Whew! Where to start with this problematic, train wreck of a book? The Bromance Book Club is a fun, endearing, and exciting concept. Unfortunately, it should have remained a concept, because the execution of this story was the worst I’ve ever experienced.
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.
As my friend concluded within the first 20 pages of reading, “Gavin didn’t need to win his wife back, he needed a new wife.” I felt nothing but pity for Gavin throughout this story and any real-life Gavins who have to deal with monsters like Thea. This book starts out with the characters contemplating divorce after Gavin discovers his wife has been faking the big O for their entire marriage. However, this isn’t the real issue – Thea asks Gavin to leave as some sort of test regarding his mind-reading abilities. Apparently, she didn’t actually want him to leave, and when he did as she asked, she decides to hold this “failure” over his head for the entirety of the story. What?
This is where the book club comes into play – the guys decide to mend Gavin’s floundering marriage by consulting a romance novel. This sounds like a cute idea, but things continue to spiral further down the toilet. Unfortunately, the guys’ dialogue in this story did not resemble real male conversation in the least. Every interaction between the men in the story seemed fake, forced, and utterly laughable. I highly doubt professional male athletes are going to drink their pumpkin-spiced lattes over a romance novel while discussing their habits of toxic masculinity. This read as a feminist manifesto of male stupidity rather than a fun ROM-COM. As with many novels heavy on feminism, there was also plenty of cat-fighting and bickering between the female characters. This makes absolutely no sense to me. If we are going to encourage women to be strong and have each other’s backs, why are the women always playing games and trying to one-up each other? Will our gender never get past this fifth-grade drama?
Every decision or word of Gavin’s was written in a way to make him seem moronic and wrong, while his wife was the genius alpha in the relationship. Not only was this endlessly annoying, but Thea’s sister, Liv, was consistently pressuring her to give up on her marriage. When Liv didn’t get her way, she held it over her sister’s head, guilting her out of loving her husband. Again – what?!
I honestly can’t believe the amount of hype this book received as problematic as it was, and I especially cannot believe I trucked through it to the final page.
Rating: 1 star