asked, but rather he was reminding himself that it had only been a week since we’d struck the deal.

Was that only last week? Why does it feel like so much has changed?

Then he said, “Don’t be angry.”

“I’m not angry.” I was muddled, my head and heart hurt, I was incredibly confused, but I wasn’t angry.

The air shifted and I felt him move closer. A second later, the fingers of his free hand were at my ear, tucking my hair behind it, his fingertips lingering at my neck, sending wave after wave of goose bumps every which way. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t swallow. I couldn’t think. Every nerve in my body strained toward him and I didn’t understand it. What is happening?

“Have you ever been kissed, Scarlet?”

 

Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers, Knitting in the City, Rugby, and Hypothesis series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Connect with Penny:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PennyReidWriter/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lakzsD

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Mailing List: http://pennyreid.ninja/newsletter/

www.pennyreid.ninja

 

New Release Blitz: Beard with Me by Penny Reid

BWM-RBANNER

“This is Penny Reid at her finest.” — L.B. Dunbar, author

Beard With Me, an epic and breathtaking story from New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Penny Reid, is available now!

KDP_BWM

No one is better at surviving than Scarlet St. Claire and making the best out of circumstances beyond her control is Scarlet’s specialty. In an apocalyptic situation, she’d be the last person on earth, hermitting like a pro, singing along to her CD Walkman, and dancing like no one is watching.

Scarlet is clever, Scarlet is careful, and Scarlet is smart . . . except when it comes to Billy Winston.

No one is better at fighting than Billy Winston and raging against his circumstances—because nothing is beyond his control—is Billy’s specialty. In an apocalyptic situation, he’d be the first person on earth to lead others to safety, overcome catastrophe, or die trying.

Billy is fearless, Billy is disciplined, and Billy is honorable . . . except when it comes to Scarlet St. Claire.

‘Beard With Me’ is the origin story of Billy Winston and Scarlet St. Claire (aka Claire McClure) and is just the beginning of their epic love story.

.

LIVE01

Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2lAQAj8

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2kwugqz

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/BeardWithMe

Nook: http://bit.ly/2kz1KV8

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2k8J1zM

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2kwnscx

Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/2koehLl

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2lzgOCt

Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers, Knitting in the City, Rugby, and Hypothesis series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

authorphoto

Connect with Penny:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PennyReidWriter/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lakzsD

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Mailing List: http://pennyreid.ninja/newsletter/

www.pennyreid.ninja

 

Dr. Strange Beard (Winston Brothers #5)

Dr. Strange Beard by Penny Reid: Review by Cupcake

Dr. Strange Beard (Winston Brothers, #5)
Blurb:

Hunches, horse races, and heartbreak

Ten years after Simone Payton 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 last 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 if 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 . . .

Dr. Strange Beard is a full-length romantic comedy novel, can be read as a stand-alone, and is the fifth book in the USA TODAY bestselling Winston Brothers series.

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4.25 Stars

I love this series.

I love Green Valley. I love the Southerness of both the town and the people in it.

And I love the Winstons.

Some more than others. I’m looking at you, Cletus. I always look forward to catching up with everyone whenever a new Beard book comes out. There is a coziness about them and simply put, they make me feel good. For me, there’s no higher compliment than that.

Dr. Strange Beard is Roscoe’s book. Roscoe is the youngest of the Winston clan, the quiet one and a vet. Truthfully, I was hoping for more puppies; there is one scene that will likely leave anyone with ovaries deceased but there can never be too many puppies is all I’m saying. Or dogs. Or any cute animals. I’m not picky.

Roscoe has an eidetic situational memory that sounds like more of curse than a blessing. He remembers people after only meeting them once. He remembers the stories they tell him verbatim. He remembers every conversation he’s ever had complete with all the sense memories which makes him an exceptional storyteller, but also brings with it the inability to “unfeel” painful memories. Roscoe’s memories of his and Simone’s time together as kids pulled at my heartstrings and fleshed out their friends to lovers/unrequited to requited love story.

Roscoe’s been hopelessly in love with Simone Payton since forever. They grew up together as best friends, did everything together, including their first kiss. At 16, when Roscoe finally worked up the courage to tell her that she was it for him, she was drunk and not only didn’t reciprocate his feelings but hurt him. He literally could not forget it, reliving that pain over and over again every time he saw her was unbearable so he ghosted her.

For 10 years.

Simone eventually moved on but she never forgot nor did she ever understand what happened to make Roscoe leave her, because she didn’t remember his declaration. Back in Green Valley for work puts her on a collision course toward Roscoe. Of course events transpire that make Roscoe the easiest conduit to achieve her goal, because of course they do.

