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Isn't It Bromantic?


Isn't It Bromantic?

Bestselling author Lyssa Kay Adams returns with the fourth entry in her Bromance Book Club series, ISN’T IT BROMANTIC?, featuring fan-favorite Vladimir, aka the Russian.

Readers of the series have eagerly rooted for the Russian, the group’s big, lovable enforcer who is always ready with a bear hug or a quippy one-liner. But until last year’s CRAZY STUPID BROMANCE, little thought was given to Vlad’s own love life, or his wife, Elena. All of that changed when Braden Mack and Liv Papandreas tied the knot, and Vlad showed up to the wedding with a jaw-droppingly gorgeous woman --- his wife. After a tense encounter, Elena left the wedding in tears, and Vlad practically fell off the face of the earth, leaving the Bromance Book Club and his friends behind.

Now, in ISN’T IT BROMANTIC?, Vlad shares his love story for the first time. He explains his reasons for joining the exclusive club of famous, trendy and desirable men who read romance novels to improve their love lives and understand the women around them better.

"Combining the beloved wit and heart of the previous books with one of its most lovable characters and a hearty dose of Pushkin’s poetry, Lyssa Kay Adams reminds readers why they have come to love her bestselling series with ISN’T IT BROMANTIC?, my second-favorite installment to date."

Vlad and Elena Konnikova have spent six years in a marriage of convenience. Back in Russia, Vlad’s parents treated Elena like their own daughter while her journalist father was out chasing the next big story and putting himself in harm’s way. When Elena’s father disappeared, and Vlad made it big as a professional hockey player for the NHL in America, he proposed, hoping not only to make his lifelong love for Elena legitimate, but to save her from falling down the same path as her father.

Unfortunately, Elena’s arrival in the United States was not the romantic time that Vlad had anticipated, as she spent the night crying alone in his spare bedroom. When she later asked to go to college in Chicago, miles from their home in Nashville, Vlad agreed to pay the way, hoping that she would see his gesture as a confession of love and use her schooling to start to feel secure in America and their marriage. But now six years of estrangement have passed, and Vlad, sick of seeing his friends find their happily-ever-afters, is ready for his own love story. The problem is that his wife is the only woman he desires, and she wants nothing to do with him.

ISN’T IT BROMANTIC? starts with a tragedy when Vlad is involved in a freak accident on the ice that breaks his tibia and puts his career on hold. Although Elena is readying herself to divorce him and return to Russia, she feels she owes him for the time he has spent caring and paying for her, so she agrees to come home to help nurse him back to health. After a disastrous and hilarious bathing incident with the Bromance Book Club, Vlad confesses his darkest secret: he and Elena have never consummated their marriage, nor done anything that counts as intimacy. Enter Gavin, Del, Mack, Malcolm, Noah, Colton and Yan. They’ve successfully used their shared knowledge of romance, women’s minds and their own failings to save and create their own relationships, and now they’re ready to do the same for the guy who has always had their backs.

Adams reminds her readers that love is a two-way street, and while it is difficult to imagine the Russian with any flaws (and easier still to see Elena as a heartless villain), both characters have a lot of growing to do at the start of the book. Though Vlad has always supported and protected Elena, he has overcorrected and tamped down his own feelings for fear of scaring her away. Sure, he has encouraged her to go off and attend college, and become the woman she has always dreamed of being, but he has never explicitly told her how much he wants her to come home and why their budding romance is worth fighting for. At the same time, Elena has long dealt with her own guilt at trapping Vlad in a loveless marriage, all while knowing that she couldn’t live without him. Using Vlad’s own historical romance manuscript as a plot device, Adams (and the Bromance Book Club!) pushes Vlad to explore his own romantic failings, and examine where his fears of being open and honest with Elena began.

ISN’T IT BROMANTIC? is yet another successful, swoon-worthy and hilarious entry in the series. Adams’ characters not only learn to become better lovers, they take great care to battle their own toxic masculinities and break down stereotypes about men, women, romance and sex. I have been waiting for Vlad’s story ever since I read THE BROMANCE BOOK CLUB, and I am delighted to say that this book delivers in every way imaginable. Having adored the Russian for his one-liners, misunderstandings and love of kissing scenes, I appreciated getting to see the “real” him, and Adams does his story --- every single part of it --- total justice. It was difficult at first to sympathize with Elena, but seeing her through Vlad’s eyes, and watching him fall for the small gestures and moments that make up his wife, I found a heroine to really root for, someone terrified of being vulnerable but desperate for a real connection.

Combining the beloved wit and heart of the previous books with one of its most lovable characters and a hearty dose of Pushkin’s poetry, Lyssa Kay Adams reminds readers why they have come to love her bestselling series with ISN’T IT BROMANTIC?, my second-favorite installment to date. I cannot wait to see which member she focuses on next. I’m rooting for Colton!

Reviewed by Rebecca Munro on August 27, 2021

Isn't It Bromantic?
by Lyssa Kay Adams