THE BROMANCE BOOK CLUB
Written by Lyssa Kay Adams
Published by Berkley, November 5, 2019
My star rating – 2.5 stars
The first rule of 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. Find it on Goodreads
I initially picked this one up because of the Pop Sugar challenge for 2020. The challenge was to read a book about a book club. I thought that prompt was easy – and I was wrong. There were a ton of books about book clubs but none that interested me. Then this book popped up and it was like there was a glowing halo that screamed “READ ME!” At a time where romance novels have been saving my sanity, this was like a gift from the gods. A book club of super successful men (in every way except for their marriages apparently) all coming together to read romance novels to save their relationship issues. But DAMN, this book was nothing but a let down for me.
The main reason for me reading this book was the fact that you had a group of men reading romance novels to save their marriages. I mean – that sounds incredible! These were no ordinary men either. Multi-millionaires, pro sports athletes, business tycoons…. they were all oozing strength and confidence in their professional lives yet, here they were, failing to keep their relationships alive. I wanted nothing more than to read about a room full of men who were analyzing romance novels and interpreting how to put that into place in their lives. It would have been hilarious…… if that were in the book at all. If you’re going into this book expecting what I did then you’re in for a let down as well. Instead of men reading the book and talking about it, they met once, ate pizza, and shoved the book at our main character and told him to read it. Then, a few days later, they stopped by and asked what he had learned…… snooze.
Not only that but they promised to help him fix his marriage and guide him through the process. They did, but only in the smallest of ways. 90% of the time, our main character would do something and then they would come in and ask him why he did what he did and then helped him fix it after the fact. Double snooze.
And their advice? Don’t even get me started! They basically told him to flirt and woo her. That it would make her feel special, sexy, and wanted. But here’s the thing – he told them flat out that flirting wasn’t him and that his wife actually started dating him BECAUSE he didn’t flirt. So they were essentially asking him to change who he was to win her back. But then she totally fell for it! She even had the cliche “weak in the knees” reaction. And the winking. What the fuck? They told him that women love it (it creeps me out) and she fell for that too. It honestly felt like this book was written by a man!
Her faking the big O was basically the whole reason their relationship died. That’s not a spoiler because it’s revealed very early on. But even that didn’t make any sense. This wasn’t really explained in detail and was left as a suspense and mystery element to the story. All that we know is that she revealed that she had been faking it since their twins were born and he was upset (OBVIOUSLY!). But as we see these two connect and react to each other, she clearly has a sexual attraction to him. One would assume that if she was faking it that she didn’t find him attractive or didn’t really love him. I think that’s a safe assumption. But, the opposite happened. If he kissed her she got all riled up and was raring to go. The simplest of things would stir the attractions for her. So why was she faking it? And why the hell was it left a mystery for the entirety of the book? It led me as the reader to think one way when all of her actions contradicted those assumptions. It was confusing really. Like I said – I know it was there to keep the reader asking questions BUT not everyone likes that. I don’t need a gimmick to keep reading a book…. just saying.
Yeah, so, that’s a lot of negative thoughts. But there were quite a few positives as well. I LOVED the characters. They were very relatable and normal people. I actually related to Thea more than I care to admit. She’s a woman who takes the backseat to her husband with the demanding career. She puts all of her effort into her children and puts all of her own ambitions behind everyone else’s needs. That’s so me. For the longest time after having my kids I was totally lost and couldn’t remember who I was anymore. And that’s exactly what Thea was going through.
And I really enjoyed the writing style (even though I didn’t really like a lot of elements of this book lol) and would consider giving this author another chance. I’ve been told that the series gets better with the next book but I think I’m done with this one. I’m the type of person who reads for enjoyment. I don’t analyze or interpret what I read….. but this book turned me into that type of person. I don’t like being THAT person lol.
Until next time, happy reading!