The Winston Brothers #6 | 352 Pages | 2019
Beard With Me at a Glance
- Overall Rating: ★★★★★
- Heroine: She’s a survivor
- Dude: You know I love emo
- Steaminess: An appropriate amount for 14
- Brutality: You learn why they call him Razor
Pairs Well With
Hot Coco for comfort (okay you can add some schnapps)
I’m so sad that the Winston books are almost at an end, but I am incredibly happy that Reid devoted TWO books to Billy and Scarlet. This is not a romance folks, this is the dark and twisty path that these two took to where they are now. And it is riveting.
There are no spoilers for this book, but there are for the last 5 books in the Winston series. Read at your own risk.
Penny Reid’s TW: “If you have a trigger – any trigger at all – chances are this book is going to trigger you. Just assume it has all the triggers, put it down, and move on to the next book in your TBR.”
Now, the Winston series has had its serious moments. The family has lived with the shadow of their father and his biker gang their entire lives. Violence, backstabbing and plotting are the normal, but somehow they have managed to find their person and be happy. Except for Billy Winston. Throughout the series we have been given snippets of Billy and Claire’s (Scarlet’s) past, but never the full story. Why are they so angry at each other? Will Jethro ever pick up on the secret love between his BFF and brother? Probably not. Jethro is adorable, but not the sharpest pencil in the box.
So imagine my excitement when I realized there was an ENTIRE BOOK dedicated to Billy and Scarlet’s sordid past! I was not prepared. No one was prepared. We know how this story ends from the last 5 books, but how was Reid going to end the story? With Ben’s death or with Scarlet’s new identity? There was only one place to go and we got there, but it was a bumpy ride.
Scarlet and Billy are both children of bikers and know that there are certain responsibilities and punishments that come along with the lifestyle. Both of them hate their fathers and try desperately to ditch those ties, but only Billy is successful. He is now the quarterback and helps with his family. He gets to be the popular one, despite his father. Scarlet is not so lucky. As the daughter of the Leader, Razor, she pays heavily for any foot out of place. Which is why Billy finds her camping out in the woods. She is trying to run away.
Billy is my emo prince. Honestly, I thought Duane was my favorite this entire time, but Billy Winston has taken my heart at the age of 16. He melts when he hears Scarlet singing Guns n’ Roses and if that isn’t true love then I don’t know what is. He is defensive and skeptical. He doesn’t believe in taking in “strays” that could endanger his own family. He is protective almost to a fault, but I can understand why he is this way. Both he and Scarlet have been beaten and abused to the point of PTSD. Except they are still living in their PTSD.
I loved the perseverance and desire for survival that we see in these two as teens. Honestly, it helped that I know the ending. I know they grow up into well-adjusted adults. I know that in book 1 Claire handles her father like a pro. I know that Jethro and Billy make it out of the crazy that is Darrell.
If you have read the other books and were thinking of skipping this one. You certainly can. You will miss out on some of the deeper feelings, but you could go and read their happy love story. But, you also know what happens. You know about the beatings and how Razor handles people. You can probably handle this book. But if you want to see the Ben and Claire relationship, which was to me, the worst and most manipulative part… then read this one. Maybe it’s because mind games are my trigger, but you need to see Ben in his reality. You need to see Billy how he has always been.
Have you read Beard With Me? Let me know what you thought in the comments!