Beard Science (Winston Brothers Series #3)

Beard Science (Winston Brothers Series #3)

by Penny Reid

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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.

★★★★★ Goodreads Choice Award Finalist for Best Romance ★★★★★
★★★★★ Amazon Top 10 Romances of 2016 ★★★★★
★★★★★ AAR Top 10 Romances of All Time ★★★★★

'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.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940156696093
Publisher: Cipher-Naught
Publication date: 10/11/2016
Series: Winston Brothers Series , #3
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 1,102
File size: 939 KB

About the Author

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Penny Reid is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Best Selling 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.


Just Released:
November 4, 2019: Beard Necessities, Winston Brothers Series, Book 7

Upcoming Releases:
2020: Pride and Dad Jokes, Ideal Man Series Book 1

Currently Working On:
2020: Engagement and Espionage, Handcrafted Mystery Series Book 1

Customer Reviews

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Beard Science 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not think I would like this one as much but I was wrong. Fantastic book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love all of Penny Reid's books. Have to say this one was by far one of my most favorites. Jennifer is perfect for Cletus. I was wondering about what kind of woman would suit Cletus' quirky personality. This did not disappoint. It put a smile on my face. Thank you Penny.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dear Santa, I' ve been very good. May I please have Cletus?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Cletus!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Penny Reid has done it again! Cletus & Jenn were magical and lovely! Don't miss out on such a sweet journey of growth, maturity, need and love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it! I recommend Penny Reid books to everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A really fun read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cletus never ceases to make me laugh out loud. Jennifer is everything he didn't know he needed in his life. Another fantastic addition to the Winston family.
Debbie High 5 days ago
Excited to find this author. Beard Science provides great depth in character development and clever writing to a hot romance,
Anonymous 4 months ago
The time and torture it takes to fall in love with another person is on full display in this story, with torture in the form of awakening and re-forming your ideas of yourself and another person. Cletus became clear - and dear - while Jenn became a fully formed person - and also dear. Most wonderful.
jonessjjones More than 1 year ago
I love this book! Cletus is a wonderfully flawed character who embraces his devious nature and does everything within his power to ensure things come out in accordance with his plans. He is intelligent and relies upon his observations and understandings of others. I love that the female lead, Jennifer, is someone who he misjudged and underestimated. I love the feeling of surprise. I love how these characters come to support one another. It feels like real life only possibly slightly larger and more entertaining, opposites attracting and all that. Folks bringing out the best in their loved ones.
Crazybooknerd More than 1 year ago
Beard Science by Penny Reid (Audiobook) Narrated by: Joy Nash & Chris Brinkley Series: Winston Brothers #3 5 OMG!! Stars. I LOVED THIS BOOK! It has one of my favourite plot types: the man helping to find a husband for the girl, but falls for the girl he's helping! Ugh, Love it! And to have that man be Cletus Winston, man oh man, Jennifer is one lucky lady! He is funny, sweet, caring, a bad boy when needed, gentlemanly, hard working and just about any other ideal a woman could want in a guy! Now, I liked Cletus in the other books, but he really shined in this one! I also loved how Jennifer just kinda showed up, was all of a sudden in his life - which I think took him by surprise, and we know how Cletus feels about “all the girls coming to his yard…” haha! Jennifer was a bit of a pushover at the beginning of the story - but I loved watching her blossom into her true self. She was genuine and a hard worker. At first, I thought she was an unlikely match for Cletus, but then you get them together and the sparks FLY! At times I would just be standing in the middle of the room, staring off into nothingness, listening to their interactions..(and burning my lunch till it was unrecognizable - setting off the smoke detector…twice. Darn that Cletus!) So worth it though!! Honestly, I am sure this book would be great a read in any form, but these narrators: Joy Nash, and Chris Brinkley, really brought this book to life! Their voices were performances were perfection! I am already planning a reread soon! If you haven’t picked up this series, YOU SHOULD! I highly Recommend it! ~Paragraphs and Petticoats~
lenorewastaken More than 1 year ago
