Review | Beard Necessities by Penny Reid

Beard NecesstiesBeard Necessities by Penny Reid
Winston Brothers #7
Contemporary Romance
Cipher-Naught | November 4, 2019

About the Book:

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.


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!!

About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

10 Responses

  1. This was one was definitely harder to read because of all the history, but glad that they found a way to overcome it all! And I’m sooo excited for the Cletus and Jenn series too!


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