5 of 5 spectacular stars
If you’ve been around the blog at all, you may know that I don’t like spoilers, so I don’t read blurbs. If there is an author that I love and trust (Lucy Score, Kristan Higgins, Sarina Bowen, Christina Lauren, Mae Wood, Daisy Prescott and Serena Bell, to name a few), I don’t need to know what a book is about before I start reading it. In fact, the less I know, the better. I’m the same way with movies. The only reason I can think of for this to be the case is that if I know that something is going to happen, I wait in expectation for that thing to happen and am not fully present in the telling of the tale. (For example, the first time I saw Endgame in the theater, I’d mistakenly thought that there would be an intermission, and spent the whole movie wondering when it would occur.)
When I found out about a collaborative writing universe, called Smartypants Romance, which would create a series of books that took place in the worlds created by the very talented Penny Reid, I was all in. I wanted to read every single book, and I didn’t care what they were about. I didn’t care who wrote them, or in which part of the “Pennyverse” they would take place, or who the main characters were. I. Was. In.
I’ve read three of these delightful books so far: “Baking Me Crazy” by Karla Sorensen, “Stud Muffin” by Jiffy Kate, and now “Prose Before Bros” by Cathy Yardley. The first two were very good 4-star reads, but my favorite so far is the third one, and I’ll tell you why.
All three of these books take place in the fictional town of Green Valley, Tennessee, (home of the Winston Brothers series) and the first two stories revolve around the Donner Bakery, known for Jennifer Winston and her famous banana cakes. Meanwhile, Thuy Nguyen, the main character of this third title, works at the Green Valley Public Library. Now, I enjoy baked goods, but there is very little that I love more than books. (I write a book blog, so you probably knew that coming in!)
Thuy and I have a very similar outlook on bookstores and libraries: “There was a smell to libraries and bookstores that Thuy always found comforting. She took a deep breath, soaking in the ambience. Cliche as it probably was, it felt like coming home.” I’ve lived a lot of places, as my dad was in the Army (Happy Veterans Day to all who served, by the way!) and I would always seek out the local public library and I can still remember so many of them. They felt like home to me, too.
I loved Thuy (and I’m really glad the author told us how to pronounce her name – Twee – because if she hadn’t, it would have been like Hermione all over again!) Thuy is loyal, and smart, and strong, and determined, and not afraid to try new things. She goes across the country because her best friend Maddy needs her. As it turns out, Maddy’s brother should be familiar to anyone who read the Winston Brothers series. As I started reading Chapter 2 of “Prose,” and I realized who Thuy’s love interest was going to be, I got so excited that we were going to find out more about him, because I love a good backstory!
I don’t seek out a lot of MCC books, but the Wraiths, the motorcycle club in Green Valley, plays a big part in the Winston Brothers series. Maddy’s brother Drill, or Teddy, as she knew him growing up, is high up in the Wraiths, but the club has gone through a lot of changes of late, and he’s not sure he likes the new direction it is taking. When his father dies, and the sister he hasn’t seen in over a decade comes back to town to take care of the arrangements as well the family farm, he starts to see that there’s more to life than the Wraiths, and maybe they aren’t the family he thought they were, or the family he needs.
There are twists and turns in this story, and danger, and surprises. It kept me riveted, so much so that I rearranged my work schedule so I could finish it! This is my first book from Cathy Yardley, and peeking at the list of her other books, I found one that references The Doctor, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be checking those out, as well. I’m also very excited to read the other three books in the Smartypants Romance series that revolve around the Green Valley library (find them here!)
This book is exactly what I wanted from Smartypants Romance. I did enjoy the books about brand new characters, but I have a feeling that the ones about established Green Valley folk will be the ones I love the most.
Thanks to the author and Smartypants Romance for the chance to read and review this wonderful story!
Read Prose Before Bros on Kindle Unlimited