REVIEW: PENNY REID ✭ DR. STRANGE BEARDDr. Strange Beard by Penny Reid
Also by this author: Dating-ish, Beard in Mind
Also in this series: Beard with Me
Series: Winston Brothers #5
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Smart Romance, RomCom
Format: eARC
Source: Social Butterfly PR
Buy on Amazon

Hunches, horse races, and heartbreak

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

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

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

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


by Penny Reid

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

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

Simone doesn’t have the foggiest idea why her former best friend ghosted her. One day they were friends, next day he didn’t want anything to do with her any longer. So when this beautiful, grown-up version of Roscoe crashes back into her life she wants to know why. She can’t let him in, not now – she missed him too much when he ditched her the first time. And anyway, feelings, emotions aren’t her thing.

I mean, loving someone is a big fucking responsibility. How could I love someone if I couldn’t even decide between Chinese or Thai food when ordering takeout?

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

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

Both Roscoe and Simone are beautiful characters. Roscoe is tender-hearted when it comes to his childhood friend, considerate and has such a pure soul. He is better than good, you want to keep him safe so that nothing can hurt him. He’s also perfectly happy with the person he is. Roscoe loved to make people feel good and I utterly adored that about him.

But what captured my notice was the way her profile was painted in a silvery outline. I could distinguish each of her eyelashes, the graceful slope of her cheekbone, the line of her jaw, the shape of her lips. The sight stole my breath. She was beauty.

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

Simone is vivacious, a lively young woman who is more forgiving than I would be. She had every reason to be angry at Roscoe yet she got over it fairly fast. I loved that she didn’t hold on to the grudge for long once she knew his reasons for avoiding her.

But I’d also learned that— in love— nothing makes sense. I didn’t make sense. I didn’t understand myself. Down is up and up is purple. The sky is drawer. The moon is goat. In love, everything was nonsense.

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

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

Being reunited with the Winstons is always a treat. I wish this family had more brothers, I would read all of their stories. Penny’s words always have a way of settling in my heart and making me want to be the like her characters. Her quirky and smart humor and sweet nature shine through in her stories. When I close one book I start craving the next one, like Scheherazade. That’s the magic of Penny Reid.

He didn’t wait for me to finish before pulling it over his head, his undershirt following, leaving him bare-chested, somehow taller than before, and so fucking magnificent. I mean, ladies. Holy cow. Get thee a Winston, stat!

AMEN to that!

About Penny Reid

Penny Reid is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers, Knitting in the City, Rugby, and Hypothesis series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

Website ✭ Facebook ✭ Sharks of Awesome ✭ Twitter
Instagram ✭ Pinterest ✭ BookBub ✭ Goodreads


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