5 Star · ARC Review · Contemporary · Second Chance · Series · Sexy · Slow Burn · Strong Heroine · Tortured Hero

Beard Necessities (Winston Brothers #7) by Penny Reid

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5 Stars

The soul becomes dyed with the color of it’s thoughts, and my soul was still Scarlet.”

Billy Winston and Scarlet/Claire McClure have spent the past eighteen years secretly loving, and yet blatantly avoiding each other. But, according to the rest of the Winston family, time is up, and it’s all hands on deck to scheme these two star crossed, self perpetuating martyrs into the happiness they both deserve… or else…

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Beard Necessities is the book that dries the tears that were left behind from the emotionally devastating, yet sadly beautiful love story that was Beard with Me. Claire and Billy’s young love might have been fast and unfulfilled, but the hurt that they have experienced being apart has lingered ever since. And with their mutual secrets having been kept quiet for far too long, Billy and Claire are about to get the full Winston meddling treatment…

Claire (aka Scarlet St. Claire) escaped her horrific childhood and fell into a marriage that started when she was far too young and then ended in tragedy. And while Claire loved her husband, there was only ever one man who truly held her heart, despite the fact that they seem to do nothing but bring out the worst in each other.

Billy has always been the protector of his family, and he once made the ultimate sacrifice to protect Scarlet, and he has never once regretted his decision since. But with the secrets that Billy has long held unsaid being threatened for the greater good, his time of keeping Scarlet in the dark about their past is coming to a close, as well as both Billy and Scarlet’s life of mutual avoidance…

The beginning of Billy and Scarlet’s relationship was a difficult and decidedly fraught time for the young duo. Now eighteen years later, they are older and wiser, and yet still deeply hurt from the damage they once inflicted upon each other. And although their past still hurts to reflect upon, they agree to a tentative friendship for the sake of keeping the peace between them. But Billy and Scarlet were never great about ignoring the love that has always simmered between them…

As a long time Winston fan, this book was simply everything I could have hoped for in the conclusion of the unparalleled Winston Brothers series. While a large part of the Winston clan has decided to spend time together in Italy, the entire family has agreed to do everything possible to push Billy and Scarlet together once and for all, and the antics involved was a comedic treat as well as an epic Winston send off.

I am very sad to see this series come to an end, but Billy and Scarlet were absolutely the story we needed to bring it all together. Beard Necessities presented a completely fun and fresh way to end this series, that not only included every single one of our beloved previous characters and couples, but made us feel that while we have concluded our time in Green Valley, the Winston family is still out there somewhere, living their lives to their delightfully bearded fullest.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest and unbiased review.

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