Summary (from the publisher):
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 assists 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 though she’s determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
I had been anticipating Lyssa Kay Adams’ Undercover Bromance the moment I finished reading the first book in her rom-com series, The Bromance Book Club, in December. The series follows a group of professional athletes and successful guys in Nashville who read romance novels to help them navigate their own relationships. Undercover Bromance follows the leader of the book club, Mack, and the sister of The Bromance Bookclub’s female protagonist, Liv. When Liv gets fired from her job as a pastry chef after walking in on the restaurant’s celebrity chef harassing an employee, Liv teams up with Mack and the book club in exposing her boss’ past.
I knew the book was about Liv and Mack working together to bring down her boss, but I didn’t realize that it was about a sexual harassment case. In one of the first few chapters, Liv walks in on her boss sexually harassing a fellow female employee. This certainly wasn’t an easy topic to read about, but I think Lyssa Kay Adams really handled it well. While Liv is willing to do anything to help the women who have been harassed by her boss, she didn’t really understand why the women stayed silent. I think the author did a great job of showing Liv’s flaws and more importantly, sharing the perspectives of the women.
I usually favor the female perspective in my romance reads that share both male and female perspectives, but I absolutely adored Mack. Mack is willing to do anything for Liv. Like with Liv, Lyssa Kay Adams shows the flaws in his rationale. Regardless, I still enjoyed following his perspective and see his feelings and relationship with Liv progress. I also enjoy Lyssa Lay Adams’ writing style particularly because she uses third person perspective. Outside of Mack and Liv’s relationship and their investigation, we also get so spend time with the guys of the book club, Liv’s adorable nieces, and Rosie and Hop, who work on the same farm as Liv. All of these characters provide such a cute family (and sarcasm filled) atmosphere.
Is it bad to admit that I think my favorite part of Undercover Bromance was one of my all-time new favorite secondary characters, The Russian?? Whenever he was in a scene, I was always on the edge of my seat, waiting for his reaction or comic relief. I kept my reading notebook close to me at all times and I’m pretty sure I noted every single one liner from him. My absolute favorite moment involving the Russian was one when the book club meets at Rosie’s farmhouse for the first time and he is more than content with Rosie’s hens walking around. I am already ready to preorder the Bromance Book Club installment that follows him!
Overall, I loved Undercover Bromance because it had everything I love in my romance while delving into serious topics. Undercover Bromance is a five star read for me because I enjoyed it so much, however, it wasn’t completely perfect. This following trope will never keep me away from picking up romance books because I love them so much, but there was the classic ‘fall-out because of a secret reveal’ towards the end that I’m sort’ve getting tired of seeing in romance books. I love how the guys poke their own fun at this trope when they go to get Mack out of his funk because they well know this storyline from their book club reads.
I’m beyond excited that there will be three more Bromance Book Club books in 2021, with another 2020 installment on its way this fall, Crazy Stupid Bromance. While I was reading Undercover Bromance, I was trying to figure out which book club members would be the lead male protagonists in the next four books – the Russian was confirmed as one of them!
I figured that each book would follow one of the six members of the book club, but I really fell for Noah in Undercover Bromance and was hoping he’d have a book of his own. I am here to then admit that I threw my hands in the air and squealed when I read the synopsis of Crazy Stupid Bromance: it’s following Noah and Alexis! I’m so excited to get Noah’ perspective. I think there will be a lot of hard exploration and conversations about Alexis’ feelings going into a relationship, in light of what we find out about her in Undercover Bromance. Nonetheless, I am more than excited to pickup this third installment and the rest of the books. I’m hoping that the Russian’s book will be book #4!
Have you read Undercover Bromance or The Bromance Book Club? What rom-coms have you been loving lately? Share in the comments!