Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Winston Brothers #6

Beard with Me

Rate this book
‘Beard With Me’ is the origin story of Billy Winston and Scarlet St. Claire (aka Claire McClure) and is just the beginning of their epic love story.

No one is better at surviving than Scarlet St. Claire and making the best out of circumstances beyond her control is Scarlet’s specialty. In an apocalyptic situation, she’d be the last person on earth, hermitting like a pro, singing along to her CD Walkman, and dancing like no one is watching.

Scarlet is clever, Scarlet is careful, and Scarlet is smart . . . except when it comes to Billy Winston.

No one is better at fighting than Billy Winston and raging against his circumstances—because nothing is beyond his control—is Billy’s specialty. In an apocalyptic situation, he’d be the first person on earth to lead others to safety, overcome catastrophe, or die trying.

Billy is fearless, Billy is disciplined, and Billy is honorable . . . except when it comes to Scarlet St. Claire.

352 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 16, 2019

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Penny Reid

104 books21k followers
Sign up for the newsletter of awesome: www.pennyreid.ninja/newsletter

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

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
6,649 (49%)
4 stars
4,872 (36%)
3 stars
1,728 (12%)
2 stars
223 (1%)
1 star
61 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,628 reviews
Profile Image for Christy.
3,923 reviews33.1k followers
August 31, 2019
4.5 stars

 photo IMG_4581_zpshxkhn2et.png

I’ve read every book in the Winston Brother’s series upon release. I’ve been reading this series for over 4 years now, and Billy Winston has always been the brother I’ve been most curious about. He's different than his brothers and sister. You can tell he’s carried more than they have, but you're never sure what or why. Finally, you find out… And let me tell you, this was not an easy read. At times, it was a lovely story about first love and made my heart so happy, at other times, I was devastated over many different things.

Billy Winston is a protector. Even though he’s not the oldest Winston brother, he’s the brother that is always there for his mom and siblings. He works hard, goes to school, plays football, and helps his mom. He is the person you want in your corner. Scarlet St. Claire has one thing in common with Billy. Her dad is also a Wraith and an awful human being. But Scarlet doesn’t have a great mom like Billy- she’s on her own. But being on her own is better than being with her parents, so that’s what she choses.
She deserved so much better than the hand she’d been dealt. Maybe her struggles had made her strong, resilient, but she didn’t deserve to be burdened with them.

Scarlet’s story broke my heart. Her parents were truly the worst. I already knew that from reading the other books in this series, but this book just solidified it. One thing that made me super happy was seeing Scarlet and Cletus’s friendship. It warmed my heart. And Scarlet and Billy together was everything… Until it wasn’t.

After reading this book, I’m even more anxious to get to the part 2 of Billy and Scarlet. No one deserves a happy ever after more than these two. I can’t wait to watch Billy rekindle his love with Scarlet. I have hope that it will happen. This book is part 1 of their story, and it’s not a romance, as the author says. It’s a tragic love story. And if you’re sensitive to certain topics, beware (especially abuse of any kind).
Profile Image for Patty ~ Wrapped Up In Reading Book Blog.
1,260 reviews10k followers
September 30, 2019
*****FIVE +++++++ STARS*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Author}

If the soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts, then my soul was Scarlet.

Wow!! I wasn’t expecting this one to be so heartbreaking and where has Billy Winston been all my life?!! I want the next book, like YESTERDAY!!! How are we supposed to wait till November?! Up until now, Cletus had been my favorite Winston brother, but now I’m having a hard time choosing between him and Billy. I think that this is going to be the dilemma of many fans of this series. ”BEARD WITH ME” is another exceptional installment to such an amazing series. I am so in love with Penny Reid’s talents as an author. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next.

Billy is second oldest out of the seven Winston siblings and he is every bit the older brother to be looked up to and adored. Star quarterback on the high school football team. Serious about his schoolwork because he has plans of going off to college on a full scholarship. But most of all, he loves his family something fierce and does everything he can to help his mom take care of all his younger brothers and sister. He does it effortlessly and without a single complaint.

Scarlet St. Claire is a beautiful young girl with the voice of an angel and soul to match. Her parents are lowest of the low and capable of true evil, and luckily they did not influence the way she turned out or maybe they inspired her to be the exact opposite of them. Scarlet’s dad is the President of the local outlaw MC, the Wraiths. He is a despicable man who is capable of horrific cruelty. Scarlet left her father’s compound and has been living out in the woods on the Winston’s property. Getting by with food she receives at school and other necessities from the goodwill. As long as she’s not accepting handouts from anyone, her father leaves her alone, for a while anyway. Despite her circumstances, she still finds the joy in life in the smallest of things. Her little portable cd player and music provide her an escape from her worries. When Billy hears her singing and finds her camped out on his land, something stirs in his heart. He becomes mesmerized and has a burning need to care for Scarlet and to keep her safe.

The relationship between these two grows through their shared appreciation of music. Although they fall deeply in love with each other, they must keep it a secret or else suffer the wrath of Scarlet’s diabolical father and his men. So many secrets swirl around these two and their families. Secrets if revealed, have the power to destroy their love.

Billy and Cletus make the ultimate sacrifice to keep some innocent people safe. Now their hearts are shattered. How does this epic love story conclude? We will hopefully find out in ”Beard Necessities”.

Here are my overall ratings:

Hero: 5+++++
Heroine: 5++++
Plot: 5+++++
Angst: 5
Steam: 3
Chemistry Between Hero & Heroine: 5+++++

”BEARD WITH ME” releases on September 16th!! Winston Brothers fans are sure to call this one of their top favorites!!

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

Link to Blog Tour Post: https://wp.me/p6ztVM-5Nf

August 27, 2019
Beard With Me by Penny Reid

‘“Will you sing for me again, so I can find you?”’

I thought for sure that I would be in a complete mind melting, emotional brain fog of epic proportions after having finished this book, but somehow, at the end of it all, my mind is completely focused and eager to absorb more, my heart is admittedly still very, very tender but it also retains a vital shred of hope and yes, my thoughts are going a thousand different directions, yet they are all seemingly concentrated, towards this one agonising, beautiful, breath-stealing love story, that deals out tears and laughter in equal measure.  

Technically it is a prequel, or an origin story I suppose, but I honestly feel like that is selling this book far too short.  It is a volatile saga of pain, loneliness, fear, willfulness, hope, strength, selflessness, courage and above all else, love. Familial love. Love for yourself.  Falling madly, deeply, irrevocably in love. Excruciating love. Lost love. All-Time love.

‘“Now that I know your heart, I’ll forgive you anything.”’

We all know that author Penny Reid is a certified wonder when it comes to writing romance, comedic timing, quirky characters, eccentric heroes and adorable heroines but what she also showcased here in Beard with Me, is her ability to handle more heart-wrenching topics with aplomb and sensitivity.  These issues are not used as a mediocre tool to elicit sympathy for her characters, they are there to show us just how incredibly resilient, strong and remarkable these people are. Not people but kids. Reading this story, I often forgot what age Billy and Scarlett were because they are so jaded, heartbreakingly sad and too mature for their years.  Individually they are exceptional, to say the least. But, together, they are everything.

