Beach Read by Emily Henry – A (*gushing*) Book Review

Title: Beach Read
Author: Emily Henry
Genre: Romance
Publication Date: 19 May 2020

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast. They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block. Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. (Goodreads)

Beach Read caught me by surprise and is in the running to be one of the best romance books I’ve read all year. And in the midst of 2020’s up and downs I’ve been reading A LOT of romance to keep myself happy and sane. It is the best comfort and feel-good genre after all (at least for me). But I digress… back to the enthralling experience that was reading this book.

What surprised me the most about this story was how it managed to have the perfect balance between fun, witty banter and deeper themes. This wasn’t the chick-lit book I had been expecting. Rather, it explored the journey of two people in desperate need for another soul to lean on.

January was a breath of fresh air in regards to the usual romantic heroines. She had a strength of character and lightness that drew me in and kept me interested throughout the book. I’m not going to give anything away (spoilers and all that…) but January’s journey was one of the best parts of this story – along with the development of January and Gus’ friendship to more.

Gus was likewise a fun character to read about although I connected with him less. He was just a bit too cynical for my tastes and yet… he paired so well with January. Together they were a cute yet realistic duo. Their ‘dates’ had me emotional at times while their window chats ( a la Taylor Swift’s ‘You Belong With Me’ video) while writing provided a delightful levity to their romance. Honestly those scenes were one of my favourite parts of the book!

This story had great pace and it wasn’t an easy book to put down and walk away from. If you’re in the mood for an emotionally satisfying and impactful romantic story (without an ending that will leave you hugging your Kleenex box) then this is the happy-medium book for you. It’s the perfect balance between drama and romance and covers some deep themes in an open, unapologetic way for a romance book. I truly adored this story and will be eagerly reading more of Henry’s books in the future!

4.5 Stars

Top 5 Sat: Second Chance Reads

Hey all!

I hope you’re all enjoying the start of your weekend. The topic for this week’s Top 5 Sat meme, created by the lovely Mandy over at Devouring Books, is: Book’s I’d Give a Second Chance.

There have been quite a few books that I’ve put down or DNFd this year and I think some of those probably deserve a second chance. Here are the top five I’ve got my eye on trying again:

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – I’ve tried twice to read this story, so perhaps this would be more fitting for a third-time’s-the-charm list, but somehow I still haven’t gotten in to this story. There’s just something about Simon’s narration that bugs me. As well as the fact that the story starts off as if it were in the middle of the book… I just tend to lose interest.

All the Bad Apples by Moira Fowley-Doyle – I picked up this book a LONG while ago, maybe a year or so, when it was recently released and relatively hyped. I read SO MANY good reviews about it and was excited to try it myself… until I got bored. My patience these days for pushing through awkward starts to books has become very short, sadly. It’s a bad habit I’ve picked up!

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker – I ADORE Tucker’s writing usually, especially A Simple Wild, but unfortunately this book just didn’t work for me the first time around. I DNFd at around 30% after the second-chance romance trope got a bit too angsty for me. I was expecting more, too much??, perhaps and this one just didn’t capture my interest for long enough. I don’t think I gave it a proper try though.

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare – has made this list because I initially started reading this book soon after its release – I had been highly anticipating it – however I soon realised I had forgotten important details of the story and would need to reread the first two books again…. and that’s when I gave up. Those books were long but so, so good. It’s worth the reread to finish off the trilogy. Now I just need to find the right motivation!

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore – If you’ve been reading my blog posts over the past year you’ll know I ADORED Graceling. To the extent that it’s in my all-time faves list. But… I couldn’t seem to finish off the final book in the high fantasy series. Perhaps I’ve changed over time? Or maybe Bitterblue just wasn’t for me? Either way I hadn’t been expecting to DNF this book less than half way through. My eternal love for Graceling demands I give this one a second try though!

Top 5 Sat: One Word Titles

It’s Sat again and that means we get to do one of our all-time fav memes: Top 5 Saturday created by the lovely Mandy over at Devouring Books. The topic for this week is: One Word Titles.

Last weekend I spent a LONG time trying to write a post for the previous topic in this meme, books by the sea, and couldn’t seem to find any books on my TBR. Nevertheless this week it seems like the complete opposite has occurred. I had TOO MANY one word books to choose from. Oh well, you can’t win it all, ha.

