Beard Science (Winston Brothers #3) by Penny Reid
Make a deal with the devil and you might get what you want, but will it be what you need?
Jennifer Sylvester wants one thing, and that one thing is NOT to be Tennessee’s reigning Banana Cake Queen. Ever the perpetual good girl and obedient daughter, Jennifer is buckling under the weight of her social media celebrity, her mother’s ambitions, and her father’s puritanical mandates. Jennifer is officially desperate.
And desperate times call for Cletus Winston.
Cletus Winston is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery covered in conundrum sauce, and now he’s in a pickle. Despite being convinced of his own omniscience, extortion by the exalted Banana Cake Queen of Green Valley has taken him completely by surprise. So... what’s a maniacal mastermind to do?
Likely, the last thing you expect.
I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for this. I have a deep and personal obsession with Cletus Winston and I’m not ashamed to admit it. He’s definitely the oddball of the family, which is a bonus in my book and he takes the protection of his siblings very fucking seriously! He’s so damn funny but not in an obvious or even intentional way and he has more dirt on the residents of Green Valley than any one person should. But he doesn’t use his powers for evil…he usually has a good reason for his behind the scenes manipulation. Plus, I just like saying his name…I know it’s weird, but say it with me…Cletus! It’s just fun to say.
Now, how fucking awful must it be to be known as the Banana Cake Queen. I really couldn’t blame Jennifer for doing anything she had to to lose that moniker…and I mean anything…up to and including blackmailing Cletus. But for being a people watcher, she should have known she was way out of her league when she took on Cletus. Seeing her come into her own and finally stand up to her parents was beautifully done and I appreciate that there was a lot of angst and indecision around it. It wasn’t just a switch flipped and she was a new person. That was something she had to work up to.
These two were made for each other. I don’t think anyone else would have understood Cletus and the reasons behind his manipulations like Jennifer could, because she saw what everyone else thought they were hiding. And I don’t think anyone else would have looked past the title to what Jennifer was really like other than Cletus. Everyone else just wanted a piece of the Banana Queen and the notoriety the title brought. Cletus saw her.
There are still a ton of Winston siblings to hear from and I can’t wait.
I am thoroughly enjoying this series.