Bromance Book Club, Book 4
From the publisher:
One of Bustle’s Best New Books of July 2021
A Popsugar Best Book and Best Romance of July 2021
With his passion for romance novels, it was only a matter of time before Vlad wrote one.
Elena Konnikova 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.
This is one of my favorite series and this latest entry is just as wonderful as the previous books. This is one series I’ve actually read in order! The premise behind the series is this group of men, most professional athletes and one country music star, have a friendship unlike most. These men talk, really talk, about relationships and life and they help one another. They also have a book club where they read romance novels, the idea being that they will learn how to be better boyfriends and husbands. It works pretty well for them.
This book centers around Vlad, nicknamed “the Russian” because he is from Russia. He is married to Elena, but none of the men have ever met her. While they all live in Nashville, Elena’s been living in Chicago for six years attending Northwestern University, where she’s almost completed her master’s degree in journalism. So when she shows up at a wedding, Vlad is so happy to see her, until she takes off. They are at crossed purposes here; he wants their marriage to be real, and she wants to move back to Russia to be a journalist. Her father was “disappeared” while working on a story about sex trafficking, and she wants to continue his work. She’s been digging into his story all the while she’s been in school, but with her masters at hand, she is ready to go to work.
Turns out that Vlad and Elena were childhood friends, and his parents often took care of her as her mother died when she was very young, and her father was often away working. When she turns 18, Vlad asks her to marry him, giving her the chance to move to America and go to school. They never even consummate their marriage before she moves away.
But this is not your typical green card marriage. For one thing, they have been friends for most of their lives. For another, Vlad isn’t an American citizen. He’s got a work visa because he’s a professional hockey player, and the rules are different for athletes. But Vlad is in love with Elena, and wants her to come home after she graduates.
Elena overheard something when they were getting married that led her to believe that Vlad was only being kind to her. She feels like a burden to him, and wants to stop having him support her. But right as she was getting ready to go, she gets a phone call from the hospital, asking her to come in. Vlad had been severely injured in a game, and she decides that is one way she can pay him back for all the kindness and generosity he has shown her. She moves into his house to take care of him.
Vlad has several secrets that he hasn’t shared with Elena or his book club buddies, but as he is dependent on his wife and friends during his recuperation, the secrets start to come out, one of which is that he has written his own romance novel. The guys are all excited about that, and even Elena gets to read it eventually.
I love these books because I think the premise is so clever, and I love these characters. Plus the books are all really funny, including this latest. While this is a series and is probably best if at least the first book is read before this one, I think they all stand alone pretty well. Reading this book left me feeling happy all day, and what better recommendation do you need that that! Don’t miss it. BONUS: I spotted this on Adams’ twitter page: “coming soon to Netflix!”
8/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
ISN’T IT BROMANTIC? by Lyssa Kay Adams. Berkley (July 20, 2021). ISBN: 978-0593332771. 352 pages.