Dr. Strange Beard, an all-new standalone in the bestselling, romantic comedy Winston Brothers Series by Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author Penny Reid, is available NOW!
Hunches, horse races, and heartbreak
Ten years after Simone Payton broke his heart, all Roscoe Winston wants is a doughnut. He’d also like to forget her entirely, but that’s never going to happen. Roscoe Winston remembers everything—every look, every word, every single unrequited second—and the last thing he needs is another memory of Simone.
Unfortunately, after one chance encounter, Simone keeps popping up everywhere he happens to be . . .
Ten years after Roscoe Winston dropped out of her life, all Simone Payton wants is to exploit him. She’d also like some answers from her former best friend about why he ghosted her, but if she never gets those answers, that’s a-okay. Simone let go of the past a long time ago. Seriously, she has. She totally, totally has. She is definitely not still thinking about Roscoe. Nope. She’s more than happy to forget he exists.
But first, she needs just one teeny-tiny favor . . .
Dr. Strange Beard is a full-length romantic comedy novel, can be read as a stand-alone, and is the fifth book in the USA TODAY bestselling Winston Brothers series.
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“Simone, this is not one of our adventures from when we were kids. This is not finding Blithe Tanner’s cat. These men are murderers, drug dealers, thieves.”
“I know.” Boy oh boy, did I know. I didn’t want to be here anymore than he did. I was frightened. Yet allowing Roscoe to be taken on his own hadn’t been an option. “I can handle myself, and I can provide backup for you, if you need it.”
Roscoe gripped my shoulders. “Nothing can happen to you, do you understand?” His words were emphatic, his gaze disoriented, desolate, frantic. “If anything happens to you, I’ll . . .” He swallowed, apparently unable to finish the sentence.
My heart twisted to see him like this. I wished there were some way to show him what I could do, what I was capable of, so he would stop seeing me as a liability.
Well, why can’t you?
Now there was a thought.
Stepping out of his grip, I walked backward to the other side of the room and took a deep breath. “Okay. Come at me.”
He blinked. “What?”
“I want you to come at me.”
“Simone,” he seethed.
“Come at me, bro.” I did that little movement with my fingers, my palm turned upwards. “Come at me or I’ll start singing again.”
“I’m not doing this.”
“Fine.”Frustrating. “I’ll come at you.”
He stood there, features set, looking raw.
Moving quickly forward, staying light on my feet, I faked right and then went left, hooking him behind the back of his leg, catching his arm to twist behind his back, and sending him to the ground—face-first—with a thud.
I winced as he grunted, my knee at the base of his spine, his arm restrained behind his back. “Sorry! But you wouldn’t listen to me.” Leaning forward, I whispered in his ear, “Are you okay? Did I hurt you?”
Roscoe’s back and shoulders rose and fell with an expansive breath, like he was about to respond, but in the next moment he’d spun his legs to the right, leveraged my knee on his back to throw me off-balance, and slipped his wrist from my hold.
In my defense, my grip had been lax as I was purposefully trying not to injure him.
The next thing I knew, Roscoe had me pinned to the ground, air knocked out of me, him hovering above, and my gun digging into my ribs beneath my shirt. He’d been careful to subdue my legs, likely so he wouldn’t end up with a bruised ballsack.
His stare more probing than angry—which I took as a good sign—he said, “I didn’t teach you that. Where’d you learn that?”
Even though I was still coughing, I smiled and rasped, “Since college, take judo.”
He nodded faintly, his eyes moving between mine, looking concerned. “Are you okay? Did I hurt you?”
“No.” Endeavoring to catch my breath, I said, “I took it easy on you because I didn’t want to hurt you either, but I’m an asset, not a liability.”
“You’re definitely an asset.” Roscoe frowned, his gaze dropping to my mouth. “And a distraction,” he said, his voice rough.
“I’m a distraction?” I asked, my words still breathy.
I bucked, but he held me fast.
“Yes. . .” His stare turned inward. “You are most definitely a distraction.”
Even though I’d had plenty of time to recover and we’d been holding still for close to a minute, I was still breathing hard. This might have been because of my lingering irritation. Or, maybe it was because the length of Roscoe’s lean body was lying on mine. He held my hands on either side of my head, our faces even, his mouth just inches away.
Was it insane that I hoped he kissed me?
