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Winston Brothers #7

Beard Necessities

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2019)
Billy Winston’s family is going to see him happy and in love if it’s the last thing they do.

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.

BEARD NECESSITIES is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, and can be read as a stand-alone, but it’s probably best read after books 0.5, 2, 3, 5, and 6 of the Winston Brothers series.

334 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 4, 2019

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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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Profile Image for Christy.
3,923 reviews33.1k followers
November 3, 2019
5 stars

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After reading Beard with Me a few months ago, I couldn't wait to read the conclusion of Billy and Scarlet's story. I was equal parts excited and sad, because although I wanted to find out what happened with them, I'm not quite ready to say goodbye to the Winston Brothers. I love this family so much and I'm sad this is the last book. But what a way to end it! This book was wonderful and oh so satisfying! It gave me all the feels and made me smile so big. I loved it to pieces.
“As folks who love them both, it falls on us—all of us—to make the magic happen.”

The entire Winston clan is in Italy and Cletus comes up with a brilliant plan.... he will do whatever it takes to get Scarlet and Billy together. All of Cletus's fabulous shenanigans reminded me why I love him so much! There were so many moments in this story that had me laughing, which was a nice change of pace from the first part of Billy and Scarlet's story. Billy and Scarlet are both a little stubborn, and it takes some pushing, but their chemistry and the love between them is undeniable.

Billy just might be my favorite Winston brother. He really is the best. The most giving, the most brave, the most selfless. He loves his family something fierce and he puts those he loves above himself always. Scarlet is the love of his life, but there has always been something in the way of them being together. I loved watching all their truths come out, and seeing them get to know each other again. These two belong together.

As the blurb states, no one deserves a happily ever after quite as much as Billy Winston. And I'm so happy he found his. This was such a beautiful second chance romance that was full of heart, humor, and steam. I couldn't get enough of it. I love the Winston family so much and I'll definitely be doing a re-read of all their books in the future. This was the perfect book to end the series and I couldnt' have been happier with how it turned out. Bravo, Penny Reid! Thank you for creating this fantastic world and these amazing characters!
“Between people who love each other, there is no debt, only surplus.”
Profile Image for Starr (AKA Starrfish) Rivers.
974 reviews294 followers
November 9, 2019
This was getting to be a 5 star book for me when I started it off.


The last book Beard with Me (Winston Brothers, #6) by Penny Reid was background on the MCs when they were "kids" even tho they behaved twice their age at least. See review here:


The first 40% or so of this book was very promising, tugged on my heart strings every which way for Billy. Reminded me of the PAIN (I enjoy these heart rending books) in Pure Awakening (Pure/ Dark Ones 6.5) by Aja James and Pure Providence (Pure/ Dark Ones #8.5) by Aja James . Also about an epic couple who has a past that prevents them from sharing a present and future.

So I was EXCITED to see how Scarlet was going to WIN BACK Billy because from my POV knowing everything that happened between them, it's still mostly her fault.

This is where I have to take down my stars to 4 stars. Because Scarlet didn't grovel, she didn't win back anything. BILLY APOLOGIZED TO HER FOR BEING SELFISH AND WON HER!! Say what????


So now I get into the back drop-- IF YOU DON'T WANT SPOILERS, DON'T READ ON

* the 2 meet when she's 14, he's 16. He's de facto head of household with ridiculous burdens on his shoulders. He grew up in a violent household. His father is a member of an illegal MC. But he's the perfect guy and his biggest fault is seeing everything in black and white. There is no gray. He's too unyielding. She's the daughter of the serial-killer head of the MC. Her childhood is even more violent and she doesn't even have a home to live in, so she camps out in the woods. Long story short, they meet, he decides to take care of her, which is what he does for everyone (hero complex) and they fall in love.

* given she's so young, she really can't be expected to understand relationships between men and women. She has a major crush on a much older guy (19), Ben. And then she falls in love too with Billy and says no to Ben. Stuff happens where she's in trouble with her father and Billy convinces her to run away and never come back so she'd be safe. But the MC members come hunting for her and he takes her punishment for her (broken fingers, jaw, legs, flesh cut into, etc.) and was hospitalized for months, lost his football scholarship, his chance to go to college, get out of town, etc.

* meanwhile, she gets married to Ben, who gives her the impression that she's safe because of him, and she never knows what Billy did for her. Billy is resentful that she chose Ben out of gratitude and obligation even tho she's in love with Billy and he's in love with her. They have a weird push and pull relationship while she's engaged and then married for a decade. Then Ben finally dies (forget how) and now she's free but Billy is faked engaged for his political career and Scarlet is going to therapy.

* present day: Billy put himself through hell again to mainly get revenge on the head of the MC and also to get justice. He's tired of Scarlet's cold shoulder and silence (while she's dealing with her own issues) and he's just ready to give up on everything, on them. The whole Winston family is in Italy for the birth of Duane's baby and spending several weeks there I guess as a family getaway. Here's their chance at reconciliation, being in close proximity for extended period of time.

This part reminds me of Pure Surrender (Pure/ Dark Ones #10) by Aja James . And the sacrifices and grudges also remind me of Pure Surrender. (Yeah, Aja's books are forever imprinted in my mind).

At this point i'm thinking -- yes! GO GET YOUR MAN, woman! I thought, Scarlet will finally know what he did for her, she's stronger now and sure of herself and she'll go get her man.

But that's not apparently Scarlet.


Her way of getting her man is to cook for him and give him little touches and essentially WAIT FOR HIM TO COME GET HER. I liked her character but I really hate this part. The thing is, from Billy's POV, what led him to make the decisions he's made, keeping silent about many things, is because he never felt secure enough in Scarlet's love. Her actions didn't prove that she loved him, but she explains it away and he just accepts it --AT WHICH POINT I MIGHT HAVE CURSED A LOT


He wasn't secure in her love when they were young (give her a pass for being 14), not when they were older and she was married (18) and not now (30ish). Because she NEVER DID ANYTHING TO WIN HIM!!! Tell me! What did she do for him??! Other than write little haikus and tell not funny jokes?? WHAT DID SHE DO FOR HIM??

She might have said the words once or twice but she didn't f/up with actions. She didn't break off her engagement tho he begged her to (and he didn't tell her about his being the one making her safe instead of her selfish fiance because he didn't want her to feel indebted to him too!) he wanted her to CHOOSE him. Choose love over fear and gratitude. That's not what she did. I find her reasons tepid.

Then he tried to convince her to leave her husband, and yeah, he could have been less circuitous about it and more direct, and they shouldn't have been sneaking around (emotional cheating but cheating), but she also didn't leave then. She certainly participated aplenty in the emotional cheating tho. INDECISIVE MUCH????


Now, marinate on that for a bit... just think it through with me...


That's what this book is telling me. that they couldn't have found their way to each other without all the stars aligning and husbands dying and family diving in to help them (thank you Cletus).

I compare that with the epic true love books I mentioned above and I'm left wholly unsatisfied. UNSATISFIED!! Billy saved Scarlet's life. He's the reason (from teaching her music to encouraging her singing) she is free and soaring, while he's taken so much damage and pain both physical and emotional unto himself. And you know why HE's the one apologizing to HER????