5 stars — Well would you look at that!! I LOVED this one!! Which surprised the heck out of me, b/c I was uncertain about Cletus in the previous books…he seemed…sociopathic in some ways. Just too smart for his own good, and I was wondering how I was going to fall in love with him, you know? But you guys!!! I did!! Maybe it helped that I wasn’t as in love with him going into this book, so I had lower expectations. I don’t know. But whatever it was, I’m just so happy. And the thing is, it wasn’t just Cletus!! I am so in love with Jennifer!! She was just such a Lenore character…not in that she was like me necessarily, but in that she is the type of heroine I gravitate towards. Someone who is kind, beautiful inside and out, but a bit of an outcast, and soooooo vulnerable. She just hit me right in my heart you guys. Her story was so rich, b/c I loved her right from the start, and I just grew to love her more as I saw her metamorphosize into who she was supposed to be…and no spellcheck, I don’t care that metamorphosize isn’t a word…I’m just going to write it again and again to piss you off. *screech* OK, back on track. I seriously leeched onto Jennifer right from her cameo in Grin & Beard It (which I’d forgotten about, so maybe it was a good idea that I accidentally reread it). I loved everything about her. I felt how damaged she was from her parents, and how hard it was to break free from that, especially when she had no support outside her family. I LOVED how smart and quirky she was, but it was accessible. I loved how kind and sweet she was! I loved when she could surprise the heck out of people with her hidden sass. And I loved how she got to Cletus, and helped him to maintain his quirks, but with less sociopathy. My one gripe with Cletus is that, for the life of me, I can’t picture him in my head. There’s so much to him, I just can’t settle on anything, you know? Not that that actually matters. He was a really intriguing hero. It was hard being in his head at first, b/c I figured out why he kind of scared me…for the same reason as Jennifer. Because I think he took so much hurt from his childhood and bottled it up when he decided he could no longer outwardly lose his temper, and he hid it deep inside…and turned it sneaky. I can honestly see how that happened. It’s like an unintended side effect of trying to keep his temper under control. I do wish we’d learned more about the incident he was talking with Billy about…but perhaps we will learn more in Billy’s book? Or in the novella? I hope so. Curious Lenore is curious. I LOVED how fiercely loyal he was to his family…and how much he loved them and wanted to (in his own twisted way) protect them and do right by them. He had so much going on in that big brain of his, I can imagine it would be hard to keep it occupied. In the end, I loved the way Jennifer and Cletus came together. I loved that it didn’t start that way, but that it quickly grew that way as they got to know each other, even if they resisted. I didn’t even mind the resistance, b/c it fit their characters. And I loved how Jennifer brought balance and thoughtfulness to Cletus. And I loved how Cletus helped Jennifer to realize how strong she already was, she just needed to tap into it. I loved that they complemented each other. And I loved their chemistry. Don’t judge me, but I wasn’t expecting the steam to be so steamy!! Sometimes I find it hard to imagine quirky geniuseseses in a
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my all time favorite romances. I will read it again and again.
JHo516 More than 1 year ago
This book was as awesome as Cletus' sausage, Jenn's banana cake and Duane's fluffy clouds of awesome pancakes. I'm beginning to think that Penny Reid can write nothing poorly. Who else could make you fall in love with a hero named Cletus?! This book took us on a surprising adventure. There were so many things that I wasn't expecting and things that were not as they seemed or that I assumed to be. You will fall in love with Jennifer and Cletus, you will ache for the life that has been led, the trials and tribulations that have been experienced, the fight to becoming ones self. You will champion a fictional character like they're your best friend. This book was greatness. It wasn't what I was expecting but it was me much more than I could have ever asked for.
thereadingchick More than 1 year ago
Cletus was just as quirky as he was in the first two novels, but the insight into his character showed that the quirkiness was actually a shield that he put up to protect himself. Jennifer, a rather odd duck herself, snuck under his defenses and pretty soon he was determined to win her for his own, forgetting Shelly, the woman he’d thought suited him at the beginning of the novel. Good thing, because Shelly is meant for his brother Beau. Jennifer was a heroine you really wanted to root for. Treated horribly by her family and treated as a joke by the town you couldn’t wait to watch her grow into herself. I loved that she was just as unique and quirky as Cletus. They seem to be a perfect match. Each time I read a Winston Brothers novel I worry about it not being able to live up to my enjoyment of the novel before, but once again, I didn’t need to worry. Cletus and Jennifer’s story, while different than the first two, was just as great. This family from Tennessee is charming, unusual and all are perfect gentlemen with their ladies. Their courtships are all unique and Penny Reid does a great job of maintaining the originality of the storyline yet catching the correct tone of a Tennessee southern vibe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A well written and captivating love story. I couldnt put this book down which makes waiting for the next book a trail of patience.
JewelsBookPages More than 1 year ago