‘“You deserve the best, Scarlett.  Only the best. And, I swear, I will always mean every one of our kisses.  Every single one.”’

I’m not going to lie and say this book was an easy read, because it wasn’t.  We got to see every side to Billy and to Scarlett. The raw, wounded sides and the sweep-you-off-your-feet and melt your heart sides.  My lip trembled and my eyes misted over more often than not but it was also a good kind of pain to experience because along with the pain came the fun, friendship, comfort, belly-aching laughter and the fast, tumultuous hurtle into soul deep love. There was a perfect balance of the good with the bad.  The sweet and the sour. I went into this book with serious reservations and jumbled nerves, about what lay ahead, but I came out of the story with a full heart, a clear mind and an eagerness for the conclusion to these two phenomenal characters’ happy ending. Because even after all of this, in how it all began with harsh words and ended in a killing silence, that’s the one thing that keeps these characters going when it all feels insurmountable...hope.
Profile Image for Miekenstein .
319 reviews7 followers
September 18, 2019
Well, this was not a fun and easy read.

I read it in six or seven chunks. I had to stop reading when I started to feel it getting too heavy. I took a break because I got really sad that Bethany died many, many books ago. I took a break because I overwhelmed with sympathy for Scarlet and the other children in the book raised by terrible human beings. I even took a break for poor Lea.

Mostly, I took breaks to try and figure out how to get fictional Lisbeth Salander from Sweden to Green Valley, Tennessee, so she could torture or murder several gang members in a fictional motorcycle gang. (I'm also open to Lisbeth torturing AND murdering them, and I'm still working on how to make this happen. I just need to get a bigger cork board and buy more string.)

Even with all the sad stuff, Beard with Me is not a 100% downer. Parts of it are extremely fun. Seeing the Winston family, and other characters from Green Valley, in their younger years is interesting and makes you love them a little bit more. I especially enjoyed how the Winstons always had each other's backs and how much they loved each other from their earliest years.

All in all, this book was sad for me, but not in a "they all die at the end," type of way (because they don't). This book is sad in the same way as when a friend confides in you terrible things that happen to them as a child. You cry for what happen to that child, but it makes you respect the adult for surviving.

I'm really hoping Beard Necessities has a happy ending, because I need a happy ending.
Profile Image for Dilinna.
125 reviews146 followers
Want to read
September 24, 2017
Omg omg omg....I was jumping and jubilating till i saw the publication date has been moved to 2019😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭. Why Penny why???? I have been waiting for this book since 2016! I need my Claire and William Shakespare Winston's story right now!!!!!!


Profile Image for Wendy'sThoughts.
2,658 reviews3,256 followers
June 26, 2020
5 What Needed To Be Told Stars
* * * * * Spoiler Free
WHAT, WHAT, Beard With Me Only 99 Pennies Until July 1st!

One of the amazing talents of Penny Reid is to create worlds that feel real to the reader. She has this way of making us believe wherever her books take place, they are places we would find if we looked hard enough. I have no idea if there is a real Green Valley...but as long as Penny Reid writes about the Winston Brothers and those who live there, I will believe.

Now with this in mind, Ms. Reid created a very complex family tree and backstories for this Winston Family and their friends, families, and foes. Throughout all of the books, in the ways we learned about each of the brothers, we had hints of the past...how violent, how cruel and how past traumas shaped them...for the good and bad. These hints were not too detailed but did give the reader a sense of how serious these experiences were...

So it was only a matter of time and bravery for Ms. Reid to take a moment and share all that she had carried in her heart about these characters...When you create characters so real that they seem to breathe and live off the page in our minds, I can only imagine the constant nudge to have their truths released and shared.

In Beard with Me, you are given the developing Winston's and the other characters during their coming of age. We are flies on the wall with the journeys the Winston Brothers have which will impact everything. We meet Scarlet St. Claire, Billy Winston, Ben McClure, and then have huge doses of Cletus with nods to Beau, Dwane, Jethro, and the sister, Ash. The Wraths also make their presence known.

Ms. Reid made it very clear this is NOT a Romance but a Tragic Love Story. She is absolutely correct...but in many ways a budding type of romance is planted.

The focus of this Love Story is between Billy and Scarlet.
It is the type of story which is innocent, fun, sweet, and heartwrenching.
As you read this, you will run the gambit of emotions. You will be cautious, watchful then hopeful, and gleeful. You will also be horrified, angered, in pain, and feel helpless at times. There will be humor, incredible strength, and bravery.

And there will be kindness, sly teasings, sweet-talking and just the beauty of Reid's writing. You may know at some moment this will cause you great pain and empathy for many of the characters but you will continue to read because you are so invested. I felt my eyes watering as I read through, my heart hurting as if this story was happening to people I actually knew...

But all of these emotions weren't a surprise to me because when I read Reid, she takes me THERE...She takes me to the joy, the pain, and the results she wants...Happily.

This can totally be read as a stand-alone. It has a beginning, middle, and end. We do this journey and understand the intensity and truth of real love for another. PERIOD. And that IS story enough...for any reader or author.

Yet, for those who have been a Reid Reader...one who has been following the Winston Brothers from the very beginning...this is a special insight into Billy Winston's history, of why he is who he is...his journey into manhood and his past with a woman he truly loved. It also gives us the backstory of this special woman, information which is so critical.

For the Winston Brother readers, Beard Necessities (Winston Brothers, #6) will be released November 4, 2019. This isn't that far away...and if you are new to this series, then if you wish, there is enough time to catch up. Either way...you win.

I would be remiss if I didn't repeat the warning Ms. Reid gave for those who have triggers in her Author's Note:
"If you have a trigger— any trigger at all— chances are this book is going to trigger you. Just assume it has all the triggers, put it down, and move on to the next book in your TBR. -Penny Reid"
That is advised by a Human Being who truly cares.

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)
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)
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) 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 ~~~~~
Epic Love has to Start Somewhere...
Two People Meet...

They can Meet When Young...
Or they can meet when in Their Teens...
All Hormones, Wishes, and Dreams...

Yet whether they meet as Children, Teens, or Adults...
It. Will. Not. Matter.
Epic Love is Epic Love...

Scarlet St. Claire is a Survivor Extraordinaire...
She has Learned the Hard Way...
To Make the Best out of things She Cannot Control...

Whatever Taught her these Skills...
Did Not Kill her Ability to be the Wonder She Is...

Now Billy Winston...
He has Other Skills...
He Figures out How...
To Make Circumstances Bend to His Will...

These Two Amazing People...
Have only One Thing Which Confuses Them...
Each Other...

They will have to figure it out...
Because Billy Wants to Tell Scarlet to...

Beard with Me (Winston Brothers, #5.5)-September 16th, 2019

A gifted copy from the Author was received with gratitude in exchanges for an honest review.

