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Beard With Me by Penny Reid (Book Review)

⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 Stars)

“ If the soul becomes died with the color of its thoughts, then my soul was Scarlet .” ― Penny Reid, Beard with Me

It’s been about three months since I noticed I was back to reading a lot after a reading slump that lasted years. Shortly after that I realized that I could find a lot of book recommendations on Instagram. Then, I decided to create a bookstagram of my own – an outlet to share the books I was reading and discuss them with likeminded people. Minutes after my first post I was baffled. I started receiving so many kind comments, so many accounts welcoming me into the community. And I became addicted. Since then, it feels like years have passed. In these three months, I’ve read around 80 books, shared stories, wrote reviews, fell in love with characters, rooted for some and hated others, and felt like I have lived a thousand lives through the words of others. But none, have engaged me as much as the books from Penny Reid’s universe, or the universe of Green Valley to be more specific since it also includes the awesome books from SmartyPants Romance.

But, even though I’m a huge Smartpants fan, it all started with six very charming bearded men from the Winston Brothers series. In these last three months, I had the honor to read most of the Winston’s books (with the exception of Beau | in my TBR) but even though every single standalone is great, we could see in the background one very curious plot forming. The story of Billy & Scarlet\Claire. And in ‘Beard With Me’ we get the explanation. And let me tell you, it’s a beautiful book. But it hurts, real bad.

Scarlet St. Claire is the daughter of Razor Dennings, a sadist and the president of the local bike gang, The Iron Wraiths. As his nickname suggests, Razor gets a kick out of cutting people. And that includes his daughter. We pick up the story as Scarlet has just managed to leave the biker compound to live on her own, escaping from the close proximity of her father (even though she’s still very much in his control while she lives in Green Valley). However, what she didn’t tell is that she’s actually living in poor conditions, camping in the woods behind the Winston’s house.

Beard with Me is a story about friendship and strength. It is about the ability to dream, to grow, to be better, to be free. However, is also one of heartbreak and fear. When we meet Scarlet and Billy they are far too young to be able to control the world around them, no matter how much they want to change things, no matter how much they try. And in the end, we see malicious people getting the best of both of them. It isn’t fair and it isn’t pretty, but it’s true. And one thing that we can count from both Billy & Scarlet is that despite everything, they will keep their truths, and they will grow and fight to the very end.

We get to see the young Winstons, we get to see Cletus and his plots, and the amazing and compassionate Bethany Winston. My first teary-eyed moment came on chapter four in the heartfelt chat Bethany had with Scarlet about the forest fairy. The pacing never lets you down, and the story is written with so much soul. Yes, this is not an HEA book, but it’s New Adult at its best. It’s the story of a pure first love, so deep and so strong. And although this can be considered Scarlet’s books, Billy with his sense of honor and duty steals the show multiple times and pretty much becomes a fan favorite.

*Spoiler Alert*

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The only thing I didn’t like about Beard With Me was the pregnancy/miscarriage plot. Since we know that older Billy doesn’t have a kid, it was easy to guess where this is going. But I also feel like this is an overused plot device that leads to miscommunication.

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* Spoiler Over*

However, this is a fantastic read that I wholeheartedly recommend.

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