Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

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.
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.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

I was very excited to read this book – I was in the mood for a fun romance and the premise was super interesting. Too bad the book is full of cringy lines like this one: “… the sight of his thumb distractedly stroking a glass of water could make her pink parts stand at attention.” Pink parts. Really?

A book about a romance book club for men could be so good! And the fact that it’s about a married couple makes it different from the kind of romance I usually read. I think there is a lot to explore there but this book is too superficial for that. The unconvincing dialogue in the book is a huge problem, the writing is childish and the characters are very one-dimensional. When it comes to sex scenes and pretty much any kind of talk about sex, it just doesn’t feel like it’s written by an adult for other adults. I spent half the book cringing at the way it’s written.

“I loved that one,” Wilson said. “At least a BB Four.”
“Do I want to know what that means?” Gavin shuddered.
“It’s our rating system for how much sex is in it,” Wilson said.
“But what does BB stand for?”
The whole table spoke at once. “Book Boner.”

“You guys speak different languages to each other.” He pointed at the book. “You’ll learn hers by reading romance.” – Yes, women are the biggest audience for romance novels but I don’t think reading them is the way to learn about women.

“I guess my toxic masculinity doesn’t like you hitting on my wife.” – I think the writer just really wanted to use ‘toxic masculinity’ in this sentence, I don’t feel like it comes naturally here at all.

“He had no idea a major sex scene was coming up. And not just any sex scene. This was fucking filthy. Did people actually do that shit back then?” – This is a grown man’s reaction to reading an oral sex scene in a book.

The men in the book pretty much all have the same personality – there’s nothing special about the main guy. Thea has major ‘not like other girls’ vibes especially with the way other ‘baseball wives’ are written. All they care about are looks and money! But not her – she used to wear band shirts! She was so feisty and impulsive, they even once had sex in a car! Thea’s sister Liv is a character with zero depth, which is not a surprise because the main characters don’t have any either. She exists to be angry on behalf of her sister and there’s a scene where she meets some of the baseball guys and ignores one of them and I have enough experience reading romance to understand this is a future relationship. Now don’t get me wrong – I get that the writer wants to set things up for the sequels and I like plenty of fictional ships that start out with animosity but there’s usually some reason for that and the setup needs to be more convincing. I checked and the next book in the series really is about Liv and Braden.

I’ve read the blurbs for the other books in the series and some of them sound really good (Crazy Stupid Bromance and Isn’t It Bromantic). I’ve also read some series before where the first book is bad and then you see that the writer is getting better and better in the subsequent books (Black Dagger Brotherhood comes to mind). Maybe that’s the case with these books as well but the first one didn’t work for me at all.

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