Bromance Book Club Series by Lyssa Kay Adams

Title: The Bromance Book Club

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Trigger Warnings: graphic sex, abusive/negligent parents, separated parents/marriage, alcohol use, physical violence

Genre: Romance, Adult

Publication date: 5th November, 2019

Publisher: Berkley

Synopsis (taken from Goodreads)

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

Title: Undercover Bromance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Trigger Warnings: sexual harassment and assault, verbal assault and abuse, domestic abuse mention, sex, alcohol use, negligent parents, home break in, sexism

Genre: Romance, Adult

Publication date:  10th March, 2020

Publisher: Berkley

Synopsis (taken from Goodreads)

Liv Papandreas has a dream job as a sous chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant. Too bad the celebrity chef owner is less than charming behind kitchen doors. After she catches him harassing a young hostess, she confronts him and gets fired. Liv vows revenge, but she’ll need assistance to take on the powerful chef.

Unfortunately, that means turning to Braden Mack. When Liv’s blackballed from the restaurant scene, the charismatic nightclub entrepreneur offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. He’ll need to call in reinforcements: the Bromance Book Club.

Inspired by the romantic suspense novel they’re reading, the book club assists Liv in setting up a sting operation to take down the chef. But they’re just as eager to help Mack figure out the way to Liv’s heart… even though she’s determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned.

Title: Crazy Stupid Bromance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Trigger Warnings: sexual assault mention, organ donation and transplant, absentee parent, dead parents, deployment and mention of loss during war, verbal abuse, physical violence, sex, alcohol, sexism

Genre: Adult, Romance

Publication date:  27th October, 2020

Publisher: Berkley

Synopsis (taken from Goodreads)

“Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem eum fugiat quo voluptas nulla pariatur?”

Author Bio: Lyssa Kay Adams read her first romance novel in eighth grade after swiping one from her grandmother’s book shelf and was hooked forever. After a nearly 20-year career as a journalist, her dreams of writing and publishing her own HEAs came true in 2015 with the release of her first novel, Seventh Inning Heat, followed by the RITA-nominated novella, Wild in Rio. Today, she writes full-time from her home in Michigan with a pesky, fluffy K9 assistant named Domino who spends most of his day snoring on her desk (that is, when he’s not burying things around the house).

Review:

LISSEN. LISSEN. Has a book series ever sent you deep down a music genre rabbit hole??? Up until a week ago only The Mortal Instruments achieved this feat (started with Set Fire to the Rain but we’ll get into that in another post). Bromance Book Club has me DEEP in a country music hole. It’s a weird metric to judge how good a book is but if it’s occupying space in my brain to the point of affecting other aspects of my life then BITCH. You got a banger of a book.

I started reading Bromance Book Club thanks to Emily and I was so hooked I read them while working, phone propped up on my laptop furiously scrolling pages when the call was silent. And each book took me less than a day and I didn’t even realise I was ZOOMING until I was on the grand gesture scene and was like “wait waitWHAT how am i DONEEE!!”

Needless to say, all three are 5 star books and the series over all is 5 stars too (if that’s a thing..idk). There’s one more to go and BOI AM I PUMPED.

Each book follows a Nashville-based rich, white boi who is just Sad and Simping over a woman who is Way Too Good For Them. I don’t know why that’s the most incredible combination of wholesome but it is. They’ve got the funds to pamper their love interests and are willing to learn and grow. Babies 🥺🥺

The series starts off with Gavin, a baseball player, who got real mad at his wife, Thea, when he realised she was faking orgasms for their entire relationship. He realised this when she had her first orgasm by him and he was like WHAT WAS THAT. Sis really stuck it out eihfekrjhgejkhrgkej lmaoooo. Anyways, he gets mad, rage stomps out, realises he fucked up, and asks his buddies for help. In swoop a band of merry romance reading lads (yet to be named the Bromance Book Club) to teach Gavin how to un fuck up his relationship by reading and dissecting the tropes and emotional development in a romance book and applying those same principles to his relationship with his wife.

Gavin is what I would term the pre himbo. He’s drinking all the love my wife juice you can find in your local HEB but doesn’t know how to talk about his feelings without being angry all the time. Clearly playing baseball is part of his anger expulsion tools but OOF. He’s every bad male lead getting an ass whooping that they DESERVE. But he truly comes around. All his minor mistakes can be attributed to himbo in training. When you spot him in the following books he’s Peak Himbo. Really a gem of a man to start off this series.

My dearest Thea!!! Gavin’s wife is an angel. She really put up with multiple years of his bullshit homegirl deserves the world for that level of patience. Her character development comes in the form of actually allowing her husband into her life to build emotional intimacy. Trauma thanks to her shithead of a dad made her cagey but she learns to let love in. Babyyyyyy.

Book two covers Mack, Gavin’s nemesis turned grudging buddy, who founded this immaculate club but can’t seem to settle down with a long term relationship. He’s a softie romantic at heart and just Wants To Be Loved. Mack runs into Liv (Thea’s sister) while she’s at her job and gets her fired. To rectify this massive fuck up he decides to help her bring down her skeevy boss for assaulting multiple of his employees. The secondary characters in this book are also superb. The plot that focuses on exposing a high profile harasser really touches on the topic of harassment and related traumas in a really understanding way. Liv’s a bit of a shit but she’s never shown to be in the right. It’s tough to read at times because of how traumatic this topic is but it’s done really well.

ALSOOOOO enemies to lovers is like THE BEST??? Especially with Mack and Liv where she really had every reason to hate his guts. He got her fired. I’d do much worse than call him a lil bitch(to summarise her rant) and stomp off. Mack is a fuckboy through and through. But like not the gross kind. He started this whole endeavor so you’d think he had it in the bag but oh nooooo even our lord and orgasm saviour needs a little bit of emotional therapy in the form of his friends telling him it’s okay to cry.

