“Men are idiots. We complain that women are so mysterious and shit, and we never know what they want. We fuck up our relationships because we convince ourselves that it’s too hard to figure them out. But the real problem is with us. We think we’re not supposed to feel things and cry and express ourselves. We expect women to do all the emotional labor in a relationship and then act confused when they give up on us.”
I have been meaning to read this book on my TBR pile for a while now and when I finally got around to it, the experience was heart warming.
Gavin and Thea have been married for three years with a set of adorable twin daughters. But their marriage has hidden and unresolved issues which come to a head with Gavin’s devastating discovery that Thea has been faking her orgasms, and in the fallout, she asks for a divorce. Gavin’s best friend, Del, tries to help Gavin win Thea back after she throws him out of their home but what surprises Gavin the most is that Del is a member of a secret men-only romance-novels book club, the “Bromance Book Club”. The members collectively come up with a strategy for Gavin to win Thea back. Garvin is unsure this would work at first but as he follows up with the plan, he discovers that the “Bromance Book Club” is much more than a lifeline. They will show him how to start all over with Thea.
I utterly loved this book to bits. First of all, this is one of the few contemporary romance novels that I have read recently that features a married couple and as someone who has been married for so many years, it is always refreshing to read something I can relate more to. Secondly, the fact that the book club gave Gavin a Regency romance novel ‘Courting The Countess’ to read (which had several parts of the book as mini chapters in the novel) was like a Buy-1-Get-1-Free promo for me because of my love for historical romance especially in the Regency era: I was literally reading a Regency romance and contemporary romance novel all at the same time. Thirdly, I was intrigued by the idea that men (especially alpha males/athletes) would read romance novels. There is a lot of shaming around men who read romance novels but instead the author made it attractive and almost essential for men to read them.
This story was so well written, funny, and with depth. I loved all the characters. I would pick Thea as my favorite character as I could completely relate to her and Liz, her sister, as my least favorite because she came off as childish. I know that it may seem far fetched that some alpha males will set up a secret book club and read romance novels but I believe the main moral here is the support system that was available to Gavin when he needed it the most. This is something I find to be rare as there seems to be an unspoken rule that it’s a woman’s job to fight for a failing marriage. However, I think that if men had more friends who will not only be honest with them but help them work things through, a lot of marriages may be saved.
This story explored some common challenges that most marriages face such as sexual compatibility, miscommunication and personal issues that either couple may be dealing with. It is a realistic portrayal of what it takes to fight for a marriage that is going down and how difficult this journey may be. I liked the way this was laced with wit and I found myself laughing a good number of times. I also picked up a few lessons from Gavin and Thea’s relationship which made it more than a breezy read and something more meaningful. I enjoyed listening to the audio book. I believe it made my experience better. This turned out to be a really feel good read and I am now excited to read the next book in this series.
“All spouses become strangers to each other at some point in a marriage,” Del said. “All human beings are a work in progress, and we don’t all change at the same pace. Who knows how many people have gotten divorced simply because they failed to recognize that what they thought were insurmountable problems were actually just temporary phases?”
I highly recommend this book to all romance lovers especially if you like romance in marriage.
Rating: 5 Stars
Published: November 5, 2019 by Berkeley
The Author: Lyssa Kay Adams is the pen name of an award-winning journalist who gave up the world of telling true stories to pen emotional romances. She’s also a diehard Detroit Tigers fan who will occasionally cheer for the Red Sox because her husband is from Boston. Lyssa lives in Michigan with her family and an anxiety-ridden Maltese who steals food and buries it around the house and who will undoubtedly be a character in a future book.
Things Lyssa loves: Baseball pants, mashed potatoes, and that little clicking sound that scissors make on the cutting table at fabric stores.
Things she doesn’t love: Mean people, melting ice cream cones, and finding food in her underwear drawer.
Keep up with Lyssa on Twitter at @LyssaKayAdams. Please note: She mostly tweets about baseball pants and mashed potatoes.
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