2021 FAVE SEQUEL: Isn’t It Bromantic? Review

Summary (from the publisher):

55470802With his passion for romance novels, it was only a matter of time before Vlad wrote one.

Elena Konnikovas has lived her entire adult life in the shadows. As the daughter of a Russian journalist who mysteriously disappeared, she escaped danger the only way she knew how: She married her childhood friend, Vladimir, and moved to the United States, where he is a professional hockey player in Nashville.

Vlad, aka the Russian, thought he could be content with his marriage of convenience. But it’s become too difficult to continue in a one-sided relationship. He joined the Bromance Book Club to learn how to make his wife love him, but all he’s learned is that he deserves more. He’s ready to create his own sweeping romance—both on and off the page.

The bros are unwilling to let Vlad forgo true love—and this time they’re not operating solo. They join forces with Vlad’s neighbors, a group of meddling widows who call themselves the Loners. But just when things finally look promising, Elena’s past life intrudes and their happily ever after is cast into doubt.

 

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts: 

Is it really that much of a surprise that this book was a full 5 star read for me? Ever since I read The Bromance Book Club, I had been hoping for an installment following The Russian, or Vlad as we get to know him in Isn’t It Bromantic?. Lyssa Kay Adams announced around the publication of book #2, Undercover Bromance, that the fourth book in this companion series would focus on the funny and super lovable hockey star.

 Isn’t It Bromantic? is similar to The Bromance Book Club (the first book) in the sense that the book follows two marriages on the breaking point. However, what is super unique about Vlad and Elena’s marriage compared to Gavin and Thea’s marriage is that Vlad and Elena have a marriage of convenience and have spent little to no time with one another since they were married six years ago. As soon as they married, Elena fled to Chicago to get her journalism degree and crack the story her father was working on before he disappeared years ago, while Vlad became the best defenseman on Nashville’s pro hockey team. When Vlad suffers from an injury in a playoff game, Elena returns to Nashville to help take care of him and the two begin to heal their relationship.

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INDIE YA ROMANCE: 21 Questions Review

21_questionsSummary (from the publisher):

In Laguna Beach, California, sixteen-year-old Kendra Dimes is preparing for the 2010 USA Surfing Prime West. She’ll be competing this year in honor of her brother, who was a surfer too, but who died from a drug overdose. Kendra has suffered anxiety attacks ever since her brother’s death, and surfing is what’s been helping her heal.

Brock Parker is the new bad boy at school; he deals drugs to the high school clientele for his parents, who work for a Mexican drug lord. Though Brock and Kendra come from two different worlds, sparks fly when they meet at the homecoming dance—their attraction is magnetic. When they start a game of 21 Questions one night, they begin to learn more about each other—and, surprisingly, about themselves too. But some questions aren’t answered with the whole truth; after all, Brock can’t tell Kendra what his parents do for a living.

As Kendra and Brock experience all of life’s most exciting firsts, they prove that even when life throws you the perfect storm, you can make it through and come out stronger than before. 21 Questions is a coming-of-age journey packed with passion and heartbreak, risk and romance.

 

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

I’m always up for a YA romance, which led me to Alexandria Rose Rizik’s YA debut, 21 Questions. This indie read takes on the forbidden romance & opposites attract tropes, as rising surfing star, good girl Kendra finds herself entangled with school bad boy, Brock, who is known under-the-radar for being one of the school’s biggest drug dealers.

I binge-read 21 Questions while floating around the pool in one day! You definitely have to suspend your belief going into this book – maybe call me naive, but I couldn’t get over how drug use seems so common in Brock and even Kendra’ social circles, and there is an entire storyline involving Brock and his family working for one of the biggest’s drug dealers on the West Coast. Kendra is VERY much your classic good girl – doesn’t curse or drink – but Brock gets in the way of her athletic goals. I was kind’ve hoping the book didn’t go in this direction, but at the same time, I appreciated that it wasn’t a complete happy-ever-after. The storyline is fast-paced and admittedly pretty predictable, but the ending (pre-epilogue) actually wasn’t what I was expecting. I think my favorite part of the book comes from the title’s inspiration, as Brock and Kendra often play 21 questions (where they ask each other random questions about their lives) to get to know each other more.

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