The Bromance Book Club is back and better than ever in Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams, the second book in her hilarious series about a group of alpha dudes who secretly read romance books and use them to help fix up their own relationship woes.
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.
Braden was a major source of frustration for our hero in The Bromance Book Club, but he finally gets a chance to shine and step away from his cocky ego in Undercover Bromance. The rest of their (maybe not so secret) book club is also back, to help Braden get his head out of his ass and realize that reading romance doesn’t necessarily make him an expert on relationships.
I love that Braden is such a delightful mix of confident, typical alpha male bravado — but who also isn’t afraid to be vulnerable, or talk openly about how much he reads romance. He may not be quite the expert he thinks he is from his reading habits, but he isn’t shy about embracing an activity that isn’t traditionally seen as “masculine.”
On the flip side, we’ve got Liv, who is understandably angry about the misogyny she sees in the restaurant biz — and though she is reluctant to accept help from Braden, once the two finally team up, they actually start to make some progress … and also, maybe he isn’t as awful as she first thought he was.
The one thing I missed in this book, compared to the first Bromance Book Club, were snippets from the book the guys are reading to inspire their cause. In the first book, we get little excerpts from the fictionalized historical romance book Gavin is reading to woo back his wife. And although the romantic suspense book is referenced a few times in Undercover Bromance, we never get a peek at what Braden is actually reading. It doesn’t detract from the plot or overall enjoyment of the book; I just missed that aspect from the first book in the series.
Both books in this series have truly delighted me, and lead to a lot of literal “laugh out loud” moments (in which I try to muffle my laughter, so as not to wake up my husband). And in both cases, I’m reminded that dudes would be SO much more well-equipped to woo ladies if they embraced (rather than mocked) the things that bring them joy, be it romance books or something else. Fellas, if your lady digs something, don’t make fun of it — dig in, and see what she’s swooning over.
Look for Undercover Bromance in stores March 10th.