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Winston Brothers #5

Dr. Strange Beard

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2018)
Wall Street Journal Bestseller
USA Today Bestseller

Hunches, horse races, and heartbreak

Ten years after Simone Payton broke his heart, all Roscoe Winston wants is a doughnut. He’d also like to forget her entirely, but that’s never going to happen. Roscoe remembers everything—every look, every word, every single unrequited second—and the last thing he needs is another memory of Simone.

Unfortunately, after one chance encounter, Simone keeps popping up everywhere he happens to be . . .

Ten years after Roscoe Winston dropped out of her life, all Simone Payton wants is to exploit him. She’d also like some answers from her former best friend about why he ghosted her, but if she never gets those answers, that’s a-okay. Simone let go of the past a long time ago. Seriously, she has. She totally, totally has. She is definitely not still thinking about Roscoe. Nope. She’s more than happy to forget he exists.

But first, she needs just one teeny-tiny favor . . .

Dr. Strange Beard is a full-length romantic comedy novel, can be read as a stand-alone, and is the fifth book in the USA TODAY bestselling Winston Brothers series.

398 pages, Kindle Edition

First published July 30, 2018

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About the author

Penny Reid

104 books21k followers
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Penny Reid is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she writes kissing books. Penny is an obsessive knitter and manages the #OwnVoices-focused mentorship incubator / publishing imprint, Smartypants Romance. She lives in Seattle Washington with her husband, three kids, and dog named Hazel.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pennyreidwriter
Twitter: www.twitter.com/reidromance

Just Released:
October 20, 2022: Folk Around and Find Out, Good Folk: Modern Folktales, Book 2

Upcoming Releases:
December 13, 2022: Drama King, Three Kings Series, Book 2

Currently Working On:
2023: Pride and Dad Jokes, Ideal Man, Book 1

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,878 reviews
Profile Image for Dali.
1,854 reviews485 followers
September 10, 2023
With the Winston Brothers series, Penny Reid has created a fascinating group of family and friends, each book and couple adding to the appeal and uniqueness of series.

Dr. Strange Beard is a sweet, sexy and touching addition to the series this time following Roscoe –the attractive veterinarian with a prodigious memory and the youngest Winston brother. Roscoe has spent the last ten years avoiding the woman who broke his heart for fear of making additional painful memories of her, but it’s impossible to do when she pops up wherever he goes.

Simone Payton is back in town for a reason. She needs Roscoe’s help, but she’d also like some answers as to why her former best friend decided to ghost her. When the two start to spend time together, buried feelings that never really faded start to surface and secrets are harder to hide, but will the truth help bring them together or drive an unsurpassable wedge between them?

There are many reasons pick up a Penny Reid book. I’ve done reviews with lists, but I’ll be brief this time around. In general they are original, well thought out (love those epigraphs) and researched, sweet, swoony and emotive. The characters are unique and charming. The plot develops a great pace in which bits of suspense and lots of family hijinks are interweaved.

The Winston family are a funny, quirky, loving group of supporting characters, some more prominent than others, all beloved and fabulous in their own right, but ultimately, Roscoe and Simone take center stage as a couple who are easy to cheer for and I was lost in their angsty, sweet and heartwarming romance.

Dr. Strange Beard is book #5 in the Winston Brothers series by Penny Reid. It is a standalone full length contemporary romance that made me smile, laugh and swoon. A brilliant add to a wonderful series. Told from both points of view, with a happy ending.

Amazon -> https://amzn.to/2LIncPX
Profile Image for Christy.
3,923 reviews33.1k followers
July 27, 2018
4 stars!!!

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I love these Winston Brothers! Roscoe Winston is the baby of the group and his book is one I’ve been waiting for. Each time a new book in this series comes out I get all kinds of excited, and for good reason.

Roscoe is a special Winston. He’s sweet, quiet, sensitive, and a veterinarian. He’s also never truly gotten over his first love, Simone Payton. Luckily for Roscoe, Simone only comes into town every once in a while and he’s become a master at avoiding her. Until now. She’s back in town and seems to be everywhere he is.

Simone is different than Roscoe. She’s much more outgoing, she’s strong-willed, and she’s got a backbone. I liked Simone, I did, but it took me a while for her to grow on me. I didn’t have that immediate love for her like I did for Roscoe. Maybe it’s because I was feeling a little protective of dear Roscoe, I’m not sure. I was so worried about the deception aspect of the story, but thankfully, it all worked out in the end.

Roscoe and Simone’s story is a little bit friends to lovers, a little bit unrequited love, and a lot of steamy romance. I honestly was not expecting Roscoe’s book to be so, well, HOT, but it was a nice surprise!

As always, Penny Reid’s words are smart, her writing is brilliant, and her stories are unique. After reading Dr. Strange Beard, I’m even more excited for Billy’s book! Like, I don’t even know what Penny is going to do with that one, but I can’t wait to find out! In conclusion: If you haven’t read these Winston Brother’s books, you need to! They are all so special in their own way (and so is Ashley, of course!) Don’t miss out!
“I want to be with you. Always.”

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Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,072 reviews51.5k followers
November 9, 2020
another great installment!

i really did like this one, but it definitely wouldn't be in my top 3 winston brothers romances if i had to rank them. the main characters were fine enough, but their lack of communication was IRRITATING. i think this was penny's attempt to make their romance a little different and maybe a little angstier than your typical childhood friends to lovers story but it really just frustrated me.

i think things got much better from the 50% and beyond. the plot was pretty fun and was the most interesting of all of the books thus far. and it set up the next 2 books in the series VERY well. but overall... just wasn't the perfect romance for me.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,487 reviews7,785 followers
August 17, 2018
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Before I even begin, let me say that when it comes to a new Penny Reid release, my reaction has been and most likely will always be . . . .

I adore her stuff. It’s funny, it’s sexy, the dudes are fantasy bangbots and the women aren’t, but instead are successful, independent and diverse. She writes ‘em skinny, she writes ‘em heavy, famous worldwide and famous only thanks to a certain banana cake – she’s even written a female lead on the spectrum. All that being said, it really didn’t surprise me much that Reid chose to write about a mixed-race couple this time around. What did surprise me?????

What a freakin’ snoozefest!

And aside from the fact that it was dull as crap, I’m not going to pussyfoot around the other issues I had with it so if you’re easy to take offense, it’s probably time to get scootin’.

I realize that I’m not a person who needs a “sensitivity reader” to go through a story before I take a gander at it, but I also understand others are and certain authors are willing to oblige in order to not offend their fanbase. That being said, if you’re going to water down potentially awesome characters (seriously, she’s undercover FBI – he’s supposedly a veterinarian, but since he was never even in the G.D. town he lived in there wasn’t a lot of puppy kisses going around) into this bowl of milk toast then I’d prefer it just to never happen. Also? You know what makes the ethnically diverse bestseller movement so great? Not so much that the characters are diverse, but that the AUTHORS are as well.

This was supposed to be a fluffy romance. I’m pretty sure most readers of smut just want to sit around in PJ pants and get our sploosh on while visions of nekkid Jason Mamoa dance through our heads. If I want to read well-written fictional takes on current social issues I’ll seek out Jason Reynolds or Angie Thomas, thank you very much.

I’m going to give you a specific example here of how this went off the rails for me (again, because I picked up a ROMANCE book, not something deep) – if you don’t agree with my take so be it, this is MY space for MY opinion and Imma give it.

