REVIEW: “Beard in Mind” by Penny Reid

Educational or Intellectual Romance should be a Genre and if it existed Penny Reid would be its Queen.  I feel as though I become a pseudo-expert on some topic or another whenever I read a Penny Reid book.  More truthfully I become more educated and enlightened on topics ranging from Economics, Artificial Intelligence, and Mental Health.  “Beard in Mind” opened my mind and my tear ducts and I loved every moment!

I honestly was not expecting much considering Beau is the good humored and charming Winston Brother.  I underestimated Penny Reid.  Easy going, well liked, and helpful Beau Winston has layers.  There is a backstory to his role as the nice twin as well as a hidden feeling of unworthiness.  In “Beard in Mind” Beau is envious, often hangry, and a little just plain angry.  And his relationship with women kind is surprising.  But his observations regarding Cletus and Roscoe, in particular, are awesome!  FYI – They’re idiots.

Shelly Sullivan leaps over from a stint in Reid’s Knitting in the City series to be a Winston Brother Heroine.  Shelley has a reputation of being a jerk and not easily liked.  However, in “Beard in Mind” we learn there is an extremely good reason for her past behavior.  Shelly suffers from extreme clinical OCD; not ‘I’m a neat-freak OCD’ but the real deal.  We don’t get a lot of Shelley’s POV but the chapters she’s featured in are POWERFUL.

Members of the Iron Wraiths Motorcycle Club appear, causing trouble and revealing unwanted secrets.  The timeframe runs concurrently to Cletus’ book “Beard Science” so some of his machinations interactions with the Wraiths are revisited.  As far as recurring characters we see a bunch.  Previous Winston Heroines:  Jessica James, Sienna Diaz, and Jennifer Sylvester.  Ashley Winston and her man Drew Runous, from “Beauty and the Mustache”.  We get to see Claire McClure a friend of Jessica, Jethro, and Cletus.  Also we see a good amount of Hank Weller, Beau’s best friend and owner of the local strip club.  We also get a wonderful surprise visit from Janie and Quinn Sullivan from the Knitting in the City series.

The timeframe of this book is a year after Bethany Winston, the Winston family matriarch passed away.  Therefore it’s very emotional for Beau with lots of flashbacks to events that occurred then.  (Read “Beauty and the Mustache” for the full story of Bethany and her passing.  It’s SO worth the reading.)  Duane and Jessica leave for their adventures during this book so get your handkerchief ready, you’ll need it.

Penny Reid is one of those authors you love or don’t.  Obviously,I Love.  “Beard in Mind” is funny, thoughtful, emotional, compelling, laugh out loud, tear inducing, and informative.  It is ALL the things!  Happily we get a sneak peek at an old friend of Roscoe’s who will be the next Winston Heroine.  She sounds like a lot of fun.  Billy turns up and we realize how much he holds things together.  I wonder how much more is he holding back.  So far, and I always say this, the Winston Brothers series is ‘killing it’.  I love it and want more, More, MORE!!!

I’m giving “Beard in Mind” 5 Lightning Bolts and a Storm Warning.

This novel was provided, voluntarily read, and honestly reviewed.

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