That's the logic, folks. But listen, how about this logic: if they were just friends, loved as a friend, I don't think he ever would have done all of that. She's not family. He only does this for family. He has NO FRIENDS as far as I can tell. and she might have still been able to get away by marrying Ben. Or he would have plotted what to do more with Cletus. My point is, if they'd been only "in love" as friends, things never would have happened this way. Billy did what he did for the GIRL HE LOVES, he took her pain for himself. he would move heaven and earth to protect her. so to theorize about him doing this as FRIENDS is STUPID! And then using that theory to make him apologize is STUPID!

OK now I'm mad, so I'm taking down another star.

Why else was the last 50% or so unsatisfying? bc with 2 decades of sexual tension, the sex was pretty lukewarm. VERY lukewarm. I was expecting Billy to explode honestly. This guy has been "celibate for most of his adult life" bc he loves this woman and when they finally get together, I'm like... meh.


The only saving grace was what Scarlet did for Billy in the end to keep him out of jail. And they get a HEA. But the resolution of the past was very much unsatisfying.

There are things Billy should apologize for but there's just as much Scarlet should apologize for and I never got that satisfaction. Like: you have this wonderful, devoted man chasing after you for a decade -- why couldn't you choose him over fear and a sense of indebtedness? To a man you know is not worthy. Who is truly selfish and uses you? You're either stupid, not sure of what you feel, or a complete coward. None of these options make Scarlet an appealing character to me.

So... yeah, we get our HEA, but it wasn't as satisfying as I hoped it would be.

Profile Image for Wendy'sThoughts.
2,658 reviews3,256 followers
April 29, 2020
Unlimited Amount of Stars and Hearts
Congratulations-2019 Best Romance
Semifinal Round Nominee, Review Spoiler Free

In 2014, Penny Reid introduced to the world the Winston Brothers in her crossover book, Beauty and the Mustache. She took Ashley from our Knitting in the City group and brought her back to the family home in Tennesse. Little did we all imagine how impactful it would be to our hearts and minds.

And in my humble opinion, I think a lot of other savvy authors took note too because it seemed everywhere I turned to read, there were these sexy men with BEARDS...

Just Sayin'...
But I digress.

The Winston Brothers became a series that took me on a journey I never knew I wanted to go on...Reid does that naturally with all of her books. If you haven't read Reid, please take a look at her entire catalog, there is something for everyone.

So this Winston family has been the passion of mine from the start and one of the main players has been Billy Winston.
He is the one brother who was part of every story yet still was a mystery. We would get bits and pieces, hints as to why he was who he was, yet never enough to satisfy. As the series worked its way through all of the siblings, the one brother we all had a neverending interest in was Billy.

Earlier this year, the backstory of Billy's and Scarlett's younger life and love story was released. It is NOT a required reading, Ms. Reid is very emphatic about it. To read it might be too intense for some.
I can honestly say, Ms. Reid covers what is necessary for those who have not read Beard with Me to feel as if they have a handle on Billy's and Scarlet's issues and feelings for each other.

However, if you have the ability to read Beard with Me, you will experience something quite touching and real. It is the foundation of the type of love someone has for another that has no boundaries or limits they will do to protect and shield the other.

Which brings me finally to Beard Necessities. The love Billy and Scarlet/Claire have for each other is there...it has always been there. It has just been incredibly difficult for both of them to be on the same path together at the same time.

It has been like they were in a tall maze where they started out together and then due to both being stubborn or misreading cues or both, they separated, got mixed up and could never find the path back to each other. Oh, they could hear each other and try to direct which way to go only to get deeper and deeper turned around.

At one point, both seemed to be stuck. Each living life, going through the motions but with this undercurrent of want and need for the other...

All of this turmoil has not gone unnoticed by the entire family. The main manipulator and constant thinker of things, Cletus, has decided enough is enough. He assesses the situation, sees an opportunity where the conditions are perfect to enact a plan, and calls a meeting of the minds. As Ms. Reid states at the very beginning of the blurb:

Billy Winston’s family is going to see him happy and in love if it’s the last thing they do.

This journey for Scarlet and Billy will not be the easy road without bumps or hiccups but it will be the perfect one for them and us. All is revealed, all is displayed, each loving, confusing, and sometimes humorous moment.

We are also gifted with the entire Winston family and extended parts. Cletus is there in full glory doing that perfect Cletus thing. The other brothers have their moments and any leftover pieces of previous questions about brother relationships are answered.

This wonderful ending to the Winston series made me want to start it all over again.I know I will...I just need to find a block of time to do it. The great news is this Winston Family will not go into the deep night never to rise again. Ms. Reid has already planned a new series with Cletus and Jenn, Engagement, and Espionage (Handcrafted Mysteries #1). 2020 is right around the corner, so the wait for me won't be too long.

Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4; Winston Brothers, #0) 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)https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
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, #6) by Penny Reid Beard with Me (Winston Brothers, #5.5)
Beard Necessities (Winston Brothers, #7) 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) https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
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) https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4; Winston Brothers, #0) by Penny ReidBeauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4; Winston Brothers, #0.5)
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 ~~~~~
November 7, 2019- I have tomorrow off and will be devoting my time to this Much Anticipated book. Who am I kidding, I am starting it now and probably won't be sleeping tonight.
October 10, 2019
It has been a long wait...I first did this place holder 3 years ago almost to the day. Over this time, I had at first just put down my wish for this story of Billy Winston and Claire McClure. Then in 2017, Penny Reid shared with one of her favorite blogs, a letter Billy wrote to Claire. I posted the link and the letter was so touching I almost couldn't breathe.

Recently Beard with Me was released and it was monumental in the history of the tragic love story these two experienced when they were so young. It gave us everything we could want for the "backstory " of this couple.

Now we are close to having their story finally told in real-time. We now have the Blurb and it tells us we will be going on a Love Journey with Billy, Claire, and the whole amazing Winston Clan. I can hardly wait...I am counting the days. November 4, 2019 is less than a month away...I have been waiting for 3 years...less than 30 days, I can do in my sleep...
❤️❤️❤️ ❤️❤️❤️ ❤️❤️❤️ ❤️❤️❤️ ❤️❤️❤️ ❤️❤️❤️
February 15, 2017
Penny Reid Just gave us a link to Billy's deepest thoughts and feelings about his feelings for his love...

Billy lays it all out in a letter that says everything he is feeling...
Thank you for the link to Lisa True Story Book Blog from Penny's Newsletter... On the page, you will see all of the Winston Brothers and then the letter http://www.truestorybookblog.com/2017...

Read the letter and you will have amazing insight into this upcoming book...
Billy, my heart hurts for you...But knowing Penny Reid and her love for the Winston Men... Hang in there... as She Will Find A Way...

October 16, 2016
Like all smart, crafty authors...
They save the most teased...
The most wanted story for last...

We have been pining for Billy and Clare to finally have their time...
Tick Tock, the clock has started ticking for the Love Story which may take our breath away...