So the leading lady gets pulled over by a blatantly racist cop for driving while black. She pulls into Roscoe’s (splooshy bearded bro this go ‘round) sister’s driveway – sister comes out and schools the disgusting manbearpig on being a vile human. Simone (female lead) then proceeds to dress down the sister for speaking on her behalf and taking away her opportunity to be her own voice, etc. etc. DON’T START CLUTCHING YOUR PEARLS. Stay with me here because I get the point that was trying to be made. The problem I have is then the sister tells the entire family about what happened and so the next time (because OF COURSE THERE’S A NEXT TIME with this uggo cop) it is Roscoe there and he gently nudges Simone until she realizes he’s going to let her do the talking. Thanks for sticking with me, I’m almost at my point. Okay, so WHY DIDN’T THAT SECOND SCENARIO HAPPEN FIRST???? It would have been sooooooo much more effective (because remember, this is a “one that got away” trope so these two have been kismet since they were tiny little children and also he remembers errrrrythang (which I’ll get to here in a second maybe) so he should know how she would want to react/want him to react) if Simone had explained to everyone how much it meant to be her own voice AFTER she got to be her own voice. Instead it came off all preachy and awful because if this person TRULY thought they were going to potentially be shot would they really get on a soapbox instead of just saying “thanks for making sure I’m not dead” and then deal with the P.C. shit later???

Which leads me to my other problem – that just so happens to be the exact opposite of the above – NOT ADDRESSING THINGS AT ALL. First, Roscoe has an eidetic memory and while the presentation of such is about as subtle as a skunk in your bed, it’s not confirmed until nearly the end. Why? For suspense??? If so, MAJOR FAIL because dead horse was dead like 17% into the mah fah. And second, comments are made throughout the book about Simone not seeing how beautiful she is. I was DYING for an “a-ha moment” when it was disclosed that . . . .

Seriously. I would have loved for Simone to be a dark-skinned girl. Just like I’d love for a “plus size” girl to be larger than a fucking size 12. But it never happened. So was Simone darker skinned? Did she just have low self esteem? Was her face all scarred up from a knife fight? WTF?!?!?!?! Did she really and truly just not care because she was so badass????? I need answers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Okay not really, but it would have been nice to have an answer.)

It sucks that this missed the mark so hard for me. But again, don’t get it twisted because I’m already in line for the book we’ve all been waiting for – BILLY’s . . . .

“I mean, ladies. Holy cow. Get thee a Winston, stat!”

^For serious. Doooooooooooooooooo it.


Who else has only been able to picture Krieger ever since the title of this book was released???

Just me?
Profile Image for Helen 2.0.
416 reviews919 followers
October 2, 2023
Thank you again, Penny Reid, for reminding me that I don’t dislike the entire contemporary romance genre… just most contemporary romance authors 😅

Her protagonists are always so unique, so complex, but also down-to-earth and relatable. The conflict is real and compelling because it arises from external sources, like nuanced family relationships and incompatible life circumstances, and also from internal sources like conflicting values between the leads. Notably NOT from stupid miscommunications and insecure, immature MCs. Penny Reid’s skill is particularly obvious to me right now, since I just read an Ali Hazelwood book that was 100% fabricated drama and drove me up the wall.

Roscoe is the Winston brother we see the least in previous installments. All the other brothers play a role in at least one other book. Duane and Beau are each in each other’s books, Jethro’s around every now and then. Cletus and Billy actually play pretty big roles in several of the love stories (besides their own). But Roscoe, the youngest Winston brother, is mostly absent, and we don’t know anything about the heroine, Simone Payton, prior to this installment. For the first time since book 1, I felt like I was going in fresh.

Simone and Roscoe are both strong, confident characters. They’ve suffered traumas that have hardened them to the world, but they’re not insecure, just a little bit bruised.

They were best friends as kids, and Roscoe fell in love with Simone as teens, but Simone has some scars concerning romance and wasn’t ready to fall in love with anyone back then. In the present timeline, she’s still not exactly ready, preferring reason over emotion. Roscoe never stopped loving Simone, but he has perfect situational memory—he can remember any interaction perfectly, forever—which makes him extremely cautious about forming new memories and leads him to avoid any complicated relationship dynamic entirely.

So when they collide again due to Simone’s work as an undercover FBI agent, they clash, wanting to be back in each other’s lives but struggling to overcome their conflicting trauma responses. It’s a sweet story with just enough angst to stay interesting.
Profile Image for JD.
67 reviews2 followers
July 31, 2018
Oh boy, but I have some thoughts

2.5 very sad stars.

Settle in, y'all, I've got some thoughts and major issues.

First, I am very sad that this is the book Rosco and Simone had. At no fault of there's, they became two of the worst characters in the Winston Brothers series even though I like both of them very much.

Their story, on the other hand, is pretty bad.

Now, before you get upset at me, undertand this: I get how frustrating it is for white authors to be told to write non-white characters for reasons of inclusion. But—and this is a very big but—it's way more frustrating to see black characters written with heavy, plodding plot points.

Trust me when I say this, no matter how much you research and how much you listen, you'll never research your way into someone's lived experience. I've spent 30 years on this planet as a black woman. The overt racism I've faced hasn't been nearly as prevalent as the microaggressions I've faced. Or the inadvertent racism that follows me everywhere. I'm not saying things like what happened with the cop aren't real—they're very real. I tense up every time I see a uniformed cop, which is often because I live in NYC. But the day to day instances of racism based upon institutionalized norms are not as bold as the takes here in Reid's book.

Now, I'm not saying she shouldn't have written Simone. I'm not saying that at all. I know that Reid is trying, my criticism lies in the fact that Simone is a tool in this book, a vehicle to make people understand rather than the heroine of a love story, and that's my main problem. I wanted to read Simone and Roscoe falling in love without being treated to some heavy handed, very awkward take on racism and allyship.

I don't need those lessons. Maybe some of you do.

My lived experiences as a black woman aren't the only experiences, but Simone's experiences are almost textbook for what I see happening when white authors write black characters and/or other characters of color. Experience, in this case, trumps research infinitely.

I cringed more than I was happy. I hated every scene with that cop. It was handled so poorly and then to have him be really evil instead of just an apparatus of a very poor and broken system further showed me that this isn't an area Reid excels in.

There's a lot I enjoyed about this book, still. Simone's parents are probably the best human beings ever. I liked seeing the family happy.

I did, ultimately, like Roscoe and Simone. I wish they'd had a different book. I wish they'd been able to fall in love just like the books prior without so much of their story being devoted to something that was poorly handled.
Profile Image for Wendy'sThoughts.
2,658 reviews3,256 followers
August 27, 2019
4.5 Winston Time and Remembrance Stars
* * * *1/2 Spoiler Free
2018 Best Romance Semifinal Round Nominee
I have been so fortunate to have read many of these Semifinalists. If this review helps in deciding your voting choice, then I have done my job. Happy Reading

I have decided Penny Reid created her own new genre of romance when she birthed these Winston Brothers. There is something extremely unique about these men and women. They have their own viewpoints, ways of communicating and seeing things. When we see their concerns, on the whole, all of the immediate issues can seem complicated and may be impossible to surmount...but in the end... when everything is reduced down to the nitty-gritty in that Winston Way...it is all about paying attention to what is happening around you...and not letting anything slip through your fingers...

Because Time Don't Play...Once it is gone... It Is Gone...
So you better pay attention-take in everything that is happening around you and with the people you love.

This series has been happening for some time now. I have grown to love all of the characters in it. Each person brings something special to the table and Roscoe is no different. With all of the Winstons as the backdrop, Roscoe is dealing with a situation which he has avoided regularly, Simone Payton.

