This review was originally posted to curlybookowl.com on March 16, 2020.
Undercover Bromance, the second book in Lyssa Kay Adams’s Bromance Book Club series, is an amazing follow-up to what was one of my favorite books of 2019. Keep reading for my thoughts on this delightful, fresh, rom-com!
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.
I didn’t stand a chance. From the start, I knew there was no way I wasn’t going to fall completely, ardently, head-over-heels in love with this book and with Mack. Like its predecessor, Undercover Bromance has the perfect balance of laugh-out-loud humor, swoon-worthy romance, and emotional depth.
What I loved about Undercover Bromance was that it had all the same charm, earnestness, and fun of The Bromance Book Club (my review), but it stood on its own as well. I wasn’t invested in Liv and Mack’s story because I had already fallen in love with the series in Book Club, I was invested in their story because it was so authentic and lovable.
“I used to think I knew what I was doing with women, Liv,” he whispered. “But then I met a certain pastry chef, and my whole fucking world turned on its head.”
As someone who loves a good slow burn enemies-to-lovers romance, watching Liv and Mack, both so trust-averse and gun-shy, fall in love was an absolute joy. Mack’s tenderness towards Liv, the way that they both seemed to simultaneously push each other’s buttons while also understanding the other perfectly—falling in love with them was inevitable.
Undercover Bromance is timely, featuring a #MeToo storyline that is all too familiar to so many. This storyline was so interesting, not just because it was relevant and timely, but also because of Liv’s growth through it. For much of the story, Liv is not a perfect feminist (hint: there’s no such thing) but she carries herself with the self-righteousness of one, often to the detriment of those around her. Over the course of the story, however, Liv experiences gradual and powerful growth—both as a lover and partner to Mack and as an ally and source of support for her friends.
Side note: The Russian is my favorite and look, I’m going to level with y’all, fart jokes will never not be funny to me.
If you love enemies-to-lovers, rom-coms, steam, and Russians with indigestion (or even if you just love the first three), Undercover Bromance is a must-read.
- “[Mack] noticed for the first time how much she looked like her sister. They had the same eyes. The same coloring. But Liv had a wariness about her he’d never seen in Thea. She looked like someone who desperately wanted to trust people but didn’t know how.”
- Don’t you think it’s high time you and I fell in love?”
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has not impacted or influenced my review or opinions.