Review: Beard Necessities (Winston Brothers #7) by Penny Reid
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No one deserves a happily-ever- after quite as much as the second oldest Winston brother and his lady love, Claire McClure (aka Scarlet St. Claire). Cruelty and circumstance tore them apart almost twenty years ago. Secrecy and bitterness kept them separated.
But you know who's tired of their separation and stubbornness? Everyone. Especially Billy Winston’s family. And now they're going to do something about it.
Well-meaning interference means the star-crossed lovers can’t stop tripping over each other in the hills of Tuscany, the catacombs of Rome, and the waterways of Venice. Billy and Claire find themselves thrown together and at the mercy of the Winston siblings’ shenanigans.
But will their forced proximity bring them together? Or push them even further apart?
This second-chance romance brings back the entire Winston gang, playing cupid in one last story of love, hi-jinks, and family collusion.
BEARD NECESSITIES is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, and can be read as a stand-alone, but it’s probably best read after books 0.5, 2, 3, 5, and 6 of the Winston Brothers series.
Beard Necessities was...frustrating. Frustrating because this is one big old case of if only two people could actually talk then there would be no issues. Like seriously. I did enjoy it, but I was also disappointed by it. I don't think it lives up to the epic love story that we all thought it would be. For how much tension and little snippets we get throughout the rest of the stories I expected more. I also wish I hadn't read Beard in Mind before reading this because I still think the reason why they are not together is so stupid. And I kept thinking about that at the beginning of this book. Though through the story I did see more why they stayed apart, but how it all worked out was...frustrating.
I usually love this author so so much. The conclusion of her Knitting in the City series? Amazing. It makes me want to go back and re-read all of the books again and again and again. I re-read all the Winston Brothers books prior to reading this so I would remember everything and...I don't think this story is as good as the others. It doesn't make me want to re-read it or the rest of the series (though I will definitely re-read the others as I love them so much). It was kind of a letdown and part of that is on me for expecting more. More than this story was and is. It is good, but not great. Not amazing. Not the best love story ever like I thought it would be.
Claire/Scarlett and Billy have been apart for what seems like forever. They had a very intense relationship when she was 14 and he 16, but things didn't work out for them (that is the story in Beard in Mind). If you read that one you know Ben is a creeper, but it wasn't until this book that you find out just how disgusting and horrible Ben really is. I am glad he is dead because fuck that guy. Seriously. And if he didn't die well then he would never face any consequences for his horrible/illegal actions because he is the golden boy and everyone loves him. Plus he is a white guy and we all know we can't do anything to them because we wouldn't want to ruin their lives because who cares about their victim's lives. But I digress. Ben is a piece of shit and Scarlett is really young when he starts guilting her into being with him. At first I really hated Scarlett, but after reading this I understand her more. I see why she did what she did, how easy it would be for her to be caught up in this abusive relationship and why she feels like she is indebted to him. I think it takes her too long to start working on herself and trying to be better, but you can only do that when you are ready. And prior to this Scarlett wasn't ready. I think if things had turned out differently I am not sure if these two would have made it. Because Scarlett had to work on herself to be able to be in a real relationship.
Now Billy I loved. He is a white knight if ever there is one. He is always trying to help save/keep those he loves safe. He would do anything for Scarlett. Anything. He loves her so much and he just wants her to be happy and safe. He was wonderful, but oh so frustrating! I get it, after so long of Scarlett running from you and breaking your heart it would be hard to trust that it won't happen again. But man these two need to use their words! If they would only talk to each other they could figure everything out.
This was a good read, I did enjoy it, but it is not as amazing as I had hoped. If Ben hadn't died I am not sure they would have ever figured things out. I mean why would Claire suddenly stop feeling indebted to Ben and run off with Billy? I think that is part of the reason why it is so frustrating. Because I want a great love story. I want to see that these two would have ended up together no matter what because their love is that strong. But instead it is only because Ben died and Billy's family decided to intervene. They would have just lived unhappily apart otherwise. So it was hard to feel all the warm fuzzies for this story when I don't think it would have happened had circumstances not become what they did. Oh well.
Rating: ★ ★ ★