You see ten years ago, she broke his heart and it can sometimes play like a loop in his head...words, deeds they did as kids...all of it is like this continual slot machine...put a thought of a time he had with Simone, pull the handle and bam... replay it word for word...visual in his mind's eye, scene for scene.

Roscoe's memory is a talent as well as a curse. And now he is seeing Simone where she shouldn't be...and he fails to think quick enough to avoid her...standing right next to the woman who broke his heart.

Simone is back in town assisting at her family's diner. Only her parents sort of know why...There are things to achieve and one of them is to reconnect with Roscoe. It is an opportunity to do what she came home to do... but it is also meant to finally find out from him why he ghosted her all those years ago. I mean to drop your best friend like that and never share why...Simone wants to know.

Oh, this love story...Once again, Reid goes about this tale starting every chapter with the perfect quote reflecting just what the characters are thinking and going through. If you are familiar with the other books in the series, then you will know of the family dynamic between brothers and sister. You will know of the motorcycle gang father, the threats and treatment they had growing up. You will know how there is always an undercurrent of something happening with these men and this story is no different.

Through this tale, Reid sets us straight...things may seem complicated... but in the grand scheme of life...focus on those who mean the most to you. Do not get distracted...see clearly and experience everything...even heartbreak for if you don't put yourself out there...you will miss out on the love, too.

Winston Lovers... do not despair...Billy's Tale is coming. Don't plan on anything around March/April 2019. I have already blocked my calendar.

Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4; Winston Brothers, #0.5) by Penny Reid Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City4/
Winston Brothers, #0.5)
Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers, #1) by Penny Reid Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers, #1)
Grin and Beard It (Winston Brothers, #2) by Penny Reid Grin and Beard It (Winston Brothers #2)
Beard Science (Winston Brothers, #3) by Penny Reid Beard Science (Winston Brothers #3)
Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers, #4) by Penny Reid Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers, #4)
Dr. Strange Beard (Winston Brothers, #5) by Penny Reid Dr. Strange Beard (Winston Brothers, #5)
Beard with Me (Winston Brothers, #5.5) by Penny Reid Beard with Me (Winston Brothers, #5.5)
Beard Necessities (Winston Brothers, #6) by Penny Reid Beard Necessities (Winston Brothers, #6)

And the series that started it all:

Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City, #1) by Penny Reid Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City, #1)
Neanderthal Marries Human (Knitting in the City, #1.5) by Penny Reid Neanderthal Marries Human (Knitting in the City #1.5)
Friends Without Benefits (Knitting in the City, #2) by Penny Reid Friends Without Benefits (Knitting in the City #2)
Love Hacked (Knitting in the City, #3) by Penny Reid Love Hacked (Knitting in the City, #3)
Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4; Winston Brothers, #0.5) by Penny ReidBeauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4; Winston Brothers, #0.5)https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Happily Ever Ninja (Knitting in the City, #5) by Penny Reid Happily Ever Ninja (Knitting in the City, #5)
Dating-ish (Knitting in the City, #6) by Penny Reid Dating-ish (Knitting in the City, #6)
Marriage of Inconvenience (Knitting in the City, #7) by Penny Reid Marriage of Inconvenience (Knitting in the City #7)

~~~~~ Before Reading ~~~~~
Twirling, Twirling, Twirling...
Oops...now I am a bit dizzy...
But oh, my Lord...What reading I get to do!!!!!
❤️❤️❤️ ❤️❤️❤️ ❤️❤️❤️ ❤️❤️❤️
Oct. 11,2016
Roscoe, what do you have up your sleeve...
You have been watching and seeing all your brothers pair off...

Who have you had your eye on...
It seems like something has been brewing but you have been keeping it to yourself...

I can't wait to see who you have on your arm at the end of this tale....

Dr. Strange Beard (Winston Brothers, #5) 2018

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Profile Image for Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth.
794 reviews892 followers
August 14, 2018



The Winston brothers are special. Each one in his own quirky way. It's a feat to give them matching partners, ladies who complement and enhance their multi-dimensional characters and aren't only accessories but as multi-layered, quirky and strong. Penny Reid does it every single time.

Roscoe is the most sensitive of the lot. Gifted or cursed, depending on the point of view, with a mind that doesn't let him forget memories - good or bad. One memory in particular has been causing him pain like no other and it's the reason why he has been avoiding his ex-best friend for ten years. A chance encounter pulls Simone back into his orbit though.

Simone doesn't have the foggiest idea why her former best friend ghosted her. One day they were friends, next day he didn't want anything to do with her any longer. So when this beautiful, grown-up version of Roscoe crashes back into her life she wants to know why. She can't let him in, not now - she missed him too much when he ditched her the first time. And anyway, feelings, emotions aren't her thing.
I mean, loving someone is a big fucking responsibility. How could I love someone if I couldn’t even decide between Chinese or Thai food when ordering takeout?

What starts between the vet and the FBI undercover agent is a dance around each other, both of them guarding their hearts. It has a bit of everything, the sting of rejection and pain of unrequited love, the grief about a friendship lost, the joy when they rekindle their connection and the sizzle of Roscoe's and Simone's physical attraction that becomes a blaze very fast.

Remember Penny Reid when she wrote fade to black bedroom scenes? Yeah, forget it. That Penny is gone and wow can she write steam. Her sex scenes are not just some of the most erotic I've read but also some of the most emotional ones.

Both Roscoe and Simone are beautiful characters. Roscoe is tender-hearted when it comes to his childhood friend, considerate and has such a pure soul. He is better than good, you want to keep him safe so that nothing can hurt him. He's also perfectly happy with the person he is. Roscoe loved to make people feel good and I utterly adored that about him.
But what captured my notice was the way her profile was painted in a silvery outline. I could distinguish each of her eyelashes, the graceful slope of her cheekbone, the line of her jaw, the shape of her lips. The sight stole my breath. She was beauty.

From the beginning to the end there was never a doubt that his childhood friend was IT for him. It was so refreshing to get a hero with an unshakable love for the heroine.

Simone is vivacious, a lively young woman who is more forgiving than I would be. She had every reason to be angry at Roscoe yet she got over it fairly fast. I loved that she didn't hold on to the grudge for long once she knew his reasons for avoiding her.
But I’d also learned that— in love— nothing makes sense. I didn’t make sense. I didn’t understand myself. Down is up and up is purple. The sky is drawer. The moon is goat. In love, everything was nonsense.

One thing I always find amazing in Penny Reid's books is that she touches on interesting, current topics or sometimes controversial issues that give you food for thought. She always provides more than one point of view and I often find myself nodding and thinking "Wow, I've never seen it THAT way" giving me new perspectives through her characters. This time she introduces the very difficult and sensitive topic of racism which shouldn't be difficult at all. Her approach is tastefully done - I really loved her tact and that she chose a POC as her heroine.

The secret about Jennifer Silvester's (now Winston) brother is finally lifted and I hope we see a little bit more of that in Billy's book. Speaking of, Billy is breaking my heart already. The guy needs to get laid and somebody who takes care of his battered soul. I think Claire will do a great job in that department.

Being reunited with the Winstons is always a treat. I wish this family had more brothers, I would read all of their stories. Penny's words always have a way of settling in my heart and making me want to be the like her characters. Her quirky and smart humor and sweet nature shine through in her stories. When I close one book I start craving the next one, like Scheherazade. That's the magic of Penny Reid.
He didn’t wait for me to finish before pulling it over his head, his undershirt following, leaving him bare-chested, somehow taller than before, and so fucking magnificent. I mean, ladies. Holy cow. Get thee a Winston, stat!

AMEN to that!

Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
907 reviews1,819 followers
August 3, 2018
Ms. Reid is one of my favorite author. I read books from her Knitting in the City series and I long for a group friends like she has given us in those stories. I read Winston Brothers and I long for a family like the Winstons. the characters she has created in her stories are so passionately in love with everyone else and the devotion, respect they show each other just makes me go "awwwww" every time i read her books. it's easy to fall in love with them. but sadly, I am disappointed in this book and it's predecessor, Beard in Mind.

Story of Roscoe, the youngest Winston brother, and Simone, the childhood sweetheart. He is a vet and she is an undercover FBI agent. there are so many misunderstanding, secrets, and heart burns between them that I wanted to shake both of them at times and talk some sense in their thick heads, specially Roscoe. For me the romance part of the book was meh, and the side plot in my opinion was much better, and what kept me turning pages.

Just one request Ms Ried, don't mess Billy's book like this.
Profile Image for Stacey.
1,446 reviews1,154 followers
October 20, 2020
I loved hearing Simone and Roscoe...

I just re-read my below review and I don't have a lot more to say about Dr. Strange Beard, to be honest. Penny's words still move me and re-reading/listening after what we have witnessed in 2020, really hit me how blind we can be to racial injustice. By trying to 'fix' the problem of discrimination for someone else, we are taking away their control of the situation. I always feel like I learn something new when listening to a Penny Reid story.

The narrators do an amazing job and I loved hearing Simone and Roscoe.

I'm not sure if I'll go on with my re-read/listen of the Winston Brothers but I know that my heart can't take a revisit with Beard with Me. Scarlet/Claire and Billy's younger years broke my heart when I read it the first time. I might take the scaredy-cat path and skip straight to Beard Necessities. I need to know there's a happy ever after waiting for me at the end.


Penny Reid’s words move me…

***4.5 Stars***

I’ve met Penny Reid and she is a bright and bubbly person who was a pleasure to talk to. I’ve read Penny’s words outside of her books and I like the way her mind works. I’ve been immersed in Penny’s worlds through her books…and her words move me. She has a voice that I wish was mine. Her ideas, beliefs and feeling shine through in her characters. The strength in their thoughts and words makes Penny Reid someone I admire.

I found myself marking pages as I read Dr Strange Beard. I collected those pages because they touched me. They were words that I’m sometimes too scared to say out loud. I even marked a page to show my boys when they get older…*How to dress for a date* (my words, not Penny’s). Penny’s words make my heart…stutter…spasm…do that little fluttery thing. Her words move me.

It's obvious to me that Penny does her research and due diligence when creating characters and giving them thoughts, opinions, careers and issues. By creating Simone, Penny has given me a new insight into an issue that is a worldwide problem. Sometimes it's better to ask the person facing a drama or issue how they want it handled instead of fixing the problem for them. I also found the titbit at the end of the story explaining the extent of a person having a "good memory" interesting. Then again, all of Penny's titbits are interesting.

I don’t always love Penny’s characters. For instance, Roscoe as a 16-year-old needed a good kick to the behind. OK, maybe I can understand his 16-year-old brain fart…BUT A 10 YEAR LONG BRAIN FART!!! How on earth everyone just accepted that they were friends no longer is beyond me. Especially considering those Winston’s, it’s not like they know how to keep out of each others business. So many years wasted.

