Leigh Kramer's Reviews > The Bromance Book Club

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
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it was amazing

4.5 stars. I first heard about this book on The Wicked Wallflowers Club podcast and was immediately intrigued by the premise: men read romance in order to get their relationships back on track. I’m delighted to say this lived up to the description! It’s a true romcom with plenty of heart.

When second baseman Gavin’s wife kicks him out of the house, he’s miserable but has no idea what to do until a few of his teammates come to the rescue. Their solution: a top secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s most successful men. Gavin has to read a historical romance and follow its guidance if he’s going to have a shot at getting his wife and family back.

I loved the arc of Gavin learning how to be vulnerable and take ownership. Gavin starts out as a lesson in Male Fragility 101. He is such a clueless dudebro and I had very little sympathy for him. But it’s clear he loves Thea and his girls. As he realized just how much he’s screwed up over the years and started to take concrete action, I couldn’t help but root for him to get his act together and be the man Thea needed him to be. Also Gavin stutters and I really appreciated how this was handled.

Thea’s arc is more about discovering herself as a woman again after functioning as a mostly solo parent to their twin girls. I could really sympathize with her for how much she’d endured up until her breaking point. I loved watching them reconnect as Gavin took the initiative to make his wife give him a second chance. There were some very touching scenes along the way but the heart and soul of this book is in its humor.

This book kept making me laugh out loud. It's deliciously meta about romance novels. You have not lived until you’ve read a group of men discussing toxic masculinity as represented in a Pumpkin Spice Latte or how they relate to the duke they’re reading about. We even get to read the historical romance the hero is reading—portions of the novel appear in between chapters. It’s such a neat touch.

I had a hard time putting it down and really liked it. I really appreciated how Thea made a point about the heteronormativity of WAGs and tried to be the change she wanted to see within their group. There were a few minor issues—an over the top grand gesture, cheap jokes about a few of the men in the book club, Evil Woman trope/most of the WAGs are vicious—but overall it was such a fun read.

A total me issue but I have to mention it: some of the depictions of Nashville and its suburbs were off. For instance, the hero talks about hoping people will leave him alone when he’s at restaurants…and that’s really not a thing in Nashville. Celebrities are left alone. That’s why so many famous people have homes in Nashville or thereabout. So long as you avoid touristy spots (tourists probably will approach celebrities), you’ll be able to eat or shop in peace. The setting was done well overall but the stuff that was wrong was just odd to me. But if you’re not familiar with Nashville, then it won’t faze you.

Mack and Liv will be the next pairing in the series. And word on the street Alexis gets her own story too!

CW: separation, potential divorce, toxic family members, speech impediment (stutter)

Disclosure: I received an advanced copy from First To Read in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

June 1, 2019 – Started Reading
June 1, 2019 – Shelved
June 2, 2019 –
page 54
15.34% "“Don’t be ashamed for liking them. The backlash against the PSL is a perfect example of how toxic masculinity permeates even the most mundane things in life. If masses of women like something, our society automatically begins to mock them. Just like romance novels. If women like them, they must be a joke, right?”

This is pitch perfect."
June 2, 2019 –
page 103
29.26% ""Backstory is everything."
"It means that whatever happened to your wife before she net you plays a role in who she is today," Malcolm said. "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""
June 2, 2019 –
page 103
29.26% "I just love how meta this is! It keeps making me laugh out loud too."
June 2, 2019 –
page 138
39.2% "“It’s your subconscious,” Malcolm said. “At some point in this process, every one of us have had to fight a British aristocrat in our brain that identifies things we would otherwise prefer to ignore.”

June 3, 2019 –
page 249
70.74% "Liv’s attitude is so not okay."
June 3, 2019 –
page 261
74.15% "Love the arc of Gavin learning how to be vulnerable and take ownership."
June 3, 2019 –
page 315
89.49% ""He was a different man than he'd been before book club. He recognized his own faults and shortcomings. He was more confident in expressing himself. And, yeah, he was a better lover.
But it still wasn't enough.""
June 3, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Kari | Books For The Living I'M SO HAPPY YOU LOVED IT!! I'm so excited to read it!!!!

Leigh Kramer Kari wrote: "I'M SO HAPPY YOU LOVED IT!! I'm so excited to read it!!!!"

It's really, really good! I'm giving it 4.5 stars—a few minor issues but it worked overall and lived up the premise. You're going to love it!

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