Beard Necessities (Winston Brothers #6) 2019

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Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,869 reviews2,246 followers
December 2, 2019
2 stars

If Beard With Me reminded me of why I loved Reid’s books, Beard Necessities reminded me of why I stopped reading her books in the first place. I devoured Beard With Me in HOURS, and Beard Necessities took me days to read. It was boring, the pacing was completely off, it was nauseatingly cheesy, and worst of all I lost interest in ALL of the characters. Characters I’ve loved for years. This was my most anticipated book of the last 5 years and I was beyond disappointed with the result.

Not much more to say, I’m not angry. I’m sad. I’m disappointed. And… I think I’m finally done. The quality just isn’t the same for me.

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Profile Image for Patty ~ Wrapped Up In Reading Book Blog.
1,260 reviews10k followers
November 30, 2019
*****FIVE STARS*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Author}

We’d climbed mountains to get here, crossed stormy seas. I was under no delusions our future sailing would be smooth. But hopefully, given the last few weeks and all we’d fought for, resolved, and shared, whatever path we traveled, we’d be together from now on.

Sadly the ”Winston Brothers” series comes to an end with this last installment, ”BEARD NECESSITIES”. It’s been a fun journey with this hilarious and eccentric bunch of unforgettable characters. We get the conclusion of the most epic and heartbreaking romance between Billy and Scarlet. Their story is incredibly angsty and I think the steamiest of all. This poor couple has spent over a decade apart. Billy and Scarlet have put their true feelings on the back burner for what they each considered to be noble reasons but Cleetus is determined to snap them out of their delusions. Cleetus enlists the help of all his siblings and their significant others to reunite Billy and Scarlet.

It was a treat getting a chance to be with all the amazing Winston’s and their true loves. This book ends the series on a heart-soaring high. I loved that relationships are mended and old feuds are put to rest. Most of all, I loved how Billy and Scarlet both face their fears and learn to trust each other and let go of their painful past to move on to a bright and happy future together. This book leaves you with bittersweet emotions. You’ll love how it ends for everyone but will also feel as if you’re in mourning as it is now time to say goodbye to some truly amazing characters. Hopefully, we will be reunited with them again in some of Penny’s other stories!!

Here are my overall ratings:
Hero: 5
Heroine: 4.5
Plot: 5
Angst: 4.5
Steam: 5
Chemistry Between Hero & Heroine: 5

”BEARD NECESSITIES” is currently available and an absolute must-read!!

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Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/BeardNec
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Profile Image for Korrie’s Korner.
1,123 reviews13.6k followers
November 4, 2019
10 epic Winston stars for Beard Necessities!

I have no words only this painful lump in my throat, and the tears streaming down my face in the grocery store parking lot in my town. I love this family. Every single person in these books have left their mark on my heart, and I’m afraid it’s permanent. Penny has truly outdone herself with this book, and I can’t imagine the feels that it must’ve given her to finally pen, The End. I didn’t want this to end, but alas, all good things must come to an end. I just want to sit here in the quiet of my car, and go through the gazillion highlights I’ve made in this book. So many moments of laughter, pain, awe, swooning, and just relishing the tender moments and words of wisdom between siblings, and their spouses. I love the deep friendships they all have with each other, and fierce loyalty they share. That is family. All the unique personalities, quirks, insecurities, and strengths that they all draw from each other is beautiful. I’m not giving a single detail away to this breathtaking story. Everyone should experience this for themselves spoiler free. All I know is I have come away with such a deep respect for these people, for Penny, and especially Cletus as he is The Godfather of the Winston’s. I love this series so much.

“You’re not alone either.” “I’m here.” “Your burdens are mine, so are your hopes and dreams. I want it all. I want to share everything with you. Please. Trust me to be strong.” “I trust you.”
Profile Image for Bex | TotallyBex.com.
525 reviews184 followers
November 3, 2019
It’s the end of an era, folks. After seven books, the Winston Brother series draws to a close—but fear not my gentle readers, Penny Reid truly saves the best for last. With an epilogue that will soothe your weary soul after reading Beard with Me , she uses kid gloves and makes the inevitably bittersweet ending as painless and as uplifting as possible. And for that, I am grateful.

Thankfully, Beard Necessities isn’t as heartbreaking as Beard with Me . Yes, there are some painful exchanges, but there’s also family bonding and humor to provide levity. Of course, Cletus’s evil genius is on full display, but so are the admirable skills and traits of the rest of the family. For instance, Sienna is a faithful confidante, Jethro is the voice of reason, and Jenn provides insightful observations and gentle nudges. Shelley, Ashley, Drew, Beau, and Duane are also on hand to fill in where needed and each played their part perfectly.

I just have to say, the Winston family’s meddling skills are truly Olympic-level in Beard Necessities. It's the most Winstonest book to ever Winston. With hidden truths, Billy’s martyrdom, and Scarlet’s guilt in the way, they needed to find their way back to one another and the entire family made it happen. The fact that the book is set (mainly) in Italy makes it the perfect backdrop for the family shenanigans and the forced setups. These two have been through hell and back, so a picturesque countryside seems fitting for their potential reunion and a safe haven for the revelations that need to be shared.

After all is said and done, I am so happy to have been along for the ride over the course of this family saga. Beard Necessities answers the questions that have been swirling around Billy and Scarlet since the beginning and it’s the sweetest, not to mention the most perfect, endcap to the series. I will miss this family.

ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review.

▸ Purchase: Amazon

▸ For more reviews, visit http://www.totallybex.com
Profile Image for FMABookReviews.
635 reviews394 followers
December 3, 2019

❝The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts and my soul was still Scarlet.❞

Wow. Just wow! I ended this book with a face full of tears and a tinge of melancholy in my heart. This series is more than “just a series” to me, and as this chapter closes on the Winston clan, I am left an irrational sense of emptiness. I remind myself that these are just characters in a story, but then I laugh at the ridiculousness, because I know I’m lying as I try to deny that they have become like a family to me. I’ve loved them, been mad at them, rejoiced with them, and cried with them.

Billy Winston, the stalwart protector of his family, has been the one person we never knew much about but always felt like we knew. He was strong, stubborn, and an unfailing protector. He took care of what was his despite his safety. Billy didn’t have a selfish bone in his body, and that would come back to haunt him. Because his need to protect kept him away from the only person he ever loved (outside of his family), but the one person who was always outside his reach.

❝You are the architect and artist of my own personal paradise.❞

Meanwhile, Claire was filled with guilt of loving and desiring a man other than her husband. A man who was always hers but never within her reach. Guilt kept her away from Billy.

But the Winston clan would bring them together again. Lead by Cletus, his family realized it was time for them to put Billy first, and to intervene in his life, to take charge. And take charge they did! They schemed, they manipulated, they lied, and they pulled pranks, all with the end goal of bringing Claire and Billy together once and for all.

Billy’s devotion to and love for Claire was so pure and grounded in their rich history. Not always good and not always bad, the two shared experiences that no one else had or ever would. Their experiences bonded them with the strength of steel. It was unbreakable. It may have taken them a while to find their way back to each other, but Billy needed to hate Claire to love her, and Claire needed to lose Billy to love him.

Y’all! Reid killed it with her quote-worthy phrases. I could seriously gather them all and put them on throw pillows around my home!