I may also have a wee bit of a problem when a character I love goes undercover. Sure, they’re doing good deeds and all, but geez I hate the deception and when the truth comes out, someone always gets hurt. That would be one of the hardest jobs in the world and I imagine that it would be almost impossible to have a serious relationship while doing undercover work. Kudos to those good men and women sacrificing for us.

Honestly, I was getting a bit nervous up to the halfway point that Dr Strange Beard wasn’t going to work for me. I know, I know, it’s romance and it has to all work out. BUT…these two just weren’t communicating, getting together or connecting the way I wanted them to. O ye, of little faith (rolling my eyes at myself). I just needed to be patient and wait for the right time.

I think Dr Strange Beard was one of Penny’s steamiest books. Holy Shamoly, I was getting all kinds of hot and flustered reading this one. A lot of readers are going to LOVE this one and it has a lot to do with Roscoe…and his words…and his touch…OMG!!

Loved catching up with all the Winston’s and I am DESPERATE for Billy to find his happy place. I need him to add some laugh lines to his frown lines. There’s a certain redhead I’m hoping will be his happy place.

Simone’s parents Daisy and Trevor were amazing and I loved getting to know them and seeing the wonderful example they set for their kids. Daisy’s welcome home party…of the scary kind, is something I can relate to. My mother never meant to scare the bejeezus out of me, it just happened and I think she got a wee bit of pleasure out of it.

Plenty of laughs, a few tears and some big old sighs as well. Dr Strange Beard was a fantastic read and I will be sad when this series is over.

Stacey is Sassy, received an advanced copy of this story. The copy provided is not the final copy and may be subject to edits and changes.
Profile Image for Sabrina.
3,390 reviews1,993 followers
August 13, 2018
Amazon US * Amazon UK
Excerpt and Giveaway HERE.

Penny Reid is one of my favorite authors because I find her books to be unique, but in a subtle way. They aren't just fluffy romance, not that there's anything wrong with that, but when you're reading a book from Ms. Reid they make you stop and think. She brings in real life issues in small ways that don't distract from the story but still make you pause and reflect on them.

And not only are her stories unlike any others that I've read, but her characters are always very different from the norm as well. I love that these books aren't afraid to touch on sensitive subject and that the characters have personalities most authors don't write about. It makes the already great stories even better.

Dr. Strange Beard was just as brilliant as the rest of the series and follows Roscoe Winston, the very of this bunch, and his childhood best friend who turned in to his worst memory. I can't say he was as strange as his siblings, but he still had his quirks that I found endearing. Getting to see inside his mind a little really helped me understand him and I felt a great deal of sympathy for him. Not in a pitying type of way, but in a way that his struggles made me want to give him a big hug.

Then we have Simone Payton, the aforementioned best friend. She was dealing with a difficult task and I was rooting her on the whole time to figure it out. I easily connected with her since her emotions were so vivid on these pages and I couldn't help but get sucked in to her world. She's also the character that brought in those real life instances and it made me feel so passionate about things that don't always affect me. I finished the book over a day ago and I'm still thinking about her character, which I find amazing.

Overall, I found this book to be the usual Penny Reid awesomeness so of course if gets a big recommend from me. I don't personally think this could be read as a standalone so I would say to read the rest of the series before starting this one.

ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,478 reviews1,895 followers
August 13, 2018
I need to come right out and say it for anyone who felt, or currently feels, the same way : if you are struggling with the start of DR. STRANGE BEARD, don't give up hope. I was really starting to suspect I had stumbled across my first Winston Brothers fail but Reid delivered in the end. Well, no, actually, well before the end. But all I'm saying is that any doubts I had, any struggle to connect, were both resolved by about the middle point. And I hope this encourages you to push on.

Why did Roscoe have to be a vet? Why couldn't he be a.. a.. a mortician? He wouldn't look quite so stunningly and alluringly gorgeous covered in dead bodies, now would he?

That little disclaimer aside, wow. It's so hard to review the fifth book in a series without spoiling, like, everything. This one has everything you would want, you have come to expect, and more, from this series and from this author. She made me laugh after having broken my heart (seriously, tears on my face, and then full out lols, honestly, Penny, how dare you toy with me like this [please feel free to do it again]), she made me swoon, she made me.. just.. so.. glad. There's something about this series, these brothers, this town, it's just.. familiar. Fun. Warm. Even with all the darkness, unpleasantness, and shady shit that comes up. It's full of sweetness and light but also heavy, relevant, a little (lot) disconcerting, but oh so good.

"Your sacrifices, and I'm sure there are a ton I don't know about, made this family possible. But brother, it's time for the sacrifices to end."

As much as I loved learning more about the youngest brother, Roscoe, I feel that Billy got a wonderful spotlight in this one. Yes it's to prep his story but.. oh Billy. I just want to hug him. I can't spoil anything and it's not even really even a spoiler if you've made it this far.. but wow. The love-down (like a smack-down but full of love, trademark to come) that Roscoe gives his second oldest brother.. I want to cry all over again. Reid gives good monologue-y truthbombs and there were some serious goodies in this one.

"What are you so afraid of? Of failure? Of making painful memories you can't forget? if that's the case, I've tried that. I'm here to tell you that no matter what you do, shit is going to happen. you can't avoid heartache without also leaving out the love."

Five years on from the last book, a lot has changed, but also not a lot, really. Strangely this was the first book where I didn't go gaga for Cletus every time he was on the page (I know, I'm all agog, too, though the shaving scene was hilarious). Infact I think that honour went to Billy (see aforementioned well-deserved spotlight) but there was a spectacular moment between Simone and Jennifer (Cletus' Jenn) that I loved, and yet I think the award for best supporting cast/family goes to Simone's family, the Paytons. I loved learning more about them, and experiencing more of Dani, Simone's sister, and a soon to be complication for Billy (ruh roh). But, that said, as always, I love this eclectic group of siblings (Jethro knitting was just the best) and I doubt I'll ever get tired of them.

"Cletus, what exactly do you imagine knitters need a governing body for? We're not a militia."
"Really? Could have fooled me. Y'all are more organized than most militias."

Simone and Roscoe's romance, however, for me had a rough start. If it looks like a miscommunication, smells like a miscommunication, and walks like a miscommunication.. it probably is. And we have one of those. But there's a lot more to it. The build-up, however, trying to feel the connection between these two.. initially, I wasn't having it. I couldn't really get a read on Simone, this smart science-y logical lady, but eventually she mostly settled in to the story, or I mostly settled in to her, and it does come together. However the strength of this story is perhaps less due to the heroine (and not helped by how the author chose to use her) and more due to my enjoyment of the hero and also, as mentioned, due to the fabulous focus on brother Billy. DR. STRANGE BEARD is perhaps my least favourite pairing (particularly after the strength of BEARD IN MIND) but from like.. 60% on, I loved pretty much everything about this. There are complications, some sorta lies, and some big reveals.. and it was all thrilling, by the seat of your pants, before the heartbreak set in. How's that for vague but not too vague, teasing but not spoiling, eh? Please grade me on a curve.

Time, as they say, heals all wounds that aren't affected by sepsis or gangrene.

While I definitely wished I had reread the first four prior to going into this one, I'm kinda glad I didn't have the chance, because now I have an excuse for a full reread before the final (!?) book. I can't wait to relive all the adventures, hijinks, hilarity, and emotions.

4 "give me this. give me this memory" stars

** I received an ARC from the author (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
Profile Image for McGee Magoo.
338 reviews57 followers
July 30, 2018



We're back in Green Valley, back with The Winstons, but we're five years out from Beard in Mind (Beau's story). In that time, Roscoe Winston has finished school and started practicing veterinary medicine. He's also finding himself shadowed and tormented by his childhood friend and first love, Simone.

Simone is on a mission. A secret mission. And while she's on this mission, she's going to make it personal by finding out why her best friend ghosted her all those years ago.

What unfolds is a beautiful story about unshakable memories, and unbreakable love; about holding secrets and building trust; about the complexity of familial bonds.

In true Penny Reid fashion, we don't get a straight-forward simple tale of a second-chance-romance. We get challenged to expand our scope; see life through a different lens. Whether that's taking a moment to comprehend racial issues, or accept a heroine who takes on a somewhat different gender occupation dynamic than other romance heroines do, or even to ask yourself what you would do to save a life, the author continually gives us an opportunity to learn about ourselves and the world around us.

