The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams – A Review

The Bromance Book Club Lyssa Kay Adams

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
Romance | Contemporary
Published by Berkley
Released November 5th, 2019
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars

“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.

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Lyssa Kay Adams

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.

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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.


Have you read The Bromance Book Club? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!




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Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters – A Review

Would Like to Meet Rachel Winters

Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters
Romance | Contemporary
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Released December 3rd, 2019
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion.

The biggest surprise of 2019 for me has been my sudden love of contemporary romance novels. It was never something that I was interested in before, but, starting with Christina Lauren’s The Unhoneymooners and K.A. Tucker’s The Simple Wild, it’s a genre that I’m really starting to appreciate.

Would Like to Meet is the debut novel of Gonnancz editor Rachel Winters. That’s actually something I was surprised to learn because I never would have guessed that this was a debut novel. It’s incredibly polished, the flow of the story is perfect, the characters are fully fleshed out, and it reads like a novel from a seasoned author.

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Rachel Winters

The novel is about Evie Summers, an assistant at a film agency. In order to help an arrogant screenwriter meet his deadlines for a rom-com that he’s signed on to write, Evie tries to prove to him that meet-cutes can happen in real life. Evie agrees to send him updates of her attempts at romance in exchange for him finishing his script on time.

Evie takes advice from years of romantic comedy films and tries out all the classic meet-cutes on strangers – often with humiliating and hilarious results. It’s all here – accidentally spilling a drink on someone, a road trip, leaving numbers in books, and so much more.

While all of this is going on, Evie also befriends a father and daughter duo, Ben and Anette, who are often witnesses to her attempts.

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There was so much to enjoy about this book. Evie was delightful, and while many of her decisions were definitely not choices that I would have made, it was fun to watch her handle some truly ridiculous situations. Anette, Ben’s daughter, may have been my favorite character. She’s spunky and full of life, and her personality breathed a lot of life into the story.

One minor character in the novel that I wish we’d gotten so much more of was Evie’s roommate Jane, whose sexual exploits and dating life warrants it’s own book. There’s one point in the novel where Jane and her partner take an eggplant and spiralizer into the bedroom, and I must know why.

There’s no way that I can talk about the story’s characters and not mention Ezra, the arrogant, annoying screenwriter. I was anti-Ezra from the very beginning, as he is the worst kind of a self-absorbed asshole. This early note I made in the book shows just how much I hated him:

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I’ve found that a lot of romcoms are highly unbelievable and cheesy, but this novel wasn’t. While not many people would willingly try out meet-cutes from movies, Rachel Winters did a great job of making the story and characters relatable. Yes, there were plenty of cliches and the outcome wasn’t exactly a surprise, but the book was done very well. I will most certainly be reading any other books that Rachel Winters writes.

Would Like to Meet came out earlier this month, and if you want to finish 2019 off with an adorably sweet meet-cute romance, this book is for you!


Have you ever had a meet-cute? If so, tell me about it in the comments!




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Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – A Review

Illuminae Kaufman Kristoff

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Science Fiction | Mixed Media | Young Adult
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released October 20th, 2015
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars

For most of my twenties, science fiction was my favorite genre. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that it made up roughly 80% of everything I read. A few years ago, however, my tastes shifted and I transitioned to reading more fantasy, literary fiction, and historical fiction and put science fiction on the back burner. I just haven’t been feeling it as much.

Then I read Illuminae, and it reawakened my love of science fiction.

The Illuminae Files is a young adult science fiction trilogy told in mixed media format. This means that rather than traditional chapters, the story is told through maps, emails, interviews, military documents, etc. It’s been a really long time since I’ve read a mixed media book, and it was a lot of fun to read through this novel.

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Amie Kaufman

Illuminae takes place in the year 2575 as Ezra and Kady’s planet is invaded by a greedy corporation. They escape but are being pursued by the corporation’s warships. Things are so much worse than that, however, as a deadly plague breaks out on one of the three starships that escaped, and the artificial intelligence on the lead ship, named AIDAN, isn’t working quite right. Making things even worse is that the leaders/government officials on the main ship are not telling everyone the truth about what’s going on.

Kady is a fantastic and snarky character who uses her crazy-good hacking skills to discover what secrets are being held back from the community. Ezra, Kady’s kind-of ex-boyfriend, is on a different ship than she is, and they try to grow their relationship while Kady uses him to try to save everyone.

This book flows so easily that I managed to finish all 602 pages in a single day. There’s so much wonderful suspense and conflict to keep you hooked through every single page of it. True, there are plenty of science fiction tropes here, but they’re written in such a way that it doesn’t feel like it’s been done a thousand times before.

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Jay Kristoff

All of the characters are wonderful, including the side characters. The settings are fascinating and I loved that this was set so far into the future that the writers had the artistic liberties to be incredibly creative with the technology used in the story.

I’m eagerly looking forward to reading the next books in this series. I’ve also heard from many people that the audiobooks are incredible and done with a full cast, so I might give those a chance.

If you want a fun-to-read, exciting science fiction series to get hooked on, Illuminae should be on your reading list.


Have you read The Illuminae Files? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!




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