❝Nothing lasts forever. Not a song, not happiness, not misery. Mere survival was no safer than living for hopes and dreams. At the end, there will always be the end.
So why not dream? Why not hope? Why not live life with wild faith and abandon? Why not take the risk? Otherwise, all these moments--small or momentous, heaven on earth--would be lost to fear.❞

Saying goodbye is not easy! This has been a top favorite series, and even though I know Reid has more books in store, I’m not sure there will ever be another series that I love as much as this one.

I was provided a review copy by Penny Reid; this did not influence my opinion of the book.

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Profile Image for Blackjack.
430 reviews148 followers
December 23, 2019
As the Winston Bros. series has evolved, I've become wary of Reid's ability to pull off Billy's and Scarlet's "epic" love story. With each brother's installment, the mythical proportions of The Love Story just kept getting bigger and bigger, and after reading the convoluted and disappointing Beard with Me, I admit that I began reading this final book with some trepidation.

Not all of this book suffered from emotional hyperbole, and I'll discuss below the parts of the story that worked best for me. But in order to get there, a few flaws really impacted my enjoyment. Scarlet's characterization is among the biggest problems, mainly because I did not believe in her motivations. She loved Billy Winston with the grandest of passions and couldn't stop herself from emotionally cheating on her husband with him, but she ran from Billy and their potential love even after her husband had died. We're meant to believe that self-hatred and guilt forced her to keep away from Billy for years, despite the fact that her marriage was an arranged one, and one that was all but forced upon her at the age of 15, and that her husband was sort of a villain. But apparently, she felt indebted to her husband to such a degree that she could not ever move on and find love again. I read and understood the words but the meaning behind them eluded me. Perhaps to expound on Scarlet's extreme denial of happiness in her life, we are told that she is in therapy because therapy serves as a signifier of a damaged person as well as a bridge to a healthier approach to life. Therapy is a double-edge sword though in a Reid book because it functions as a way for the book to center around an issue(s).

Billy too is a damaged character and has dedicated himself to self-sacrifice and the denial of happiness. At the start of the novel he has sunk into an abject depression so frightening to his siblings that they have decided drastic steps are needed to save Billy. The answer is to thrust Billy and Scarlet together until they are forced to work out their troubles. And this leads me to the second main problem I had with the book, which is that Scarlet and Billy spend nearly the entire novel in dialogue discussing issue after issue. The book has very little plot and relies instead on talk therapy to propel the story forward. For readers who enjoy characters debating the finer points of psychological issues such as the effects of trauma and abuse, etc., this book will likely work well for them. I, on the other hand, quickly grew tired of the constant talking, or the minimal use of setting to keep people in rooms where they are forced to hash out issues. And just when the main characters seem to get a handle on one issue, a half dozen more pop up. It felt never-ending, and so when Cletus states at the end of the novel, "no more...noble, long-suffering secrets," I wanted to applaud.

Many of the brothers' antics to keep Scarlet and Billy in forced proximity are funny and provide some much welcome relief from the melodrama and hand-wringing of the main couple. Billy remains true to character throughout the series and I found him appealing and relatable. Aside from Cletus he is my favorite character of this series.

Overall though, the book is overwritten and suffers from a heavy handed narrative style. Points are driven into the ground and there is no escaping the pounding theme that Scarlet and Billy represent the tragic and epic love story of the series. We're told this, but I did not feel the story showed it.
Profile Image for Lacey (laceybooklovers).
2,074 reviews10.5k followers
November 4, 2019
Oh, my heart. I couldn’t be happier for Billy and Claire (aka Scarlet) getting their second chance at an HEA. I loooved all the Winston family shenanigans (hello, Cletus!) and that epilogue made me SO damn happy, my heart was bursting. As bittersweet as this finale is, I couldn’t think of a lovelier ending for the Winston Brothers series, but I am also so thankful we’re getting a Cletus and Jenn series later on!

“But Scarlet,” he said my name reverently, gently, like it was a prayer he repeated often, “I didn’t need to see or touch or taste paradise to know how deeply and irrevocably I am in love with you. That hasn’t changed. That is as constant as my soul, which has been, and will always be, forever yours.”

Billy and Claire’s story has been YEARS in the making, which means years of torturous anticipation for their second chance. Penny Reid wrecked my heart in the best of ways with Beard with Me, so when this final Winston Brothers book landed on my kindle, I dove right in with no hesitation. The beginning was slow and a bit frustrating, I’m not going to lie. I was expecting Billy to be full-on pursing the love of his life, but he chose not to. I felt exactly how the rest of the Winstons did, which was wanting to smoosh Billy and Claire and force them to get back together, because we ALL know how meant to be they are.

Thankfully neither Billy nor Claire spend too much time resisting each other or the love that has always burned between them. It takes a lot communication and patience between them, but once the romance picks back up, I couldn’t put the book down! There’s decades-long worth of tension and longing, and when it explodes, it EXPLODES.

“Make no mistake, what just happened between us was momentous for me. My life and heart have been forever transformed. You are the architect and artist of my own personal paradise. Now, when I close my eyes, I won’t need to imagine what heaven feels like. I’ll know.”

Penny Reid takes us on a gorgeous journey around Italy with all of the Winstons. I loved how determined they were (particularly Cletus) to bring Billy and Claire back together, no matter what scenarios they had to come up with. Having this family all together in the Italian countryside is a total RIOT, and I’m a little devastated that their stories are over for now. But Beard Necessities was absolutely worth the wait, not just for this long-awaited couple, but for the Winston family as a whole. Each one has a love and family of their own, and I’ll be forever grateful to Penny for giving us such a lovely, unforgettable cast of characters!

Thanks to the author for generously providing me an ARC to review.
Profile Image for Stacey.
1,446 reviews1,154 followers
October 23, 2020
Done... 😭😭😭

I absolutely loved my revisit with the Winston Brothers but geez it's sad to say goodbye to this lovable, crazy, and sweet family.

Again, the narrators do an AMAZING job and I thought the casting was spot on.

I'm glad everyone is happy in their relationships and I loved seeing all of the families growing. I didn't listen to Ashley's story and I'm kind of kicking myself for it ... after all ... Drew. 😍 Maybe in the not too distant future, I'll have to revisit those Knitting in the City gals.



It feels disloyal to judge/review Beard Necessities. It would be like judging my Mum and Dad on parenting, and rating my siblings on whether they are good people. I might not agree with their choices but who am I to judge as I have never walked in their shoes. I'm struggling to rate my feelings about coming to the end of the Winston Brothers series. I absolutely loved the journey and I'm so glad to see them all living their happy lives but it's hard to say goodbye.

When it comes to judging Billy and Scarlett/Claire's relationship, I'm a little lost for words. I'm so happy that they've finally come together, but it was a bloody rough trot to get to their happy-ever-after. Yes, twenty years is a long time to be in love and not together. I don't think *I* would have waited that long but I've never been abused, manipulated or judged based on my parentage.

So while it's hard for me to judge/rate Beard Necessities it was still easy for me to say that the journey was AMAZING. I cried like a baby in the first third of the book as they struggled with the mistakes of their past. I was devastated that for 2.5 seconds, Billy gave up. BUT...I absolutely LOVED that Scarlett finally found her strength. It's what I've been waiting for from the first moment I "met" her. I guess it was easier for her to stand up straight when the demon that haunted her was finally eliminated.