I can't say enough about this book to express how moved and shocked I felt while reading it. If you're a fan, I say, please read it ASAP. If you haven't read any of the previous books, DO NOT START HERE! Rewind, grab the other books and start on an epic journey. This book is late in a series, has bombshells galore, and is chock full of juicy, series-wide arc tidbits.

A-1 Family-Franggy3
Profile Image for Christie«SHBBblogger».
965 reviews1,248 followers
July 30, 2018

Title: Dr. Strange Beard
Series: Winston Brothers #5
Author: Penny Reid
Release date: July 30, 2018
Cliffhanger: No

Oh how I loved visiting the Winston Boys, their significant others, and the rest of the residents of Green Valley. This series is like a true best friend. One that you don't get to see very often, but when you finally do, there's no awkward pause in conversation or adjustment. I slipped right into this book with a smile on my face, and I was laughing within the first few pages. How many series have you read can you say that about? The trademark humor, unexpected angst, and Roscoe's original personality trait were just a few of the things that made Dr. Strange Beard unputdownable.

We knew from the previous books that Roscoe and Simone were childhood best friends, always together like two peas in a pod. Then suddenly they parted ways in high school with no explanation, much to the puzzlement of their families. But no one was more confused and hurt than Simone, who was ghosted unexpectedly by the boy she cared about and trusted the most. Surely their friendship formed and nurtured over so many years deserved more?

The hurt faded over the years, but never really went away. The mystery was something that wouldn't be silent in her mind, so if Simone just happened to solve that riddle while she's back in town temporarily for her hidden agenda, nothing would make her happier. She convinced herself that the past was shoved into a box never to be touched or noticed again. Roscoe didn't have that luxury. His situational eidetic memory kept him chained to every painful memory as if it happened ten minutes before rather than ten years. He was enslaved to the past and afraid to live in the present.

“Memory is a strange thing.” He pressed another kiss to the soft skin of my interior forearm. “An endless reminder of the past, revealing itself—as a cannon blast or a whisper—when you’re least prepared for it.”

Roscoe has the ability to remember faces and names of people he's met once, no matter how long ago it was. He can remember events in fine detail that happened to him throughout his life, whether they are pleasant or painful. Can you imagine not being able to feel any relief from painful moments in your life, because the memory never fades? I admit I was a little confused at first between what Roscoe lives with, and the photographic memory that most people think of. Though what he experiences is a real thing, it's extremely rare so I wasn't familiar with the specifics of it.

The fact that he deals with this his whole life, and hides it from everyone made his struggle even more difficult because he didn't have his family to lean on for support. He could only make observations of various coping methods and try to apply them to himself, hoping for the best. I never felt angry at either character for the way things played out between them as teenagers. Sure, he could have handled it better, but it just wasn't their time. As heart-wrenching as the loss of their friendship was, she never would have been ready, and it would have hurt him too much to have that reality shoved in his face on a daily basis.

Simone and Roscoe came out of nowhere and caused some unexpected butterflies to beat around in my chest. The unrequited love that he feels and tries to hide from her hit me right in the heart and squeezed me with emotion. I had no idea that he had such a sweet and soulful sensitive side, but I couldn't have been happier finding out. His desperation to try to keep his feelings under control when he was around her was very palpable, and it just made you want to wrap your arms around him to take his and make everything better. Besides his struggle with Simone, he also had to deal with his despicable father's sudden unwelcome reappearance in his life again.

Simone took me a little bit longer to warm up to. Not because I disliked her at first, she's just more reserved with her emotions so I wasn't sure what to make of her. Seeing her sister crash and burn in a bad way in the romance department when they were teens had an effect on her. She was happy to scratch her itches occasionally and then move on with her life. It was all very clinical and functional.

I’ve never been into romance and such, finding puzzles, mysteries, and science more alluring and interesting than almost anything else. The marriage of chemistry and physics was the only kind of marriage that had been of interest to me.

Until Roscoe Winston stepped back into her world, shook it up, and blurred the lines of friendship until she wasn't sure what she wanted anymore. Suddenly she had a strange attraction that she didn't know what to do with, and a secret that could break the fragile new feelings that they were tentatively stepping into. I really enjoyed seeing Simone open up to him and realize that making herself vulnerable doesn't have to make you weak. When you're with the right person, someone who knows you inside and out and loves you unconditionally, you're stronger than you ever were.

I adored this book so much, and I can't recommend the entire Winston series enough. Billy has always been my most anticipated brother in the series, but now that his book is around the corner I wish we could keep waiting because I can't imagine saying goodbye. Simone's family was wonderful in this book, so hopefully there will be a chance at more books to explore her siblings and their HEAs.

I wanted him, to be with him, always. It was him. How he touched me, looked at me, held me, knew me, accepted me. His gentleness, his ferocity, his sweetness, even his caution. I loved his reluctance, how earnestly and sincerely he approached every situation, with heart and soul over mind and matter. I loved him.



Profile Image for Patty ~ Wrapped Up In Reading Book Blog.
1,260 reviews10k followers
August 10, 2018
*****FOUR STARS*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Author}

DR. STRANGE BEARD, the fifth and latest installment of the Winston Brothers series is Roscoe Winston’s story and it’s a friends-to-lovers/unrequited love romance. Roscoe is another quirky but utterly lovable character like his siblings. I was rooting for him to get his girl!!

Roscoe and Simone were the best of friends in High School, but Roscoe had always harbored a secret crush for Simone. One day he decides to confess his feelings for her but Simone doesn’t react the way that he had hoped she would. She rejects him based on her fear that moving to a romantic relationship could end up destroying the friendship. Roscoe is so heartbroken that he cuts off all ties with Simone.

It’s ten years later and Simone is back in town. She moved away and has a career with the FBI, but would come home on weekends to visit her parents. Roscoe always made sure to keep his distance from any place he might run the risk of bumping into Simone because even ten years later, he still hasn’t gotten over the heartbreak. But now Simone is back for the foreseeable future and Roscoe is forced to interact with her. What he doesn’t know is that she’s working undercover for the FBI and her mission involves the motorcycle gang, the Wraiths, that his father is a member of. She tries to rekindle the friendship with Roscoe in hopes of helping her with her FBI assignment, but there also might be some feelings she tried to deny that are bubbling to the surface.

Will Roscoe be able to open up to Simone once more? Or is the fear of rejection going to keep him closed off to the possibilities with her? What will become of these two when the real reason Simone has come home is revealed?

Here are my overall ratings

Hero: 4
Heroine: 4
Plot: 4
Angst: 4
Steam: 4
Chemistry Between Hero & Heroine: 4

DR. STRANGE BEARD is currently available!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2KqqV41
iBooks: https://apple.co/2twGVeA
Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/DrStrangeBeard
Nook: https://bit.ly/2tJQl5F
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2yU5zdo
Google Play: https://tinyurl.com/y76ze2x4
Print: https://amzn.to/2LXgohE

Profile Image for Natalie  ~ The Biblioholic.
2,568 reviews1,249 followers
May 6, 2020
I absolutely loved learning about Roscoe!! From the moment I heard about him in previous books to when I knew he'd be getting a story of his very own, I've been holding onto this strange curiosity to really know him. Every one of the Winston brothers (and sister) have their own special quirks, characteristics that are unique to the individual and sets them apart from the rest, and I was intrigued by what Roscoe's would be. I was immediately captivated with the way that the author illustrated his eidetic memory and how it may differ from others with the same type of phenomenal gift. The ways in which his memories were broken down and the coping mechanisms he used to move from one situation to the next were compelling. My heart ached for this character and I found myself so in love with him. And that's all before I knew how HUGE his heart was, how compassionate and caring and understanding he was, and before I realized how incredible a character Roscoe would turn out to be.

As for Simone... while I appreciated that this was an interracial coupling and I always love when I can identify with a character in some way, even if it's just by their physical characteristics, I was also glad that her ethnicity didn't have much of a spotlight. I liked that I kept forgetting what she even looked like. Her mannerisms and her interactions with other characters were where my focus went and I loved that I got to know this character on a deeper level. Not that Simone would care about my feelings or anything, seeing as she isn't a fan of emotions. But that was something else we have in common because I come off as pretty robotic myself. However, as much as I found things to like about her, I didn't love her. Actually, I barely liked her for the first half of the book. How she acted towards Roscoe and the things she thought about him made her my enemy because I was set to defend my sweet, brave man. Luckily things turned around for the better and I didn't have to cut a bitch.

