Raving Review: The Bromance Book Club

Title: The Bromance Book Club
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Publication date: January 7, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

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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.

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My contemporary romance binge-reading marathon is at an all-time high this month, and, guess what, I am ready to rave about another great book. The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams was such a heartwarming swoon-read. After a slow start at the beginning, I later found myself constantly flipping through the pages.

As a background to the novel, Gavin and Thea were quickly married after finding out they were pregnant. After years of Gavin playing professional baseball and Thea giving up her dreams in the art world to take care of their twin daughters, the stubbornness and miscommunication between the couple boils over and starts to impact their marriage. While Thea’s answer is a divorce, Gavin vulnerability spirals. But Gavin refuses to let go of his family, and realizes that his marriage, his wife, and his daughters are worth fighting for. And then swoops in Gavin’s teammates, who have created a romance book club, which they use as manuals to help them understand their partners–their needs, wants, dreams, aspirations, and most of all, how to finally have the courage to open yourself up. 

One of the main reasons I adored The Bromance Book Club was because communication is a strong element that the characters start using and focusing on throughout the novel. Once the characters crack that communication barrier, the characters become more realistic and relateable. Along with some romantic scenes, the story is littered with both serious moments that make your heart ache and comedic moments that will make your whole body shake with laughter. The main characters, and a lot of the side characters, really made this novel the rom-com I needed in my life. 

Blogger Note: I received this book as a gift from my good friend Shannon. I was not asked to review or promote the book. I reviewed the book at my own discretion.  All fangirling, statements, and opinions in this review are my own.

If It’s Not a Rant, It’s a Rave: 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

99 Percent Mine
Author:  Sally Thorne
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date: January 29, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Bought e-book on Amazon
Rating: ★★★★

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Crush: a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach…

Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty—ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough.

When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade.

Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that’s inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying—and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.

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A few weeks ago, I saw the e-book of 99 Percent Mine on sale for $1.99. I have been on a contemporary romance kick since February . . . and you guys, I think I’m addicted to swoons and happy endings . . . it won’t stop and I won’t stop. Anywho, I immediately snagged the deal, because 1) It was $1.99 and I am all about those steals and deals, and 2) I love a good friends-to-lovers story. I crave that slow burn romance, the built up chemistry and angst, and me shouting, “GAAHHHH . . . just kiss already.”

And guess what: after reading this book, enjoying the hell out of it, and then rating it at 4 stars on Goodreads, I was definitely caught off guard by a majority of the low ratings/reviews I scanned over on Goodreads. I honestly felt like I did not read the same book as these reviewers and I am mind-boggled about a lot of their statements. Their analyses of the characters and their love story did not match anything I read. Maybe I was just in the right mood and the story fell at the perfect time in my life, so the book read differently to me. So I am going to tell you now . . . if you adore friends-to-lovers stories, a feisty but all over the place female lead, and the swooniest male lead who has the cutest little dog, then reader, this book is for you. 

99 Percent Mine is not a sugarcoated contemporary romance. It touches upon a lot of serious issues. But even though it is not dripping with sweetness, the relationship between Darcy and Tom was still so romantic and cute. Darcy is flat out honest about everything and has no filter; I thought her defensive and flighty attitude was going to annoy me, but I could honestly relate to a lot of Darcy’s choices. She is not naive and she is in a constant battle with everyone around her trying to protect her like she’s fragile china, but in all honesty, she is a determined hardass. Tom tends to put a lot of people before himself, but he is not overbearing or overprotective–he’s simply cautious. He is often stuck between choosing between two people, particularly Darcy and her brother Jamie. But Tom is a reasonable guy and analyzes every side of a story before he reacts. Yes, these two characters make mistakes, especially when it comes to their friendship or when they are trying to read each other, but in the end, I love that they have a true and meaningful connection. 

Lastly, one of the best parts I loved about 99 Percent Mine was the characters reliving memories of the grandma who treated Darcy differently than her other overprotective family members and made Tom feel like he was part of the family. The grandma instilled life’s magic into a lot of the scenes. She left them this huge project to renovate her home after she passed away, and that type of close proximity worked wonders on making this story truly authentic.

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Note: I bought this book with my own funds. I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review; I reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.