For more Reviews, Free E-books and Giveaways
Profile Image for Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth.
794 reviews892 followers
September 16, 2019

AUTHOR: Penny Reid
SERIES: Winston Brothers #5.5
RELEASE DATE: September 16, 2019
GENRE: Young Adult
RATING: 5 Stars

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon AU
Apple Books
Google Play


Who hasn't been intrigued and fascinated by the most enigmatic Winston brother? Well, finally we get all the answers, who Billy and Scarlet are, what shaped them and what the hell happened to Billy Winston and Scarlet St. Claire/Claire McClure that separated them. Why they can't seem to find their way back to each other although they are obviously still in love with each other.
I knew, with absolutely certainty, I’d dream of her and her spirit and her voice for the rest of my life. The belief was soul deep, in my bones and muscles and skin, but particularly in my heart.

This story is hard, make no mistake. Penny Reid didn't go easy on these two and heartbreaking doesn't even begin to describe what Billy and Scarlet are going through. My heart SHATTERED for them. Scarlet's resilience and spirit, her prickly and yet sweet personality, her courage, strong will and kindness will break your heart. I can't even begin to count the ways this young girl had my heart from beginning to end. Her story is tragic and when you find out what she endures to appease her father and how she never really had a real childhood you'll want to tear the world down for her, shelter her and make it better. Yes, it's harrowing, it's outraging and it hurts.
This. This was the best sound. Singing with Billy Winston and his guitar while fighting laughter. Never in my life had I been so happy. Never in my life had I imagined or dreamed such happiness was possible. And nothing existed beyond right now, this moment, and Billy’s smile.

But there is Billy, her nemesis, that jerk. With his deep-rooted honesty, his protectiveness, his rare smiles he makes her drop all her walls in the span of a week. I loved Billy, how he put everything before his own wishes and dreams. His fierce love for his family and their protection always came first. The things he endures to make them and ultimately Scarlet safe will have your heart in your throat. The helplessness, the injustice of it, the brutality this sixteen year old Billy had to live with...it had me raging. And all of a sudden the pining in the previous books of this series makes so much more sense.

With all that being said, there are - in typical Penny Reid fashion - lighter, funnier moments and Cletus, sweet, wicked, wily and cunning Cletus is the main provider of those. However, this isn't the fuzzy, warm read that we are used to from this author. It's not romance and it doesn't have a HEA although we get the heart-achingly sweet bloom of first love between two strong and honorable characters. It is indeed a prequel that will give you an in-depth look into Billy and Scarlet's past and puts you firmly in their corner - you can't help but root for them. Think of it as the first in a duet and that we'll be rewarded in the last installment of the Winston Brothers series.
Think of Scarlet.
I thought of Scarlet and her smile and my heart slowed. I thought of Scarlet and her voice and I let the pain go. I thought of Scarlet and her jokes and her laughter and her spirit. I thought of Scarlet.

I'm devastated, Penny killed me with this one, no lie. BEARD WITH ME is, despite the tragedy, a beautiful story that will hook its claws into your heart and rip it open. You'll be desperate to finally get Billy and Scarlet's so well deserved happily ever after and even a day is too long to wait. Guess I have to put on my big girl panties - November isn't long. Right? RIGHT?

*sits in a corner, rocking back and forth*

If the soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts, then my soul was Scarlet.

Profile Image for DJ Sakata.
3,065 reviews1,756 followers
September 18, 2019
Favorite Quotes:

Cletus had the decency to squirm in his seat. "Lie is such an ugly word. I prefer fiction.”

I was the only child of Razor Dennings that he’d claimed. His recognition of me as his spawn meant I would forever be followed by a cloud in the shape of a tornado with horns.

Billy Winston had somehow tapped into the thermostat of my body and set it to Arizona in the summer. I’d never been to Arizona, but I was pretty sure they had those days where it got so hot the thermometers broke.

As my momma’s friend Ellie Leffersbee said whenever she saw or heard or experienced something she found momentous, I was stirred like a gin and tonic and shaken like a martini.

I would’ve called him a sonofabitch, but his mother was a nice lady.

Cletus, looking thoughtful and not an ounce afraid, scratched his jaw as best he could given the fact his arms were being held. “No, Darrell. You are my role model, obviously. It has always been my sincerest desire to be an aging impotent biker with dysentery and the laughingstock of East Tennessee. Teach me your ways, Diseased-Wang Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”

My Review:

I adore Penny Reid and would worship at an altar of her discarded printer ink cartridges. Her writing has a distinct and perceptive eloquence with a perfect blend of entertaining levity, thoughtful insights, compelling drama, heart squeezes, looming peril, and extra quirky and highly endearing characters. She gives each unique character a profound depth, which illuminates their strengths as well as exposing their vulnerabilities. Beard With Me ranks as one of her best and is one of those rare books that warrant a ten-star rating, despite the lack of closure for the main characters’ storyline. I am eagerly awaiting the next installment.
Profile Image for a.
1,199 reviews
September 16, 2019

My feelings at this very moment? Well lets just say when I finished this book I tossed my kindle to the side and felt...lots of anger. Anger for a lot of different reasons. Anger for these characters and what they'd been through but also anger and frustration for how this ends, for the reason for why Claire and Billy are not together, FOR ALMOST 20 FREAKING YEARS. SO yeah, one could say I'm feeling mighty pissed.

I'm trying to calm down so bare with me as I try to write my thoughts out in as unspoilery way as possible.

The things I liked:

🎵 Seeing all the Winston brothers as kids. Roscoe especially warmed my heart every time he showed up on the page with Simone. I just love them so much and it was so sweet seeing them as kids. Seeing how Billy (and Ashley) help raise those boys.

🎵 All the music talk. I loved Scarlett's singing, I liked the songs she chose and I liked how music and singing is what brings Scarlett and Billy together. It's the foundation of their relationship and it's interesting (and sad) to think about when you think about the present day and how much music is a huge part of Scarlett/Claire's life and so in a way, Billy is still a huge part of her life even though they don't talk anymore.

🎵Any and all moments with Bethany. That woman made me cry just by showing up on the page and I really didn't think she had that kind of power over me. But she does.

🎵There was a cute moment with Duane and Billy at the end (about crushes/Jessica) and it warmed my heart so damn much. Surly, young Duane asking Billy for love advice is the type of content I live off of.

Things I didn't like/Could've been better:

🎵Even though there were little moments where I enjoyed reading this, for the most part it didn't pull me in. It felt like I was reading just to read but I didn't want to, if that makes sense? I wasn't entranced with their story like I thought I'd be. In fact, at times, I felt kind of bored. I knew that this was about their past and going in, it's what I wanted but two chapters in I realized that I'd rather this be their present day because it just wasn't pulling me in the way I'd hoped. I feel like I could've put this down and just forgotten about it and never finished it and I would've been ok with that. And that's a sucky feeling, especially since I've been waiting for this book for ages.

🎵This book was really long and honestly, I don't think it needs to be. I think this could've stayed a novella and still gotten across the points of their story. I can't figure out how this book is so long when in reality, nothing really happens and it only spans 1 or 2 weeks in total.