This series reminded me of the importance of family, loyalty, forgiveness and love. I'm glad that it finished on such a high but I'm sad that it's over. Thank you, Penny Reid, for giving me the best-bearded heroes around...almost as good as my hubby. ;-)

Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,593 followers
November 8, 2019
❤❤ 5 STARS❤❤

I have no words, sigh this is simply one of the best books I read and one of my favorite in the series!Penny Reid is genius and this one is amazing!There are so many things I loved about this book, the story line the unique characters and all the set up!


“You are the architect and artist of my own personal paradise. Now, when I close my eyes, I won’t need to imagine what heaven feels like. I’ll know.”

Claire/Scarlet and Billy have been through a lot, and my heart was broken and I was aching for these two!I wanted to see the happy ending they both needed!Claire/Scarlet is the best, I connected with her and loved her so much!She is strong and funny!Billy is my favorite, sigh I love him with all my heart!

I highly recommend it, it's a must read!Best series!


Profile Image for Antonella.
3,468 reviews472 followers
November 7, 2019
First I can't believe I am here writing this review... Beauty and the Mustashe was released 2014 and that is how all started... five years ago ..this connection and love for Winston brothers.

I have never been to Tennesse but I think I would love it. It has many of my favorite things; Dolly, whiskey and Cletus Winston.

Cletus Byron Winston....Oh, how I love him. And this farewell to these characters was easier knowing that he and Jenn will get their own series. Plus there is the new spin-off series Good Folk
so I am sure we will get glimpses of these characters.

For me personally, Cletus stole the show here. I think I maybe expected more for Claire & Billy. As I wasn't feeling the previous book, I have this feeling that there was one more book needed here. I know, I know...I am never satisfied with my fav series as I almost always need more...BUT... listen there is too much history to be put in just one book. Maybe if the previous book had more things that happened after the accident and down the line when Claire and Ben married, and that tidbit we learn about her and Billy meeting in hotels, more charged meetings...

I can't believe I will say this ... Where is the angst?

Overall, I LOVE this series!
The feel of it, each book with its uniqueness & charm.
Each character is so special to me. I feel in love with them and I loved every moment of their journey!

And Billy & Scarlet

finally got their HAPPY ENDING!!!

"Love isn’t about giving up. It’s about never giving up.”

I especially loved epilogue...
That was amazing ending to the series...

What is weird or maybe not or whatever is that I'm not sad or crying and I'm not heartbroken that this is the final book of the series... sure this is bittersweet BUT... I'm writing this with a big smile on my face as this series brought so much happiness in my life & I'm sure I will revisit Green Valley & Winston brothers in the future!!!

Ashley, Duane, Jethro, Cletus, Beau, Roscoe & Billy thank you!!!!

I recommend this series... and if by some chance you just want to read one book than you HAVE to read Beard Science

“I’m going to give you one chance,” he said, then pushed the rest of the cookie in his mouth and spoke around it as he continued, “One more chance is all you get. I’ve waited long enough for this and you know my feelings on delayed gratification.”
“It’s overrated.”

Profile Image for Optimist ♰King's Wench♰.
1,770 reviews3,865 followers
December 6, 2019
"Love isn't about giving up. It's about never giving up."

I have no words. Well, maybe a few.

Firstly, it was everything I wanted it to be. The perfect amount of swoon with just the right amount of hard work to get the HEA we've all been clamoring for since forever.

If you're a fan of the series; it's a must read.
If you're a fan of romance; it's a must read.
If you're a fan of plain old fashioned good writing; it's a must read.
If you're a fan of examining the human condition, warts and all; it's a must read.

Sometimes the only way to win is to surrender.

I loved that they used their words!
I also loved that the entire Winston clan had their meddling mitts all over Billy and Scarlet's ubiquitous inertia.
Mostly Cletus, because of course. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I ❤️ ME SOME CLETUS!!!!!!!
Also, nice touch with the Tuscan setting.

But mostly I loved that I laughed, I got verklempt a few times and I highlighted like a demon. I stayed up late and woke early and from me there's no higher compliment. I'm a fan of sleep so not getting it is a BFD.

To survive, fear was essential. To truly live, fear was detrimental.

I'll just say for me Penny Reid sets herself apart from the pack by constructing not just strong and smart female characters but meticulously crafting balanced relationships. A subtle challenge to the patriarchy but one that's made me respect her ability to consistently tow the line between feminist sensibilities without tipping over into preachy yet still bringing the swoon without diminishing the overall message of equality being paramount.

That's skill and what brings me back to her writing again and again. Like the fangirl I've become and will continue to be, especially for the new Cletus and Jenn series!

True, I'll miss the Winstons but I'm sure they'll turn up somewhere in the future and I can always revisit Green Valley through rereads.


An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for MELISSA *Mel Reader*.
1,362 reviews1,431 followers
December 9, 2019
5+++ stars!
(ARC provided by Social Butterfly PR)

-"Love isn't about giving up. It's about never giving up."

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Billy Winston is the second oldest of the Winston brothers, and lives in Green Valley, Tennessee where he’s a congressman. He’s known for being fearless, brave, and selfless to a fault. He always puts others first, and his family decides it’s time for him to find happiness and love. His interfering, meddling siblings mean well when they play matchmaker on a trip to Italy where his ex Claire McClure aka Scarlet will be.

Scarlet had owned Billy’s heart since they were teenagers, but secrets, lies, and life had separated them almost twenty years ago. Their timing was never right, and it was difficult for him to be around her. He was still angry with her and had so many conflicting feelings inside. He’d basically been pining for her most of his life. He wondered if it was time to let her go, and try to accept they were maybe just never going to happen.

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Scarlet lives in Nashville where she’s a country music star. She was on a trip in Italy with the Winston’s when she comes face to face with the one man she’s avoided for years. She’s loved Billy Winston since she was fourteen, and he was still just as brutally handsome. He always knew her so well, from her past to her hopes, fears, and dreams. Years had passed but he’d never been far from her mind. She still longed for him, but they were now strong willed, stubborn adults with such a painful history. They were now sharing the same space, and she couldn’t seem to escape him. Constantly thrown together and forced to coexist could they resolve their differences and finally get their happily ever after, or will the mountains of regret between them continue to push them apart?

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-I'd never wanted to be a source of weakness for Scarlet. I'd wanted to be a source of strength.

-Scarlet had no idea what she did to me.

-"I never want us to be apart."

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Beard Necessities (Winston Brothers, #7) by Penny Reid is a full length contemporary romantic comedy that can be read as a standalone, but is best enjoyed read after books 0.5, 2, 3, 5, and 6 of the Winston Brothers series. This couple’s story is my favorite in the series, and Billy Winston is my all time favorite Winston brother. I love them all, but Billy has my heart. This character has the most beautiful soul. He’s dreamy, swoony perfection. I would give this book ten stars if I could. It’s a second chance romance full of love, emotion, and of course Winston siblings shenanigans. The entire gang is in this story, and it was a phenomenal, unforgettable book! I loved every moment!

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Profile Image for Dali.
1,854 reviews485 followers
September 10, 2023
An epically brilliant conclusion to an incredible series. With Beard Necessities, Penny Reid has produced a soul-warming and captivating story.

