Dr Strange Beard by Penny Reid, the fifth book in the Winston Brothers series, is a childhood friends-turned-lovers small-town romance about Roscoe and Simone

Dr Strange Beard

Review of Dr Strange Beard

After finishing Shelly and Beau’s amazing book, Beard in Mind, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next installment of the Winston Brothers—which just so happens to be my favorite series by Penny Reid. 

Color me surprised when I realized that there was a relatively significant jump forward in the series timeline (Penny probably explained this to everyone beforehand and I just missed it or forgot). 

It took a little bit of time for me to get up to speed, but nothing I couldn’t handle to get into the Roscoe-related goodness. And what goodness it is! 

Dr. Strange Beard Summary

Roscoe is the baby of the family and one my anticipated stories. His somewhat unconventional upbringing and being raised mostly by his older siblings made me want to get inside his head and find out what he really thought about all of them. 

I was thoroughly amazed by what we learn and how truly gifted he is in the mental ability department. 

Simone is Roscoe’s one and only love, dating back to when they were teens in high school. A drunken misunderstanding keeps them apart until Simone leaves town, only to return to Green Valley rarely. 

However, Simone’s ulterior motives for staying away and eventually coming back to town become apparent quite quickly. This leads us into the secondary storyline and the true excitement of the story.

Previously, Roscoe was the wildcard who seemed so insightful and sensitive, yet was never really in the foreground of the story. In Dr. Strange Beard, he’s front and center as a grown-up, out of school, practicing veterinarian. 

His mannerisms and charm are still the same, but we get to know how his brain works and why he likes to be the more taciturn sibling of the bunch.

Smart Small-Town Slow Burn Romance

Now, if you’ve read my blog or reviews for any length of time, you know that I love me some slow-burning lovin’. However, it took me quite a while to get warmed up to both this story and to Simone as a heroine. 

The last 25% of the story was absolutely amazing and I wish the rest of the book moved at the same pace. 

While I enjoyed all of the backstory of Roscoe and Simone (very detailed, thanks to Roscoe’s super-memory), I would have loved for more of the major revelations to have been scattered around a bit.

As always, the writing in and of itself is fantastic, as one would expect from a Penny Reid story. This may be one of those cases where maybe I’m being too nit-picky, but my minor quibbles will not stop me from highly anticipating the next book in the series. 

I can’t wait to get my hands on Billy… errr, Billy’s story. Yeah, that’s what I meant.


Thank you for the advanced copy of DR. STRANGE BEARD by Penny Reid.  All opinions are my own.

Want more? Check out these posts!

About Penny Reid

Penny Reid is the New York Times, 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 writes kissing books. Penny is an obsessive knitter and manages the #OwnVoices-focused mentorship incubator/publishing imprint, Smartypants Romance. She lives in Seattle Washington with her husband, three kids, and a dog named Hazel.

About the Book


date published : July 30, 2018

publisher : Cipher-Naught

pages : 396

audiobook narrators: Chris Brinkley, January LaVoy

audiobook length: 12 hrs, 11 min

Dr Strange Beard by Penny Reid | contemporary romance

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 . . .

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