🎵Ben grosses me the hell out. It made me insanely uncomfortable how this 19 year old college guy is hitting on and repeatedly trying to stake his claim on Scarlett. Even after he finds out her age, he STILL tries to make a go for her and it was very, very uncomfortable for me especially knowing that she eventually marries him. It honestly makes me sick to my stomach. I know he's a "good guy" but many times during this book, I got the feeling that he's not as "good" as he appears. And I hate that he uses that "good boy" persona to get away with things, to say things that are not ok. Ack, I just don't like him and I don't like the way he was preying on Scarlett (who is 14 years old!)

🎵The reason Billy and Scarlett separate...I'm not going to say any spoilers but I will say that it makes me madder than a skunk dipped in perfume(blame this pun on Scarlett and the insane amount of puns used throughout this book). It's a temporary reason to separate but to me, it's not a sufficient reason to NOT BE TOGETHER FOR ALMOST 20 YEARS

🎵I kind of dislike how all of the heroines' in Penny's books are the same. They are all smart in math and science, they all speak in similar mannerisms...they just feel so similar. Just once, I'd like to read about a heroine who is smart and NOT smart as hell in science and math. Maybe this is my own feelings coming to front but I hate that sometimes the underlying message I get from these books is that if I'm not smart in math and science then I'm not that smart. I love seeing women be smart in math and science because I think it's a great message to spread out there. We CAN be scientist and the like but also, I think it's important to note that you can be really bad at math and science and still be smart as hell.

Anywho, even though this book didn't meet my expectations I still really want to read their final book together. I would say that if you're someone who needs to know everything in a story, then you should read this. But if you're ok with knowing the important parts and not all the little details(that aren't important but just add to the story), then skip this and wait for the final book.
Profile Image for Heidi Hutchinson.
Author 28 books323 followers
August 29, 2019
I understood, to a certain extent, what I was going into.

For a while now I've watched Penny's tweets and warnings go by as she tried to tell us that this addition to the Winston series would be different. Not a romance, no hea, it would likely hurt, and make us cry.

So I prepared accordingly and had tissues on hand and a fluffy dog nearby for hugging.

I have watched readers beg for more of Billy. Not me. I was and always have been a Drew Runous loyalist. I didn't care much for Billy. I didn't dislike him, he was just always so serious, and stubborn, and unflinching... I suppose if I were being honest, he reminded me of me. And not in ways I was proud of.

So while Penny was warning all of us to beware of the feelings being felt, she failed to mention the enormous amount of beauty in this story. It's most of the book. Beauty, that is. The only ugly parts are when Darrell is involved. Every time he infiltrated the story I hated him more. Every mention, every memory, every event. I have never hated a fictional character more than I do Darrell Winston.

I understand on a much deeper level, Cletus's vengeful plans.

This story, this history of something so big and so deep, it has changed me. I don't often say that about books. I keep that kind of rhetoric limited in use so as not to wear it out.

Billy still reminds me of me, but he's redeemed the parts of me I never could figure out. And Scarlett is breathtaking in her courage and hope. And Cletus is all I had hoped he'd be as a teenager. To see them as they were, to know what they become, it's a ride rich with gratitude.

Profile Image for Korrie’s Korner.
1,123 reviews13.6k followers
September 16, 2019
I need some time to just sit in silence and take all this in. To finally know the truth as to what really happened between Billy and Scarlet has shaken me to my core. Penny spared nothing. There were times my heart swelled with butterflies over first love feels. There were times when bile would rise up in my throat or tears would cloud my eyes to where I couldn’t see. One thing I know for certain is that Billy Winston owns my heart. I now fully understand him from all the other books, and I just love him with everything in me. He was such an old soul at 16 years old. He took care of and fiercely protected everyone in his family. He literally put everyone’s needs ahead of his own. And Jethro...oh Jet. I literally had heart pangs for him.

I can’t talk about Scarlet without a lump forming in my throat. What she had to endure from her Father..no human should have to. The walls she built to protect herself, cope and escape were truly heartbreaking. Billy pierced right on through it all. He was her safe place.

This quote broke me:

“If the soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts, then my soul was Scarlet.”
Profile Image for MELISSA *Mel Reader*.
1,362 reviews1,431 followers
October 8, 2019
5 Stars!
(ARC provided by Social Butterfly PR)

-‘Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.’’’

 photo 35C109B8-F7CA-454F-8669-F2793581F8CA_zpszjuxmqwj.jpg

Scarlet St.Claire lives in Green Valley, Tennessee where she's a sophomore in high school. She was dealt a crappy life from birth, but it hadn't dulled her spirit. She was smart, brave, funny, and sweet, but usually alone. Her life was about trying to survive the horrible circumstances that were beyond her control. She'd learned the hard way that the only person she could count on is herself. Then a boy she's known her entire life surprises her when he shows her kindness when she needs it the most.

Billy Winston is every girls dream guy, and Scarlet's childhood nemesis. He's the star quarterback of the football team, and as close to perfection as you can get. He was fearless, disciplined, honorable, and loved his family something fierce. His focus was always on his momma, his siblings, and football. Time was something he never seemed to have enough of.

Nowadays Billy and Scarlet tended to avoid and ignore one another the best they could. Then their paths cross and everything changes. They start spending time together and an unexpected connection forms. The always in control, responsible Billy begins unraveling as he tries to fight his growing feelings for Scarlet. He knew she was off limits but he felt helpless against their chemistry when she was near. As things begin to shift between them Scarlet realizes his inside beauty matches what's on the outside. Billy Winston has one of the most beautiful hearts she's ever encountered, and her greatest wish is for it to be hers.

 photo 15150E08-0DAB-40E5-B557-720AB6FF220F_zpsi8deaa66.jpg

-He was breathtaking.

-He was so beautiful sometimes, like now, all shapes and shadows, I had trouble concentrating.

-I mentally devoured this picture of him, feeling greedy for it. It was like looking at a painting or a sculpture, an intensely gorgeous piece of art. Have you ever known someone like that? Who takes your breath away when they smile?

 photo A44312BA-91A5-440A-A3CE-5FD5554B4000_zpsdaat71kc.jpg

Beard With Me by Penny Reid is an all new installment in the Winston Brothers series that can be read as a standalone. It's Billy and Scarlet's tragic, forbidden origin story. The foundation on which the rest of the Green Valley world is built, where we get a look into the past, and see the characters you already know, but younger. It's the beginning of Billy and Scarlet's (aka Claire McClure) epic love story. It's heartbreaking, beautiful, and unforgettable. Billy Winston is swoony perfection, and easily my favorite Winston brother!!! This story touched my heart and will stay with me. I can't wait for more of this couples story in Beard Necessities!

 photo 708800B6-901E-4A2B-8B1A-C8DCD774F259_zpsqkbfrd0n.jpg


Link to Blog Tour post- https://www.facebook.com/100010094170...
Profile Image for Christie«SHBBblogger».
965 reviews1,248 followers
September 16, 2019

Title: Beard With Me
Series: Winston Brothers #5.5
Author: Penny Reid
Release date: September 16, 2019
Cliffhanger: No
Genre: general fiction

After finishing Beard With Me, I struggled with my feelings but decided to go with four stars. I wanted to give four stars very badly because in some ways I enjoyed my time back in Green Valley very much. It really kills me to admit to myself that for me, I liked it overall, but didn't love it. So I've adjusted to a more accurate 3.5 stars.