Let’s go with no.
He gave me his eyes again and I saw something there, a battle. He looked undecided, at war with himself, straining against something I couldn’t see.
“Roscoe?” I whispered.
Roscoe closed his eyes, and I thought he was going to let me go, but in the next second his lips descended, capturing my mouth in a tender kiss.
I kissed him back.
That’s what one does when Roscoe Winston kisses one. Moan and kiss. Repeat. Because not doing so would be a travesty.
His hold on my hands slacked, his fingers seeking and threading with mine. He settled his hips between my legs, his form relaxing. The weight of him was different now, warmer somehow. At least I felt warm. I also felt cherished as his tongue sought mine, again tenderly, stroking, causing my abdomen to twist and tighten into delicious knots.
He broke the kiss and a protest died on my lips as his mouth trailed down my jaw to the sensitive skin of my neck, sucking, licking, savoring me. What had felt warm and cherishing heated, and my hips tilted reflexively as he nibbled on my ear, cradling his rapidly growing erection.
We both gasped as his hips rocked in an answering yet inelegant movement. It felt perfect and essential in the moment.
“Oh God.” His hot breath spilled against my jaw, a ragged sigh. “What are we doing?”
“I don’t know, but don’t stop.”
Enter the Giveaway!
Meet Penny Reid:
Penny Reid is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City 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.
Connect with Penny:
Mailing List: http://pennyreid.ninja/newsletter/
I received an advanced copy of this book. I chose to review it because 1) I love it; 2) I think you’ll love it too; 3) Reviewing books in a series is kind of my thing…
To read reviews of the other books in this series, please see this link. You can also search for reviews of other books by Penny Reid by going to the drop down box on right hand side of the homepage and selecting Penny Reid.
Dr. Strange Beard (Book 5)
Overall Rating: 4.5 (sXe)
Quick & Dirty summary: Roscoe Winston has been avoiding Simone Payton since they were teenagers. Simone is fine with the way Roscoe ghosted her, he was only her best friend in the whole world. But at some point, living in a small town in Tennessee means you’re going to bump into each other, especially when there is a tracking device hidden in a car. Regardless, both Roscoe and Simone are ready to move on with their lives, once they get past this whole thing with Roscoe’s dad…
Roscoe is probably my new favorite human being. I think that a lot after finishing a book, but normally it’s the female lead that I fall in love with Roscoe with his tender heart, his arm full of puppies, and his willingness to follow his heart wherever it may lead has me swooning. Simone is cool too, but she reminded me so much of Janie from Neanderthal Seeks Human (NSH) that I didn’t pay too much attention to her. That being said, my one major problem with this book is Simone’s perspective. It’s funny to read her thoughts (I appreciate that), but she keeps saying she’s so smart, and yet I didn’t find any evidence that she’s any more intelligent than the average person. I mean, even I guessed what was going on at the end at the Kentucky Derby (this is not a spoiler so don’t get your underwear in a bunch), and I don’t think of myself as particularly smart. That’s about all the evidence I’ve got for her intelligence level, so I found her to be a little bombastic. Maybe that is Penny Reid’s intention. I don’t know. But it left me even less interested in Simone, because Janie (the heroine from NSH) is so overwhelmingly, obviously smart.
Characters aren’t the only component of a “good book,” so I’m happy to report that this particular book contains all of the earmarks of a “good book.” The dialogue is snappy, especially between the Winston brothers. The pacing of the novel is smooth—there is never a dull moment. And of course there is a nice escalation in suspense and emotion that comes to a somewhat anti-climatic ending that is fulfilling none-the-less. I was stupidly happy by the end and can’t wait for the next book(s) in the series. The secondary characters fill out this list of good qualities, with cameo appearances of the other Winstons. This book is kind of the Anne of Green Gables of the series, and maybe no one will understands what that means except me, but it’s a good thing.
Is it worth buying? (Kindle $5.99)
If you follow my blog, you know I am a budget reader. I don’t normally purchase books—I borrow them from the library, I get them through Kindle Unlimited, or I wait until they are on sale. But, if you’ve been following this series, buying this book is a must. I put my money where my mouth is and bought it in paperback! So there!
Something else you might enjoy:
If you haven’t already read Penny Reid’s Neanderthal Seeks Human, do so immediately.