If I’m being honest, this is probably my least favourite book in the Bromance Book Club series. Does that mean it’s bad? No, it just means I like the other ones more. It was cute, funny, and definitely entertaining, but it keep feeling like it was missing something that was in the other ones. I don’t know if I can really explain why it feels that way but though this isn’t as top tier as the first two books, it was still an enjoyable read nonetheless.
To start off on a positive note, the men in this book yet again were the best part of the book. I’ve started to refer to the Bromance Book Club as my favourite fantasy series because there is no way men like this actually exist; it’s not possible and any man like Mack or Noah, or especially Malcolm, simply do not exist and are the true fantasy. And while this was touched upon in the first book, I really enjoyed the deep exploration of men being afraid to understand and talk about their emotions and really knocking down the “real man” myth. Growing up with a military father and later in life a father-like figure, Noah was constantly told he should do things “like a man” and never felt like he was living up to that standard, forcing him to push all his emotions down and push away all the things that mattered to him. But there’s no right or wrong way to be a real man and that’s what the book club tries to teach him, and there’s a really great moment with Malcolm where he explains it to Noah, how to dispel this notion of toxic masculinity. I just love how these men all have each others’ backs and would literally drop everything to help them, whether it’s helping Mack plan his wedding (which is amazing in itself) or helping Noah fix his screw up with Alexis, it’s great to see a solid, caring group of men. Being a real man isn’t about being tough or strong or being able to use power tools; being a real man is knowing what you’re feeling, knowing what others are feeling, and doing everything in your power to be the best version of yourself that others deserve to see.
The romance between Noah and Alexis was pretty sweet and while friends to lovers isn’t my most favourite trope, I still enjoy reading about it. I thought it was cute how they both appeared to have unrequited crushes on one another but someone making a move wasn’t really enough to get the ball rolling. I thought it was important that they talked it out and really tried to define their friendship along with a romantic relationship and I liked seeing how everything blossomed. I didn’t love how, once they were together, they would still bring up the whole friendship thing and how they’d do things for one another because “that’s what friends are for” and felt it ruined some of the romantic vibe. Like I get it, you were friends before the romantic relationship happened but isn’t it weird to still do things in the name of friendship rather than, you know, because you love each other? Maybe it’s just me. And I think that’s why this romance didn’t quite live up to the others because once we got to that point, it didn’t feel like things were different because they weren’t really changing their dynamic other than having sex. There was no rollercoaster of emotions, no real emotional development on Alexis’s side, since we knew early on Noah was in love with her, and I didn’t like the lack of emotional development in their relationship.
While I loved Noah’s character and watching his character development, I wasn’t super jazzed about Alexis but I can’t put my finger on it. It’s not that she was a naive, innocent type of character who didn’t understand why bad things happened or couldn’t read people (*ahem* yes, I’m calling out Kinsley from The Change Up) but she just had this need to please people and was afraid to let others down and it made her slightly less empathetic to relate to. Like the whole storyline with her birth father and the transplant thing was kind of annoying because there was such a flip flop with her being wanted in the family but then them only wanting the kidney from her and it just didn’t feel worth it. It didn’t make sense for her to give her kidney to a father she never met, and refused to meet her in the three years he knew about her, and she still went along with it because she was so desperate for family. And don’t get me started on how that whole family treated her. It wasn’t a great plot line or thing to drive Alexis’s character development, and that’s just how I feel. Others might love her, and I think she is a lovely character as a whole, but she’s not a character for me. If that makes sense.
While it’s not my favourite book, I still loved reading the story and watching all the romance and book club shenanigans play out, making me smile and laugh when I really needed it. If you haven’t read this series yet you really should. These are some of my favourite books in the world and, again, I truly wish all men were like this. But that’d just make things too easy, eh?
Alexis Carlisle and her cat café, ToeBeans, have shot to fame after she came forward as a victim of a celebrity chef’s sexual harassment. When a new customer approaches to confide in her, the last thing Alexis expects is for the woman to claim they’re sisters. Unsure what to do, Alexis turns to the only man she trusts—her best friend, Noah Logan.
Computer genius Noah left his rebellious teenage hacker past behind to become a computer security expert. Now he only uses his old skills for the right cause. But Noah’s got a secret: He’s madly in love with Alexis. When she asks for his help, he wonders if the timing will ever be right to confess his crush.
Noah’s pals in The Bromance Book Club are more than willing to share their beloved “manuals” to help him go from bud to boyfriend. But he must decide if telling the truth is worth risking the best friendship he’s ever had.
A hacktivist and a cat café owner decode the friend zone in this romantic comedy from the author of Undercover Bromance.