Motion by Penny Reid – I adore Penny Reid’s writing and really enjoyed the first series in the Hypothesis Trilogies. She always seems to manage creating the perfect balance of witty characters and endless drama (that somehow doesn’t get annoying?). She’s a genius, in my completely biased opinion. If you’re a science geek you’ll love her books too. They’re accurate! It’s like finding a gem in the rough.

Spellhacker by M.K England – This one made it on to my list as it sounds awesome and is surprisingly one word (??). I love books with heist themes and a merry group of law-breaking friends. What more could you want?

Havenfall by Sara Holland – I’m just going to be honest, this one is on my TBR because the cover is so pretty. Yes, I’m shallow like that. In my defence, I’ve also happened to read positive reviews for it. Well, mostly positive.

Faker by Sarah Smith – Oh, the sweet joy that is an enemies-to-lovers. Seriously I don’t think I’ll ever tire of this trope! Emmie and Tate sound so impossibly different. I’m expecting fireworks, drama and built-up sexual tension. I’ve read some mixed reviews for this one but for now I’m remaining hopelessly optimistic!

Caraval by Stephanie Garber – I’ve literally seen this book everywhere for years and haven’t really read any negative reviews for it. The premise sounds adventurous and full of magic. It’s been a while since I’ve read a fantasy immersed in magic.

The Coffee Book Tag

Hey all!

How is it another month gone already? Seriously, this year is going too fast for me to keep up. COFFEE was my first thought this morning followed quickly by… it’s going to be a two cup morning after testing the freezing outdoor temps. As an Aussie gal winter mornings are just about the coldest it gets.

I was tagged (an embarrassingly long time ago) in this tag by KitKat from KB Book Reviews – AKA one of the sweetest bloggers out there – and knew it was the perfect theme for my morning. I’m not entirely sure who created this tag, so if you know please leave a comment below so that I can acknowledge them!

Side note: If you haven’t checked out KB’s blog before GO THERE NOW. It’s brilliant!

LONG BLACK

Name a series that’s tough to get into, but has hardcore fans.

I’d have to go with LOTR. Its fans are present far and wide and seem endlessly loyal to the series. Unfortunately, this is just one series I struggled to get in to. I enjoyed the Hobbit but not the trilogy.

PEPPERMINT MOCHA

Name a book that gets more popular during the winter or festive time of the year.

It would have to be P&P. It seems that I’m not the only one to reread this during the holiday season! I’d also like to add in here: P&P retellings. Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavours by Sonali Dev is one retelling I have my eye on. Have you read any noteworthy P&P retellings?

HOT CHOCOLATE

Name your favourite children’s book.

The Magic Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton was my all-time fav read as a child. I remember my mother reading the adventures to me and eventually learning to read it myself. I still go back and read it from time-to-time.

DOUBLE SHOT ESPRESSO

Name a book that kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

This prompt was probably looking for a more heart-pounding, terror-inducing book but since I’m the wimpiest of wimps I avoid anything ‘too scary’ (AKA most thrillers and horrors). This is as about as scary as it gets for me. I couldn’t put this one down though!

STARBUCKS

Name a book you see everywhere.

I’ve been seeing Schwab’s books EVERYWHERE lately. She’s an author I have on my TBR but I haven’t tried any of her books/series yet. I’m particularly keen on trying A Darker Shade of Magic as the premise of parallel Londons sounds interesting.

THE HIPSTER COFFEE SHOP

Give a book by an indie author a shout-out.

I’m not content to just give one indie author a shout-out when I’ve recently ADORED these two books by indie-authors. Madeline Ash’s self-published series, Cowboy Princes, is a quirky and oh-so-sweet romance that I cannot recommend enough. Beneath Cruel Fathoms by Anela Deen also makes this list because it’s a brilliant fantasy filled with merfolk, intrigue and adventure. If you’re unsure JUST READ THEM. I promise they’re worth the try.

OOPS! ACCIDENTALLY GOT DECAF

Name a book you were expecting more from.

Oh man, these were such disappointments for me. My excitement during the WAIT for the release of these books was very quickly turned around once I started reading them. Undercover Bromance had many of the same elements I loved from the first book in the series but unfortunately an annoying female MC and dragged out investigative side plot let this one down.

