Book Review: Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

Thank you to Berkley / NetGalley for the digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2) by Lyssa Kay Adams

338 pages

ISBN: 9781984806116

Published: 3/10/20 by Berkley

Genre: Romance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

B&N | Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

Braden Mack thinks reading romance novels makes him an expert in love, but he’ll soon discover that real life is better than fiction.

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 assist 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 while she’s determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned. 

Review:

Trigger warnings: Sexual harassment, mention of murder, mention of domestic violence, bribing, verbal abuse.

Fear was a powerful motivator. But so was love.

This is the second installment in The Bromance Book Club series, and I really enjoyed it, though not as much as the first one. They both have their pros and cons, though.

+ The smut in this book is much better than the first book.

– This one didn’t have as many scenes with the book club. Yes, they came together, but there weren’t any sit down club meetings about the book they were reading. I missed that from the first book.

+ I did enjoy the elimination of excerpts from the book they were reading. I believe there was only one at the very end.

– I can’t remember if the first book had an epilogue, but the epilogue in this one did not do it for me. Liv and Mack’s relationship really escalated in the six months we didn’t get to read about.

Favorite characters:

Mack: He has a heart of gold, he just doesn’t know how to use it 100% of the time. His interest and love for Liv just makes my heart smile.

He has some pretty intense baggage to carry around with him. He soon realizes that Liv hates liars, but he just can’t get himself to tell her. That’s okay though, because she’s got baggage too.

Rosie: I didn’t realize how much I loved Rosie until the end. She even tells Liv that she is like the daughter she didn’t know she needed. She cares for Liv and makes sure she takes care of herself. She’s a great mother-figure. Her relationship with Hop is also quite funny, even though I don’t like Hop all that much.

The Russian”: You learn his name at the end of the book, but I don’t want to spoil the fun. He is part of the book club, and I’ve never loved a character so much. He can’t eat cheese without stinking up a room, and his heart is always in the right place. I love how much he sticks up for what’s right. I wish I could have him as a best friend. I’d say a lot of laughs would come from that friendship.

Least favorite characters:

Liv: I know this probably surprises some people. Yes, she had a poor relationship with her father, and now she hates men. Blah, blah, blah. I just hated her attitude in this book and the last. Mack does eventually crack her shell, but dang it sure does take the whole book to do so.

Hop: I found him super annoying. The only good thing that comes from him is how happy he makes Rosie. That’s all.

Royce: This is a given. Royce is the restaurant owner of Savoy, the restaurant Liv is a pastry chef for. This man is misogynistic, arrogant, and impertinent. The list goes on and on. I hated him from the start of the book, and so do all the characters. I’m so happy they seek revenge on his ass. He deserved everything that came to him.

One thing I love about these romance novels is the writing. I don’t expect romance novels to have skilled writing considering what they’re usually about. That’s not even an insult. I love that this author gives us more. She said, “I’ll see your sex and heavy topics and raise you quality writing.” I can appreciate it. Not that she isn’t an auto-read author for me, anyway. I’m super excited for the next installment!

I’m sorry the formatting for my book reviews change constantly. Different books make me feel like writing reviews in different ways. I think we should just all accept that and move on.


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ARC Book Review: The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

Thank you to Berkley / NetGalley for allowing me to read a digital copy in exchange for an honest review! 

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

Published 11/5/2019 by Berkley

ISBN: 9781984806093

339 pages (Goodreads says there is 320 pages, but the copy I’m reading goes to 339)

Genre: Contemporary Romance | Rom-Com

Rating: ★★★★☆

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis:

The first rule of this book club:
You don’t talk about book club.

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.

Review:

*I am late with my review, but any quote(s) used are from the finished copy.

“I’m the kind of baseball wife who still isn’t sure the difference between a no-hitter and a perfect game, and you know what? It doesn’t matter. Because I didn’t marry baseball. I married Gavin, a man with more integrity than you could ever dream of having.”

I’m quite behind on writing reviews. I’ve hit some sort of reading sprint, and I can’t stop. I finished two books in one weekend, which never happens to me. I’m slowly getting all of my thoughts together for each book.

Characters | 

The characters were all pretty interesting. I thought that the members of the book club were funny. They all had their flaws though, and some bothered me more than others.

I started out hating Gavin, then Thea started showing her true colors. Her mothering skills were fantastic. She treats her daughters like they matter, which I don’t see very often in novels. She has a semi-strong bond with her sister, which is great. I just don’t like how she treats Gavin. If you don’t want to give him the light of day, then just end it right then and there. Instead, she eggs it on. That kills me! The reader understands why, like, right at the end of the book. I get that she has a depressing past, but that doesn’t mean you need to take it out on other people. I just didn’t end up liking her that much, unfortunately.

I didn’t care for Liv and the way she treated Gavin. It wasn’t any of her business as to why Gavin was still staying at the house. I understand she was trying to take care of her sister but, there are boundaries. She was probably my least favorite character, other than Mack, who is part of the book club.

Story |

I would consider this a slow-burn romance. Nothing steamy happens until closer to the end, but I’m into the rom-com novels. This could totally be a movie! I would watch it.

The story focuses on Gavin and his desire to keep his marriage together after he supposedly tore it apart. The issue is that they both play a pretty big role in what path their marriage is going down. The reader learns a lot about Thea’s past and her relationship with her parents. I won’t spoil that for you since it’s a significant piece of information in the novel. I’m sure it won’t be a surprise to anyone who reads/watches rom-coms.

I loved this so much. This is romantic, but it also has a lot of familial dynamics. Thea and Gavin have two twin daughters, Ava and Amelia, who make it even harder to make a decision regarding their marriage. Oh yeah, did I also mention Thea’s sister, Liv? She plays a role in the whole ordeal too. She also has a lot of turmoil with their parents. Thea and Liv stick together. Let’s just say that Liv isn’t a fan of Gavin and vice versa.

My issues with the story: There was a point that I just wanted it to come to an end. This isn’t a very long book, but it does get redundant, I guess. It is still very fast-paced, regardless. It was a five-star read up until around page 260. I found myself not wanting to continue on, or just skipping to the end to see what happens.

I also found myself not wanting to read the excerpts of the novel. Obviously, the two stories are similar to one another, except one is from the 1800s and one is present day. The situations are different. I just didn’t care about those characters. Thank God that doesn’t show up too often.

Writing | 

I found the sex scenes to be very well done! They are scarce and short-lived, but they were 10/10. Good description of everything!
This is a romance novel, so don’t go into this expecting it to blow your mind. I found it to be a bit more sophisticated. The book club members have a very diverse vocabulary, which surprised me.

Overall | 

I would totally buy this for my shelves! I enjoyed it a lot, and I recommend it if you’re interested or if you need a funny, steamy, fast-paced read. This is the type of book that will lift you out of your reading slump, for sure! Go pick it up and show it some love.

“Love is enough.”
“It’s always enough.”


If you enjoyed this, then give it a like and follow my blog. Be respectful and happy reading!

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