A second-chance contemporary romance between a late 20-something married couple.
This book is about a man, Gavin, he’s a MLB player and he’s married to Thea, the mother of their twin 3 (or 4)-year-old daughters. After 3 years of marriage, Gavin finds out that Thea has been faking their orgasms since they married. Gavin’s reaction to this discovery is to move into the guest room and give her the silent treatment for a month. Then Thea kicks him out and he leaves. Enter the comedic relief. Gavin’s friends come to the rescue with their all guys romance book club. The club that helps the alpha men of Nashville figure out their women. Gavin uses what he learns from his friends and romance novel to help win his wife back.
The concept of guys reading romance books to better articulate their feelings and understanding their partner’s motives and emotions sounds like a great foundation for a romcom, but this unfortunately fell flat.
I’m hard pressed to call this a “romance”. Sure there’s a couple, they have sex 70% of the way through, there’s a last minute conflict, there’s a grand gesture and a HEA but geez it was anxiety inducing. The realism was stressing me tf out. It’s about two very immature people who got married too quickly and for all the wrong reasons. Gavin, fearing he’d never find a woman like Thea, uses their unplanned pregnancy to lock her down in a marriage. And Thea who clearly has issues with marriage pretends everything is fine and is upset that Gavin isn’t a mind reader. The first time Gavin leaves when Thea tells him to, I can forgive Gavin, and it was childish for Thea to “test” him like that when she’s never been open and honest about her past. But it was clear that leaving was a trigger for her, so every time that Gavin would wordlessly leave after an argument to process his feelings, it would piss me off. Like reassure your partner you just going to calm down and you’ll return.
Thea blames Gavin for putting her dreams on pause to raise their children and being a good baseball wife. No where in this book did it mention Gavin forced Thea to drop out and keep her from going back to school. He makes a SHIT TON of money, they have more than enough resources that could’ve helped Thea get her degree at any time. And I get parenting is hard and is a lot, but the girls are gone all day at preschool and have dance lessons a few times a week. If you’re not comfortable with a nanny, then hire someone to do the housework? You have the money for it! Like I hate when rich people do this shit.
For 3 years, Thea has kept back her past trauma of her father constantly cheating and leaving and her mother taking him back. She’s also pretended life as a baseball wife was fulfilling and that the other spouses weren’t treating her like crap. How is Gavin supposed to know any of this?
The weaponized incompetence was sending me through the roof. Gavin doesn’t know where the towels are kept in the house they’ve lived in for 3 years?! And he does all these very superficial things that are supposed to magically fix their relationship? NO. This book should’ve ended with them starting couples therapy. Because all their problems weren’t magically fixed.
From context the kids are supposed to be 3, but they act and talk more like 4-6 year olds. Which is a HUGE pet peeve for me in books. Mostly, I would’ve respected the book more if these were just two college kids that fell madly in love over a few months and got married and either didn’t have kids yet or had kids after they were married. Using an unplanned pregnancy as a reason to get married is such a stressor and problematic situation.
And the book points out the misogyny, heteronormative expectations, and gendered roles but does nothing to challenge these things? And Thea is such a “pick me girl” and “I’m not like other women cause I wear converses and band t shirts”. She thinks she’s better than the other spouses because she assumes she’s the only one with dreams and ambitions.
It’s a cold day in hell when I sympathize with an incompetent “alpha” dude. Don’t get me wrong, Gavin and Thea are both equally at fault for their relationship’s downfall, but dammit! It gets stars for being real in that sense. I didn’t like the realism, but the realism is done well and is realistic for a heteronormative couple. The problems with marriage and kids too quickly is a problem many people face. Do I want it in my romance novels? No. But I digress. It was also a little funny. The book club guys had their moments (the the fart jokes were excessive). Only a few grammatical errors.
Graphic: Abandonment, Ableism, Pregnancy, Sexism, and Misogyny