“There’s no force on Earth as strong as a woman who is good and fed up.”
This is more like a 3.5 or 3.75, I think. I definitely thought this was going to be a 4 star read up until about the last 75 pages, which was disappointing. It started out a lot better than how it wrapped up in the end, but it was still very enjoyable and engaging. I am not sure if I like this one or the author’s first novel, The Bromance Book Club, better. I would have said this one right away, when I was still only about 200 pages in, but the ending evened it out for me. I guess I would still choose this one, because the parts that I did really like were very good.
Difficult one to rate here!
In the first book of this this series, we follow Thea and Gavin, a married couple going through some serious issues. We follow Gavin as he tries to fix his marriage and win back his wife. I was hesitant to pick that one up, because I don’t generally love a story about a pre-established couple, but it actually really surprised me and I ended up liking it a lot.
This book follows Thea’s sister Liv and one of the men from the Bromance Book Club, the notorious lady’s man, Mack. I felt right away that this premise would be more my speed, because it is clear that Liv and Mack are at odds with each other. You could smell the enemies-to-lovers trope a mile away! Which I love, so I was all in. I was a little thrown when I learned that this wasn’t just going to be a romance, though, but also tackle the delicate topic of sexual harassment in the workplace. I wasn’t sure how that would be handled or how it would coincide with a lighthearted love story in the same 300ish page novel.
It turned out that…I was kind of right. I think the author tried to do too much with this plot and ended up short-shafting both story lines. The romance got overshadowed in the end by the sexual assault and the sexual assault story was kind of glossed over in some areas to make some room for the romance. It was unfortunate, because I was really loving the first three quarters of this book. I liked Liv and Mack as characters and I liked their reasons for being closed off and hiding things about themselves. I loved their banter and their sexual tension. Some lines/scenes were so realistic and funny. A lot was working for me in the first part of the book!
However, near the end, everything because very rushed and kind of sloppy. Where there was a good slow burn with the romance in the first part, the second part kind of skipped over some necessary conflict, tension, conversations, and satisfying resolutions. Instead there was unnecessary conflict and overblown issues that kept the characters apart. The reveal about Mack’s name and his father was very anticlimactic. I did not think that was a big deal. Same with Liv. I didn’t see how what she said her father did would her behavior to such an extreme degree like we were told it did. I deifnitely felt like the sexual assault/Royce plot became the focus in the second half of the book and the romance, connection, union we were promised kind of fizzled out. Confessions of love and understanding were very all-over-the-place and did not really sit well with me (Really, the grand gesture here is to just bump into each other on the road while running to oust a predator?? And then not even have a conversation about their fight or their feelings??). It began to feel out of character for them and was not very satisfying at the end. I also just plain got bored with the crime aspect of the book and didn’t really care near the end, because it was not developed super well.
Mack and Liz were both a little frustrating at times. She was hypocritical and judgmental and made a huge deal out of something quite minor (and frankly none of her business, because he didn’t have to talk about that until he was ready anyway). Mack definitely acted a little too “alpha” sometimes, despite being the founder of the book club and I would have found some of his behavior a little too pushy, forward, and “nice guy.”
It might seem like I didn’t like this lol, but I promise I did! The first half of the book was SO good. It had way more potential than it ended up tapping into, which sucks, but I still really loved the beginning and middle of this. I loved Mack and Liv’s dynamic at first. I liked her attitude and how the roles were essentially reversed in terms of emotional awareness and availability. I liked how fragile she really was and how she handled her fear. I loved her unconventional life and her living situation (Rosie and Hop were highlights here!). I loved how Thea and Gavin and their daughters played a role in this book again. I loved Mack’s protection of his mother and his desire to have a family, his want to babysit and be a good uncle. It was very cute. There was so much I did love about this book, I was just disappointed in the ending, sadly.
Also, it felt like the Bromance Book Club members were a little less present in this one. They were around, but they weren’t as entertaining and heartwarming as before. It felt a little forced at times. I am interested to read the next book about Mack’s friend Noah and Liv’s friend Alexis, though. I want to know what happens with them!
I actually enjoyed the fact that this book featured only one passage from the bookclub book that the men were reading. I was bored by those parts in the first book and only cared about the actual protagonists. So I liked that better this go round.
Just to note, I found SO MANY mistakes here again. Hey romance authors, GET BETTER EDITORS!!!
What did you guys think?
Thanks for the read!
Title: Undercover Bromance
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Genre: Adult | Romance | Fiction | Women’s Fiction | Chick-Lit | Romantic Suspense | Contemporary
Publication Date: March 10th, 2020
Page Count: 320 pages
Buy It: Wordery | Book Depository