In this review, we’ll take a look at Crazy Stupid Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams – a heartwarming friends to lovers story about forgiveness, family, and healing from grief.
This third installment in the Bromance Book Club Series details the story of Alexis, owner of the ToeBean Cat Café, and Noah, the computer whiz who helped to bring down the sexual predator Royce Preston in the previous book, Undercover Bromance.
Crazy Stupid Bromance – Lyssa Kay Adams
GENRE: Romantic comedy
PUB DATE: October 27, 2020
TROPE: Friends to lovers, found family
TWs: sexual harassment, death of loved one, organ donation
A heartwarming and hilarious friends-to-lovers story about forgiveness, family, and healing from grief.
good character development
refreshing take on masculinity
exploration of heavy themes
unresolved plot lines
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.
Through their commonality of losing a parent, Noah and Alexis build a strong friendship with each other. They had a great dynamic together. You can feel their natural chemistry and attraction to each other, and I got more and more excited as they grew closer.
Their transition from friends to lovers followed an organic progression – push and pull when you’re hesitant about risking the friendship – and cemented why I love this trope so much.
Noah lives with his anger bubbling underneath the surface because he lost his dad in the military service when he was younger. But despite his deep-seated anger issues, he’s always been reverent and tender when it comes to his interactions with Alexis.
He loved Alexis and wanted to protect her from emotional harm and false hopes. This balance of realistic traits made him an easy character to fall in love with. He was a great support system for Alexis.
“Talk to me.” He’d said those same words to her countless times, but tonight, she understood the simple gift of them. He never prodded, never pushed. He was just there, willing to listen, always. Expecting nothing in return.
His character development included some pleasantly surprising wisdom from the author.
Alexis is a natural caretaker with a huge heart. She loves to take in lonely creatures, like her infamous cat Beefcake. She’ll never admit it, but she wants to save the world, often to her own detriment.
So it’s not surprising that when her father, who abandoned her mother, now needs a kidney donation, she says yes.
Throughout the story, we learn how genuinely flawed Alexis is. She simply wants to be a part of a family, and her struggles in trying to achieve that are real and heartbreaking.
CANDI is the half-sister that requests the kidney from Alexis. Despite having a rocky start, they realize they have more in common than they thought.
In dealing with the unwanted consequences of their parental mistakes, they both gain a sister they sincerely wanted but were always afraid to hope for. And the progression of their relationship made for a very emotional read.
With a giant cat on the book cover, we can’t not talk about BEEFCAKE, Alexis’ rescue cat. Even though I am not a cat person. I loved his cameos.
You could never tell whether he’s staring at you because he likes you or secretly plotting your murder. And this made for some hilarious scenes between Beefcake and the Bros.
The BROS in the Bromance Book club continue with their witty and hold-unto-your-side kind of comedy, especially in watching Braden Mack becoming groomzilla with all the wedding planning. Their camaraderie is refreshing and makes for a delightful read.
One of my favorite things about Lyssa Kay Adams’ books is that her intros are so funny that they suck you into the story quickly. And she keeps her audience engaged with easy-to-love characters and profound wisdom. This book dealt with many themes, as listed below, but they never felt overwhelming.
I also enjoyed getting more charming moments from the Russian and seeing his softer side in preparation for his story in the next book. His cameos added great levity to the serious issues discussed throughout the book, adding perfectly timed pick-me-up moments.
In the previous book, Alexis took a public stand against Royce Preston, the celebrity chef who was sexually harassing his female employees, as one of his victims. Following the aftermath of this publicity, Alexis is doing her best to cope with the public shaming while advocating for other survivors.
The author explores the other side of the Me Too Movement – victim blaming and shaming – giving us a broader perspective on the issue. It was saddening to read about but also eye-opening.
The impact of this issue in Alexis’ personal life during her first time being intimate with Noah was dealt with beautifully by highlighting the need for explicit consent. Their connection was written to be pure, honest, and tender.
One central theme that moves the story forward is handling the grief of losing a parent. Both Alexis and Noah lost a parent, and this connection was both their strength and their weakness.
Having dealt with their grief in unhealthy ways, they’re forced to face their past when it jeopardizes their relationship.
The author used her personal experiences in writing about this issue and added extra authenticity to the story and its characters. I could tell she really cared about this topic.
And I enjoyed reading about the realistic family struggles surrounding this issue and the found family trope.
Adams continues to smash down the wall of toxic masculinity and encourages her male characters to partake in activities that society typically expects of women.
“Women aren’t rehab centers for emotionally stunted man-babies who think the key to a serious relationship is to just wait for the right woman to come along. You have to be ready to be uncomfortable, to stretch yourself, to be vulnerable.“
It’s refreshing to read a romance series where the men are encouraged to be vulnerable and open about their feelings.
Why it’s not 5 stars
The miscommunication trope is a pet peeve of mine. When it first appeared in this book, it was resolved very well, and it was refreshing to see it not being dragged for the whole book.
But when it happened again, similarly to the first time, I wasn’t too happy about it. It’s even mentioned in the book as a pet peeve for one of the Bros.
“What would you say is your pet peeve about poorly crafted romance novels? That would be when two adult characters avoid having a grown-up conversation that could change the course of the story.”
Also, I didn’t particularly like that Noah was being blamed for all the conflicts between him and Alexis, especially when Alexis was sometimes in the wrong.
In their first conflict, Noah did the respectful and right thing while Alexis was the one that ran away, but the Bros blamed him for it, which I disagreed with.
There was a subplot that was left open with Alexis and the zoning commission issues she was having. I loved how she stood up for herself, but I was left not knowing the outcome. I guess Adams was implying that the outcome didn’t matter anymore to Alexis and therefore wasn’t worth mentioning, but I was left feeling a bit disappointed.
“Forgiveness means recognizing that you are a different person because of the pain but realizing that so are they because of the pain they caused. I think it’s deciding that the new people you are are better people and that together you’re worth something.“
For more great quotes from the Bros, check out The Bromance Book Club Quotes page.
Crazy Stupid Bromance is a funny, emotional read with authentic characters and a terrifying cat. Adams did a great job balancing the lighthearted comedy with more serious issues like sexual harassment and grief – another poignant addition to the series.
Check out the rest of the series!
Book 1: The Bromance Book Club – marriage in trouble
Book 2: Undercover Bromance – enemies to lovers
Book 4: Isn’t It Bromantic? – marriage of convenience
Book 5: A Very Merry Bromance – grumpy/sunshine
Enjoyed this review? Then, add ‘Crazy Stupid Bromance’ to your TBR. And if you have already read this book and have some thoughts to share, drop them in the comments below. I would love to hear them!