Liv and Mack really compliment each other well. Liv calls Mack on his superficial but respectful womanizing and his mild hero complex while Mack lays out the truth, that Liv is a little to judgy for her own good. She goes into situations with the righteous opinion that doesn’t necessarily understand decisions made that don’t fall under that umbrella of ~correct~. This book felt like the most even in terms of how much each lead had to change to support the other. I like a female lead who’s a little bit abrasive. Liv was great. Mack is stupid and I love him.

Third one is friends to lovers packed with mushy ~I Wuv Her but do I make a move~ moments that just. YEs. My favourite tropeeee. This one is about Noah, who we first see in Mack’s book, and about Alexis who makes appearances in the first two. Her cat, Beefcake, is the real star of the story and you will wholeheartedly agree with this fact once you read the book.

Noah’s also a romance novel skeptic because he’s not interested in fucking up his friendship with Alexis and invading her boundaries. They’re an unlikely pair considering you only JUST read about Noah like three times in total in the last book but right of the bat he’s such a softie you can’t help but love him.

The ending to the subplots in this book were not my favourite because I’m a vindictive bitch and this book is all about forgiveness and letting go of anger. I’m very pro being angry about everything and holding grudges forever but Alexis is physically incapable of being mean and that was just difficult for me to read. Contrary to popular belief, I think anger is healthy; it keeps you motivated. Spite does wonders to productivity lemme tell you.

If anyone wants to read romance to understand the purpose behind certain genre tropes you either marathon like 50 books or just read this series because it does the damn job for you.

What really stands out about these books for me is how they’re so focused on men improving themselves. I mean, it’s not atypical for the genre. That’s the whole point in hetero romances, the guy realises he’s a tool and makes the decision to change and apologise for his idiocy and that’s your happy ending. It’s about someone working for the woman’s affection instead of having girls grovel and pine after men who don’t deserve the time of day. But the books are about the women so most of the heavy lifting is through the woman’s own personal growth. I don’t find that the men really dig in and dissect their own internal issues as must. Yes they do change but it’s not a full story arch so much as it is a single turning point in the book. (All of this is from the books I have personally read so maybe I’m wrong but who knows)

This series is wholly focused on men fixing themselves from the dead start. As the romance develops they really start to dig into their past traumas and insecurities to be better partners and people in general. Im love that 🥺🥺🥺🥺 The girls also go through their own personal growth but again, it’s a turning point moment in the plot instead of a book long character arc. Now I’m definitely not interested in more things being about cishet men, we got enough of that. But this inversion is truly for the better. I feel like this is a great series to dump into the hands of a guy you think needs to check himself. Of course the guy’s gotta be open to it but like…hey. Everyone needs a genre gateway book and these are truly IT.

Now I’m always wary of white characters born and raised in the south. There’s a high probability they’re wack or neolib or are liberal but can comfortably cohabit with conservatives. Yes there’s ~some~ of that but no backwards ass bullshitter gets off scott free. Everyone who’s got Bad Takes is either shown to change the way they think or clearly gets the boot because they’re not worth it. We love to see it.

I hope the above commentary was enough review to get you to read because now I just want to list out random thoughts about the books and characters I’ve had over the past few days. It’s kinda spoilery so like…don’t read if you don’t want spoilers?

  • I think we can all agree Gavin is a himbo, Mack is a bimbo, and Noah is a Bad Bitch
  • Liv is my favourite of all three girls. She’s abrasive and kind of an insensitive ass when people don’t behave the way she thinks society should act but she’s got a heart of gold and the book definitely grills her for that fault. I love her
  • Mack would be the best dad to a small army of baby girls and one cherubic baby boy who is the youngest of all the kids. Mack Jr (not the official name I need some time to think of that) would be Bromance Book Club generation 2 founder, at the appropriate age of course.
  • Noah being a rich boy leftist is the best thing. He’s a hacktivist turned security company CEO but somehow ends up friends with a bunch of famous rich people and is like…well they’re on the right side of history so I guess it’s okay. My mans really found the pot of gold when it came to friends.
  • Beefcake needs a book. The book can simply be his detailed plans to murder every human he doesn’t like. I’d read it.
  • The 👁👅👁+🐱 scenes are IMMACULATE. Every book has a hit. Three for three. Nice. A win for the vagina havers who enjoy that kind of scene
  • The Russian is bisexual. I don’t care that he has a wife he’s bi. Ms. Adams please make it happen. Mention an ex boyfriend I beg. There are too many people in this friend group for every single one of them to be hetero PLEASEEEE
  • Sometimes it’s necessary for people to get cut out of your life and I choose to believe some of the open ended reconciliations were in fact never followed up because those assholes didn’t deserve an ounce of compassion past the first chance much less FIFTH chance (smh Alexis you’re too nice)
  • Let People Be Angry 2021
  • While every third act ~breakup~ was justified and fixed really well I’m TIRED. Let the lovers TALKKKKK

The fourth book is about the Russian. I. Am. PUMPED!! The comic relief deserves some love too.

That’s all folks. Here’s my country playlist if you wanna know the vibes I’ve been steeping in thanks to this series. Don’t forget, country music was created by Black people and also spoke to the struggles of the union folks, farmers, and laborers. But of course, can’t forget your truck drivin’ beer lovin’ idiots so ya know. It’s a little bit all over the place.

Let me know your thoughts on the books if you’ve read them (and on my playlist if you listen to it lol)!!!

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