The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams is undeniably witty, disarmingly humorous, and strangely relatable. Not only does it excel in providing the best elements of contemporary romantic comedy novels, but it’s successfully fused with historical romance–two contrasting genres I am delighted to see in one book. I couldn’t stop myself from laughing every time the male lead–Gavin Scott–attempts to apply himself and whatever it is he has learned from Courting the Countess. From the outset it’s a disaster waiting to happen, but one he is willing to take for him to get back his wife’s (Thea) affections.
Before I go over the parts of this read I enjoyed, to give context, Gavin and Thea are having serious marital problems. As a professional athlete, Gavin is mostly consumed by his career–unable to provide his wife the time and attention she deserves. They met when they were both still young, got pregnant with twins almost immediately, and married because they’re in love. However, it has come to light that in their three years as husband and wife, Thea had been faking her orgasms–information that Gavin has not reacted kindly to. He refused to communicate with his wife, giving her the silent treatment, slept in the guest room for weeks, and eventually moved out of the house–well, Thea could not take it any longer, suggested they get a divorce, and asked him to leave.
Gavin felt devastated, defeated, and lost. He clearly loves his wife and wants to take her back, but is clueless as to where he should start. He knew he reacted badly to his wife’s deception and was unable to communicate with her how this development in their relationship evoked some of his old demons, putting further strain on their marriage. You see, Gavin stutters in his speech and because of it has suffered from terrible bullying when he was young. Despite his status as an athlete and a jock, several women in his past found his stutter worthy of ridicule. He was never confident when it comes to sex, hence his dejected behavior.
Now this is the fun part. Seeing his miserable state, Gavin’s friends set out to helping him win Thea back. How, you ask? Well, welcome to book club! That’s right, the bromance book club, where the first rule is: You don’t talk about the book club. Romance novels are written by women for women, and these are the manuals that would get Gavin his love back.
Exclusive for men who have had relationship troubles (but never cheating–nope, that automatically discounts you from this strict and tight-knit community), the book club composes of men of different backgrounds and occupations. Like any other book club, they have assigned readings–romance novels by which they dissect the female mind and translate the words into doable actions. Not that they imitate the scenes in the books word per word (that’s the second rule, don’t do that), nope. They take inspiration and find meaningful connections from these stories and apply it to their real-life problems. I know, the whole idea’s crazy, right? But to be honest, some of it makes sense. Romance is a flourishing genre of its own, partly because a great number of people like reading about love, and passion, and connection. I’m not sure about the statistics in gender consumption, but what I am positive of is no woman is averse to such a display of emotion. And if these men can gain better (or even just a little) understanding of a woman’s complexities by reading, then I say it might just be the perfect setup.
Okay, I’ve already divulged a lot about the plot, but there are still many twists and turns in this read I’m letting you discover on your own–especially the process of Gavin reading his first book club novel–Courting the Countess–and how he follows through with his mission to get back together with Thea.
I give this book a solid 4 stars. If you are a fan of historical romance novels set in the Regency period, the likes of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton–with the dukes and the lords and the earls–this book has that, plus!!–the modern, swoony characters. The transition is actually jarring in the beginning because you become used to the voice of the narrator (in this case, it switches between Gavin and Thea). But after a few pages, everything goes Inception–you enter the book world, employing a different personality, a new tone of voice, an old-period perspective. That’s the best way I can describe it: You’ve gone Inception–you are in a world within a world within a world–reading the book (The Bromance Book Club) and the characters in the book are reading another book (Courting the Countess). Insane, and utterly interesting.
One small thing though. I wish the author would specify between the switching narration. I mean, it’s only between Gavin and Thea, there’s not a lot of options. But the narrator sometimes switches suddenly between scenes, it kinda slowed me down. I found myself asking: “who’s the speaker now?” Would have been nice to have that clearly labelled or sorted. 🙂
Well, I hope you enjoy this read! This is just the first book in the Bromance Book Club series. I’ll definitely write a review should I finish the others. One down, three more to go.
And last but not the least, to my love (there’s a high chance you’ll be reading this, I know you), this read featured one thing I would thoroughly enjoy–that is, read to me? Haha
- Title: The Bromance Book Club
- Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
- Year published: 2019
- Publisher: Berkley
- Total number of pages: 339
- ISBN-13: 978-1-984-80609-3