Beard Necessities by Penny Reid
Winston Brothers #7
Cipher-Naught | November 4, 2019
Before I get into my review, I must confess: I didn’t read book 6, Beard With Me. This is very unlike me. I usually refuse to miss an installment with a whole number. (As opposed to books with a .5…) I have no doubt reading Beard With Me would have made Beard Necessities better because it’s just the way a series works.
For a long time, I thought the series was over for me after Dr. Strange Beard, and I was prepared for it. I have a mental block when it comes to reading tragedies, and the forward from the author at the start of Beard With Me made sure to warn us this 6th book was going to be tragic.
Not that I needed Penny Reid to tell me that.
If you read Winston Brothers, you know Claire and Billy are all tragedy.
There were two developments that pushed me to just hop right on over to Beard Necessities. First, in that same forward Ms. Reid explained that for those of us who don’t want to read their sad beginning, we could continue to read book 7 without it. That gave me pause, but what really cinched the deal was finding out about Solving for Pie! Penny Reid is writing a cozy mystery series about Cletus Winston! Only the best Winston of them all! The only Winston who can be called a genius mastermind! There’s no way in H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks I’m missing this series, so I decided “What the hell”, and picked it up.
Here’s my quick takeaway of Beard Necessities.
Billy and Claire have some seriously heavy history. Upon finishing Beard Necessities I felt like I had a pretty good understanding of what they both went through, and honestly, I’m glad I didn’t read it in true time. (Though, I do agree that reading it = living it, and that likely makes their redemption in this one even better.)
I loved Billy, and I loved Claire. They both had so much baggage to overcome, but I think they were both working hard to be together. Their story was never about needing to fall in love. Love was never a problem. They needed to overcome past hurts. They fought to be together, and that was beautiful.
I will say, the story started to drag toward the end. At times it felt like the same conversations over and over, and while I think it was realistic, reading it over and over started to feel redundant. I even skimmed some. No shame.
I’m still giving Beard Necessities 4 stars though. The story made up for it with lots of Winston Brothers antics. With the exception of Roscoe, I got the full cast putting in an appearance and helping these two star-crossed lovers to find their way back to each other. I love hanging out with this crew, and if they’re not in Solving for Pie, or Good Folks, I might just cry.
Oh, and my darling Cletus only gets better. The truth is the rest of the brothers would have nothing if it weren’t for this man. They all owe him their firstborn.
Now I can’t wait to read me some cozy mystery!!