My anticipation level was off the charts for Billy and Claire's backstory ever since book one in the Winston series. Those tortured looks across the room filled with pain and unresolved feelings...I was ready to discover where it all began. I wasn't particularly overjoyed at the thought of reading the tragedy and devastation that would somehow destroy their relationship, but I'm a big girl. I prepared the tissues and straightened my spine.

Witnessing some of the chaos that the Winstons' father created, their brokenness at the time, and Scarlett's intensely difficult life was truly upsetting and heartbreaking. In fact, after reading some of the events in this book, I don't believe I've despised a fictional character more than Darrell Winston. I thought I hated him before, but if fictional homicide were a thing he would have been incinerated by my death glare burning onto the page.

On the other side of the coin, getting some real time with Bethany Winston was a treasure. If there's one thing the Winston siblings unanimously agree on, it's how deeply their mother's wisdom and love profoundly affected their life. Her kind and gentle spirit, her generosity and pureness of heart imbued each and every one of them with admirable character as they grew into adulthood. Any woman could have grown bitter and angry at having to struggle so hard as a single mother, or having to overcome the physical and mental abuse their husband inflicted on the entire family, but she remained strong when her children needed her. I savored every scene with Bethany and I think all fans of the series will as well.

Scarlet St. Claire (or Claire McClure as she's known in the other Winston books) is a survivor who has been conditioned to believe good things don't happen to girls like her. Her home life growing up amidst the criminals in her father's MC is not only miserable, it's dangerous. She's learned from an early age that the only person she has to depend on in life is herself. She's either ignored, pitied, or ridiculed for her grubby appearance and "belonging" to the Iron Wraiths. So she erects a protective shield around herself and lives one day at a time waiting for the next disaster to strike.

Sure, people might pity kids like Carla and me, but they didn’t ever actually care about us. Pity was not compassion. I understood that, I got it.

Billy is overwhelmed with work, school, football, and struggling to hold the frayed threads of his family together. Pulled in a million different directions, his responsibilities have influenced his surly, closed-off attitude. Inside, he's hurting badly but unwilling to lay his burden on anyone. He's also somewhat of a jerk for his judgement of Scarlet and his inability to see her as an individual in dire need of help. It takes some gentle nudging and exposure to the proud and resilient girl before his hardened heart starts to crack. I loved how Billy and Scarlet's friendship and feelings for one another matured through their mutual interest in music. His awe at her hidden talent for singing and their music lessons were the absolute sweetest.

Scarlet and her voice were the same. Momentous, incredible, and unheard.

Here's what didn't entirely work for me. Ben's attraction to Scarlet, and his mixed signals even after discovering he was mistaken about her age. Due to the fact that he's a fully grown man in his first year of college, I admit it didn't sit right with me that he was behaving this way with her. I can't even imagine someone his age being attracted to a sophomore in high school, let alone someone who should be a freshman. She may be older than her age in experience and hardship, but the fact remains that she is a fourteen-year-old girl. So additionally, the scenes where she and Billy are struggling to control their lust were not doing it for me. I'm all for some kissing and a soul-deep emotional connection, but the sexual fantasies she was having felt unnecessary. The other thing was that the characters' voices did not have a strong enough young adult feeling. Some of the inner dialogue especially gives you the experience of a new adult or full adult book. But that's just my personal subjective opinion and maybe you'll completely disagree.

In summary, for any fan of the Winston Brothers series, I'd still highly recommend reading the intro to Billy and Scarlet/Claire's second chance romance, Beard Necessities. Yes, there are some difficult sections to read that will cause some heartache, but I think it's important to understand the full scope of what they went through in order to find their HEA. It's not absolutely necessary, but I believe it will enhance your experience to read both parts. I'm eager to read their reconnection with all of the angst and healing it promises to hold.

It felt like bleeding and making no effort to cauterize the wound. It felt close to madness. I knew, with absolutely certainty, I’d dream of her and her spirit and her voice for the rest of my life. The belief was soul deep, in my bones and muscles and skin, but particularly in my heart.



Profile Image for Optimist ♰King's Wench♰.
1,770 reviews3,865 followers
October 9, 2019
Bumping for the blog! Check out the excerpt & enter in the giveaway for the set of Beard Brothers paperbacks that are signed by the author herself! CLICK HERE

God gave us free will so that we'll stumble and learn how to pick ourselves back up. But He also gave us folks who love us, to clear away the obstacles before we trip and fall.

Let's just start with the obvious, this is the prequel to the long, long, looooonnnnnggggg awaited Billy-n-Claire HEA that everyone and their cousin has been waiting for since forever. We all know they have a small ocean's worth of water under their bridge and this book gives insight into where and how all that water got there.

If you've not read the series, this is a fantastic place to start, actually, because not only does it cover Billy and Scarlet/Claire but all of the Winston brothers are featured to varying degrees from Cletus and his... Cletusness to the twins and their yin/yang thing to Roscoe and his preciousness.

However, it is not the easiest book to read. Scarlet and Billy have monstrous fathers who play pivotal roles in their development. I knew that but I did not know the details of Scarlet's backstory, most of which is awful. So, if you're triggered by abuse this might not be the best read for you.

On the other hand, Billy's backstory didn't surprise me and probably won't surprise fans of the series. He's responsible, altruistic, loyal and intense through circumstances beyond his control foisted upon him at a young age. Case in point:

I redoubled my resolve. She deserved someone looking out for her first, someone who'd set aside selfishness for her sake. So, yeah, I would keep her safe, even if it meant sending her away.

My heart broke (again) for both of them and I am beyond ready for them to be exceedingly selfish when it comes to each other. Enough with the doing the right thing and always putting others first nonsense.

It's your time, #Clairilly! Carpe diem!

My only quibble is the lack of a more comprehensive backstory; the whole thing takes place in 2003 when they are 14 and 16. They fall in love in a week which was a surprise to both of them and extremely gratifying for me to read. But I know there are more heartbreaks, more disappointments, more sacrifices and more missed or wasted opportunities and I wish a couple of them would have been included as well.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. It applied to life and hopes and dreams and expectations too.

Needless to say, I would like Beard Necessities and my equal and opposite reaction, like, yesterday. I find Green Valley extremely comforting even when things are tense so while it might seem counterproductive to long for the final installment (a) I will always have this series and (b) there are not one but TWO spinoffs in the works!!! One of which involves Cletus and Jennifer and undoubtedly some shenanigans so I'm owning my greediness. I'm ready to soak in a tub filled with Billy and Claire's happy happy joy joy until my fingers get pruny.

Recommended with the caveat mentioned above.


An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,869 reviews2,246 followers
November 30, 2019
4 stars!

