Review copy was received from Publicity team. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Prose Before Bros by Cathy Yardley
Series: Green Valley Library #3
Published by Smartypants Romance on November 5, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publicity team
Nothing about being a librarian prepared Thuy Nguyen for such a wide variety of casseroles. Or life in a small town. Or becoming a farmer. But what can she do when her catastrophe-prone best friend begs her for help? After all, Maddy has always been there for Thuy. It’s time to return the favor.
It’s simple really, all she has to do is: learn everything about farming ASAP, save her BBF’s family business from disaster, and avoid being caught staring at Maddy’s biker brother, and his muscles, and his smile, and his soulful, sexy eyes.
Oh yeah, and she should definitely not fall in love with him. Easy, right? . . . Right.
Here we are in the Green Valley library series, another aspect of the Penny Reid universe. This is the Tennessee town where the Winston Brothers grew up and the library is where Bethany Winston worked. I’ve now read the first three books in this series and they all seem to alternate point of view between the male and female main characters by chapter.
Prose Before Bros is the third book. I read some iffy reviews but I really enjoyed this one. I will say it is not realistic and sometimes I have trouble with that. Somehow though, when it is way off reality, I can just say oh it’s fiction and love it anyway. I felt that way here.
Drill (Teddy) is a biker with the Iron Wraiths which is bad news. But he has been there for 16 years, half his life. He’s a not too bad guy who has lived in really bad situations. Now he actually considers changing his life but that is no easy thing. He really has some major problems with the club now with his Dad’s death and his sister back in town.
Thuy is his sister’s best friend; an amazing friend. Maddy and Thuy have known each other 10 years through college and early working life being roommates. Thuy is an awesome librarian. I loved reading about her ideas for the Green Valley library and her work there. It was fun to see Naomi and Sabrina briefly too.
I’m not sure I completely believed their romance but it makes a certain sense. They do have a few things in common, surprisingly. There’s some scary events before the happy ending. I loved the way it worked out though.
“Tell me: what kind of books do the men you sleep with read?”
She blinked. Not what she expected him to say. She felt herself smile, slowly. “It’s not like I have a required reading list,” she said, then paused. “Although now that you mention it, that’s not a bad idea.”
He chuckled. “Probably classics, or ‘literature’, or whatever smart people read,” he said, and there was a note of self-deprecation that somehow broke Thuy’s heart. She quickly shook her head.
“I don’t read a lot of lit fic — nothing too snobby,” she said. “I mean, I don’t just read literature or classics, although I appreciate them. I read lots of genre fiction, too. Romance, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, thrillers. I think it’s important to read outside of your comfort zone: different authors, different experiences. I have comfort reads, too, but I… well, if you hadn’t guessed, I read all the time,” she finally said, as she realized she was rambling.
He was staring at her like she was something brand new, something he’d never experienced before. She felt embarrassed, and quickly finished her drink.
“You know,” he said, his voice tinged with amused surprise, “I don’t think I’m as passionate about anything as you are about books.”
She let out a half-laugh. “They are my favorite thing ever. They gave me a place to go when my life was shitty, and they have continually given me a reason to get out of bed in the morning. I read every single day. They’re my lifeline.”
“Now I envy you,” he said, and she got the feeling he wasn’t just bullshitting her — he sounded like he meant it. “What do you think a guy like me should read?”
She felt warmth, and it had nothing to do with the amaretto she’d consumed. This was the sort of challenge she loved. She scooted a little closer, so they could talk over the music without yelling. “What kind of movies do you like? What kind of stories?”
By the end of their talk, nearly two hours had gone by. She found out he liked adventure stories, and that he liked stories with justice and questionable heroes and things that had puzzles. She could think of several books, across several genres, and started to list them all.
“Whoa, whoa,” he said, holding up a hand. “I’m not going to be able to remember all of them. Which one of those is your favorite?”
She paused, thinking about it. “For a true book junkie,” she said slowly, “that’s like asking ‘which one is your favorite child?’ or ‘what appendage would you like to keep?’”
He laughed, and she smiled back at him.
“But, based on what you’ve told me,” she said, “I’d say The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss.”
“Okay.” He nodded. “I’ll read it.”
She must’ve looked skeptical, because he chuckled.
“I mean it. I’ll give it a try.”
“It’s like seven hundred pages long,” she warned him.
His eyes widened, then he shrugged. “Okay, it may take a little while. But hell, I’m game.”
He was silent for a long moment, staring into her eyes. She squirmed as the heat from his gaze seemed to seep into her very bones.
“Do you really not know?” he asked, so matter-of-factly that she felt like an idiot.
He’s volunteering to read a book for you.
She felt heat suffuse her cheeks. That might be the single sexiest thing a guy had ever offered to do for her.
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