Synopsis from Goodreads
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 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.
One of the things I constantly reinforce when promoting reading for pleasure is how reading creates empathy and understanding especially with regard to the situations we ourselves may not encounter but others have to face on a daily basis. Penny Reid should be commended for her portrayal of how people are treated based on the colour of their skin. I had never realised the extent of the divide until Penny’s depiction and characterisation enabled me to put myself in that position. Can you imagine having to talk to your children about remaining calm and respectful in the face of prejudice, even when being deliberately provoked – seriously mind-blowing that the extent of racism still exists in what is supposed to be the age of diversity and acceptance.
Dr Strange Beard is set a few years after Beard in Mind, which was a little disorientating to begin as a lot of changes had occurred within that time frame for all of the Winstons. I loved being able to catch up on all of their lives and the progression and additions to their relationships.
Roscoe and Simone were best friends throughout school until Roscoe wanted more. Following an emotional but ill-timed declaration and subsequent miscommunication, Roscoe ghosted Simone breaking both of their hearts in the process. Skip ahead 10 years and they find themselves pushed together due to events larger than their relationship.
I completely adored Roscoe and his uniqueness, he is right up there with Cletus in my affections (but don’t tell Cletus I wouldn’t want him to be upset). I cannot imagine what it would be like to be in Roscoe’s position and admired the way in which he dealt with his baggage. As you can probably tell he is very self-aware and endearingly oblivious to his own appeal 💝
On the other hand, Simone prides herself on how well she thinks she knows herself. Something she has to address throughout the narrative, to say she learns a lot about herself would be an understatement 😍
There is a LOT going on within the plot, threads from the series continue and are added to in unexpected ways creating a manic desperation to know the outcome (BILLY!!!!!!) along with plot twists so unexpected they will leave you reeling. Seriously, with each Penny Reid book I read my admiration for her talent grows.
Dr Strange Beard is a must read for all Winston Brothers fans, for those new to the series – I know it can be read as a standalone but do yourself a favour and read them in order – you won’t regret it 💝💞😍