I’ve been dying for Billy’s book since I first ever saw him on the page. I love a misunderstood brooding hero, and his story seemed filled with the angst I crave in a romance novel. Now, five years later, we get two Billy books and not just one. I was ECSTATIC. I even held off reading until the second book was published, I don’t know how I was able to practice that much self-control.

Beard With Me is the first part of a two part story about Billy and Scarlet. This takes place in their teen years when they begin to fall in love, but outside circumstances get in the way of their happiness. With all the trigger warnings going into this book, I thought it was going to be more brutal than it was, and I am very grateful that while Penny included this content, she kept the graphic details fade to black. I really appreciate that. There was one thing that happened that was too much for my reading tastes and it did take me out of the book for a while (hence 4 stars and not 5).

I also view it as a good thing that this book took as long as it did to be written because, I honestly couldn’t remember most of the family drama previously discussed in the series. Hell, I can’t remember what happened two hours ago most days. So it was like learning some things all over again. And it did want me to go back and read this series again from the very beginning.

This book reminded me of why I first fell in love with Reid’s writing: it’s compelling, well written, contains amazing characters, and is completely heart wrenching. I bought the second book right after reading and am planning on diving into it after posting this review. Wish me luck everyone!!

Follow me on ♥ FacebookBlogInstagramTwitter
Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,593 followers
September 13, 2019
4-4,5 stars

This is an emotional read, I was aching this was an intense story. The Winston family is by far my favorite!I love this family and each one of the boys.

"If the soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts, then my soul was Scarlet."

This wasn't an easy read but it was intense and I loved it!Scarlet is so strong and I wanted to hug her. Billy intrigued me, a lot and I loved him.Billy and Scarlet shows how is the first love.They take us in an emotional and sad roller coaster.

I cannot wait for the next book I need more!


Profile Image for FMABookReviews.
635 reviews394 followers
September 17, 2019
"I knew, with absolute certainty, I'd dream of her and her spirit and her voice for the rest of my life. The belief was soul-deep, in my bones and muscles and skin, but particularly in my heart."

Reid's ability to “flip the script” and write this breathtaking, angst-filled story was both shocking and expected. Her talent has been proven time and again. With each book she sets the bar higher as she pours more of herself into her characters and their stories.

'Beard With Me' was overwhelming, wonderous and crushing. My chest ached and my eyes burned. Billy and Scarlet/Clare's story had a tragic beginning. Full of promise and lies. Full of pain and solace. Full of firsts and last times.

Billy's quiet strength, loyalty and resounding need to protect those he loved, was exactly what Scarlet needed. He was her shelter from the pain, her promise of better, and he filled her emptiness with expectations and hope. Billy was her first kiss, her first love and was supposed to be the one she grew old with. Yet it was because of his strength, loyalty and undeniable need to protect her, that he couldn't grow old with her. He had to let her go.

Blown away. I am blown away by the fact that this story was never planned on being told. This would have been a travesty, because this book feels integral to the entire Winston Brother's series. It explains so much, it explains who Billy is and why he is. I am glad I read it now, after having read all of the others, because there were many "a ha!" moments. I loved the little 'Easter eggs' that Reid placed throughout the pages of this book. It was like I was in on inside jokes with the author as she placed these morsels throughout this story.

Billy had always been this entity that stayed just on the fringe of each story. He was either talked about or had what seemed to be a small role in the other sibling's stories. But Billy was never small. He never stayed in the shadows. He was there, supporting them and encouraging them, and giving up who he was and who he could have been for everyone he loved.

I get it. I understand now. This entire series has been leading up to 'Beard Necessities' - to Billy and Scarlet's story, and I now know why. And as much as I WANT/NEED that book, I am afraid. I am full of trepidation not just because I know it will break me, but because it is the last book in the Winston Brother's series and I don't want them to end.

In an apocalyptic situation, I want this series with me! ❤️

”If the soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts, then my soul was Scarlet.”

I was provided a review copy by Penny Reid; this did not influence my opinion of the book nor my review.

social_facebook_2x-cc59f12f4ab0551091a3a29deb45b3f1 social_twitter_2x-052a9e6a0bd59868c962adf399a55288 social_instagram_2x-843370a281412abe747151cf325a87f0 social_pinterest_2x-9d3478db114852e246866f524f395fc6 limav-flat-gradient-social-amazon
Profile Image for Whitney.
329 reviews112 followers
September 9, 2020
Beard with Me just may be my favorite book of this series. It has definitely made it to one of my top three for this series so far. I have to say I am not minding all the time jumping that is happening in these novels. Dr. Strange Beard brought us 5 years in the future and now we are at least 10 or more years in the past in Beard with Me. This also has a very different tone than the previous books. It was hard to read at times. Billy and Scarlett, also known as Claire McClure, have been through a lot. I was stoked to finally have part of their story, but I wasn’t prepared to read about everything they have overcome.

Scarlett St. Claire is a survivor. At the young age of fourteen, she has witnessed and endured more than someone twice her age. Her father is the ruthless motorcycle president. Her mother is nothing more than his plaything. Scarlett leaves home and set up camp on the Winston property. Billy takes notice and doesn’t like it at all.

Billy Winston has stepped into the father-figure role in the Winston clan. With his dad being part of the despised mc gang and his older brother joining in, he feels like it is his duty to provide for his family. He doesn’t approve of Scarlett living on their property because he wants nothing to do with the mc life – including the children of the members. He thinks she is going to bring trouble right to their backdoor. Billy quickly learns that he has a soft spot when it comes to Scarlett – especially her beautiful singing.

There was so much to love here. I loved getting to see the Winston gang as youngins. We also got to see Mrs. Winston again. *insert ugly crying face here* I loved getting to see Billy and Scarlett fall for each other only to be forced apart again. This isn’t their HEA – obviously. I think I am now mentally prepared to start Beard Necessities. Probably not. Maybe…

“If the soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts, then my soul was Scarlet.”

This review was originally posted on Sincerely, Whitney
Profile Image for Angela (Reading Frenzy Book Blog).
958 reviews452 followers
September 16, 2019
4.5 stars

I have been a longtime fan of the Winston brothers’ shenanigans, but I wasn’t sure what to expect from a story that goes back in time to when they were teens. What I found is that Beard With Me enhanced my appreciation of things I already knew, and it spoils nothing for newbies to the series. It isn’t just about the beginning of Billy Winston and Scarlet St. Claire’s complicated relationship; it’s also the heart of the loving Winston household.

Billy is the last brother to have his turn in the fictional spotlight. I have always been drawn to him and yet there is so much I don’t know. He is the responsible Winston, the family caregiver, the one everyone looks up to, the one who keeps his feelings close to the vest, and the one who regularly sacrifices his happiness for others. This book explains why.

Scarlet is massively endearing. It is impossible to overlook her cheerfulness, self-deprecation, and innate goodness despite her bleak circumstances and insecurities. She is a gifted singer, and through her the reader gets to experience the transformative power of music—both in its influence on her and its affect on Billy.

