🐞 🐞 🐞 🐞 🐞
Lyssa Kay Adams
March 10, 2020
This is the second book in the Bromance Bookclub series. The first book, The Bromance Bookclub, was one of my favorite books of 2019. It’s about a group of dudebros who seek (and find!) relationship guidance through romance novels. It’s amazing and hilarious, and if you haven’t read it, you need to.
The same characters are in Undercover Bromance, though you won’t need to have read the first book to follow the second. This time around the story focuses on Liv (Thea’s sister) and Mack (Gavin’s buddy). Mack accidentally gets Liv fired from her dream job as a sous chef at a posh restaurant, and even though Liv can’t stand her sleazy boss, she’s rightfully pissed at Mack. But on her way out of the building after getting fired, Liv witnesses her boss sexually assault another employee. Furious, she promises the employee to help her file a report and seek justice—but Liv is shocked when the woman is too embarrassed to seek help.
Determined to find another way to take down her ex-boss, Liv turns to her family and friends for support. Surprisingly, it’s Mack who steps up to help first. Liv is reluctant to accept it, but since she’s in a tight spot, eventually she agrees, and they come up with a plan. As the two spend more time together, their relationship develops into something deeper—which is great, but also complicated… Liv’s hurtful past relationship with her father gets in the way of her ability to trust men. Can she let her guard down enough to let Mack in and really begin to trust him?
Undercover Bromance is another winner for me. I love the broseph-ness of the men and their slightly ridiculous fascination with romance novels. All of the characters, including Liv, are just so endearing and lovable. But what stayed with me most was the complex exploration of what it means to support victims of sexual assault. We tend to want to see the world in black and white terms, but these issues are nuanced. There is a lot of grey area, especially where human frailty and shame are involved. And while it is, of course, imperative that we support victims in every way possible, sometimes the hardest thing to do is support them the way they want it. Sometimes support requires patience, not aggression—listening, not yelling and casting blame. I think many of us want to ride in on a white horse, but sometimes the best thing we can do is empower the victim to save herself.
I know these are deep thoughts for a modern romance novel, but, shoot, author Lyssa Kay Adams pulls it off! What a gem of a book. I still find myself pondering the story, even weeks after I’ve finished it. Five enthusiastic stars from me!
Thank you to Berkley and Net Galley for the ARC!