Well hell. I'm bereft now that I've finished Beard Science! And Cletus. That man has completely captivated me and I don't even care that he's fictional! He's clever, manipulative, intelligent, hides the soul of a poet, and has a jocular wit that anyone with two cents to rub together could appreciate! Jennifer's gracious manners and quiet mannerisms hide one heck of a steel backbone! What was so beautiful about her personality was that hidden spunk she learned to tap into. She may have started out asking Cletus to help her find someone to marry/love, but what she discovered instead was learning to love herself for her. Cletus thought he was giving Jennifer the means to discover herself and to a point he did accomplish his goal. But inadvertently, Cletus also gave Jennifer the key to his heart. The master manipulator got a taste of his own medicine when he least expected it! This is my second book to read by Reid and frankly, she has me utterly enthralled with her characters! I adored Cletus and Jennifer's story. The Winston's aren't perfect people. They've made mistakes, suffered loss, and celebrate happy moments. I can relate to them because they're just so normal! (And considering normal is just a setting on the washer, that's saying something!) This family has sucked me in and I look forward to coming back!
rebelspinster More than 1 year ago
FIVE STARS! I received this book as an Advanced Reading Copy. I LOVE Cletus! I was excitedly waiting for this book because I wanted to see how this character conducted himself with others outside of the Winston family. Penny Reid did not disappoint with him at all! If you have read the other Winston brothers books (Duane and Jethro) then you will have read Cletus’s matter of frankness. What I loved about this book, was reading what he thought before he spoke. His mind is pure genius! Cletus thinks that he has met his match when Shelley Sullivan moved to Green Valley and comes to work at the auto shop. Their personalities are very similar so they have no problem understanding and working with each other. But, like does not always need to be with like. Jennifer Sylvester dubbed “The Banana Cake Queen” due to her prize winning cake, has an inkling that she wants some sort of change. When she has to visit the sheriff to videotape his testimony for her cupcakes for Donner Bakery, she gets more than she bargained for. Proof of Cletus’ actions of misdirection. I love Jennifer, she’s a people watcher. So she has seen Cletus and his quiet unsuspecting behavior and can see it for what it truly is. A master at misdirecting others from the truth of what he’s doing or wants to do. In this, Cletus has met his match. Jennifer uses the leverage that she has to have Cletus help her “come out” of her sheltered life. Not having been acquainted with each other before, this gives the perfect opportunity for them to discover and learn from one another. Jennifer growing into the beautiful woman she is and can be and watching Cletus learning of dealing with situations other than leverage/blackmail.
northamericanwordcat More than 1 year ago
My love for this book is unreasonable. I have read it four times since it came out. I had an advance reader copy and bought it in e book form because it wasn't downloading fast enough when I wanted to reread it. Yeah, not reasonable. I think if you love the series you might adore the this book as much as I do. If you have not read the series, you will still really, really like it. Cletus is the best sort of hero. I would marry him--I married his type anyway--slyly funny, multi talented, flawed, a lover of the body and the mind. Jennifer is a great heroine of her own story. I love her and would be happy to be one of the weirdos she would make into a circle of friends. The plot is fun and tender. The characters grow and change. I believe in their love and like for each other. The cast of of characters are a joy. This is the rare book that strikes all the right notes and provides a sexy sweet romance I will read again and again for the wit, kindness, humanity, and love of all kinds.
Lisa-Lou More than 1 year ago
Beard Science by Penny Reid is the third book in her amazingly awesome Winston Brothers series. This book is, finally, Cletus's book. The tinkerer, the manipulator, the sneaky one with the odd way about him. The one that gets relegated to "benign" due to his oddness that is actually deliberate and purposeful. His interactions with Jennifer are priceless. Her observations of him - before AND after they began interacting together - I don't have words. Jennifer is astute, unique, and while she initially comes across as extremely meek and a pushover, she is anything but. The combination of Cletus and Jennifer's personalities are explosively funny, swoony, and awesome. Any fan of Penny's writing will love this book. Anyone not a fan of Penny's writing, I hope we don't have to interact because I will inevitably wonder about you and your sanity. Another Penny book that I wish I had a SIX-STARS option.
toniFMAMTC More than 1 year ago
I truly love Jennifer. She's a virgin, but this is totally not one of those cliché tales of the annoying little princess being corrupted by the undeniable alpha male. Jennifer has personality. She's been sheltered her entire life by her overbearing parents and is trying to stand on her own feet. She isn't rebelling and going all wild. She's a good person looking for a little breathing room and a few people to call friends. Cletus is one of the most unique and interesting characters I've come across. He's definitely sexy and appealing in many ways. He's also very smart and blunt. He sends signals by way of his outward appearance and mannerisms that he's just an average country boy mechanic. He's actually logging every detail of what goes on around him. He has the dirt on anyone and everyone and isn't above using it when it comes to protecting the few people he loves. I really enjoy the intelligent straight forward way he approaches life, and the way he talks is so refreshing. I'm in love. ♥︎♥︎ This is definitely the best romance I've read in a long time and one of my top reads this year. Nothing about it felt like something I had already read. That's very rare for me. I cannot recommend it enough. If you like sweet and funny romances, this is a must. I read it as a standalone, but I'm definitely going back to the read the other books now. 5++ stars
