Review: The Bromance Book Club – Lyssa Kay Adams

Review: The Bromance Book Club – Lyssa Kay AdamsThe Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
Series: Bromance Book Club #1
Published by Berkley
Published: November 5, 2019
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four-stars

The first rule of this 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.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

There is something oddly amusing thinking about a group of professional athletes sitting around reading romance books. Just the idea of these guys that play these sports like football and hockey picking up a swoony romance book makes me giggle. So the concept of The Bromance Book Club had me from the start. I was curious how a story like this would play out. It had the potential to be too cliché and out there, but all in all it lived up to my excitement and I’m so happy to have read it.

The Bromance Book Club is about Gavin, a professional baseball player that has been asked for a divorce from his wife Thea after she reaches her  limit when Gavin loses his cool by something she reveals…she has been faking it in bed. Having been kicked out of the house Gavin gets super drunk one night and is brought into the fold of the Bromance Book Club. What is the Bromance Book Club? It is a club filled with Nashville’s top athletes/alpha males and it is used to better these men for the women they love and in the long run the women they are raising. With the help of the book club and a steamy romance book Gavin starts to woo his wife in a way he should have done to begin with. The question is, is it too late or can Gavin and the Bromance Book Club save his marriage?

What I really loved about this book was how it tackled the alpha male stereotype.  These guys were aware how they were behaving, how their toxic masculinity was effecting their lives and the lives of the women they loved and they did something about it in the most “girly” way imaginable. They took something so ‘feminine’ and ‘cliché’ like reading a romance book and used it to help them see the errors of their ways. Was it a perfect plan? Definitely not. They seriously got themselves into a whole boatload of trouble this way, but it also softened them. They learned that being a strong male doesn’t mean you have to be an alpha male. Through their friendship and the books they were reading they made themselves better and I just adored that aspect.

The Bromance Book Club was a quick read and a fantastic debut to this series. It was a fun journey and I honestly don’t want to give too much away because I think you should read it. Did it sometimes become over the top? For sure.  But in the end it was all worth it. Pick this one up and get ready for book 2. That one is going to be a doozy.

 

 

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ARC August: Check-In

Unlike last year I am checking in in the middle of ARC August to show my progress. So far I have done pretty well for myself. I have finished 4 books, I’m in the middle of 2, and I DNFd one . Not too bad considering I went away for a few days and celebrated both my birthday and my mom’s. Would I have liked to have read more over the last 16 days? Sure. But I’ll take what I can. Here are two mini reviews for what I have read:

ARC August: Check-InStealing Home by Becky Wallace
Published by Page Street Kids
Published: July 9, 2019
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four-stars

Fight for your dreams, even if it means breaking a few rules.

Seventeen-year-old Ryan Russell has life perfectly planned. If she keeps up her hard work, one day she’ll take over the family business: owning the Buckley Beavers, a minor league baseball team, and become one of the only female General Managers in the sport.

But when the newest member of the Beavers, child-phenom Sawyer Campbell, shows up, Ryan’s carefully laid plans are thrown a major curveball. Sawyer is far more charming than the arrogant jocks she usually manages, his ambition rivals her own workaholic nature—and he’s completely out of bounds. Fraternizing is against every rule in the Beaver’s handbook.

Then Ryan’s divorced parents butt heads over the future of the Beavers, and her mom plans to sell her shares to a business group known for relocating teams. If this happens, Ryan’s dreams of becoming GM disappear. In a bid to save her future, she partners with Sawyer to use his star power to draw in sponsors who will keep the team in Buckley. But the more time she spends with him, the more impossible it becomes to play by the Beaver’s rules, and she can’t afford a strikeout on the path to her dreams.

Full count with two outs, Ryan’s one pitch away from losing the whole ball game.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Stealing Home was a great summer read! It ticked all the boxes for things I love in a sports themed romance. Sawyer and Ryan had amazing chemistry and the bantered back and forth so well. There was also oodles of tension between them because they wanted something they couldn’t have, each other. But what I really loved about it was the fact that it was also a story about going after your dream no matter what it takes. It is so easy to think something is impossible and to give up on it, but Ryan was not that person. She fought for what she wanted and went for it. I struggled a lot with Ryan’s mom’s portrayal and the way she kind of turned towards the end, but all in all it was a quick, enjoyable read with a hot of heart and depth.

ARC August: Check-InHot to the Touch by Jaci Burton
Series: Brotherhood by Fire #1
Published by Berkley
Published: May 7, 2019
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two-stars

Love burns white-hot in this first scorching romance in an all-new trilogy about a family of firefighters from the New York Times bestselling author of the Play-by-Play novels and the Hope series.

Firefighter Jackson Donovan doesn't look back--as a rule. So when his past comes roaring back to life in the form of not-so-damsel-in-distress Becks Benning, the last thing he wants to do is relive old times. No matter how tempting she makes it seem...