The Arc of a Scythe trilogy started out as one of my all-time faves. I still think back fondly on the time I first read Scythe. It completely captured my interest. The Toll however, has been an incredibly hard book to finish. I’m still trying to read it after two months of chipping away at it. I’m now trying to make the hard decision of either continuing to push through or DNFing this.

THE PERFECT BLEND

Name a book or series that’s bitter sweet yet satisfying.

This ending was more bitter than sweet for me. By that I mean: I was utterly destroyed and ugly-cry sobbed. It completely broke my heart and yet… there was some happiness in there too. Everybody deserves the right to their own choices and final decisions. It took me a long while after reading the book to come to terms with that. I finally realised you don’t often have to agree with others’ choices, or even fully understand them, to be supportive of their wishes.

I TAG

As always, if you choose to participate in this I’d love to see your responses so please link back in to one of my posts.

Her Cowboy Prince by Madeline Ash – ARC Book Review

Title: Her Cowboy Prince (Cowboy Princes #2)
Author: Madeline Ash
Genre: Royalty Romance
Publication Date: 3rd June 2020

BUY IT ON AMAZON NOW

Meet the cowboy royal who will never be tamed—and the best friend sworn to protect him.

Kris Jaroka didn’t sign up for this. He and his triplet brothers were uprooted from their ranch to inherit the throne of Kiraly. His duties keep escalating, and no amount of shirking his guards can stop the gut-ache of leaving his best friend, Frankie, behind.

But his biggest challenge lies ahead.

For years, Frankie Cowan has secretly monitored the safety of Kris and his brothers. When Kris’s recklessness forces her to reveal herself as the head of palace security, her duty to protect him and his refusal to be tamed meet head on.

Bound together, their lies and hurt soon surrender to their chemistry, and Kris burns to offer her his future. But Frankie’s past isn’t fit for a cowboy, let alone a prince—proving that the person she most needs to protect him from is herself.

Oh man, this is one of the books I was highly anticipating this year and it was SO WORTH THE WAIT. Get prepared for a nonsensical review because I utterly adored this one!

From the first book in this series, Her Cowboy King, we met the characters Kris (one of three heart- breakingly handsome and quirky cowboys) and his best friend Frankie (a kick-ass female with a strong independent streak). Their romantic tension, while still being in the friend-zone, had me highly anticipating this book. I love a good friends-to-lovers romance and Madeline Ash certainly has a fab way of writing it!

While there was some investigative suspense in this story, about the ‘accident’ that resulted in the previous monarch’s death, it read as mainly a character-driven story. Told in alternative third person POV chapters, I was easily pulled in and immersed in the sexual tension that surrounds Kris and Frankie. These two were practically burning up and NOTHING HAD HAPPENED YET. It was a slow-burn wait until the end. Which for me is the best kind.

The setting was beautiful and all I wanted was to move to Kiraly so that I could proudly wear flannel and a cowboy hat in support of these brothers. Their triplet connection was one of the best parts of this story and came across as strong as it did in the first book. What made it special though was the willingness of the author to give each of these characters realistically flawed personalities. They were charming but not always sickly-sweet charming. Which is the downfall of some other romances I’ve read lately.

I’ve given this story 4.5 stars due to the fact that: a) I could not put it down and lost most of my night’s sleep reading this baby, b) the slow-burn build-up between Kris and Frankie is one of the best I’ve read yet and lastly c) who can resist falling in love with a cowboy prince??

This story is unique and I’m glad the author wasn’t shy to go against the grain and write a story with COWBOY PRINCES that felt REAL and POSSIBLE. The only thing I would have wanted to be different was the suspense aspect of this story. It was a bit predictable and I wished that there had been more exploration of the ‘bad guy’s’ reasoning for his actions. It was subtly hinted at but not fully explored, although this could just be to lead up to a full exploration of it in book 3.

4.5 Stars.

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams: A disappointing book to review

Title: Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2)
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Genre: Romance
Publication Date: March 2020

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.

Oh, this was a disappointing read. For a romance novel it wasn’t what I’d classify as ‘awful’ but it definitely did not meet the expectations I’d set after reading the first book in this series – The Bromance Book Club. My excitement after hearing that Mack (sweet and delightfully arrogant Mack) was going to be the lead in Undercover Bromance was high. It’s such a shame this book was ultimately a let down for me.

