There’s rom-com and then there’s Brom-com. That’s how I describe Lyssa Kay Adams’ (and she approves!) stories about a group of high-profile businessmen and sports players getting together to read romance novels to resolve their marital issues. Having previously read The Bromance Book Club as the first instalment of the series, I knew Undercover Bromance would be just as good, if not equally as hilarious and am grateful to Netgalley for allowing me to read it before its release.
During Gavin and Thea’s patch-up in The Bromance Book Club, we saw the founder of the book club, Braden Mack, have a brief yet comical encounter with Thea’s sister, Liv, by eating her Chinese food. Keen-eyed readers will have noticed the obvious sparks that were flying between them but they needed something more, which is exactly what we get to see in Undercover Bromance. Liv, working as a pastry chef for a high-profile celebrity chef, has an encounter with Mack which results in her witnessing her boss sexually harassing and intimidating a colleague leading her to be fired when she intervenes. Feeling bad for Liv, Mack seeks to resolve the dire situation by offering her help in her mission to take down her previous employer and ensure justice is served. Quite naturally, the two become close and things take their natural course but not without the help of the Bromance Book Club who are part of the climactic sting operation, hence an ‘undercover bromance’.
There are, of course, undertones of #MeToo in Undercover Bromance and Lyssa Kay Adams deftly navigates the issues of abuse of power and intimidation of employees including what prevents victims from taking their case to the authorities. But the story moves even deeper as it did with The Bromance Book Club; Liv’s mission is integral to the plot to ensure both characters are kept in close proximity to each other in order for it to uncover the baggage both she and Braden carry before they can move forward. Principled as they may be, Liv and Mack are deeply flawed in how they view themselves and carry a lot of pain from their past; they’re layered characters and in some ways, one of the reasons why I prefer Undercover Bromance is because Mack’s past is far more harrowing yet he commendably works hard to keep his life on the right side of the tracks and comes to terms with where he’s really from. I noticed that Undercover Bromance alternates rather equally between Liv and Mack whereas The Bromance Book Club was skewed a lot more towards Gavin’s point of view.
Undercover Bromance is a hilarious, light and easy read yet not so light that it lacks the substance to be relevant to us in today’s world of abuse of power while simultaneously setting the example that there are men for whom being morally masculine is not only a part of their subconscious but who will equally and wilfully manifest their principles through the conscious choices they make. Lyssa Kay Adams’ writing artfully displays these traits and more to weave together a simple story of love that pushes Undercover Bromance beyond the standard romance novel.
- I’d like to thank Netgalley for sending me an online copy of ‘Undercover Bromance’. The book is due for release on 10th March.
- Publisher: Headline Publishing Group in the UK and Berkley Publishing Group in the US
- ISBN: 9781984806116
- Number of pages: 320