Publisher: Cipher-Naught

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Beard Science Review

February 10, 2017 Reviews 1 ★★★★

Beard Science ReviewBeard Science (Winston Brothers, #3) by Penny Reid
Published by Cipher-Naught on October 11th 2016
Pages: 384
Source: Purchased
Also by this author: Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4; Winston Brothers, #0.5)
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four-stars
2016 Goodreads Choice Awards FinalistUSA TODAY BESTSELLER
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 read Penny Reid’s Beauty and the Mustache and thought it was incredibly clever. I was extremely excited to read the Winston Brothers spin-off series because the brothers seemed so hilarious and memorable. I couldn’t wait to see all of these unique boys receive happy endings just like their sister did. This is technically the third book in the spin-off series, but I haven’t gotten around to reading either Jethro or Duane’s stories yet. Cletus is such an intriguing character and it was so awesome to finally get inside of his head. I’m happy that I read this book and I definitely plan on reading the other stories as well at some point. I recommend it if you’re a fan of light and hilarious romantic comedies. Penny Reid doesn’t let you down, she’s pretty great!

Jennifer was a smart and beautiful protagonist. Not to mention the fact that she was totally sassy and fierce when she wanted to be. She’s really the only girl out there that is on the same level of clever (and borderline devious) as good old Cletus. She’s very aware of what exactly is going on and is just ridiculously observant in general. I sympathized with her a lot as she struggled with her parents being so hard and judgmental of everything that she does. I understand the fact that she didn’t want to disappoint her parents by standing up to them for using her for her baking and not properly paying her, but that didn’t mean I didn’t cheer when she finally took a stand. She was a strong and fabulous protagonist. I really enjoyed her perspective just as much as I enjoyed Cletus’s voice.

Like I said, I was intrigued by Cletus whenever I was introduced to him in Beauty and the Mustache. He was definitely on the unique side of things, but I was truly curious about who exactly he was and what he was all about. He’s not your average hero or love interest, he brings something entirely new to the table here. He’s smart, perspective, and everything that he does, he does with a well thought out plan supporting whatever it might be. He’s always one step ahead of everyone else, and he’s ridiculously clever. It did surprise me how swoony he was when it came to Jennifer. So he might not be your average guy, but he brings the swoon nonetheless and I absolutely adore him.

Jennifer and Cletus make one fierce couple when it all comes down to it. Neither of them are all that great at forming relationships. Jennifer has never even kissed a guy due to how strict her parents have always been. Cletus has never been in love, though he does enjoy women in general. Once it all comes down to it though, the two of them simply make sense as a couple. They bring out the best in one another, which is something that I always love to see. The romance between them was sweet and also very hot at times. In Beauty and the Mustache, there really weren’t that many sexy scenes, so this one surprised me with a bit more heat, though not a ton.

Beard Science was a lovely book and a great introduction to this spin-off series for me. I know now that I have to check out the two previous standalone novels in this series just so I can get even more Cletus and the other boys. This is such a funny, swoony, and charming book. I will admit that I did feel like something was missing from it, which did prevent me from loving it as much as everyone else seemed to. I still thought it was pretty great, just some of it wasn’t totally memorable for me personally. I did enjoy both of the main characters and felt like their love story was well done. You should read this book if you’re a fan of the author and/or romantic comedies.

four-stars

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Beauty and the Mustache Review

December 6, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★

Beauty and the Mustache ReviewBeauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4; Winston Brothers, #0.5) by Penny Reid
Published by Cipher-Naught on August 24th 2014
Pages: 376
Source: Library
Also by this author: Beard Science (Winston Brothers, #3)
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Goodreads
three-stars
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 favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing 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.
This is a full-length novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the fourth book in the 'Knitting in the City' series.

So I’ve never read a book by Penny Reid before, but I’ve heard that her books are seriously hilarious and charming. I wasn’t quite sure where to start, but I decided to start with this one since it sets up the Winston Brothers series. I discovered that this was a fascinating story filled with fantastic and memorable supporting characters. I also thought the romance was really well done. I now definitely understand why Penny Reid is one of the first names people bring up when they mention authors of romantic comedy stories. Though this probably wasn’t my personal favorite in this genre, but I can still understand why people enjoy this author so much and I look forward to reading her other books in the future.

Ashley Winston is a hilarious and fabulous heroine. From the first page, she was just full of personality. She was ridiculously witty with pretty much every comment that she made, and I loved that about her. Ashley is a fun and generally lighthearted character. Though I will admit that I felt like she was a bit on the stuck up side when it comes to her brothers. In the end though, this didn’t end up bothering me too much because her attitude thankfully wasn’t like this throughout the entire story. She was also a strong character and we got to see a more serious side to her as we watched her accept the fact that her beloved mother is dying. I thought she was a great and compelling heroine as a whole.

So our hero is Drew. I thought Drew was extremely amazing and all kinds of swoony. From his first appearance, he continued to shake up Ashley’s world entirely. He was constantly surprising and complicated, which I really enjoyed seeing. He wasn’t a simple character, there were still so many layers to him that Ashley slowly began to uncover. I think one of my favorite things about Drew was how much he obviously cared about Ashley’s brothers and her mom. He was so supportive and comforting to each of them and I loved learning more about his compassion and kindness. Though I thought his character was absolutely awesome, I honestly longed for even more details about his history. I know that the author wanted to focus more on Ashley’s family, but it would been nice to see more of the specifics details about his family and past instead of a basic overview. I just wanted to see even more depth to his character.

Drew and Ashley made a good couple, though they definitely took awhile to get to that place. I thought that Reid was right to make the relationship between them to develop at a reasonably slow pace. They were both dealing with their grief and so neither of them wanted to push anything, though the tension was clear from basically their first interaction. I’m always a fan of the couple forming sort of a friendship or bond before they get into a serious relationship. I think it ultimately makes things more realistic when it’s written this way. So there actually weren’t many sex scenes between them and the ones they did had were rather on the short side. I was honestly expecting it be a bit steamier than it was.

Beauty and the Mustache was a funny and sweet romantic comedy that I’m happy that I read. I honestly adored all six of Ashley’s brothers and I can’t wait to read their stories in the spin-off series that revolves around each of them. Though I thought the characters were very endearing, funny, and filled with charm, there still seemed to be something missing for me. I felt like the plot was very interesting and I related a lot to the grief and loss that the characters felt. I guess maybe my standards in general for romantic comedies might still be set a little too high thanks to Emma Chase’s Sustained, but I just wasn’t completely feeling this one.

three-stars

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