FIRST OFF: The things I actually liked…

Adams’ writing was full of entertainingly witty banter, especially between the book club members, and was relatively easy to read. The story flowed with a decent pace and the side characters, as well as glimpses of the first book’s characters Gavin and Thea, kept me engaged in the story.

Mack was such a sweetheart in this. Yes, he was a bit arrogant and clueless when it came to giving women what they really wanted – opening up and being vulnerable – but he more than made up for this in other areas. His open-mindedness, constant consideration of others and general charming manner had me sighing with joy.

SECONDLY: The things I didn’t like…

LIV. Plain and simple she was just a very abrasive and rude character. She had suffered in the past from issues with men after having a poor father figure BUT in my opinion this did not grant her the right to be a total di** to Mack at almost every point in the book. He honestly deserved so much better, especially as most of the time her anger was directed at his attempts to help (*eye roll*), and if it wasn’t for Liv’s personality this would have been a highly enjoyable read.

The inclusion of an undercover op in this story was meant to add to the suspense aspect of the book club’s current book selection however, the inclusion of this arc in the story was not seamless. It read as cumbersome and the investigation did not seem to flow naturally with the romantic plot line. Instead, the investigation felt included ad-hoc where needed to force the two main characters together. Otherwise, it was overdone and not a feature of the book I overly enjoyed.

Lastly, Adams’ pace and fab characters (with the exception of Liv) were great! I like that this book could potentially have been read as a stand-alone and for those not keen on Liv in book one I’d recommend skipping this and jumping straight in to Gavin’s (he’s Mack’s tech-genius friend) story in book 3. We don’t learn much about Gavin in book 2 so there’s no real loss there.

2.5 Stars.

Top 5 Sat: Male POV Romances (*sigh*)

Oh boy, oh boy! My excitement for the spin I’m taking on this week’s topic is in proportion to how much I love the suit featured above. In other words: A LOT.

Thank you (from the bottom of my suit-loving heart) Mandy at Devouring Books. Not only is your meme one of my faves but you’ve seriously just MADE MY WEEK with this topic.

As I enjoy this narration style it’s safe to say I’ve pretty much read it all and am going to share with you: The Five Male POV Romances I Want to Re-Read.


Tangled – Drew is an arrogant asshole until he meets Katherine. She’s competitive and just the right amount of sarcastic to challenge Drew. As all of these stories go… they fall in love. What truly makes this book special to read though is the fact that it starts out with Drew having the ‘flu’ AKA = heartbreak. It’s a unique spin on how romances normally go down and this is a book I’ll just keep rereading.

Sustained – Pay attention, I’m about to share something dear to my heart: Jake Becker. He is hands-down in my top 5 male characters OF ALL TIME. Yes, you read that correctly. He’s just such an honest, hard-working and considerate guy (despite also being kinda a callous dick). When he steps up to help Chelsea McQuaid, aunt to six orphaned children, my heart starts to melt. Yes this is practically a trashy read. I don’t care though. I’d sell my soul for Jake Becker!

The Sea of Tranquility – This is one of the few angsty YA contemporary romances that I enjoyed enough to want to read again. I spent majority of this book trying to figure out the main characters. They’re clear as day and yet… the author hints and teases with deeper secrets and backstory that only get revealed toward the end. I didn’t predict any of it (though I can be quite naive so bear that in mind, I suppose)! It was a fun read and Josh was such a sweetheart.

Leaving Paradise – Elkeles is hands-down my go-to slow burn love story (well, after Mariana Zapata). We’ll consider them different though as Elkeles writes mainly YA. If you’re a fan of Zapata I implore you to give something by Elkeles a try. What I adored about Caleb was his ready acceptance of others, especially ‘the freak’ Maggie. It’s told with a realistic twist where characters have physical flaws and young adults are capable of an unlikely inner strength. This story touched my heart.

Rule – Synonymous with BAD BOY, Rule is that classic arrogant ass that just needs to unleash his vulnerable side *sigh* (are you sensing a trend here?). What I adored about this book, even more than the pairing between Rule and Shaw (who is an awesome, no-nonsense female lead), are the side characters. The other characters who make up the ‘Marked Men’ tattoo studio (which sounds sexist as some of them are women!) are truly great. It’s a great mix of family-by-blood and family-by-choice with just the right amount of drama and action to keep the series interesting. If you’re looking for a trashy, but oh-so-fun summer read then this is it!

