I rarely butt-in on reviews, but I really enjoyed The Bromance Book Club. Initially, I wasn’t interested in reading it but when I saw another reviewer going on about how much she enjoyed it, I decided to give it a try. And I’m glad I did. It wasn’t anything like I thought it was and I’m a total sucker for a marriage-in-jeopardy romance.
Personally, I would definitely have given it a Top Pick with 4.5 Stars. I think it’s a fantastic debut!
Release Date: Nov 5, 2019
Series: Bromance Book Club
Heat Level: Sensual
Publisher: Penguin Group
A good debut, with a few flaws.
I wanted to love this story, it was good and second chance romance is one of my favorite tropes, but it missed the mark. Before I talk about the misses, let’s talk about the loves.
Baseball, check. Our hero, Gavin Scott is a major league baseball player. He’s not the playboy or the womanizer. No, Gavin is a married man who’s marriage has imploded in the worst of ways. With his wife asking for a divorce there’s only one way to get her back, at least that’s what his fellow teammate tells him. The way is through the Bromance Book Club, men who have used romance novels to learn the what not to do’s and the to-do’s with their wives.
Now, my feminist heart is thinking traitors, trying to use my favorite books to woo women. But no, reserve judgment I say. I learned quickly that these men who are helping Gavin have realized the magic of romance novels and how deep that magic can go, including the growth it produces.
On the opposite side of the spectrum we have Gavin’s wife, Thea, who had a set out of twins right out of college, never got to finish her degree and became a housewife. She’s been living for her kids and her husband for far too long. After the couple’s big blow-up about her orgasm faking, prior to book start, she realizes she needs to find herself again.
So many elements in this book fit the phase of life I went through not too long ago, trying to figure out who I was besides a mother and a wife. So I easily related to Thea and even her headstrong, protective sister. Thea has her own baggage from growing up in an unstable household, divorced parents… naturally she hoped for better, but refuses to cater to Gavin’s ego. There is plenty of internal and external conflict, of both Gavin and Thea having to re-evaluate their expectations around their marriage and start talking a bit more instead of taking for granted every aspect of their life together.
Set against a seasonal, timely back dropoff of Thanksgiving and the holiday season this is a good read to release in November. I liked that aspect, I enjoyed the growth of the characters, and could appreciate The Bromance Book Club for all it’s splendor.
What didn’t make it all fabulous, I didn’t like the hero. This goes against the grain I’m sure of other reviewers, but Gavin is an asshole, an ego-infused, stubborn butthead. I would have wanted to divorce him too. Even as the book progressed, I didn’t like him. By the end, I came around to the fact that not every book hero is for me, and he made his amends to Thea, though I would have made him suffer longer. Another element I didn’t enjoy is how Thea’s relationship and resolutions with her father played out. The absentee father is a big part of Thea’s internal conflict and it feeds her big fears, but in the end that conflict resolved with little effort and I wanted something more, still trying to put my exact finger on it.
Overall, this book was good. It’s got humor, heartache, relatable characters with plenty of current, modern life thrown in. I believe a Bromance Book Club is a real possibility, this is me wishing more dudes would read romance, and while this hero isn’t my favorite I’m interested to see what the author cooks up next. For readers who enjoy Alexa Martin.