Thursday, April 16, 2020

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams
Release Date - March 10, 2020
Publisher Website - Penguin Random House Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 320 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**arc received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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. 
We were introduced to a group of romance reading men in The Bromance Book Club. The companion novel, Undercover Bromance, focuses on a different member of the book club and on the very timely topic of sexual harrassment in the work place.

I feel like each book is going to have the guys reading a different genre of romance book. We find them reading a romantic suspense novel in this one which ends up being useful to them later on in the story. I am really excited about this idea and cannot wait to see if they tackle paranormal romance at some point.

There are going to be many people who do not like Liv. She is abrasive and I can see why some would find her offputting at times. I think the author has gone through great pains to ensure that we see that the armour Liv has up is a result of trauma that she has yet to deal with. It also makes her a character who has the potential to grow and we do see a bit of that within these pages.

Braden and Liv may seem like opposites but as we get to know what is under the charming, self confident exterior we see that they are actually really compatible. They each are working through things that they have let fester for a long time, and it makes them an interesting couple. They have some great banter and some really sweet vulnerable moments that worked for me. If you, like me, brushed Braden off as some cocky pretty boy I promise that your opinion if him will change by the end of this novel.

Braden and Liv use his knowledge of romantic suspense novels to plot a way of bringing down her former employer. While the first novel was peppered with excerpts from the novel the group is currently reading, that is not the case in this follow up. Those who loved that element of the story will be disappointed to learn that we only get a brief glimpse of the novel in question this time.

Much will be made of Liv's reaction to the victims in the sexual harassment story arc. She cannot comprehend how someone would not come forward to protect others from expirencing the same harrassment. She puts an onus and expectation on the victims that is unfair and feels a little like victim blaming. The reason I am on board with this portrayal is because she is immediately called out on her behaviour. She grows and realizes why she was wrong and makes amends. It is shown in a way that will hopefully also help educate people about the many reasons victims may not come forward and why that expectation should not be placed on them if they are not comfortable doing so. I particularly like that it is not just one person calling her out. I also appreciated the emphasis on men calling out other men when they see them exhibiting toxic behaviour.

Lyssa Kay Adams has created a group of characters that you cannot help but love. Each of the main members of the book club are charming and that will make these companion reads all the easier for fans to eagerly anticipate. I cannot be the only reader to take notice of Noah (and he just so happens to be the focus of the next book).

If you are looking for a fun and fresh spin on the romance read I highly recommend checking out this series. They play with romance tropes while fully embracing them. It will make you laugh, swoon, and leave you with a smile on your face. 

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