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover – Book Review

Title: Regretting You
Author: Colleen Hoover
Genre: Romance
Publication Date: 10 Dec 2019

FOREWARNING. I LOVED THIS BOOK, SO NATURALLY THIS IS GOING TO BE AN INCOHERENT RAMBLE.

This was my first book by Colleen Hoover and won’t be my last (maybe? possibly?). Hoover’s writing has been praised by ‘all to Kingdom come’ for its originality and emotional impact in the YA/adult romance genres. I have to admit, the hype made me VERY skeptical but after reading Regretting You I have to admit there’s some merit there.

Regretting You kept me interested throughout as a host of family secrets unraveled to reveal life-altering betrayals. The story initially follows Morgan as a young seventeen year-old girl in the summer after she graduates high school. Her long-term boyfriend, Chris, was present throughout the summer alongside the remainder of their best friends quartet: Jonah (Chris’ BFF since childhood) and Morgan’s younger sister Jenny. When Morgan finds out she’s pregnant with Chris’ child, their world changes to an unrecognisable extent.

What truly captured my attention near the beginning of the book, and held it right through to the end, was CoHo’s choice to alternate POV from Morgan and her daughter Clara. Essentially, this was a book that explored love between a mother and daughter as well as their romantic relationships with others. While some of the actions of both characters had me INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATED this choice for alternating POV worked seamlessly.

Themes of grief, love, betrayal and second chances were intertwined to create a story that cuts to the heart of the matter and doesn’t fall prey to placating the reader with happiness through to the end. Instead, in the middle of the book I was SO ANGRY, FRUSTRATED and SAD. These emotions stemmed from my dislike of BOTH the characters due to their actions toward one another. Morgan and Clara COULD NOT GET ALONG and yet… this is reality isn’t it? Things are hard. Words are said that cut deep. White lies are told in the futile hope of protecting others.

It would have been easy to give this book 2 stars. It made me SO MAD and FRUSTRATED and yet… I couldn’t do that to CoHo. It was REAL and sometimes real is annoying and ugly and heart breaking. Sometimes teenagers are ASSHOLES and their characters should reflect that too. It was a love-hate (OMG this is GOOD) relationship between me and this book.

It was real. It was oftentimes ANNOYING. But it was real. For that alone I’ll give this book 4 stars. When you add in the characters of Jonah and Miller (the romantic SOs) this story gets bumped up to a 4.5 stars. I’ve refrained from the golden 5 Star rating as there were a few (admittedly small) issues the book should have dealt with better. I’m not going to say what they were (spoilers etc) but it was toward the end and some events/revelations felt like they were glanced over.

BUT… (there’s always a but)

I don’t know if I want to read any more books by this author. It was an emotional rollercoaster that was tiring to read (in terms of the emotional impact it had on me). If anything this is an outstanding compliment to CoHo’s writing ability.

Also… what if the other books are the same. I loved this one and if it turns out the other books are cookie cutter versions of this (as some authors inherently do this) I’d be so disappointed and this book would lose all of it’s shine.

Have you read any other CoHo books? Are they all the same as this one?

Books As First Dates Tag

We were tagged in this fun and romantic bookish tag by Alice over at Love For Words. Alice created this tag herself and we ADORE it. What’s better than a ‘first date’ with a good book? Especially if the book turn in to a series. It’s a one way street to a long-term reading commitment!

If you haven’t checked out Alice’s blog yet please do! One of our favourite posts of hers is a review on The Lunar Chronicles. It’s insightful, detailed and a fun read. Check it out!

The Rules

↠ Link back to the original tag.
↠ Thank and link back to the person who tagged you.
↠ Tag 5+ bloggers.
↠ Have fun!

