Review: Beard Science by Penny Reid

Review: Beard Science by Penny ReidBeard Science by Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers #3
October 11, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also in this series: Grin & Beard it
Also by this author: Grin & Beard it
Amazon US
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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.

I can’t recall the last time I was so excited for a book. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the Winston family goodness up to this title, but Cletus always held a special place in my heart. That spot has grown exponentially, after reading Beard Science (amazing title, by the way). 

Cletus and me…we have a thing. We have a connection. We would be friends if he were real or I was fictional. We’d go to each others birthday parties.

I don’t like to judge people. I love it.

I may or may not agree with that quote, but that is not relevant.

What is relevant is that Penny Reid nailed this story for me. First, she gave me Cletus in all his sneaky glory. He delivers some of the best quips I’ve ever read. He’s odd in the most endearing way but then she humanizes him with these beautifully quirky romantic moments. He was perfect and he will probably forever be towards the top of my favorite characters list. 

She needed distance, she needed space, and I needed her.

But Cletus is not the only character I fell for. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Jennifer after reading the previous titles. Any ideas I did have….all wrong. I adored her. I adored her for her quiet intelligence, for her timid humor, for her resilience and for her ultimate bravery. She really is the perfect balance for Cletus, I could not imagine anyone being better suited.

The story flowed a little slower than the majority of romances these days but I never felt like I needed it to pick up the pace. It took a natural progression that I very much appreciated and I think is the only thing that would have worked for Cletus’ character.

It’s always so easy to fall into Reid’s stories, she writes with such harmony between her funny and her romantic. I could talk all day about how much I loved the people of this book, but I won’t, I’ll just say this – read this book. You’ll like it. It’s better than banana cake and I really like banana cake. 

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About Penny Reid

Penny Reid is a USA Today Best Selling Author of romantic fiction. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances she works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults (boy-8, girl-6, and girl-4 months), wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.


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Review + Giveaway: Grin & Beard It by Penny Reid

Review + Giveaway: Grin & Beard It by Penny ReidGrin & Beard it by Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also in this series: Beard Science
Also by this author: Beard Science

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 continually 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 heartthrobs. But can she traverse the tenuous trails of Tennessee without losing her head? Or worse, her heart?

Grin&BeardIt_Tour

 

It’s not a secret that we are fans of Penny Reid, of her humor, of her strong quirky characters – but we LOVE us some Winston Brothers.

Jethro Winston is the brother with the most colorful past. He’s the oldest of them all and spent his youth with deluded dreams of a life that wasn’t quite on the straight and narrow. He has since grown up. A lot. He’s the most grown up. He’s such an adult. So much a grown up that he’s sworn off pretty much anything that is about him and is constantly looking at what’s best for others.

So, of course, when he sees a woman stranded by the side of the road he stops to help. And for the first time in over five years he feels flirtatious, he has an attraction, a connection. Little does he know the woman, Sienna, happens to be an A list movie star, in town to film.  By the time he knows the truth, it’s too late, he’s hooked. And so is she.

I have to pause here. This is important. You need to hear me when I say this.

PENNY REID GIVES GREAT FLIRT.

Jethro is one of the most charming characters I’ve ever read. Pairing him with Sienna, who gives as good as she gets, was just genius.  Their first couple of encounters made me purely giddy. So much so that I almost didn’t want their relationship to progress, I loved the flirting so much!

Obviously, it does progress and in such a agonizing yet still sweet and adorable way. At one point Reid threw in a trifecta and I swooned my non-swoony butt off.  She gave me a face cup, followed by a forehead kiss, followed by a forehead to forehead stare. I mean, come the fuck on? So. Damn. Sweet. All wrapped up in a frickin’ beard.  *dies*

I also have to give major kudos for giving us a non-traditional heroine. She’s a size 14 and she cares zero about it. But most importantly, neither does Jethro. We’ve all read books where there gal is plus sized and maybe she agonizes about it or maybe the hero even has some thoughts on it…even if it’s just wishing his girl could see herself differently or whatever. Jethro never laments on any of it, it’s as if he doesn’t even see it. Because he doesn’t and why should he? Sienna is confident and strong and beautiful and that’s all Jethro sees. I may be a little (a whole lot) in love with Jethro Winston. 

I’m also in love with the hints Reid has dropped for some of the other characters. Cletus is still just as intriguing and I’m looking forward to seeing where Billy’s story goes. Also, the banana cake lady – there is a story there!

Anyway…read this book. Embrace the bearded hillbilly love. You’ll not be disappointed.

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Excerpt

 

Finally releasing her hand, Cletus noted conversationally, “If you come next Wednesday, I’ll let you try my sausage.”

I gathered a breath for patience and squeezed Sienna’s waist.

“Here we go,” Drew said as he swapped a knowing look with my sister.

Meanwhile, Beau rolled his eyes and released a disgusted snort. “Not this again.”

“Cletus’s famous sausage is famous,” Jess added helpfully, her eyebrows bouncing. She was already giggling.

Not missing a beat, Sienna asked, “How do you make it? Do you bake it?”

“No way. The heat isn’t right. In order for the sausage to mature, it needs the right type and application of heat. It needs heat on all sides, and wet heat is best.”

“You are the worst,” Billy said, though his mouth hitched on one side.

“This joke never gets old.” Jess was now laughing so hard she’d gripped her stomach, tears leaking from her eyes.

“It does when you have to hear it every month for ten years,” Duane complained, but couldn’t quite manage a scowl.

“My sausage is no joke.” Cletus frowned, wagging his finger through the air like we were all juveniles.

“So you grill it,” Sienna supplied, moving the conversation back on track.

“That’s right.”

“Good.” She nodded once, sounding thoughtful. “In that case, I insist you taste my thighs and breasts.”

These words, so calmly and earnestly spoken, rendered us all speechless.

Even Cletus.

I do believe we stared at Sienna in a collective state of paralyzed suspension, no one quite knowing how to react to her offer.

I felt her shoulders shake, so I shifted to the side, wanting to catch her expression. Her irresistible dimples flashed in full force and she giggled as she explained, “I have a great mojo chicken recipe. We can grill the chicken and sausage together.” Then to Cletus she said, “It’ll help with the wet heat.”

I looked to the heavens, hidden by the porch ceiling. “God, thank you for sending me this woman.”

Meanwhile, Cletus blinked once as though startled, but then a slow grin spread over his typically solemn features.

Beau, holding his hand over his heart, took the bait. “Sienna, I would be honored to taste your thighs and breasts.”

I shot him a warning glare. “Don’t you say that to her.” But I couldn’t keep my face straight either.

“What? What did I say?” Beau tried to sound and look affronted. “I was talking about her chicken. Obviously.”

Cletus’s grin had grown into an immense smile as his gaze moved over my woman with plain appreciation. “Well played, Ms. Diaz. Well played.”

 

 

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About Penny Reid

Penny Reid is a USA Today Best Selling Author of romantic fiction. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances she works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults (boy-8, girl-6, and girl-4 months), wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.


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