Thursday, December 19, 2019


Title: The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1)
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Publisher: Headline Eternal
Pages: 352
My GoodReads Rating:

I don’t generally read romantic fiction, but, at one level, I liked this book because it broke out of the confines of the genre to make men see things from the perspective of women. To help men understand how women want to be treated and what they want out of a relationship.

Thea and Liv come from a dysfunctional family. Dad is a serial cheater, soon to be married for the fourth time. Mom is a narcissist who stopped caring for her daughters when her marriage broke up.

Thea and Gavin Scott, a professional baseball player, get married within a few months of knowing each other after an unplanned pregnancy. The birth of twin girls later, the marriage becomes stale and Gavin spends too much time on the circuit and drifts away from his wife.

On the night of a big grand slam win, Gavin comes to know that Thea has been faking an orgasm all through their marriage. Angry, he moves out, and Thea seeks a divorce. A drunk Gavin confides in his mates, all alpha males, and they offer to help him win his girl back with the help of a romance novel, Courting the Countess, and their generous advice, all part of the Book Club they run, dishing out relationship advice based on romantic fiction.

Will the efforts pay off? Will Gavin win Thea back or is it the end of the road for them?

The two stories play out parallelly with Gavin learning from the earl from the book, Courting the Countess. I liked the way the author made real life imitate the book.

The book draws parallels between life and fiction. We are all the sum total of our experiences at any given time, and our reactions to things are shaped by them. Just like in romance novels. Whatever a character went through before the start of the book will eventually determine how they react to things that happen in the book.

It also talks about the concept of toxic masculinity where women and their habits and attributes are mocked. It also touched upon the relationship between parents and children, between couples in a marriage and how marriage demands work.

I loved the chemistry between Gavin and Brader Mack more than that between Gavin and Thea, or even that between Thea and Liv. And that’s saying a lot, considering that Gavin and Thea do have a lot of chemistry together, and Thea and Liv are so supportive that it is stifling; Liv behaves like a petulant teenager in her interactions with Gavin. My vote goes to the chemistry between the men. This was bromance all the way.

Also, Mack made for a far more interesting character than all the other characters combined.

The efforts of the club members are amusing. The sort of thing that girlfriends do for one another. In fact, Thea’s back story made better sense the way the club members explained it than when Thea lived it.

Now for all the things I didn’t like:

For all the aura surrounding Gran Gran in Thea’s mind, the woman’s quotes are rather banal and insipid. Unfortunately, the woman is prolific; her quotes are peppered throughout the book. The only one of her quotes that made sense was A lonely marriage is the worst kind of lonely there is.

I didn’t like Thea. Her back story, her struggles as an individual, her woes in the marriage, none of it appeared convincing to me. Gavin was extremely one-dimensional. Between his jock masculinity and the sex he was supposedly good at, there wasn’t much to him.

Towards the end of the book, Thea finds Gavin’s stock of romance books, lent to him by his friends, and reads from the one that has directed his course, namely, Courting the Countess, or at least that’s what we’ve been led to believe. Only now the name of the book has changed to The Annoyed Countess.

There is altogether too much sex in the book and far too little communication. Thea and Gavin spend far too much time being horny. The merest suggestion of sex, along with actual gestures of love and thoughtfulness would have been better.

The club of men learning about women from romantic fiction was the only sweet thing about this book. The two stars are for them, and for the sweet cover.

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