The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
Romance | Contemporary
Published by Berkley
Released November 5th, 2019
Goodreads | Amazon
“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.”
I have a feeling that many of you have read, heard of, or have seen this book already. It’s been all over the book community since it’s release at the end of 2019, and it was definitely one of the most hyped romance books of last year.
After hearing a few of my favorite reviewers talk about how much they loved this book, I decided to put it on hold at my library. There was a very long wait, but it was absolutely worth it.
The novel focuses on a single couple: famous baseball player Gavin and his wife Thea. Gavin discovers that his wife has been faking it in bed, which leads to his moving out and her seeking a divorce. Gavin wants to smooth things out, but Thea is determined that their relationship is over.
Gavin’s friends, mainly other players from his team, help him out by inviting him to a secret book club where they read romance novels in order to improve their relationships. Skeptical at first, Gavin is hesitant to read Courting the Countess, but then he discovers that there might be some good advice in the book after all. Gavin convinces Thea to let him move in and attempt to woo her back within a single month, or the divorce will become final.
The book had all of the elements that I expected it to. Plenty of hilarious scenes, sexy and strong men, sweet moments, steamy moments, and a solid story. I wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I did, but it deserves the five stars that I’m giving it!
Let’s talk about the characters first. Gavin was definitely my favorite character, and the one I sympathized with the most. He’s loyal to his family and wants to fix things, and eventually manages to admit his own mistakes in the marital problems that he and Thea are having. I definitely had a massive book crush on him throughout the book, and I’d be surprised if many readers didn’t feel the same way. Plus, I love the insults that Gavin picks up while reading Courting the Countess: “Qualling shard-bone canker blossom” is definitely the best insult that I’ve ever heard!
Thea, on the other hand, I had a harder time with. Her character was well-written and I understood her motivations, but at the same time, she seemed to get mad at Gavin for doing things she asked, such as moving out. She also lied to him for their whole relationship and then felt like the victim when he got mad. Again, I get where she is coming from for a lot of the book, but that doesn’t mean I agree with her actions.
The side characters also had big personalities, and I enjoyed the banter between Gavin and his friends. Such as this quote from his friend Mack that I loved:
“Don’t be ashamed for liking [pumpkin spice lattes]. 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?”
When I went into this novel, I was worried that the sports aspect of it would turn me off. I hate sports, especially baseball. Fortunately, however, the baseball aspect of this story is all in the background. If you’re like me and tend to avoid sports-heavy novels, you’ll be safe with this one.
One of the things I really enjoyed about Lyssa Kay Adams’ storytelling is her ability to write in two very distinct voices for her characters. The novel is told in alternating perspectives, from both Thea and Gavin, and it was refreshing to read the man’s perspective in a romance novel. Also, there are excerpts of Courting the Countess woven throughout the book, which by itself is an intriguing story.
Finally, I want to talk about my absolute favorite aspect of this novel. Gavin has a stutter. I’ve mentioned plenty of times on this blog that I have a speech impediment, and although it’s of a different type than Gavin’s, I was so excited to see that kind of representation. It was so well done, and his having a stutter was not treated as a huge deal, it was just part of who he was while not defining him.
There was so much that I loved about this novel, and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, Undercover Bromance, which was released on March 10th. If you’ve been searching for a sweet love story that focuses on mending a relationship rather than starting one, I’d 100% recommend The Bromance Book Club.