FIRST AND LAST

A book/series you’ve read and enjoyed, but can’t bring yourself to read again

After falling in love with Urban YA Fantasy from reading City of Bones, the Vampire Academy series was the next up on my list of obsessions. Seriously, I remember flying through these books and eagerly awaiting the release of the final instalment in the series. That said, I tried to re-read these books last year and NOPE. I got one chapter in and promptly gave up! I think my reading tastes may have changed somewhat…

WITH A FRIEND OF MY FRIEND

A book/series someone recommended to you that turned out to be different from what you had expected

I first read this after Nen recommended it and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I connected with the characters and enjoyed this story. I wasn’t expecting that as this was initially a book I had actively avoided. I tend to avoid Tolkien stories due to their complexity and frankly all of the hype surrounding them (I lived in NZ and there ALWAYS seemed to be a fan nearby extolling its virtues).

DOUBLE DATE

A book whose sequel you immediately had to read

If you’ve had the pleasure of reading a novel by Sarina Bowen you’ll understand why I NEEDED the sequel to Bittersweet IMMEDIATELY after having finished reading it. Griff and Audrey’s romance was oh, so sweet and I couldn’t wait to read more romances set in an apple orchard.

LET’S GO TO THE MOVIES

A book/series that should be adapted to the screen

Who wouldn’t want to watch this??!!??!!??

DREAMY STARGAZING

A book that made you go ahhhh and ohhhh.

Wait For It is my favourite Zapata novel (which is saying A LOT as she’s my fav romance author). There’s just something about the slow, realistic and intense relationship that builds up between Diana and Dallas. Seriously, I can’t even count how many times I’ve reread this story!

FUN AT THE FAIR

A book full of colors

I’m assuming this prompt means colours on the cover? I couldn’t think of a more colourful cover than this!

AMUSEMENT PARK ADVENTURE

A book that was a rollercoaster

Did anyone else read the Uglies series when they were younger? This was a first for me in regards to reading dystopian and I was hooked! Not only did this deliver in action and pace (reminiscent of a rollercoaster), Uglies also made me think A LOT about society’s pressure of being aesthetically beautiful. It was an intense read as a teen!

PICNIC WITH CHERRIES

A book whose food descriptions made you feel all *heart eyes*

Acevedo’s writing (and recipes) in this book were a foodie delight! While I preferred The Poet X over this story (and CANNOT WAIT for Clap When You Land), Emoni’s recipes certainly made this book mouthwateringly fun to read!

TRIP TO THE MUSEUM

A book that taught you valuable stuff

The Secret Life of Bees was a novel I had to read for English class when I was in high school and it had a profound impact on my reading choices and understanding of the world. This was the first book I had read that truly made me think. Not just about the racial and prejudicial issues explored in the book but also about the small choices we make everyday and their effect on others. Be it positive or negative. This is a book I think everyone should read at least once.

I TAG:

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams – 5 Star Book Review

Title: The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1)
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: March 2020

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.

The hype for this book was HIGH last year. As with all hyped books, I tend to have a healthy dose of skepticism surrounding their supposed ‘amazingness’. Is that a word? You know what I mean! Where this book is concerned though, the hype was valid.

In my current rom-com mood The Bromance Book Club had (almost) everything I was after. Cute storyline (honestly, an all-male romance book club is progressive and so fun to read about), admirable male MC (Gavin was all I could have really asked for) and strong side characters (seriously, my squeals of joy in hearing Mack would be the male MC in the sequel…) and a strong female MC with Thea.

To be honest, the only issue I had with this book was that it felt too short. Maybe that’s because I wanted MORE. Oh, and Thea’s sister Liv. She annoyed the pants off me. Luckily she disappeared (mostly) by half way through (YAY!). Unluckily, she’s the female MC in the sequel… which made me INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATED. More on that in the sequel’s review though…

It wasn’t even the unique all-male romance book club that won me over in this read (although that was SO FUN to read about). It was a whole host of things. Gavin’s improvement in communication skills (from reading regency romance) and his heart-warming pursuit of Thea. Their adorable twin girls! Barney the Goldie. But ultimately, this book won me over with a turn-about near the end.

Relationships take two people to break (unless there’s cheating, which wasn’t the case here) and I liked that this book explored Thea’s short-comings in the relationship toward the end of the book. While I adored Gavin’s concerted effort to win Thea back, I could understand the reasons and HURT behind his initial (admittedly childish) behaviour. Thea had some communication battles to face as well and I’m glad that this was addressed.

I loved the fast-paced nature of this book and honestly would LOVE to see a screen adaptation of this. Can you even imagine it??

5 STARS