Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Audiobook Length: 9 hours 9 minutes
The first rule of 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.
The Bromance Book Club is the first novel in the series of standalone novels that feature various connecting characters from the Bromance Book Club. While the series is best if it is read in order, I read the second novel first. I am actually very happy that I did as the second novel features Liv, the sister of the main character, Thea, and I could not stand Liv at all in this story. If I read this one first, I may have skipped the second as I did not have a lot of interest in her story. Since I did read the second novel first, there are updates on the couple for this story, so I knew the ending of this one before actually beginning the novel.
Nashville baseball player, Gavin Scott’s wife Thea has decided a divorce is the best option for them. Their spiral started after Gavin reacted badly to discovering that Thea has been faking her orgasms for the past three years. Gavin’s self esteem took a big hit with this new knowledge, and he moved into the guest room and gave Thea the silent treatment. She decided enough was enough and told him to move out and then put divorce as the next step. The entire concept did not make any sense to me at all as neither are huge deals, so it was very confusing to try and connect with their reasoning to divorce. This could just be me, though, as I know plenty of couples that have broken up for less, but it was just difficult for me to comprehend. Eventually there are some details explored for both characters surrounding their relationship, but I wish more were revealed earlier. When Liv learns of Thea’s pending divorce, it was treated as Gavin was a monster and Thea is lucky to have escaped him.
To win Thea back, Gavin joins a bromance book club. The book club was started by Braden Mack (main from the second novel) with other members, Vlad (the Russian) (main from the fourth novel), Malcom, and Del, just to name a few. I liked that not all of the members will get their own stories as some are already in established relationships. It gave a fun balance to the story as each of the characters were at different places in their lives and each approached romantic relationships differently. While the group reads romance books to better understand women, they also use the stories to help approach situations differently. By reading different romance stories, they gain new perspectives and I enjoyed how the novels within this story corresponded to the events going on outside of the novel within the novel.
Thea went along with a lot in the marriage while being internally unhappy with some aspects. My main issue with her is not understanding why she never spoke up before about any of it. The novel is written in a way where the reader is supposed to feel sympathy for Thea, but I just could not connect. There was nothing written about Gavin’s character that would suggest he would not be receptive to a conversation. Based on the writing, he was clueless in many situations, but there was zero evidence to support why Thea could not have mentioned even the tiniest thing that was bothering her. I feel the novel was greatly missing this part to make me root for this couple. Thea wanted Gavin to change a lot about himself, but she did not want to compromise herself. Essentially, for me, there was a lot missing for her character to make me believe that the two of them belonged together. Again, I am very glad that I read the second novel first as I read the aftermath of this novel and the two of them were cute together and, luckily for me, Thea was different enough than the Thea in this story.
The story has great lessons about the importance of communication and for keeping the spark alive in a relationship that were well done in the big picture. There are some details missing, especially on Thea’s side, that make the novel feel incomplete, but the main themes are still present. I love that the main couple in this story are married and trying to see if a second chance is worth it. Marriage is not easy, even if some days are easier than others, and I liked that the author illustrated that it does require work. Another great element of this story was Gavin’s stutter. While I’ve read some stories where the female lead had one, it is rare to find one where the main lead as it. It was very well incorporated into the story where it was a part of who Gavin was without defining his entire character. Overall, there was a lot to enjoy about this story, but it just needed a little more here and there to make it better for me. I think if this story came later in the series once the author had the feel of the series more, then it would have read differently. As it is now, it was very sweet, and the series is worth continuing. I can’t wait to try out Noah’s story in the third novel, Crazy Stupid Bromance, next!