Billy and Claire are often faced with the difficulty of choosing between self-preservation, fulfillment, and self-sacrifice. I loved all the sweet, awkward, and, yes, even the heartbreaking moments they share.

Don’t expect the witty or laugh-out-loud humor that one associates with this series because the tone of this book is more serious. Some parts are downright difficult to read. However, you can’t have the brothers in the same room without some whimsical moments. A young Cletus is a sight to behold. I really enjoyed seeing Bethany (Momma Winston) in her prime. Her perceptive compassion transcends basic kindness.

Beard With Me isn’t the end of Billy and Scarlet’s story. I haven’t a clue how things will end up between them, but I do know that with Penny Reid behind the wheel I’m bound to enjoy what will surely be a bumpy journey. I’ve already added Beard Necessities to my TBR list.

Recommended for fans of:
Tight knit families
Hot chocolate with marshmallows
*I received an early copy of this book to voluntarily read.*
Reading Frenzy Book Blog
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,478 reviews1,895 followers
September 16, 2019
Here it is, the highly anticipated origin story about Billy and Claire (Scarlet), easily the angstiest ship in the Winston Brothers series. And wow, there's a lot to unpack here.

I wished she'd stop making everything so hard. I wished she'd just let me take care of her. Tricking her into doing the right thing, the smart thing, made me feel like an asshole.

A lot of this story worked for me and also a lot of it didn't. I was mostly just going through the motions (sad motions because there is some unfortunate content to work through but still, not hooked) until about 70%. At which point things take a turn and I was so so so so here for it. The last 30% isn't all greatness, of course, and it certainly isn't all sunshine and rainbows. As warned, as we all knew to expect, this isn't a romance, there is no HEA. Not yet. But it was still probably my favourite part of the whole story.

"Have you ever wanted something you know you can’t have?"
"All the time."

I also have a sorta mild discomfort with some of said romance. At least at this stage. Well, not just the romance; this book — and series — is rife with uncomfortable things, dark things, violent things. For all the quirky, home cooked, sweetness and charm, of the south, which Reid definitely infuses these books with, there is a darkness to this series, too. But my issue with the romance is that, well. These kids are young. There's nothing graphic, it stays pretty solidly PG-13, but there is a weirdness to reading about people being attracted to a fourteen year old. Even if the other protagonist is only sixteen. Reid addresses this, not only through Billy but another character, but still.

I would've called him a sonofabitch, but his mother was a nice lady.

It was strange, but also delightful, to see Cletus in his younger form.. and yet still very much the same Cletus. Most of my highlights were from him, naturally. Literal highlights I mean, on my kindle. Though I suppose the high points also included him. I'll admit, though, that it was hard to remember that these characters were much younger than we're used to them being. Both because of circumstance and attitude, I think. Either they weren't written young enough or I'm just too used to their future selves. Not sure which. Maybe both. And maybe that's where, as much as we all wanted this prequel, maybe it would've just been better in a smaller doses. Like flashbacks within a book. But either way, I'll be glad to reunite with Adult Winstons and Adult Claire. Though I did love seeing Bethany, the Winston matriarch, again.

"Cletus Byron Winston! Are you crazy? You asked your twelve-year-old brothers to get you a keg?"
"If by 'crazy' you mean genius, then yes I am."

The end of this book is achingly tragic and sad as we expect, not just because of the Billy and Claire situation, but because of the Billy and everything situation. My heart breaks for him. There are so many characters to dislike, either because of their bad intentions or because of their good intentions that still make them unlikeable, but at the core I love the Winstons, always. The upside of reading this, too, is that I'm extra pumped for my full series reread now. All the little easter eggs, all the foreshadowing, I'll be able to relive with new eyes, now that we have this story.

"The last thing I ever want to be for you is a regret."

I'm so looking forward to Billy's happy ending and definitely Claire's. These two deserve it. But I know it's going to be hella rough along the way. And, complicating matters, knowing it's going to be the end? I fully expect much tears to come in this final book.

3.5 stars

** I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. **
Profile Image for Elle Kennedy.
Author 208 books57.8k followers
September 16, 2019

“My heart feels broken and yet so full. This might just arguably be Penny Reid's best work yet.” - The Review Loft

From NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling author, Penny Reid, comes the beginning of an epic love story. GRAB IT NOW!

'Beard With Me’ is the origin story of Billy Winston and Scarlet St. Claire (aka Claire McClure) and is just the beginning of their epic love story.

No one is better at surviving than Scarlet St. Claire and making the best out of circumstances beyond her control is Scarlet’s specialty. In an apocalyptic situation, she’d be the last person on earth, hermitting like a pro, singing along to her CD Walkman, and dancing like no one is watching.

Scarlet is clever, Scarlet is careful, and Scarlet is smart . . . except when it comes to Billy Winston.

No one is better at fighting than Billy Winston and raging against his circumstances—because nothing is beyond his control—is Billy’s specialty. In an apocalyptic situation, he’d be the first person on earth to lead others to safety, overcome catastrophe, or die trying.

Billy is fearless, Billy is disciplined, and Billy is honorable . . . except when it comes to Scarlet St. Claire.

AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE: https://pennyreid.ninja/book/beard-wi...
Profile Image for Nicola.
1,395 reviews248 followers
September 7, 2019
Penny Reid rewinds the years for our latest visit to Green Valley, taking us back to a time when Claire McClure is Scarlet St. Claire, Billy Winston the star quarterback, Roscoe believes in fairies, and Cletus is just...Cletus.

description It felt like the beginning of something terrible and beautiful and dangerous and wonderful.”

For any lover of the Winston Brothers series, Beard with Me is a must-read, piecing together the puzzle that is Billy and Claire. And whilst we all knew they had history, I wasn’t quite expecting it to to run as deep as it does.

description I will always mean every one of our kisses. Every single one.”

Despite enjoying this hugely and adoring both Billy and Scarlet, there was one sticking point for me and that was the character voices which I didn’t feel were in keeping with their ages (Billy is 16, Scarlet 14, Cletus 15). And whilst they may think and act older than their years due to life experience and circumstances, they were basically adults in teenage clothing.

description This wasn’t how we ended.”

But I can forgive that because Penny Reid has brought us a story that explains why Billy is the man he is and breaks your heart a little in the process. And with high hopes that she’ll fix that in Beard Necessities, November can’t come soon enough.

Copy received courtesy of Social Butterfly PR for an honest and unbiased opinion.
Profile Image for maggieandteddy.
1,079 reviews127 followers
September 16, 2019
omg. what am I gonna say? Billy !!!
My heart. So many questions answered. Now I have more questions.
In previous books, I knew almost nothing of Scarlet. There were very brief hints. But I wanted more! I was so focused on Ashley and her brothers.
I was so concerned for Scarlet. Billy and the Winstons had her back. Who had theirs?
I tried to brace myself while reading the back story. I really enjoyed the funny moments, but I was totally shocked at the evil.
There's a lot of heart too. Mama Bethany has a heart of gold. She's such a sweet woman. She's very gentle with helping Scarlet- when she needs it the most.
I guess that's all I can say until... Beard Necessities Beard Necessities (Winston Brothers, #6) by Penny Reid

P.S: Cletus is freakin' awesome as a teen. He was developing his "game" even back then!
P.P.S.: Bethany Winston is my mother. <3
*edit- Sorry! I need to add that I received this advance copy from the author.