There was a bit of suspense in the mix, which always seems to be the case when it comes to matters involving their daddy's MC, and a thrill or two, but at its core this story was about love and friendship and family and it was full of so much heart. Now I'm wondering if there will be a series for those Paytons because Simone's parents were AMAZING!!

☆.。.:* ARC provided for an honest review .。.:*☆

Release: July 30 | Genre: Contemporary Romance/RomCom | Dual POV - 1st person | Heat: 3 | Standalone - Winston Brothers #5

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Profile Image for DJ Sakata.
3,065 reviews1,756 followers
August 13, 2018
Favorite Quotes:

All men are fugly as soon as they demonstrate an inability to carry on a conversation about issues that matter… Or if they poop with the bathroom door open. No one wants to see that. Even I—ye old goddess of crime fighting—have accepted that some mysteries in life are better left unsolved, such as the facial expressions associated with a boyfriend’s constipation. Hard. Pass.

…the element of surprise was my favorite, even if it wasn’t on the periodic table.

Roscoe was a man-maiden. That’s what he was. A fair man-maiden, with a beard so dark and eyes so blue, a tall specimen of manly greenness, innocent and untouched.

Clowns, in my experience, are like cats. They can sense when a person isn’t into them and then go out of their way to interact with that person. Once, in my case, I’d had a clown follow me around a co-worker’s child’s birthday party, trying to foist balloon animals on me (I thought they all looked like genitalia, but what did I know?)

My Review:

Penny Reid is da bomb! It was an instant freefall into this skillfully adept wordsmith’s compelling vortex and I gleefully smirked my way through her captivating and cleverly amusing tale. Written in my favorite dual POV, the storylines were lively, well-crafted, and stacked with unexpected twists and unique conundrums. Ms. Reid’s own special blend of brainy humor and cunning wit amuses while simultaneously enlightening with interesting factual tidbits. Roscoe’s eidetic memory was fascinating and I appreciated the humanizing and thoughtful observations illuminating the advantages and disadvantages for those bearing such a trait. I have adored this series and the uniquely peculiar little community of Green Valley, Tennessee, which appears to be populated with oddly beguiling and magnetic characters brimming with idiosyncrasies and intriguing quirks.
Profile Image for Mandy.
1,521 reviews221 followers
July 30, 2018
Wow! My heart is so full! I loved this book so much! These characters were so much more than I was anticipating. I thought I had an idea of who Roscoe was from reading the other books in this series but he was nothing like I was expecting in all the best ways. He was complicated and sweet, misunderstood and sensitive. As much as I love Roscoe and the Winston family, the real star of this book for me is the heroine, Simone. I can honestly say that she is one of my favorite book heroines ever. Thank you Penny Reid for writing a smart, funny, independent, confident woman who can hold her own and doesn't let people walk all over her. There was so much to love about Simone. Her love of her family, how strong willed she is, her sense of humor that had me laughing out loud several times, her strength in difficult situations and the way she loves the people that are important to her. I would read a whole book series just about Simone if it was written - I completely adored her. There were a few scenes that made me angry for the character, a few that had me in tears. The romance in this book was fantastic - super swoony moments and some pretty hot steamy scenes. I loved catching up with all the Winston family and enjoyed a few surprises throughout the story with them as well. I am nervously awaiting Billy and Claire's book but never want this series to end so I don't mind the wait. This is a top pick of 2018 for me and I highly recommend this book!
Profile Image for AleJandra.
832 reviews416 followers
February 9, 2019
4 Down is up and up is purple STARS

"I carry you with me. You are in my heart. You have shaped my soul."

Este libro fue uno de los más esperados para mí del 2018, parte de una de mis series favoritas, de mi autora favorita y con una gama de personajes que amo con todo mi obscuro y criticón corazón.

Me tomo mucho tiempo leerlo y a pesar de que ya lo terminé, creo que en ningún momento llego a engancharme, pero se los aclaro, NO fue culpa del libro. Yo pase por una racha muy mala en mi vida personal, que NO me dejaba disfrutar nada, tristemente este libro fue víctima de ese stress.


La ambientación es divina, regresar a este pueblo siempre me hace feliz, pero no logre conectarme con los personajes, y todo el desarrollo de su historia me pareció muy plano. La química entre los protas nunca se siente, todo es muy lento al inicio, y luego demasiado apresurado.

La personalidad de Simone me recordó mucho a la prota de Los elementos de química, otra serie de Penny que me encanta, pero aún así no me termino de caer bien.

"I mean, you think you know someone, and then one day out of the blue, they accuse you of running your electrophoresis backward.


Y Roscou y yo, no conectamos de ninguna manera.

Obviamente la historia tiene cosas muy lindas, mis favoritas:

-Las Winston disfrazadas de payasos, ver interactuar a toda la familia me hizo sonreír y desear ver más de toda la familia.

-La verdad sobre Issac.

-Que se tocara el tema de rascismo.

"But the fact was that she—a white woman—had been able to holler at Deputy Strickland and get away with it, while I—a black woman—couldn’t reach too fast for my glove box. That wasn’t Ashley’s fault, it just was."

-Billy salvando el día, (ya les dije que Billy me cae mal? Su necesidad de andar de mártir todo el tiempo, me fastidia. Relájate tantito San Billy de Todos los Santos).

En conclusión: Buen libro, lástima que fue víctima de mi mal humor, leer me ayuda a controlar el estrés, pero mi estrés era tanto que no me dejaba leer, un fuckin circulo vicioso. Cuando soy feliz, hasta a los libros malísimos les encuentro algo bueno (solo vean mi reseña de After), pero cundo ando estresada ni mi serie favorita se salva.
Profile Image for Karen.
810 reviews1,026 followers
August 15, 2018

Ok... I'm going to give this three stars... but I just have to state that for the first 75% it was ranging between a 1 and a 2. I must also state, that I am a huge Penny Reid fan. Like a stalkerish kind of fan... like I've read and loved ALL of her books sort of fan, like I've already preordered her next 10 books sort of fan. So I think I have earned the right to kind of hate this book. And for no other reason than it bored me to tears. I'm not even sure why. But it took me weeks to finish it, screwed up my whole reading mojo.

I loved Roscoe, bless his heart, he couldn't have been sweeter, but Simone... I just couldn't figure her out. Wishy washy as hell. Going from "I'm never falling in love." and "Love isn't for me." to "I LOVE Roscoe" and "Roscoe is IT for me, I can't live without him.". I mean, I'm glad she chose love in the end, but honestly it was like meeting two different people. AND... while she's denying denying denying all the time, she's giving the poor guy mixed signals, leading him on, when she initially had no intension of any kind of relationship with him. Ok.. I know it was her job and all, but even so... she should have steered clear, knowing how he felt about her.

Lastly, I think the racial thing that was brought into the story was unnecessary. I don't think it added one iota of depth to the story. Even though it may be a pertinent political issue, it could have been left out completely.

Ok. I've said my beans. I did enjoy the last 25% of the book. It's a shame I needed the angst and violence to keep me interested. I'm going to chalk this one up to the bad apple theory, sorry Roscoe, I know you deserved better.

Nothing personal, Penny, I still love you! And I'm already on pre-order for your next one. *wink*
Profile Image for alluringB.
241 reviews136 followers
September 3, 2020
4.75 stars (biased skdhkshdlk)

𝓡𝓞𝓢𝓒𝓞𝓔 ♡︎; soulful, fierce, hot, dumbass, sensitive, sweet, a romantic through and through. I felt every ache his heart felt bcs your girl here gets it, man. that unreciprocated feeling/love? loving from a distance? longing for someone u think u can never have?

F̑̈ Ȇ̈ L̑̈ T̑̈

i didn’t really like Simone and didn’t understand her character at all. she’d flirt along with Roscoe when she doesn’t feel the same way and was 97% sure that he likes her, why bother getting jealous and flirty then??? why risk losing him as a bff by behaving that way around him if all she wanted was a platonic relationship?
her cgaracter was wishy washy and inconsistent. Rosscoe deserved better.

“no one has a crush for ten years. No one. That would be weird and troubling.”

i’ve hit 14 years of crushing on somebody so sit tf down, Simone. some people are stupidly loyal with no control of their feelings ok.

i’ll be honest i didn’t care much for the plot and what happened in the background but i did love the informative discussion on racism.
“see people, see their differences, rejoice in those differences, but don’t judge folks for something as stupid as the ability to absorb vitamin D. Racists are ignorant assholes.”

OH also, i listened to its audiobook and when i reached the chapter where Roscoe finally GOT IN HER HEART AND HER BED.....

꧁ 𝐃𝐮𝐚𝐧𝐞 > 𝐑𝗼𝐬𝐜𝗼𝐞 > 𝐂𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐮𝐬 > 𝐁𝐞𝐚𝐮 > 𝐉𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐫𝗼 ꧂
Profile Image for Laura.
143 reviews8 followers
July 15, 2018
I'm going to do my best to keep this spoiler free. I'm sure there will be reviews with loads of spoilers because SO MANY THINGS HAPPEN in this book. SO MANY!!!! If you find yourself reading chapter three and you don't shout out in exclamation then we should probably not hang out.

