Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Overview from Goodreads:
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.
This book is the second in the Bromance Book Club series. Having not read the first one, I was a little lost when it came to the backstory as these same characters all play a part in the book number one. However, you can fully enjoy this novel as a standalone or by picking up the series with this as your first. It’s easy to follow and you can catch up to the main points that are flashbacks to book one.
I love the idea of a Bromance Book Club as it’s nice to see males interested in a genre that’s stereotypically aimed at females. It’s a great concept to have them be the atypical audience and they freely talk about rom-com novels with each other. It’s sad that they can’t be super open about it to the world, but I appreciate the baby steps that this novel takes.
I love how the characters for this story tie together with the first novel (I’m a fan of these types of series as it’s not sequels, but instead spin-offs). Our story focuses on Thea’s (main character from book one) sister Liv. She is an aspiring baker who works at one of the fanciest restaurants in Nashville (I love the story being set in Nashville as you don’t get many novels set there, yet it’s a great location). Her love interest is Braden Mack who is the best friend of Thea’s husband.
This couple officially “meets” when Mack is on a date with another woman and orders the super special cupcake that Liv makes at her fancy restaurant workplace. (The couple met previously, but not a memorable meeting to where they had a good relationship.) The cupcake ends up dropping on the woman’s lap resulting in Liv being unfairly fired. This former boss is full of issues that Liv now finds as her mission to take down in order to fight all his wrongs that he has done over time while being black-balled from obtaining a new position. Mack enlists to assist Liv and the romance story train takes off as each new situation brings our couple closer to a fully formed lasting relationship.
Mack was an excellent male lead for this story as he was good-natured and had good intentions. He didn’t always know the right things to say and do, but he took advice from those around him and learned from any mistakes he made. He’s a lovable, charming, and honest character and he fits well in his group of friends. Together the book club seem to go well together as they each bring their own personalities to the table while holding their own in the group setting.
Although I loved the book club boys, Liv just did not grow on me. She was unnecessarily hostile in many situations and just didn’t seem to grow very much as a character. It seems as if she was written as a stereotypical strong, independent female, but she just came off as a bitch in many situations. She could have been written to have the same attributes, but just in a better tone to make her actually likable. There is some backstory for her to try and alleviate her negatives to explain why she is the way she is, but it just didn’t feel like enough to counteract her self-righteousness where she thought she could do everything alone and no one else’s opinions mattered. I felt that Braden was too nice for her and it wouldn’t be a lasting match. Sure, they could make a nice short term couple, but I wouldn’t see it as a forever romance. Hopefully if she’s in the next novel, she can grow on me more so I can root for her and Mack.
The story focusing on revenge for a sleazy boss was a great topic to cover as it happens in many industries so it was nice for a novel to cover it without having it take away from the story (especially if that wasn’t the main purpose of the novel). It was nice to see the Book Club come together for Liv to help her get the revenge and it was fun as they tried to put together their “Mission Impossible” style plans where each person plays a role to take down the villain.
Overall, this novel is a fun read. It had its humorous moments and its heart-warming ones, too. It was enthralling to find out more about the book club and despite my issues with Liv, her and Braden were intriguing to read and learn more. The story overall was interesting and it is definitely worth continuing the series (I might also need to check out book one just to catch up on backstory)!