If I had to pick one favourite thing about the Bromance Book Club series, it would be how it’s a constant commentary on the toxicity of males in today’s society and how easy it would be for them to essentially do better. It began with just having a bunch of “alpha” type men in high positions of power read romance books not just to learn how to be better husbands and partners but to just be better human beings. It had them address their inner struggle with toxic masculinity and recognize how foolish it is to berate women for liking something when there’s no reason to, like romance books. It was a notion I absolutely fell in love with and one that I hope to see happen in the real world soon, and this book just added to that love, making me a very happy reader.
What was great about this book was how it tackled the topic of sexual harassment and overall abuse of power, which is a very difficult topic to write about, in my experience, but I liked the way Lyssa Kay Adams tried to highlight all the different sides and angles of the issue. Of course you have people like Liv who recognize that something is inherently wrong with someone who uses his power status to intimidate and harass women and wants to try to stop it, and you have men like Mack who want to help stop dangerous men like that because that kind of behaviour isn’t acceptable. But you also have characters who were victims of the man in question who are too afraid to come forward and admit what happened to them, how they couldn’t stop it. I liked how Adams showed how it’s not so simple in a situation like this for a person to just take themselves out of it and it’s not so simple for someone to decide to go after an abuser and be a hero. It felt like a really good discussion about this topic and represented all sides of the situation, but in the end it all worked out the way we all hope it would. As I said, a topic like sexual harassment and abuse is very difficult to tackle in fiction but I think Adams did a respectable job with it.
As for the romance, I really love me a good enemies to lovers type of relationship and felt that Mack and Liv had firecracker chemistry, something I picked up on in the first book, even if I can’t quite remember it myself. I loved their banter, how there was always an underlying layer of flirting going on with them, and definitely enjoyed watching Liv learn how to open up to Mack and learn how to trust someone. With Mack, I found it very entertaining for this man who has helped all his friends be better partners be absolutely out of his element when it came to Liv, but it taught him how life really isn’t perfect like a romance book and he has to write his own story, not follow a “manual” that someone else has written for him. I also liked how this time around, Mack didn’t really rely on the book club’s current read to fix his relationship with Liv, like it had with Gavin, but it was used more for metaphorical purposes. That, however, did mean there was less book club shenanigans for me to look forward to but there were a lot of great moments with the boys regardless.
I’m still a bit unsure on how I feel about Liv, though getting to know her and understand her in this book was great and I saw a lot of myself in Liv, but I think early on some of her behaviour made me step back and feel slightly annoyed and confused about her character. That did lead to some great development, so maybe she was like that for a reason.
Again, this is a great contemporary series that has equal parts romance and serious topic discussions and I feel like Adams really struck gold with these books. I can’t wait to see what the next book has in store but I’m sure it’ll be great.
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.