Honolulubelle More than 1 year ago
Favorite Quotes: I tried my best to pretend unkind words were actually just erroneously expressed compliments, as it just made everything nicer for everybody... This habit of purposefully misunderstanding insults has served me well over the course of my life, around town, and at home. A small number of plagues would befall the sheriff's Deputy over the coming weeks. I'd considered leprosy via an armadillo infestation, but decided against it. Maybe next time. We argued every time I came to his shop. I told him my hair needed weight, otherwise it stood straight up and out, and my head - which was larger than average already, likely to accommodate my massive brain - resembled a cantaloupe on a toothpick, with cantaloupes being the least esteemed of all fruit. I should have given him leprosy back in September. It would have kept him occupied through Christmas. The people who call you simple are the simple ones. You should put castor oil in their banana cake frosting and weld their toilet shut. I love her! I swear Cletus, if you don't marry her then I will talk to Jethro about making her my sister-wife. My Review: Beard Science is my favorite Penny Reid masterpiece to date. It was densely populated with delightfully odd characters; busy with amusing "capering;" and loaded with wry and overtly humorous insights as well as sneaky heart squeezing observations. Cletus and Jennifer were both beyond quirky but not quite bizarre, and while they originally appeared to be near opposites, they both were crafty, complex, and highly intelligent - yet not seen as such by anyone else. Cletus - being possibly the most fascinating character ever brought to life - was a devious genius with a wide and far-reaching agenda, but all for good reasons, and had more clandestine plans and escapades in play than the NSA, CIA, FBI, and GOP combined. It took me a bit longer to warm up to Jennifer as the hard working Banana Cake Queen initially presented as an inauthentic person - a mousy and spineless caricature offering no resistance to the iron fist of her repellent and demanding parents. However, these endearingly peculiar characters - who were thrown together by blackmail - provoked profound changes in each other, while providing an unfailingly engaging and supremely entertaining tale in the process. I wore a near-constant smirk while reading this massive tome and barked aloud more than few times. Penny Reid is a truly gifted wordsmith and on my permanent list of favorites to shadow.
Maria-Rose More than 1 year ago
The third standalone romantic comedy in the Winston Brother’s series by Penny Reid is Beard Science, an apt title for the smart and calculating character of Cletus whose machinations behind the scenes have been a staple in the previous books in the series. Now we get the delight of delving into his devious mind, and watching him get blown away by the intelligence and beauty of the one woman who sees through his façade to the real man underneath. Delightful, charming, inventive, heartwarming - really, there are many superlatives one could use to describe this author’s talents and they’d all be correct. Every story in the series is as unique as the characters that are represented, truly a daring feat where it’s all too common to find a trope you like as an author and stick to a tried and true formula. The only formula here is that taking a chance on love is worth the risk. The character growth and change is essential to this particular story. Jennifer starts out as a quiet, unassuming, and somewhat beaten down character. She goes along with anything her parents want, the defection of her brother to a local motorcycle club meaning that her mother can constantly play the teary eyed ‘but you’re the only child we have left!’ card and get Jennifer to do whatever she asks, so as not to add to the burden her mother carries. With Cletus now on her side helping her, she takes his advice in hand and starts making little changes, small refusals to fit in with her parents' expectations. Things like a different nail colour, a small change in her hair or her clothing – little acts of rebellion that fortify her nerve and her desire to move out and gain some independence. While Jennifer is gaining her backbone and her confidence, Cletus is discovering uncomfortable truths. He starts out as the confident, calculating, ‘everything is being handled’ kind of guy, only to discover that Jennifer is getting under his skin and making him question his motives and desires. Though he’d somewhat planned out his own love life, figuring on dating a new female mechanic they’ve hired at the shop, he realizes soon after that Jennifer is too fascinating for him to ignore, especially as those rebellious acts become more public. The sexual attraction between them sizzles, and the result is some steamy love scenes. But while Jennifer is definitely on board with some sexy times with Cletus, she’s also enjoying being able to express her own needs and desires for the first time in her life, and isn’t willing to give that up right away. She’s not going to change one dependent relationship for another, and Cletus is smart enough to know (and tell her) that she’s going to be worth the wait. The result is a beautifully done happy ending, suitable to both characters. As always, there are a combination of humorous and poignant scenes involving Cletus’s brothers and sister Ashley and a taste of what’s in store for the rest of the family. I can’t wait to read the next in the series!