A review by laurenlanz
The Bromance Book Club, by Lyssa Kay Adams
emotional funny hopeful tense medium-paced
“First rule of book club? You don’t talk about book club.”
I've never read a second-chance romance before, so I figured starting with one as hyped as The Bromance Book Club would be great! I fell in love with this unique concept right away, and was happy to find out that it was executed nicely too. Our protagonist Gavin was such a sweetheart—his presence paired with the fantastic writing meant that I couldn’t stop reading.
~★~ What is this book about? ~★~
Baseball star Gavin Scott has always had a great relationship with his wife—or so he thought. Shortly after a big argument, Thea asks for a divorce, and everything comes crashing down. Gavin’s biggest fear is losing his wife and twin daughters, the people he loves most, which leads him to join a book club with his baseball teammates. A romance book club for men trying to repair their broken marriages. Gavin is sceptical at first, but the boys are determined to see him and Thea come together again.
There were so many things I loved about this book, and I could go on and on about them for ages. However, two prominent characters irritated me (and are also the reason this was a 4 star read instead of a 5 star) so I figured I’d better get them out of the way first:
As much as I tried to understand Thea, it got frustrating after reading a few scenes in her perspective. Knowing that she wants to divorce Gavin because he can’t seem to clue in on her unhappiness is reasonable, of course. What was really unreasonable, though, was the fact that Thea pretended to be content with everything about their marriage. The fact that she’d get angry at Gavin for not being able to, I don’t know, mind read(?). I wanted more than anything for Thea to take responsibility for the state of their relationship and realize that her failure to communicate was a massive part of why Gavin couldn’t figure out that she was unhappy. I’m glad that Thea went through some major character development within the last few chapters, but for a large portion of the book I was tired of her dodging responsibility and piling everything onto Gavin.
Most people (even those who loved this book) hate Liv; I’m glad I’m not the only one!
Liv is Thea’s younger sister who just so happens to be extremelyprotective of her. It’s to the point where she’s outright hostile towards Gavin after hearing that Thea wants a divorce. Considering that Gavin and Thea have been married for three years (and Liv has known him for that long, if not longer) her attitude towards him came off as really unnecessary.
After reading all of that ^ you must be thinking, “Lauren, how did you still rate this book 4 stars?” and that would be a very good question. Liv wasn’t around too much, so I could look past her. As for Thea, any time Gavin would speak of her I could feel how much he loved her. It was like second-hand rose-tinted glasses. Gavin’s wonderful feelings towards his wife slowly rubbed off on me. Plus, she did improve eventually, and I ended up rooting for their relationship.
NOW FOR THE POSITIVE!! :)
God, Gavin might as well be one of my favourite romance-novel protagonists ever (right after the marvellous Alex Claremont-Diaz from Red, White & Royal Blue). He’s incredibly charming without intending to be so, is sort of awkward in a cute way, stutters, and loves his family to pieces. This man was all around so lovely, I sympathized with him through the whole book. I wanted nothing more than for him to be happy—for him to restore his marriage. The way he cared for his daughters made my heart melt.
The book club!!!
The bromance book club itself might be the best thing about this story. I loved every scene where the boys would hold meetings at their local cafe. Gavin’s friends were such a joy to read about, and I’m so happy to hear there are more books in this series following them! Mack was hilarious, and a wonderfully vocal feminist. Del was an amazing best friend to Gavin, and probably the most determined to see their marriage improve. The whole concept of their book club was perfect.
The writing and pacing were both spectacular; nothing dragged on or felt too rushed. There was a perfect blend of humour and seriousness, which was also very endearing. Despite my previous complaints about Thea’s character, I think a lot of her arguments with Gavin were written in a way that was believable and quite realistic. Overall, the hype is justified, folks! Go read this book!