[Audio Book] Winston Brothers 3: Beard Science by Penny Reid

Jennifer Sylvester wants one thing, and that one thing is NOT to be Tennessee’s reigning Banana Cake Queen. Ever the perpetual good girl and obedient daughter, Jennifer is buckling under the weight of her social media celebrity, her mother’s ambitions, and her father’s puritanical mandates. Jennifer is officially desperate.

And desperate times call for Cletus Winston.

Cletus Winston is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery covered in conundrum sauce, and now he’s in a pickle. Despite being convinced of his own omniscience, extortion by the exalted Banana Cake Queen of Green Valley has taken him completely by surprise. So… what’s a maniacal mastermind to do?

Likely, the last thing you expect.

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The next Winston Brother

After falling head over heels for Jethro and Sienna in book 2, I directly started Jennifer’s story. We already new her from the earlier books, but foremost were acquainted with Cletus. I did not at all imagine the way they would engage with each other but then surely knew how it’s gonna turn out. And to be fair, I’m a sucker for love lessons and enjoyed this rendition of the trope a lot. More than anything, I loved to witness Jennifer becoming more self-aware and independent. Cletus falling for her was simply the logical reaction to her adorable self.


Darker and spicier

While we get to know that Jethro was formerly involved with a biker gang, we now experience their luring threat. In fact, they are the driving force of the novel by indirectly setting the story in motion. Nonetheless, they surely are no main agent in the plot, but rather render this story more explicit through their vulgar speech and appearance. To be fair, this whole novel is more mature than the second one. We have quite a lot of sex scenes and talk of sausages and muffins aren’t rare. I loved the second book for not focusing on erotic but can see how sex contributes to Jennifer and Cletus‘ story. For Jennifer, trusting him with her body is a major step that eventually proves their closeness. Hence, I find the spice to be reasonable and enjoyable at once.


Hilarious but not my taste

Within the Winston family, jokes and teasing are daily business. The brothers nonetheless also have each other’s back whenever there is need, which I adore. Their interactions–including the soon-spouse–are probably the core of these novels and always delightful. Well, most of the time. While I loved Jennifer and Cletus‘ growing relation and the family interactions, the plot itself, some comments really threw me off.

I personally can’t find anything attractive in people that kill for fun and make fun of those who choose not to. Sounds logical, right? But making fun of vegetarian and vegan food happened regularly. Additionally, hunting boars was a fun activity by the book’s end and that was immensely unsexy to me. Dark Romance books at least have their protagonists kill or torture human beings that wronged them, not non-human beings that have never even met them and are just minding their own business. This critique only concerns four scenes but I was nonetheless thrown off by it.


In conclusion,

This third book got darker and spicier for sure but was nonetheless as hilarious and comfortable as the second one that I adore. Not only Jennifer and Cletus‘ interactions granted me a good time, I also loved every family scene. The Winston family is on its way to become my favorite fictional one and I am eager to follow the other siblings‘ stories in the future.



The author:

Penny Reid is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY Bestselling 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. Source

Voice performers:

Chris [Brinkley] is a narrator, voice actor, writer, producer, NCAA Division I broadcaster, radio personality, and emcee.  Brinkley penned the recently released My Story of Us book and audio series.  He is also known as the voice of Penny Reid’s Winston Brothers Series, narrating and voicing all six brothers in the popular audiobook collection. More

Joy Nash is an actress, writer and voice talent, known for Dietland (2018), Twin Peaks (2017), and The Mindy Project (2013). Joy was born in Dallas, Texas. She graduated with honors from USC with BAs in Sociolingustics and Theatre. She received a Webby Award Official Honoree selection for her 2007 video „A Fat Rant“ and she is a Penguin Random House and Audible Audiobook Narrator with over 85 recorded titles. More

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