,Out of all the Winston brothers, Cletus is my favorite. Not because of his silent judging and calculations of people, the unwarranted assessment or his peculiar proclivities of fixing his siblings; ok, perhaps, because of all of these. I fell in love with him the moment Ashley Winston stepped back into their life and said he was "goo" in the marshmallow wall she built around herself. And absolutely fell hard when Penny took us back to Green Valley and began to writing about the Winston Brothers. So I treasured his heart the way any normal book nerd treasured their book boyfriend. I wanted his happiness and his story to just be pure unfiltered Cletus.
And Bless Penny Reid, because Beard Science was a “behind the scenes” look at a certain bearded puppet master. Cletus would say something like we were on a precipice of discovery.
I discovered that in all of the books I have ever had the pleasure of reading; and out of all the characters in those books that I loved and treasured; I never found a character that resonated with me. One that fit ME. The weirdo. The socially inept. The closet chemist. I was reading the “me” of my early twenties. She is naive, but possessed the type of internal wisdom that I only wish I had a decade ago!
I almost hollered when she released this (what I'm calling) soliloquy.
“What do you want to be?”
“A mother,” I said simply, because it was true. That’s what I wanted first and foremost. “And a really excellent wife and partner. And homemaker. I want to have a family to take care of, to love and fuss over and think about. That’s what I want. I know it’s not progressive, or flashy, and I know people don’t place much importance on that stuff anymore, just like people don’t put much importance on humility and kindness, forgiveness and compassion. But those things are important to me. I know people will look down their noses at me for being just a mom, but I’m used to being marginalized for what I do and what I look like. And I think being a great mother is the most difficult and most important job in the world. So people can just take their judgmental crap and—”
Because that right there is something this 6 months postpartum mama, who is still struggling with the "staying home explanation," needed to hear. This needs to be framed. Given the lack of honor, the worldview of objectifying women, and our societal views and pressures on PARENTHOOD and MOTHERS, this made me fist pump so hard. I went to a women’s college and believe me that being a (badass) mother does NOT make me less of a feminist. I reread this so many times and walked around wondering why in tarnation do I really need to explain a decision only benefiting my family?! I birthed two children. I endured two Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) journeys with my two premature babies. “Mom” is proudly emblazoned on my superhero cape.
I digress. Her story was my story. Her weird was my weird. Yes, she didn’t know who she was at the beginning, and it took a man to help her with her backbone, but her humility, her unapologetic views about her dreams, and the way she handled the puppet master made her a badass.
This story. Their story was just so lovely, and funny, and everything I hoped for Cletus, and Jennifer.
So if you're looking to get away from the constant bombardment of political ads and want to curl around a weird but epic love story. This is it. Beard Science by Penny Reid. Thank you, Penny, for writing my story. I'll keep rereading this every time I start to lose my weirdness and start wanting to be with the "normals."
Beard Science by Penny Reid is LIVE!!
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2cJKgy6
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2ckA5y2
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2cxMu1m
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2cCFSzS
Make a deal with the devil and you might get what you want, but will it be what you need?
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.
‘Beard Science’ is the third book in the Winston Brothers series, is a full-length romantic comedy novel, and can be read as a standalone.
About the Author
Penny Reid is the USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she's not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She's also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.
Book Club Pick:
I use Goodread's rating scale
1 star – didn’t like it
2 stars – it was OK
3 stars – liked it
4 stars – really liked it
5 stars – it was so amazing, it's on my reread pile!