“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.”
I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this one at first, but it ended up being a really heartwarming and fun read. The premise was something new to me and I enjoyed my time with this book. 3.5 stars!
I was hesitant going into this book, because the story revolves around a couple that is already married, not a couple getting together for the first time (and it’s a sports romance bleh!). I wasn’t sure how I would feel about a book where the couple is trying to fix their relationship, save their marriage, and repair any damage done to their family. At first, I was still pretty wary of it, but as I read on, the characters charmed me and the story evolved into a deeper level of awareness. Despite the somewhat silly premise, this book brings to light some important and very serious topics regarding relationships, marriage, sex, power dynamics, and family. I really liked it for that.
The main characters (who each get their own perspective) are Gavin, the famous baseball player, and Thea, his wife and mother of their twins. The story starts off right away with Gavin losing his mind because Thea has asked for a divorce. It unfolds from there, and bits and pieces are revealed along the way to give backstory and explain how everything came to be.
The silliness comes in the form of Gavin’s teammates who initiate him into their secret book club. A book club where they read romance novels to understand women better and to help their own relationships. The book club parts were a bit corny and cheesy for my taste. Some of the things the guys were saying just seemed so unreal and a bit contrived, too. Nothing too bad that I was put off from the book, just not my favorite part. The book that they make Gavin read, a regency romance, also has whole chapters dedicated to it, where you are essentially reading the book along with Gavin (bookception, if you will). Those parts were fun at first, but then got rather boring for me. I wanted to read about Thea and Gavin then, not Irena a Benedict!
Once the book got rolling and everything was set up, I actually found that I didn’t mind that the characters were already married. I thought I might miss the whole “getting to know one another,” “everything is a first” kind of thing, but it was written in a way that worked. The author made it so that the characters had sort of lost themselves and drifted apart in their relationship, so they were rediscovering things about each other and learning altogether new things, too. They barely dated before getting pregnant and married, and with Gavin traveling so much for his career, there was plenty for them to still learn about each other. It made it fun and new, even while still being familiar and pre-established. I think that their relationship and marriage was depicted in a very real and authentic manner.
Another thing I thought was represented very well was Thea’s trouble having an orgasm. This is a very real problem for many women and so strongly tied to their emotional connection with their partner. I have not read a romance novel before that shows this, especially not one that does it so well. The character’s reactions to this were believable and I applaud the author for writing about this topic. It is so normal and so common; it really should be ok to talk about. Clearly, the author doesn’t shy away from any sort of topic, though, because she did not hold back with the sex scenes!! They were very graphic and very steamy. They were uncomfortable at times and raw, too, which I appreciated. Both characters were given agency and vulnerability here. And they were both pretty dirty (in a good way).
The rest of the characters and the backdrop of the story were good (other than the slight cringe factor of the book club and the pandering, caricaturist way the teammates spoke about women). I loved the setting of Nashville, but I wish we got to see more of the city’s culture. There was only one scene that even mentioned music, bourbon, and cowboy boots. Come on! The baseball life and baseball partner life was interesting. I appreciated the idea that Thea was naive about that world before marrying Gavin, but did it for him. And other people misunderstood her intentions. It was a believable, and juicy, source of drama (screw you, Rachel!). Thea’s family intrigued me, too, with her philandering dad and gold-digger mom. Her sister Liv was fun in a sassy-sidekick kind of way. I also totally called the fact that the next companion novel, Undercover Bromance would be about her and Mack. You can always tell when the author drops little hints about the next couple and his reaction to meeting Liv was just too telling. I also really liked how the daughters were written. They actually seemed like little children! The author definitely knows how to write kids and kid dialogue, which I was very appreciative of. Too many books have these 5-7 year old children talking like ancient gurus.
Writing-wise, this book wasn’t bad. It had some decent writing and some very well-articulated sentiments that are not always realized. Some of the character’s thoughts and revelations were poignant and quite moving. In a simply mechanical sense, this book had a lot of errors. What is it with these new romance books coming out!? SO many spelling errors and wrong words used in here. These authors need to find themselves a new editor stat.
Overall, though, this book was surprising, engaging, touching, and fun. I liked it and I am glad I gave it a chance. I will definitely be continuing on to see how Liv’s story plays out!
Thank you for reading!
Title: The Bromance Book Club
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Genre: Adult | Romance | Fiction | Women’s Fiction | Chick-Lit | Sports Romance: Baseball | Contemporary
Publication Date: November 5th, 2019
Page Count: 352 pages
Buy It: Wordery | Book Depository