The Iron Wraiths plot line has been ongoing throughout the series and it is starting to come to a head, so expect a significant amount of the narrative to involve Darrell and the Iron Wraiths.

Simone is scrappy, cunning and hilarious. I was automatically drawn to her when she let loose with Cletus being “almost” as brilliant as she is. WHAT THE WHAT WHAT?!?!? CLETUS???? My Cletus??? Who some may call diabolically-oh alright, pathologically. Tomato, to-mah-to.-intelligent? ALMOST???? Sputtering ensued. She is smart and charming so she’s got Cletus there, and she can hold her own against him, but let’s face it Cletus is in a class by himself.

Being inside Simone’s head was an experience I’ll not soon forget. I don’t fully understand how she got this bee in her bonnet that she was never going to fall in love or get married but she did. She’s set on being an independent woman who will be self-reliant. Except… she can’t seem to get Roscoe Winston out of her head, or as she says, she likes him against her will. 😂 She zinged me several times but when she busted out with her scientific theories on sex I snorted then slow clapped. I’d pay good money to go to that “scientific” seminar. Simone is yet another female character in this series that I both respect and admire, that I can relate to.

Stories that utilize the friends since childhood to lovers trope always resonate with me and Dr. Strange Beard is no exception. However, what made this one special was Roscoe’s singleminded devotion to Simone even when they were apart. He’s only ever loved her and everyone knows it. Literally, everyone in Green Valley knows it and is rooting for them. I loved how much Simone’s parents loved him, how his family loved her and how oblivious they both are to their silent cheering section.

They’ve hurt each other but the love is still there just beneath the surface; they just need to tap into it. Expect UST. Expect heartwarming moments. Expect a few sexy moments too. Expect to be moved. Expect a few surprises. But more than anything, expect to feel the chemistry between them. They are crazy about each other and how they come to accept and embrace those feelings is what I’ll remember most about this book.

Ordinarily I don’t mention race in my reviews but Penny Reid reframed something for me and I feel that needs to be acknowledged and that I should thank her for it. That coupled with the RWA situation I think merits a mention at minimum. I also think she deserves credit for the research she did as it was obvious that she put time and energy into developing these characters. I feel like this is a hallmark of hers that maybe doesn’t get acknowledged enough and is instrumental in making these characters memorable as well as three-dimensional.

Recommend to fans of friends to lovers, unrequited love being requited and anyone who loves a good romance.

Now the wait begins for Billy’s book. The good lord willing Cletus will finally, FINALLY get to deploy the armadillo plan!

An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

New Release & Giveaway for The Varlet and the Voyeur

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The Varlet and the Voyeur, an all-new standalone in the USA Today bestselling Rugby Series from Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway is LIVE!

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He kept his salacious secret for years. But soon, everyone is going to be reading about it in their morning paper…

THE VARLET (and the VOYEUR)

William Moore is a long way from home. A farm boy from Oklahoma, he’s now the most well-respected member of the Irish rugby team. But appearances are often deceptive, and Will isn’t the clean-cut, all-American good-guy everyone imagines him to be. He’s got a secret, one that will tarnish his reputation forever.

THE VOYEUR (and the VARLET)

Joesy Kavanagh is a self-proclaimed mess, but she’s finally get her shi…uh, act together. She’s set her sights on becoming a veterinarian, but there’s one teeny tiny road bump. Her living arrangements are coming to an abrupt end, leaving Joesy homeless and in need of a job to pay her way through college.

THE PLAN

What he needs is a companion to keep him on the right path.

What she needs is an apartment with free rent.

Will is convinced Joesy will make the perfect companion, since she’s brutally honest and basically ‘just one of the guys.’  Joesy is convinced she can ensure Will doesn’t succumb to his voyeuristic proclivities by keeping a scrupulous eye on him.

Except, what happens when the varlet is tempted by the voyeur, and vice-versa?!

Perchance something very, very volatile. And vexing.

The Varlet and the Voyeur is a full-length romantic comedy novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the 4th(and last) book in the USA TODAY bestselling Rugby Series.

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2l89gDn

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/TheVarlet

Add to GoodReads: https://bit.ly/2jqFMiU

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Enter the giveaway to win a signed paperback of The Varlet and the Voyeur!

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Start the Series of standalones with The Hooker and the Hermit!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2wp3GoC

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/TheHookerandtheHermit

Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Connect with Penny:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PennyReidWriter/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lakzsD

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Newsletter: http://pennyreid.ninja/newsletter/

www.pennyreid.ninja

Meet L.H. Cosway:

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favorite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

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Connect with L.H. Cosway:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LHCosway/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jVTDk8

Twitter: @LHCosway

Newsletter: https://goo.gl/vkhYHN

Website: www.lhcoswayauthor.com

 

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