BEARD SCIENCE (Winston Brothers #3)
Written by Penny Reid
Published by Cipher-Naught, October 11, 2016
My star rating – 5 stars
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. Find it on Goodreads
Are you tired of seeing reviews for this series yet? Have no fear, I’m taking a break soon! lol. But these books are just so damn enjoyable in a time where I need joy! They’ve truly been the perfect escape to someone else’s life filled with love and sweetness. And this was the book I was waiting for – it’s all about my favourite Winston brother – Cleatus!! This was hands down the BEST book in the series so far!!
This man is a mastermind. He’s a gentle giant. Brilliant, quiet, but his mind never stops! You never know what he’s going to say next and you never know what he’s got up his sleeve. He’s always planning something and has everyone’s back without them even realizing it! And he has a slight obsession with sausages…. which comes up in conversation at the most inappropriate of times. It’s innocent but sounds SO wrong lol!
This book had quite a few dynamics that differ from the first book. In the first two, the woman love interest hasn’t been in town their whole lives. Jess (book 1) had moved away and then came back so there was a bit of a learning curve as she assimilated back to small town life. And then there was Sienna (book 2) who what a hollywood starlet and never stepped foot in the town before. In this one, we have Jennifer the “Banana Cake Queen” who has never left town but never really knew anyone in town. Which brings me to my next point:
I’m going to be honest – I didn’t really like Jennifer at first. She seemed prissy, stand offish, and a little too good for everyone else. That wasn’t the case AT ALL! That was just the persona that her asshole parents (more on that later) forced her to be. She was a bit of a social media star. She always wore yellow dresses, was a dyed blonde, and was looking for a contract with some pretty big name people in New York. But this was all her parents design. She didn’t want any of this and she was never asked what SHE WANTED. Enter in Cleatus Winston. She found a way to blackmail him for a husband…. sounds weird, I know. This wasn’t really a search for a husband though – it was more of an escape from her parents and a way to find herself.
Finding herself was the main theme of this book. Being so sheltered by her douce canoe parents, she was never allowed to know who she was! She liked wearing overalls but her parents wouldn’t allow it. She didn’t want to always be known as the “banana cake queen” but her parents didn’t give her time for anything else. The first two books, the women knew who they were and what they wanted out of live. This was more of a step back and finding yourself before you jump into being a couple. I LOVED that aspect so much!!! That showed strength and resolve – wanting to know who you are alone before you know yourself with someone else. The growth of Jennifer was something I won’t forget any time soon!
Yes, this is a romance. And, if you’ve read the first two books, this one might be a bit of a steamy let down as it was calmed down quite a bit from the first two books. Thing is – Jennifer had never been kissed let alone anything else! Yet another aspect that I loved about this book! Walls were in place and build on insecurities and I loved watching them slowly fall down as trust was built. This was just a beautiful story!
Remember the asshole parents? Yeah – these two were total dicks! They had this idea of what they wanted for their own lives and used Jennifer, building her up as this person for the media without even a single thought about her! It was awful! They sheltered her so much and didn’t even allow her to make a single decision in her own adult life. They treated her like a slave – she worked for the bakery and was never paid a single dime. They also belittled her and beat her down with criticism and insults. It was disgusting to read! But it all has a point to the story and Jennifer’s transformation.
Safe to say, this series has been such a great escape. I love all these characters and the story of family, friends, and connection. I will be revisiting this series soon!
Until next time, happy reading!