Now thanks to his two interfering brothers, Becks is living with them while she looks for a new place and tries to pick up the pieces of her tattoo business that went up in flames. Which means a grown up, smokin' hot Becks is in his house, sharing meals, and digging up old wounds. And despite his better judgement, the more time he spends with this smart, artistic, incredible woman the more he wants her in his bed--and his future.

Becks always had it bad for Jackson. Unfortunately for her, not much has changed--he's still honorable, hard-working, sexy as sin--and closed off. But there's more than one way to get to a man's heart and if Jackson doesn't want to recall old memories, she'll just have to help him make new ones. Because now that she's found Jackson again, she's not letting him go.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Hot to the Touch has been on my TBR for some time now but something just didn’t work for me with this one. When I was reading the book I felt more like it was being told at me and not to me and that really rubbed me wrong. I also didn’t find any chemistry at all between Jackson and Becks so I had no interest if they were a couple of not. His personality changed so much I just didn’t like him at all. Plus the pacing felt a tad off. Honestly, I have been struggling with Jaci Burton books for sometime and I think this was the one that finally has made me believe this author just isn’t for me anymore. This book just didn’t do it for me.

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*I will be reviewing The Bromance Book Club closer to release and November and Tweet Cute closer to release in January.

How is your ARC August progressing?

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Review: The Bride Test – Helen Hoang

Review: The Bride Test – Helen HoangThe Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Published by Berkley
Published: May 7, 2019
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four-half-stars

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Since finishing The Kiss Quotient I was dying for Helen Hoang to release a new book. I had loved her writing style so much and I wanted more from her. When I heard about The Bride Test and that it would be Khai’s book I was pretty excited. We only got a small snippet of him in the first book. I was curious about him and wanted to know more, especially after hearing load about his mother from Quan. I was pleasantly surprised not by how much I enjoyed it, but by the humor I found in it and the journey of the characters.

As I mentioned, The Bride Test is the story of Khai, the brother of Quan (from The Kiss Quotient) that has autism. Khai tends to keep to himself believing he can’t feel anything so there is no point in trying. His mother, on the other hand, knows there is a girl out there for him so she takes matters into her own hands and finds Esme in Vietnam and brings her to Khai. Soon Khai and Esme are living together and both completely out of their comfort zones and trying to navigate what is going on between. While one is falling, the other is uncertain. If he feels anything. But with a little push and some guidance they may actually be a perfect match.

Truly this book was a joy to read. I loved the interactions with Khai and Esme. They were so awkward and charming at the same time. They made you want to root for them because they were so uncertain of each other and of their feelings for one another. Every one of their interactions made me either cringe from the awkwardness of the two of them or laugh from their awkwardness. There was never a dull moment with these two seemingly opposites that were really a great fit for one another.

To be honest, I knew going into The Bride Test that there was no way for it to top The Kiss Quotient (there was something magically perfect about that book) and that was okay with me. What I did get though was a fantastic follow-up that left me craving more from the mind of Helen Hoang and all of these fantastic characters I have grown to love. Now bring on Quan’s book!

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Review: The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang

Review: The Kiss Quotient – Helen HoangThe Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Published by Berkley
Published: June 5, 2018
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five-stars

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there's not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases--a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn't help that Stella has Asperger's and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice--with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can't afford to turn down Stella's offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan--from foreplay to more-than-missionary position...

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he's making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic...

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Holy. Wow. What a book!

That was my first thought after I finished The Kiss Quotient.

I had seen a lot of people talking about The Kiss Quotient and I admit that it made me a little scared to read it. Hyped up books can sometimes go horribly wrong. You get your hopes up and expect something earth shattering only to be let down. I have been burned before and super sad about it. But The Kiss Quotient was not one of those burns. It was fun, and real, and filled with smoking hot chemistry.

At first glance, Stella and Michael are complete opposites. Stella is a serious and quirky character that has Asperger’s, while Michael is this cool, suave guy that happens to be an escort. On paper there is nothing about these two that should fit. They live in different worlds and lead very different lives. But in the end that is exactly what made them work. When Stella hires Michael all their boundaries are pushed and they end up finding a comfort with one another they never expected. Their differences end up bringing out the best in each of them and making them start to question the rules they have been living by. Watching them step out of their respective comfort zones and form a physical and emotional bound is a pure thing of beauty. Meeting one another changes them to the core and that is what I found so special and unique about The Kiss Quotient.

Miranda Kenneally said it was a reverse Pretty Woman and she was so spot on with that description and I’m mad at myself for not even seeing it because the obvious aside (Stella hiring an escort), it had the same feels as that classic movie and made you just root for this two to be together. Honestly it was my favorite romance read of the year and I think it will be yours too. Go and check it out!