The very appealing Winston Brothers all paired up except for Billy who has been in love with Claire McClure for almost two decades. After being separated by painfully harsh circumstances when they were young, their resentment and secrets have kept them apart.

Too much time has passed and their siblings along with their significant others have devised a plan to throw them together again and again until they can find a way to bridge the chasm between them.

Since this is the last book in the series and therefore my last chance to wax poetic about it, how about a list of all the reasons why I loved this book so much. In no particular order because I believe they’re all darn good ones:
1. We get ALL of the fun, quirky and loving Winston brothers together one last time. Every single one of their charming quirks and personalities plays a loving hand in bringing these two very deserving characters together.
2. With all the Winston Brothers we get so many funny shenanigans.
3. But out of all the conspiracies, none are better than those made by Cletus.  This reason alone should count as two!
5. Of course the character development is done with skilfulness. Even though we’ve gotten to know Billy and Claire throughout the series, there was so much more to them to get to know.
6. Penny wrote it. Needless to say I love her books because they’re always so well thought out, with a wonderfully hooking pace.
7. Those lovely and very relevant epigraphs that indicate just how much thought is put into the creation of the story. PLUS Claire’s Haikus!!
8. The story has a beautiful backdrop set mostly in Italy.

9. The romance is deliciously angsty because of all the history they have to sort through and then their attraction is deliciously heady because of all their pent up emotions. I willingly lost myself in their very emotional and heart-warming romance.
10. Billy has an incredible way with words. Oh the swoon!

Beard Necessities is book #7 of the Winstons Brothers series by Penny Reid. It is a standalone full length contemporary romance that made me ache, smile, laugh and swoon many many times. Told from various points of view, with a bitter (because it’s the last book in se series), sweet (because it ended on a wonderful note) happy ending.

* I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the author. The excerpts are from that copy. I am voluntarily reviewing this title. *

My super quick review/recap:
➵ Cover: 5+
➵ Hero: 5+
➵ Heroine: 5+
➵ Sexiness: 5+
➵ Feels: 10
➵ Plot: 5+
➵ Overall rating: Not enough stars

Amazon -> https://amzn.to/2PxA1Bn

Stalk me on FaceBook * Instagram * More reviews
Profile Image for Angela (Reading Frenzy Book Blog).
958 reviews452 followers
November 2, 2019
I’ve been with the Winston brothers through thick and thin, and Beard Necessities signals the end of the road. I’m totally not crying. You’re crying!

You really shouldn’t read this book without reading Beard with Me first, and if you’ve read Beard with Me then you know the emotional train wreck that is Billy and Claire’s relationship. Their history is riddled with secrets, misunderstandings, and stubbornness. The tension between them is so thick you can cut it with a knife, but it is obvious to their family and friends that they are destined to be together. A family vacation to Italy is the perfect opportunity to give them a gentle-ish nudge.

Time and again, Billy has sacrificed his own happiness to take care of those he loves. Claire (aka Scarlet) has suffered from guilt and a feeling of unworthiness. All their resentment and longing makes for some really painful interactions; however, there is also an infectious sense of optimism. Slow burn romances are the best, and I loved every chapter of simmering, delicious anticipation.

This is Claire and Billy’s story, but Cletus comes close to stealing the show. Of all the characters in all the Penny Reid books I’ve read, Cletus is my favorite. His meddlesome hijinks and pearls of wisdom bring so much fun to the story.

A series this heartwarming needs an epic conclusion, and Beard Necessities does not disappoint. It is the perfect combination of humor and heart. The epilogue reunites all the Winstons, their spouses, and children. For fans, it’s a wonderfully indulgent gift. I can’t think of a more fitting or touching end.

Recommended for fans of:
Slow burn romance
Second chance romance
Large families

*I received an early copy of this book to voluntarily read.*
Reading Frenzy Book Blog
Profile Image for EJ Summers.
294 reviews3 followers
November 5, 2019
This book gets three stars, because it was a good book. But compared to the other books in the series, it was a disappointment.

I really feel like I missed a book along the way, and I don’t mean that facetiously. I hope that if I did miss a book, someone will tell me. I feel that way because this book was a lot of telling, but not enough showing. Book 6 ended with Scarlet being fettered away, and Billy taking the beating in order to protect her.

In this book, we have Scarlet telling Siena the details of what apparently happened after that ending- with Scarlet and Billy meeting in hotel rooms, with Billy begging Scarlet to run away with him before her wedding to Ben, with Bethany telling Scarlet to stay away from Billy, etc. Why is this all telling, and no showing? I was especially confused because, at the end of book 6, there is a “preview“ of this book which takes place at Scarlet’s shower. But that scene is nowhere to be found in this book. Again, I really feel like I missed something along the way.

Other than that, I felt like Billy was a little underdeveloped in this book. I get that he’s stoic, but I could have used a little more dialogue, particularly during the sexy times w. Scarlet. I hate silent sex, but that’s just a personal preference.

I also really did not like the way that Scarlet learned about what Billy did for her all those years ago. Having her eaves dropping on Duane and Cletus’s conversation was a very cheap plot device, particularly with Duane being so verbose. I feel like that is not how he would talk in real life, and it did not work for me at all.

Overall, this was a good read, but not up to the standard of the other books. I’m forever grateful to Ms. Reid for introducing this world and these characters to us.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,487 reviews7,786 followers
November 19, 2019
Find all of my reviews at: https://www.goodreads.com/

“I mean this with all my heart,” he said, the words gravelly and fierce. And then he kissed me.

I actually arrived to the Winston Brothers’ party a little late and have only been a part of their world for about three years. That being said, three years is a looooooooooooooooooooooong time to suffer from a case of blue balls waiting for Billy’s book. Now that it’s here? Words fail me – so here are some .gifs that should help get the point across regarding my reaction to this final story . . . . .

Yeah. That’s about right. #sploosh. Someone pass me a cigarette. And a towel.

Oh Penny Reid, you done so good girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not only do Billy and Claire get their happily-ever-after in the most torturous of slow burning burners that ever burned, but the entire family is there (and Cletus is especially Cletusy and oh I just love that man and his sneaky ways) and it takes place in MOTHERFUCKING TUSCANY!!!!!!!!!! She even threw in a Lucy Honeychurch reference and I’m pretty sure I may have died for a minute. And finally – after making all of us horny housewives suffer for ages and ages . . . . .

“Scarlet, do you want –“

“Yes. For God’s sake, yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.”

All the Stars.
Profile Image for Samantha Young.
Author 101 books25.7k followers
December 8, 2019


I loved it. I have no other words. Expectations were high for the conclusion of Billy and Scarlet's story and they were not only met, but surpassed. I felt gratified, giddy and yet bereft to say goodbye to the Winstons. Thankfully, with books, it's never really goodbye. Penny's books are at the top of my re-read pile for whenever I need a happy, escapist fix, and I'm already looking forward to re-reading the Winston Bros.