Similarly to when I read "Datingish" I went into this book with very little expectations, my feelings going in were I just really really want to know what's going on with Billy and Claire and want to get there. Maybe Penny Reid is aware of that some of her fans are just anxious to get to Billy and Claire (Blair?), because much like I loved the shit out of everything from "Datingish" I loved everything about this book.

Up until now, I hadn't given much thought to Roscoe, he just seemed like the sweet youngest Winston that was there in the periphery while his older siblings lived their lives. I was so so wrong! This man is so unexpectedly soulful and romantic that he makes me swoon just thinking about him.

And Simone, ah dear dear Simone, hell I found myself falling hard for all of the Paytons. They might be my new favorite Penny Reid family. I loved them all! If I hadn't given much thought to Roscoe, I had payed even less thought to what Simone might be like. Like she said herself, she is TNT!!! Hahaha, I just love her.

The only spoiler-y thing I'll say is that there will be a moment that Penny may have you feeling all the feels and doubting why she would do this, but keep calm and read on! ; )

Lastly, shout out to Penny Reid for not only writing more diverse books but for dealing with race issues that are plaguing the USA. What happens to Simone is not fiction and I am happy to be reading about it in my beloved fiction books. I hope it light fires in her readers and people do something about it. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Or in this case romance readers.
Profile Image for Cyndi.
2,340 reviews101 followers
August 4, 2018
I finished this book a couple of days ago but its one of those books that you want to savor. It’s just so very amazing! After reading it the characters keep moving around in your mind and you keep replaying scenes.
Simone is the girl you wish was your friend. She is strong, loyal and funny. I picture myself having conversations with her over mojitos.
And Roscoe? Oh my heavens! My biggest wish is that everyone finds the kind of love he has for Simone. His devotion ramps his sexiness up exponentially. So lovely!
Wonderful book by an amazing author!
Profile Image for Bookphenomena (Micky) .
2,499 reviews406 followers
November 5, 2019
4.5 stars

DR STRANGE BEARD was a swoon-fest brimming with feelings, my feelings, leaking all over the place. It took me a pause to get into the book properly but once I was in, I had my whole mind and body shoe-horned into it. The timeline in this book is interesting in terms of previous characters, it took me a little adjustment but I enjoyed all Winston updates.

I can’t say Roscoe has been at the front of my mind in previous books, I recollect little of him, I now find him utterly unforgettable, that’s the kind of man he is. A vet, often surrounded by puppies, flirting with anyone female of any age and avoiding some of the real stuff of life. This man is a bit of savant in some ways.

“He was in faded greenish-blueish scrubs, his long form lying on the floor, allowing at least twelve happy, fluffy puppies to crawl over him, wagging their fluffy tails licking his face and forearms while he laughed and they yipped and growled playfully.”

“More importantly, why did Roscoe have to be a vet? Why couldn’t he be a...a...a mortician? He wouldn’t look quite so stunningly and alluringly gorgeous covered in dead bodies, now would he?”

Simone grew on me from, hmmm I’m not sure, to like, to love, to she’s perfect for him. Both Simone and Roscoe had nerdy sides to them that on the one hand kept them apart and on the other hand made them right for one another. These two were childhood friends that were inseparable and this was a second-chance, friends to more that thrilled me.

There were some chemistry-laden twists that were really just the best reading but I can’t say more because spoilers are spoilery; I have all the highlighted bits to look back on. However, I lived for the unexpected in this book, both in connection and serious plot development. Some of those serious plot developments had me teary, unusually for me. So, feelings really were brimming in this read.

Here I am again, trying to decide my favourite Winston book and I just can’t. The quality and consistency of read is superb and I’ll never be ready for these to end.

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

Reviewed for Jo&IsaLoveBooks Blog.
Profile Image for Jacqueline.
1,645 reviews149 followers
August 3, 2018
Beautiful, poignant and thoughtful. This one resonated with me more than usual.

As I devoured this one it struck me that at some point in the last couple of years, Penny Reid's books stopped being all about the funny, lightweight quirkiness and started being more poignant, more thoughtful and so much more bittersweet. That's not to say they're not quirky and original and witty too because they absolutely are, but they are so much more than that.

Dr Strange Beard is a second chance story between Roscoe Winston and Simone, his childhood romance. Separated for ten years, they have both been emotionally stunted by the fallout from their first love.

Now Roscoe is an interesting character - he has a superpowered memory, something that is a massive help in some senses but a huge bind in another, not least because memories have the same potential to affect him as the here and now. So every disappointment, every loss, every tragedy feels as painful now as it did then. Settled into a routine that avoids any sore points, his life is desperately sad and lonely:

"I have enough friends."

I cannot lie, it was so beautifully bittersweet and it absolutely gutted me, but I knew the author would make it worthwhile, that the sadness would make the journey to the happy bits even more satisfying. It really did.

The memory thing really resonated with me though as I was reflecting on the past and memories of people as I read this on the anniversary of my own dad's passing. It made me reflect on the past and on loss and on how the impact of that person and your history with that person affects the future you. It was uplifting and inspiring and I'm grateful to the author for that.

The romance too was beautiful, a slowish burn, but with lots of heat and excellent smut.

I absolutely loved this book. Highly recommended.

Can be read as a standalone, but best read as part of the Winston Bros series.

**Thanks to the author for my arc.**

Profile Image for Kat.
Author 9 books408 followers
August 23, 2018
So excited to get to read Simone and Roscoe’s book! Will have to put most of this review in spoilers to not ruin it for anyone, but super exciting and great plotting in Simone and Roscoe’s story.

And now I’m that much more excited for Billy and Claire’s book!

Please excuse typos/name misspellings. Entered on screen reader.
Profile Image for Korrie’s Korner.
1,123 reviews13.6k followers
September 12, 2019
There are not enough words in the English language for me to convey my feels, but I will surely try for Penny’s sake. First of all as a woman of color I want to applaud Penny, for the depth and realness to which she wrote this amazing gem of a story. The punches just kept coming to my heart with every turn of these precious pages. Being a woman of color, and Marrying my childhood best friend, who is white, just made this come alive in a real way. I would read and things would make me squeal from the mention of Simone wrapping her hair in a satin scarf to the way Roscoe handled Simone’s curls (touch don’t run your fingers through😆). All the little things sprinkled throughout this book meant the world to me and I know it will to every Penny fan. I immediately want to dive into this story again just because I literally ate this book and did nothing else. My stomach is growling, but oh it was worth it. I will stop now. The feels are still swirling around and I loved that it wasn’t predictable at all, which isn’t surprising because it’s Penny. Thank you. xoxo
Profile Image for Maria Rose.
2,486 reviews247 followers
August 1, 2018
First Impressions:
Wow! just....wow. Surprises and twists and OMG that ending and just....wow. Full review to come when I can pick myself up off the floor.

Actual Review:
Dr. Strange Beard by Penny Reid is the fifth story in her Winston Brothers series. Since there are six brothers (and one sister, Ashley, whose story was told in Beauty and the Mustache), we are coming to the end of this fabulously entertaining series. It’s Roscoe Winston’s turn, and this second chance romance features an almost childhood sweetheart and unrequited love, complicated by family and Roscoe’s unrelenting memory.

Roscoe never forgets. His eidetic memory means conversations and stories and people he met years ago are fresh in his memory like yesterday. This is particularly problematic when it comes to his former best friend Simone. They shared so much together, but a night of teenage drinking when she had too much to drink and rebuffed Roscoe’s attempt to tell her his true feelings is burned into his soul. After that point he made an effort to avoid her because it hurt too much to see her. He’s carried the same torch for her all these years and his feelings for her have never changed.

Simone sees things differently. With no memory of the particular conversation that changed everything between them, all she knows is that her best friend since forever ghosted her and disappeared from her life. Even now she can tell he does his best to avoid her. But fate has pushed them together, in the form of an engagement between their families. Plus, Simone has an interest in Roscoe’s estranged father Darrell Winston who has shown up back in Roscoe’s life with a life altering request. They have a chance to repair their friendship, and explore the attraction between them that never went away. When time doesn’t heal all wounds, is there another way to fix broken hearts and make a relationship last?

For more of this review please visit Harlequin Junkie: http://harlequinjunkie.com/review-dr-...

A copy of this story was provided by the author for review.
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