Buy links: Amazon, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Nook, Books a Million, Indiebound, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play

About Helen Hoang

Helen Hoang is that shy person who never talks. Until she does. And the worst things fly out of her mouth. She read her first romance novel in eighth grade and has been addicted ever since. In 2016, she was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in line with what was previously known as Asperger’s Syndrome. Her journey inspired THE KISS QUOTIENT. She currently lives in San Diego, California with her husband, two kids, and pet fish.

Have you read The Kiss Quotient yet? Is it on your TBR?

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Review: Play by Play Series Books 10, 11 & 12 – Jaci Burton

Review: Play by Play Series Books 10, 11 & 12 – Jaci BurtonAll Wound Up by Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play #10
Published by Berkley
Published: August 4th 2015
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three-half-stars

Tucker Cassidy is going through a slump—both with his curveball and in his dating life. After having a painful altercation involving his ex-girlfriend’s knee, the professional baseball player is convinced things couldn’t get worse…until a gorgeous doctor comes to the rescue at his most embarrassing moment.

As the daughter of the owner of the St. Louis Rivers major league baseball team, Dr. Aubry Ross has been around jocks all her life. She knows the ins and outs of all their games, and she isn’t interested in playing.

When Tucker repeatedly lands in the hospital where she’s working, Aubry starts to think he’s getting injured just to see her. Tucker is both funny and sexy, and Aubry is pleasantly surprised to discover he actually respects her job.

But when her father disapproves of their relationship, will Tucker let threats of a trade get in the way of a game-changing love?

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Review: Play by Play Series Books 10, 11 & 12 – Jaci BurtonUnexpected Rush by Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play #11
Published by Berkley
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two-stars

For Barrett Cassidy, playing defense for the Tampa Hawks is a dream come true. And now he may have discovered his dream woman. Harmony Evans, once the sweet, gawky teenage sister of his best friend and teammate has grown into a smart, gorgeous woman with moves he finds hard to resist. But he knows he can’t get involved with his best friend’s sister—it’s guy code.

Harmony has always gone after what she wants with single-minded determination, from her independence to her education to her career in interior design. She never expected her youthful crush on Barrett to develop into something deeper. And she’s not about to let some ridiculous man rules or her brother stand in her way.

When the chemistry is this combustible, lines tend to get crossed. And when Barrett and Harmony’s secret gets out, it just might be game over...to develop into something deeper. And she’s not about to let some ridiculous man rules or her brother stand in her way.
When the chemistry is this combustible, lines tend to get crossed. And when Barrett and Harmony’s secret gets out, it just might be game over...

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Review: Play by Play Series Books 10, 11 & 12 – Jaci BurtonRules of Contact by Jaci Burton
Published by Berkley
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two-stars

A defensive end for the San Francisco Sabers, Flynn Cassidy is used to being in the spotlight—he just doesn’t enjoy it. But if getting in front of the cameras will help his new restaurant succeed, he’s willing. Now if he could just meet a woman who loved him and not his fame…

After her divorce, Amelia Lawrence is thrilled to start over as head chef at Ninety-Two. It’s just the opportunity she needs to heat up her career—if only she wasn’t wildly attracted to her sexy new boss. Their chemistry might be sizzling hot, but Amelia has no intention of being burned again.

Flynn can’t get enough of Amelia, and Amelia loves every second she spends with the tough yet tender Flynn. But trust is a hard-fought battle for both. Breaking the rules of contact and surrendering to their passion was the easy part. Are they willing to risk their hearts to win at the game of love?

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Reading a long romance series will definitely have its ups and downs. There will be couples you love, couples you hate. There will be set ups that work and some that don’t. You will never be 100% happy with all books in a long series, but that is what the joy of reading is about.

I started Jaci Burton’s Play by Play series in 2012. Over the last 4 years I have read books 1-9. Over the last 2 months I read the final (??) 3 books, All Wound Up, Unexpected Rush, and Rules of Contact. Each book had a Cassidy sibling (Tucker, Barrett, and Flynn) and the football and baseball we ha e known and loved in this series. All three had love and romance and the ever present happily ever after. But all the did not leave me with the same feelings of joy. To be honest I was slightly disappointed in the last two books.

Basically, I really enjoyed Tucker and Aubry’s story (book 10). They definitely had a natural chemistry between the two of them that sucked me in from the start. Their relationship didn’t feel forced or rushed. It felt like they belonged together and that’s what I love about a good romance. But Barrett and Harmony(book 11) and Flynn and Amelia (book 12) didn’t have that feeling for me. Those two couples felt forced and there was no spark. I almost wish there had been build-up and pinning. I really think that’s what was missing for me.

As a whole I enjoyed the series. There were so hits and some misses, but together it was just a fun sports series with love, life and romance. Book 10, All Wound Up, was my favorite of the last 3 for sure, but I would recommend checking the series out.

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