Light and fluffy romances are pretty common, but ones that contain useful gems of wisdom about female sexuality coming from the everyday Alpha male is where the strength of The Bromance Book Club lies.
Set in Nashville, baseball player Gavin and his wife Thea are set to divorce because he left the home after discovering that she’s been going through the motions of their marriage, both physically and emotionally. However, they quite clearly love each other quite deeply and need to rebuild their communication. Cue Gavin turning to his colleagues and friends for support who reveal that they’re part of a clandestine book club where they read romance novels to repair their marriages and understand their wives.
The Bromance Book Club is a second-chance romance with some hilarious as well as tender moments and it’s a timely novel as it smashes stereotypes around toxic masculinity with brilliant comic timing and some words of wisdom to take home.
“We think we’re not supposed to feel things and cry and express ourselves. We expect women to do all the emotional labor in a relationship and then act confused when they give up on us.”
“If masses of women like something, our society automatically begins to mock them. Just like romance novels.”
Light and likeable, I whizzed through this in a matter of a few days – it’s an easy read and naturally steamy yet there’s a lot of earnestness in Gavin that makes him an endearing character; he’s clearly hurt by the revelation from his wife and the support he receives from his friends enables him to dig deeper to resolve his issues with Thea as well as encouraging her to eventually reconcile with her past. The progression of Thea and Gavin’s relationship is well-written with an air of authenticity – none of it is forced and the addition of children and a high-pressured baseball career in the mix adds more depth to the impact on their marriage.
Ultimately, their ability to go beyond the physical nature of faking their marriage to what has been brewing beneath the surface for the past 3 years is what helps them eventually come together again. Lyssa Kay Adams constructs a marriage that was borne out of love but never had the chance to fully blossom and this second chance at it is a catalyst for strengthening that love. Essentially, that in order for a relationship to move forward, the people involved have to look back and make peace with themselves and with others.
I can’t finish this review without giving credit to the idea and nature of the ‘bromance book club’ – a group of men that form this group are bound together in friendship to support and strengthen each other’s relationships. While I personally found it slightly cringe-worthy that they refer to Mills and Boon style romance chick lit in their mission, it’s also a foundation of brotherhood that’s sorely missing in our reality and would be very welcome by scores of women.
This is not just a feminist romance novel, but the pinnacle of male and female dynamics in relation to respect, sexual consent and marital bonds. It’s a fresh and new take on romance and I believe it to be THE romance novel to represent our values in 2020.
- I received an ARC of ‘The Bromance Book Club’ from Headline Publishing Group via NetGalley and also bought my Kindle copy from Amazon. The paperback will be released on 30th January 2020.
- Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
- ISBN: 9781472271631
- Number of pages: 352