Profile Image for Kat.
Author 9 books408 followers
April 16, 2020
Reading this book felt like the day I started Harry Potter 7. You’ve been waiting and anticipating for so long (because I’ve shipped Billy and Scarlet from the start and desperately wanted their book), but you know you’re going to reach that last page and there’s going to be no more Winston Brothers, so there’s a bit of mourning involved, too. I love all of Penny’s books, but this is by far my favorite series. Green Valley is just such a great world. The angst in this one is at like an 11 out of 10. And so is the Cletus Winston factor. I was seriously glad to see so much Cletus! Without getting into spoilers, this one wrapped up all the Billy and Scarlet I’d been hoping to see, as well as touched on other Green Valley storylines. I LOVED getting to see all our favorite couples together and happy. And all those children! Looking forward to Cletus and Jen’s mystery series.

Please excuse typos/name misspellings. Entered on screen reader.
Profile Image for Blythe The Word Junkie.
251 reviews97 followers
September 12, 2020
4.4 out of 5 stars!

"...sometimes the only way to win is to surrender"

And after how many days of binge-reading into this series, I have finally arrived to this one.

I believe there were many instances I wanted to strangle both characters at the same time. Their push and pull was borderline frustrating. Though, I did enjoy the elaborate Cletus' plan and all the forced proximity.

But of course, when they finally got the memo, finally trashed the big wall between them that is their years-built mistrusts and doubts. The end was very much gratifying.

🧔 Senator Hero with an intense inclination to self-sacrifice for family
🧔 Gingerhead singing, song-writing heroine who hums & shimmies while washing dishes
🧔 Two hard-headed but precious characters you'll have a strong inclination to choke but then, hug right after.
🧔 Forced Proximity!
🧔 Meddling Family Members (Yes. Cletus & the rest of the Winstons.)

It was a great adventure having all the Winstons together (Babies, included!) to contribute, scheme, and force Billy and Claire/Scarlet to see things through. I haven't read the book before this, Beard In Waiting, because I already have the great sense of its gist (And because I read from Penny Reid that it was optional to read it. And also because a combination of a busy work schedule and this great itchy feeling to just get on with the story's ultimate end made me do it.)
Profile Image for Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth.
794 reviews892 followers
December 24, 2020
Gah. GAH. Why is it over? WHY? :(

Billy and Scarlet finally get their HEA and it was so, so worth it going through all the heartbreak. Both of them had some really good and really bad reasons to not pursue the other although the love never stopped. For the first time, in forced proximity, made possible by the meddling of cunning Cletus and his crafty siblings, they actually have to communicate and the result is a lot of solved issues and reveal of secrets. Yes, they could have been solved and aired sooner but that would make it only half as fun.

Penny did a great job tying it all up together in the end. I'm just sorry that it's over. I haven't read Jethro's book yet so I can actually extend the joy a bit. And maybe after I'll just start all over again.
Profile Image for alana ☁️.
434 reviews530 followers
September 4, 2021
mind-blowingly, mind-alteringly and world-tiltingly good. everything about the universe that Penny Reid has created with these wonderful characters is just perfection. i loved this book so much.

it's sad to say goodbye to this crazy, meddling but caring, sweet, loveable family 😔
Profile Image for Ghost Orchid.
63 reviews
November 5, 2019
My main issue was that there were parts of this book that I felt didn't live up to my past experiences when reading a Penny Reid book. I'll always love the Winston Brothers' world, but with characters such as Jennifer and Cletus to live up to, I don't see myself falling in love with the main characters of this one in the same way (particularly Claire/Scarlet).

I had such high hopes for Claire/Scarlet as I've been waiting for this book to come out since 2015 (the first Winston Brothers book was released June 2015 if I remember correctly). I understand and agree that Billy should have been more forthcoming about the things he did for her, but I don't see how it means that they're even or that necessitates an apology from him without an apology on her end for silent treatment/avoidance of him for years.
Profile Image for Grecia Robles.
1,526 reviews367 followers
November 13, 2019
*** 4 The Color of my Soul STARS***

Scarlet was still the color of my soul. But now that we were finally together, she also painted my days and nights in the exquisite spectrum and uncontainable brilliance of her spirit.

Hace más de tres años que descubrí esta serie y fueron sus portadas tan hermosas y diferentes las que me ya me llamaron la atención pues desde ese tiempo estoy esperando por esta historia.

Esta es una de mis series favoritas as you know , tiene historias y personajes que te llenan de calidez y te apapachan por dentro son frescas con un drama que puede ser complejo pero manejado de una manera muy sutil sólo como Penny Reid lo sabe hacer. Y la mayoría de ellas te dejan con una gran sonrisa en la boca.
No puedo ser muy objetiva porque… FANGIRL!!


But Scarlet,” he said my name reverently, gently, like it was a prayer he repeated often, “I didn’t need to see or touch or taste paradise to know how deeply and irrevocably I am in love with you. That hasn’t changed. That is as constant as my soul, which has been, and will always be, forever yours.”

Esta es la segunda parte de la historia épica y trágica de amor de Billy y Scarlet es un second chance en toda la extensión de la palabra.

Ya han pasado mucho tiempo separados a lo largo de esos años se han encontrado alejado pero nunca ha sido el momento adecuado, el amor no es un impedimento porque entre ellos hay de sobra y lo saben.
Han cargado con culpas y resentimientos que no los han dejado dar ese paso y por Dios son demasiado tercos.

Pero con la ayuda de los hermanos Winston liderados por mi perfecto Cletus harán que ellos al fin tengan su happy ending porque si alguien en esta serie lo merece son ellos.


SCARLET: Ella es una de mis protagonistas femeninas favoritas de esta serie esta en mi top 3. Ella es una mujer que le ha tocado sufrir mucho en la vida empezando con un padre abusador y una madre negligente, después la separación de su primer amor, llevar culpa y sentirse obligada a cumplirle a alguien por agradecimiento.

Es una mujer fuerte con un espíritu libre y amoroso que a pesar de todo sigue siendo igual que cuando era esa es Scarlet adolescente pero ahora tiene la fuerza y el valor para luchar por su felicidad.

BILLY: Cuando empecé estos libros era para mí el Winston menos favorito porque su necesidad de ser todo mártir, sacrificado y querer salvar el día era como ya bájale dos rayitas a tu perfección aburrida. Pero ahora conociendo su historia subió en mi ranking y lo posiciono en el número 3 Jethro y sobre todo Cletus son incansables.

Pero hablando de Billy me ganó con su sufrimiento y entendí que no tiene la culpa que Penny le haya dado todos los atributos bueno casi todos.

“Make no mistake, what just happened between us was momentous for me. My life and heart have been forever transformed. You are the architect and artist of my own personal paradise. Now, when I close my eyes, I won’t need to imagine what heaven feels like. I’ll know.”

Amé con todo mi alma su relación con Scarlet eran demasiado lindos y tiernos y sentía que brotaba su amor y traspasaba las paginas, ellos merecían estar juntos desde siempre y por eso me quedé con esa sensaci��n agridulce porque Penny fue mala y se ensañó con ellos.
Y digo agridulce porque a pesar de ser un libro muy bonito sobre todo después de la mitad y muy divertido cada vez que salía Cletus e intervenían los demás hermanos, ya sabía su historia de fondo y me daban ganas de llorar por lo injusta que es la vida o la autora.

