Dr. Strange Beard (Winston Brothers #5) by Penny Reid

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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 . . .

Pet’s $0.02

Roscoe should have everything to put him right on top of my Winston brother rating system. He’s hot, he’s sweet, he can flirt like a champ, and he’s a veterinarian. He should be a shoe-in?

He had it all, and yet, he never made it to the Winston brother top spot. Really, he’s at least three or four down the list. His memory quirk is cool as hell, in theory, but I can see how it would be fucking awful in reality. Still, it wasn’t enough to bring him to life. I loved that he was so devoted to Simone. I loved that he realized how his memory influenced the way he interacted with people, including his family. But, I never felt a strong emotional connection to him. It’s almost like the way he separated himself from people emotionally, worked against the reader as well.

Simone was a hard woman to like. I hated the way she reacted to Roscoe’s declarations in their teens. She came across as very emotionally cold. I can accept that maybe she just didn’t recognize her feelings, but she came from a very loving home, with close siblings and parents, so it just didn’t seem to fit. Even the racial issues that surrounded the story, in the end really didn’t add much. At least, not what I thought they would.

With Roscoe’s ability to recall everything that he experiences, and with Simone having what I would think would be incredibly damaging motives for reconnecting with Roscoe, I’m not sure how he’d ever get past it. I hate to say it, but this felt more like a bridge to get us to Billy, which isn’t a bad thing, but I feel like Roscoe got cheated.

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