Us, Again + Bromance Book Club | Mini Reviews

December 7, 2019 | Posted by Victoria in Book Reviews, Multi-Reviews | 2 Comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Us, Again + Bromance Book Club | Mini Reviewsby Elle Maxwell
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publication Date: November 11, 2019 by (indie)
Format: eARC
Goodreads | Amazon
3.5 Stars
Source: Author

"It's really him. The former love of my life. The man I gave everything to, who broke me so badly the pieces never healed back together properly."

Graham Wyatt might be 6’2” of irresistible muscled, tattooed, angsty Alpha male (and don’t forget the man bun)—but sorry, ladies! He’s a one woman man. Specifically, Mackenzie Thatcher, the love of his life whose heart he broke 5 years ago. Now that he’s out of prison (yes, prison…it’s a long story) he’s determined to redeem himself and prove he’s reformed his bad boy ways so she’ll give him a second chance.

Mackenzie, on the other hand, has vowed off love forever. She's already experienced excruciating heartbreak, and she has no intention of ever getting near that particular fire again...especially with the very man who burned her in the first place. She’s perfectly happy being a badass independent woman, thank you very much. That is, until seeing Graham again stirs up feelings she doesn’t know what to do with (besides a little quality time with her B.O.B.).

She’s not going to give in easily, but he isn’t afraid to play a little dirty. (Like that time he showed up to her yoga class and took off his shirt…) Graham is determined to do whatever it takes to win her back, even when some drug-dealing demons from his past show up and threaten the progress he’s starting to make.

Can Graham keep from repeating his past mistakes and find redemption with the woman he loves?

This contemporary second chance romance from debut author Elle Maxwell is a full length novel that is a standalone with no cliffhanger.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

There’s been so much hype on bookstagram about Elle Maxwell’s debut novel Us, Again so I was super excited to get an eARC! I dove into the novel as quickly as I could, and overall I enjoyed the story and can’t believe that this is a debut novel!

First I just want to talk about how much I love Elle Maxwell’s writing style. From the first chapter I was hooked and didn’t want to stop reading. I really enjoyed reading about both of the characters, and love the way they were written. Second chance romances are usually pretty hit or miss for me, and in Us, Again it was a hit. I loved reading about Graham and Mackenzie’s history, and how they try to move forward with a relationship in the present.

“There’s nothing romantic about debilitation co-dependence. Obsession is not the same thing as love – the same way needing another person is not a sign of a healthy relationship or a stable sense of self.”

While I enjoyed so many aspects of the book, one thing that irritated me and ultimately made me lower my star rating was the issues with how prison, parole, and therapy were written. I think Maxwell needed to do more research for both of these aspects of the book because they weren’t written very accurately. I know this is more of a personal issue since I know a little bit about both of these topics, and shouldn’t affect readers who don’t have as much knowledge on prison/parole/therapy, but I think it’s important that it’s written accurately. Being on parole was such a big part of Graham’s life and the story line, but it wasn’t discussed as often as it should have been, and a lot of the things related to parole weren’t mentioned in the story which made it unrealistic. Also there were quite a few things Graham’s therapist did that were super unethical and not things therapists typically do/should do.

There’s also some instances of stalking mentioned throughout the book that made me a little uncomfortable. I know that Graham and Mackenzie have a history, but that doesn’t make it okay. This happened at the beginning of the book, and was pretty cleared away afterwards, but it’s still something that made me uncomfortable while reading.

I know I went into a lot of detail of what irked me about the book, but I needed to share my thoughts on why my rating was lowered. Overall I really enjoyed the book and can’t wait to read more from Elle Maxwell.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Us, Again + Bromance Book Club | Mini Reviewsby Lyssa Kay Adams
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: November 5, 2019 by Berkley Romance
Format: eARC
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
4.5 Stars

The first rule of this book club:
You don't talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott's marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville's top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it'll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Bromance Book Club is such a hyped book right now, and overall I think the hype is worth it! I was a little worried going in because so many people love this book and keep raving about it, and I didn’t want the novel to not live up to my expectations.

“All spouses become strangers to each other at some point in a marriage… All human beings are a work in progress, and we don’t all change at the same pace. Who knows how many people have gotten divorced simply because they failed to recognize that what they thought were insurmountable problems were actually just temporary phases?”

The novel begins right after Thea tells Gavin she wants a divorce. I was a little caught off guard at where the story started, and felt lost because we were immediately thrown into the story (which makes sense because Gavin was hella caught off guard that Thea wanted a divorce).

I loved that this novel was so unlike many other second chance romances I’ve read. Thea and Gavin are still married and the topic of divorce has recently been brought up. They are estranged from each other, but they don’t spend as much time apart as is usual in a second chance romance. I loved reading about Gavin accepting that he was kind of a jerk (ie a big jerk), and trying to fix his mistakes and fix his and Thea’s relationship.

I also really loved reading about the book club Gavin is pretty much forced to join. The group is a bunch of dudes who read romance novels to help their relationships, and want to help Gavin fix his. I loved how supportive the guys were of each other. They made fun of each other, but generally wanted the best for one another. There were so many romance cliches in the stories, and all the guys in the book club were basically informing Gavin how to use those cliches in his relationship.

“Don’t be ashamed for liking them. The backlash against the PSL is a perfect example of how toxic masculinity permeates even the most mundane things in life. If masses of women like something, our society automatically begins to mock them. Just like romance novels. If women like them, they must be a joke, right?”

Overall this was a great novel, and I cannot wait to read the rest of the books in the series!

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2 responses to “Us, Again + Bromance Book Club | Mini Reviews

  1. Sam@wlabb

    I have nothing but love for Bromance. That book made me laugh and made me cry. I love when that happens. My favorite parts were when we were with the club or when we were with the twins. All those characters stole my heart.

    • Yes, it was so good! I’m so excited to read the next in the series, and hate having to wait so long! I loved when the guys were all together, they were so funny and I loved reading about them interacting.

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