De las cosas que más me gustó fue teníamos a casi todos los hermanos Winston reunidos con sus respectivas parejas y había mucha interacción con ellos y creo que lo que hicieron por Billy fue como una pequeña retribución por todo lo que él hizo por ellos y fue muy bonito
Me hubiera encantado que la historia se desarrollara en Green Valley porque es como la esencia de la serie pero los Winston sueltos en Italia estuvo muy bueno.

Este es último libro de la serie que cierra todas las historias y NO SE QUE VOY HACER CON MI VIDA!! sólo me consuela saber que Penny está preparando la trilogía de Cletus Y Jenn y la serie de Green Valley como personajes secundarios.
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832 reviews147 followers
December 9, 2019
Edit - Nov 19, 2019:

I loved, LOVED this.

First, a bit of Billy in Florence. The pictures were taken the day after I finished this, on Nov 20. It was like a sign: after weeks of rain, finally a sunny day. I had to go out and take some pictures. I even took the physical Cletus with me.



[This is the original they were talking about.]



I'll go see the original David when I'll have the physical copy. This is a copy outside the Palazzo Vecchio.


*wink wink*


Now the book.

The ANGST, the FEELS. EVERYTHING. It was exactly what I wanted from their book. Penny Reid can indeed make a miracle happen.

To be honest, I’ve started this only because of Cletus. After Beard with Me, I didn’t want anything to do with this book, but I can’t just not read a book if Cletus is in it. And I can’t just not finish a series when only one book separates me from the end.

I WISH I hadn’t read BwM. That’s the only reason I’m not giving 5 stars. That useless book irrevocably ruined everything for me.

If you still don’t know what to do, I recommend skipping that. You’ll get everything and EVEN MORE in Beard Necessities. Or read it after BN. Don’t make my mistake, lol.

I’m still not happy about the FIVE-year time jump (they’ve lost too much damn time already) in Dr. Strange Beard, but it surprisingly worked for this book. And a huge plus: it wasn’t the usual “vacation” book set in Italy. I really liked how she wrote that. Italian was used maybe once (I don’t remember, I was fixating on Billy and Scarlet, lol) and with no mistakes, thank God.

My, oh my. Cletus was everything. Can’t wait for his books. I almost died of giddiness while reading about him and Jenn in the epilogue. THE CUTENESS.

The epilogue was so beautiful and perfect it made me cry. This book truly succeeded in everything where BwM failed.

This was the perfect goodbye.

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*And now spoilers if you haven’t read the previous books.*

So what I wanted from this book... And didn’t get.

If you’ve read Dr. Strange Beard, you know Billy was engaged, but her being a “cheater” and that extra Christmas scene made me think it was all for show. And omg yes! It was all FAKE. Moreover, he was the one to call it off before Italy. Exactly the solution I wanted. THANK YOU.
The scene with Dani was actually really interesting and I really liked her. It’s a pity their relationship ruined DSB for me, lol.

The other thing that I wanted to be fake with all my heart was Scarlet’s marriage... Alas, no such luck this time. It started as something fake (like I thought) and in a perfect alternative universe they would have found each other in those first 4 years apart, sigh.
It started as fake, but after her 18th birthday she basically prostitutes herself for the protection that NEVER came from Ben. That whole thing really pissed me off. Also because it was described as rape… She never said no, but she never said yes either.

I understand she never loved him and I might believe she would have left him at some point. But I can’t not wonder, what if he had never died? What then? What if she had never found the truth? How far would she have gone? I didn’t like that they never talked about this.

I love Cletus, but the fact that they are together only because of him is really sad. They’ve lost years and years and years for nothing. All the they had to do was talk.
Misunderstanding and miscommunication are not a good enough reason for them to be apart for 20 years.
I think PR should have come with something better than this.

Another reason this book doesn’t get 5 stars is Jethro. Were was the confrontation with HIS lies? He knew about Billy. Had he said just once the real reason why Billy was in the hospital, Scarlet would have understood right away. They were best friends and never talked about this? Fuck that. And what about him defending that piece-of-shit Ben? I wanted the confrontation and realisation of how freaking wrong he was. And now it really pisses me off PR gave one of his children Ben’s name…

The last and main reason is Samantha. WTF was that? She was mentioned maybe once and that’s all?!! What about those who have read BwM?! Did PR forget about us??? Trust me, I wish I weren’t one of them, but I am and I wanted ANSWERS. Really, were was the confrontation about her? Not even the fact that she was Ben’s ex is mentioned! ARE YOU KIDDING. She is basically the main reason I hated their beginning, that made me so disgusted, made me hate Billy and in BN it’s like it never happened!!!

Since I read BwM, I know all too well the whole Ben-Sam-Billy-Scarlet-Billy-Sam-Ben-Scarlet thing. Apparently Billy hasn’t had any other woman (it wasn’t clear), so I also know all too well how the only women he has been with were with Ben first. FUCK THAT.

I really, really needed a confrontation. As with her marriage, they never talked about her. Where are my assurances. I needed them. I needed this.

If you wondered why I hated BwM so much, that’s the answer. It gave me useless details that just messed with my head for NOTHING.
Had I read only BN, now I would’ve been blissfully unaware and this book would have had 5 stars.

p.s. Do you remember the sneak peek at the end of BwM? It's not in BN. This means something else might come our way again and again only the fans will read that because our (at least my) bookish masochism has no limits. Many things (not only what I've mentioned) were left unsaid in this book as well, so it's really strange how their story is still incomplete.
I should be angry because PR had BwM for all those extra scenes, the scenes that actually explain their complex relationship and make it epic, but she wasted it on filler stuff. And dare I say, really cheapened their story.

Edit: I thought better about it and I should actually give 1 star to this book because of what it didn't deliver because of BwM. But I don't want to be that bitch. Read some 1-star reviews because with some of them I totally agree, even thought I liked this.

Edit - Jul 25, 2019:

The waiting is never-ending. It's now for November 2019...
And the expectations keep growing #fml.

Edit - Aug 12, 2018:

After Dr. Strange Beard, only a miracle will save this book for me. And all things considered, only PR can make a miracle happen.

I just hope I don't die before Billy's story.

Edit - Aug 5, 2018:

Well... Now (one year later) it says October 2019... The longest wait was 11 months and it was between freaking Beauty and the Mustache and Truth or Beard, actually two different series.
Now it's 14 months.
The more I wait, the more I'll expect from this book. And you know what usually happens when you have (high) expectations...

Currently reading Dr. Strange Beard and it's not looking good...

Aug 3, 2017:

Latest newsletter now says March/April 2019... I wanna cry.

Waiting since book #1...

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Since this part in book #1:

“How are you this evening, Jessica?”
“Just fine. And how are you, Billy?”
“I’m well.” His gaze drifted to the empty seat next to mine. “Is Claire here with you tonight?”
“Yes. We came together. But I think she’s up at the front with her father-in-law, helping with the donations.”
He nodded, his gaze growing sharper in a way I couldn’t help but notice. I thought it was remarkably odd, almost like he was frustrated.
But then whatever it was promptly vanished and was replaced with an unaffected air of controlled politeness. [...]

Still waiting...

On another note, I really hope it's not another Friends Without Benefits shit. These two books have a fuck lot in common and that freaking scares me.
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