Title: The Bromance Book Club
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Genre(s): Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Barnes and Noble
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The first rule of this book club:
You don’t talk about book club.
Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.
Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.
Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.
Y’all this book is definitely in my top of the year and is my favorite contemporary of the year so far. So many things about this book just clicked for me and I’m still in gush mode having finished it the day before writing this review (a few days ago by the time you read this).
“You guys read romance novels?”
“We call them manuals.”
Gavin – Our protagonist, new to the world of romance novels. Super insecure and self-conscious despite being a major league baseball player. Has a stutter and is adorable.
Thea – Gavin’s wife, the lovely lady he’s trying to win back. She saw her parent’s marriage crumble and doesn’t really believe in love. Thinks Gavin’s stutter is adorable.
Liv – Thea’s sister. Has no use for love, men, or broken promises. Also isn’t too keen on second chances.
“Don’t be ashamed for liking them. The backlash against the PSL is a perfect example of how toxic masculinity permeates even the most mundane things in life. If masses of women like something, our society automatically begins to mock them. Just like romance novels. If women like them, they must be a joke, right?”
This book jumps straight into its premise. Gavin is in a hotel room, drinking away his woes due to his wife throwing him out after he lost his cool when he found out she’d been faking it. Gavin’s friends help him save his relationship by using romance novels as loose manuals for what women want out of relationships. Also, the book boners are a nice perk. Skeptical at first, Gavin uses the book club to try to save his marriage.
Y’all, I was not expecting this book to be as good as it actually was. I thought this might be a cute tub read, something to kill an evening. I wasn’t expecting the utter delight I experienced when reading this one. Several parts made me literally laugh out loud and some parts even had me yell at my book with the other book club members.
I loved that we followed a couple trying to stay together, rather than get together. Having that level of predetermined attraction helped make things that would come off as insta love in other novels feel organic and even cute in this book.
I was put off with how quite some things happened. The time frame of this book wasn’t particularly long and there were some plot details that appeared to go by quite quickly. That being said, it didn’t affect my enjoyment of this book. I found myself rooting for Gavin and Thea and was so invested in the story, I was okay with it flying by.
I did also enjoy how the book club as a whole helped challenge some harmful stereotypes and toxic masculinity. I included the quote above, but there was a great point made about how when women like something, it’s usually worthy of being mocked and is seen as inherently less than. Seeing a group of jocks be the ones to challenge this was pretty great. The group’s reaction to Gavin’s f-ups was also hilarious.
“If a man wants to leave you, wave goodbye and lock the doors. You’ve got better things to do than chase a lost cause.”
This was such a fun, quick read. I was not expecting to love this story as much as I did, but holy hell did I love this story. I was rooting for Gavin and Thea so much and didn’t hate the snippets of the romance book that we got. I also really watching Gavin break down his insecurities and really begin to evaluate what was going wrong in his marriage. Romance fans, you’re in for a treat.