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07...
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Beard-Me-Wi...
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/beard...
Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bear...
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/bear...
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view...
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/d...
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...

Profile Image for Dali.
1,854 reviews485 followers
October 18, 2019
Penny Reid gifts her readers with a love story that encompasses all the feels. It had humor, melancholy and lot of heart and heartbreak. I found myself both wanting to quickly devour and slowly enjoy this very beguiling beginnings story.

At the tender age of fourteen, Scarlet St. Clair has found a way to semi-escape her father’s sadistic rule. Who cares that she’s living in a tent, doesn’t have running water, and enough money to buy new clothes or food? She’s made sure she’s invisible to everyone. All except Billy Winston who has discovered she’s living on his family’s property and therefore putting all of his family all at risk from the local MC club’s ire.

After his older brother left to join their abusive father and his criminal motorcycle buddies, it was up to sixteen year old Billy to take care of his mother, younger brothers and sister. He was focused, he had a plan: work hard, study harder, and get a football scholarship. He never expected to find a girl with the voice of an angel in his back yard who would irrevocably change him and steal his heart.

OH WOW! How I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars! All the stars! One for everything I loved about this story. It has all the feels and all the elements of epic love. Simply breathtaking. As with all her books, Penny Reid produces an intelligent, sweet and touching tale with characters you will love (or fall for even further if you’re already a fan of the series) with an enthralling backstory plot that sets the stage for the next highly anticipated installment in the series.

The Winston family are such an interesting bunch of quirky and loving people. Even at a young age their personalities are uniquely outstanding. After reading about them as adults, I loved getting to know their younger selves.

Beard With me is book #6 of the Winston Brothers series by author Penny reid. It’s a standalone, full length poignant love story that made me smile, swoon and hope, written from both points of view.

Amazon -> https://amzn.to/32K3jjB

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

Stalk me on FaceBook * Instagram * More reviews
Profile Image for Sabrina.
3,390 reviews1,993 followers
September 16, 2019
Amazon US * Amazon UK

I'm very conflicted about this book. Because I enjoyed it for the most part, but I don't honestly think I got the point of it. While I was reading I was left wondering where exactly this story was going to lead. It's such a time jump from this book to where Billy and Claire end up when we see them in the present time in the Winston Brothers books so now I just have a lot of questions. Which I'm assuming will be answered in their full novel.

In this book Scarlet is fourteen and Billy sixteen, both in high school and both with their own issues. Scarlet is practically raising herself and busy trying to stay away from her father and Billy is feeling the burden of trying to keep his family together all while going to school, football practice, and working. Both with tortured souls they find each other in the worst of times, but with music they're able to come together at least for a little while.

Ms. Reid was not lying when she said this was not a romance and there was no HEA. This was more like a soul crushing story made worse by the fact that I've already been rooting for these characters to get some happiness. So to go back and see them at their worst, it hurt. But in a way that was somehow made okay because there were so many sweet moments thrown in.

And those sweet moments, with Billy softening around Scarlet really held this story together for me. Because I struggled to actually connect to them at every other moment. Scarlet particularly. I think one of my bigger issues was that she was fourteen in this story and yet everything about her, and even Billy, felt too mature. I could understand that she was very mature for her age but there was nothing about her that spoke of being a kid.

The book didn't hold my interest like I was expecting and it made it a little boring. The length didn't help at all either and I really think this story could have been told in less amount of pages. Especially since we didn't really get into the thick of Billy and Scarlet's tragedy until the last 30% and then everything was suddenly happening very fast. The pace just felt off, too slow in the beginning and then too fast at the end. And again, left me with so many questions.

Overall, I do recommend reading this book and I think any fans of these characters will love it. I had some issues with it but I sill enjoyed reading it and I'm glad that I did. And now I have a lot to look forward to from their novel.

ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Bookphenomena (Micky) .
2,499 reviews406 followers
September 16, 2019
…and exhale. I feel like I’ve held my breath for the last 30 minutes reading this book. It’s been a journey, beautiful and tough in equal measure and I am left needing more from Billy and Scarlet, so much more. When will their next book be (rhetorical question).

The warning at the beginning of the book is right, there are triggers for days but call me up to the challenge and in I went. Clever Penny lulled me in with ease for a while until my adrenaline started pumping, my eyes filled and my heart hurt. This is an emotive story to the power of 10 and everything about Scarlet in particular, is tragedy with hope; it was that hope that kept me going in this book.

Amongst the tough and tragic is an engaging story of first love. What evolves between Billy and Scarlet is so tangible and everything lovely, that as a reader, I was on their side. Just as you get carried up in the lovely, it doesn’t matter because the story builds your trepidation, ready for the fall. Bonus time is that Cletus as a teen was pretty fun and this is a balm that will see you through the journey that this story takes you on.

BEARD WITH ME was discomfort sliced with beauty and it has left me discomforted now after reading. That said, I am glad I did and I feel that through all these Winston Brother stories I have read, I really was in the dark about the depth of what had gone on between these two. This is a story worth your time and unsettling.

Penny Reid wrote what is essentially a YA story but it felt more like contemporary romance because that is where I’m used to seeing this family. I am a mixed ball of feelings and I know I’m going to be thinking about this for a while when really I just want to move on. It’s hard not getting the ending you want, but I am ready to wait for it even so.

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book, thanks to the author.
Profile Image for Stacey.
1,446 reviews1,154 followers
September 22, 2019
I needed it…but, maybe not all of it

I’m feeling battered and bruised after reading Beard with Me. For a lot of the story, I was contemplating just skipping to the end to get the info I needed. Thank goodness I didn’t read just that ending. I cried A LOT in the last chapter. The biggest problem and why I contemplated giving up, is that this story is pretty much YA. I’m not a fan of YA with all the high school drama, hormones, finding yourself and growing confidence in your decisions…stuff. I needed to read Beard with Me but I’m not sure I needed it to be full length. I wish there had been a CliffsNotes version, to be honest.

I needed to understand William, see Billy the QB and know the Winston's ugly and tainted history. Sure, I was kind of interested in Scarlett/Claire but it's all about Billy Winston for me. I know some of the history and obviously we know bits and pieces of the Winston's history but I never imagined it could be this ugly.

Beard with Me left me with some pretty dark thoughts. I absolutely HATED what these kids faced and lived through. I was having some pretty damn violent feelings toward the Wraiths and one douchewaffle, in particular, was in my sights.

I'm glad/ content/ satisfied to know Billy and Scarlett's history but I will be even glad...er/ content...er/ satisfied...er to get to the happy ever after, sighs and smiles I've come to expect from the Winston Brothers series. This book made me feel...A LOT!

Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,628 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.