In this review, we’re going to take a look at Isn’t It Bromantic? by Lyssa Kay Adams – an emotional and whole some story packed with wisdom and lovable characters, making it an ideal choice for rom-com fans.
This is the fourth installment in the delightful Bromance Book Club series and takes a deeper look into Vlad, also known as ‘the Russian,’ and his marriage to Elena. As a fan of his comedic relief in the previous books, it was a pleasure to see this gentle giant finally getting his own story.
Isn't It Bromantic? – Lyssa Kay Adams
GENRE: Romantic comedy
PUB DATE: July 20, 2021
TROPE: friends to lovers, marriage of convenience, second chance, forced proximity
An emotional and whole some story packed with wisdom and lovable characters, making it an ideal choice for rom-com fans.
entertaining, easy read
hilarious side characters
getting to know Russian culture
story within a story format
challenging toxic masculinity
anticlimactic plot lines
intimate scenes didn't live up to the slow burn
crime plot line felt underdeveloped
With his passion for romance novels, it was only a matter of time before Vlad wrote one.
Elena Konnikova has lived her entire adult life in the shadows. As the daughter of a Russian journalist who mysteriously disappeared, she escaped danger the only way she knew how: She married her childhood friend, Vladimir, and moved to the United States, where he is a professional hockey player in Nashville.
Vlad, aka the Russian, thought he could be content with his marriage of convenience. But it’s become too difficult to continue in a one-sided relationship.
He joined the Bromance Book Club to learn how to make his wife love him, but all he’s learned is that he deserves more. He’s ready to create his own sweeping romance—both on and off the page.
The bros are unwilling to let Vlad forgo true love—and this time they’re not operating solo. They join forces with Vlad’s neighbors, a group of meddling widows who call themselves the Loners.
But just when things finally look promising, Elena’s past life intrudes and their happily ever after is cast into doubt.
The Russian, as he’s known in the previous books, is a sweet, tender-hearted soul who wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s not your typical buff Russian guy. He fosters stray animals, gossips with the neighborhood gals, and exhibits enough emotional depth to write his own romance novel.
“Don’t hide anything from me, because you are a part of me.”
His sexiest quality is his kindness, and seeing him outside of his role as just the comic relief was a delight. I liked that Adams gave us such a dimensional character that defies your usual expectations.
The female MC is a stubborn, badass journalist who’s engrossed in completing her father’s unfinished story that caused his disappearance. I think many people can relate to her desire to chase the ghosts of her past.
However, there were times when I found it hard to like her, especially when she made decisions for both herself and Vlad without talking to him first. While I understand her desire to be self-sacrificing, it was also a bit frustrating to see her always putting herself last.
In addition to our hilarious group of Bros that we have come to adore throughout the series, we are introduced to a new group of ‘love consultants’ known as THE LONERS – a meddling group of ladies who serve as Vlad’s sounding board and confidants. These gals have everything we love about the Bros, but with a bit of extra sass thrown in for good measure.
THE BROS continue to be my favorite fictional friend group. Their comedy and support have remained steadfast throughout the series and are some of the most delightful things about these books.
The scene where they help Vlad take a shower because of his injured leg had me laughing so hard, especially the way Colton kept teasing him.
“little butt” – “that’s what my grandma used to say she gave me baths as a kid. She’d dry me off and say, there you go, little butt.”
We get a lot more of COLTON in Isn’t It Bromantic? as we gear up for his story in the final book of the Bromance Book Club series, and his character is one of my favorites. He’s fun, funny, and flirty, and I look forward to seeing what Adams does with his character.
Isn’t It Bromantic? relied on miscommunication due to the long-term friendship and fear of ruining it. But it was handled somewhat realistically, adding enough angst and pining to the story. Their years of wrong assumptions about each other made sense and didn’t feel forced, allowing the story to progress organically.
Despite all the sexual angst, the sex scenes were anticlimactic compared to the previous books. I can guess why the author did this – because of Vlad’s secret (no spoilers) and to paint him as more of a ‘gentle giant.’ But if you prefer your love scenes to be a bit more steamy or passionate, then you might be disappointed with this one.
The climax of the Russian mafia subplot was underwhelming, and felt like it was thrown in for the sake of quickly tying up loose ends. The whole thing was solved within a few pages, and I wanted more because it was a huge part of who Elena was. But the twist about who the crime lord was, was a good surprise.
I admire Adams for her unwavering efforts to challenge toxic masculinity. While Isn’t It Bromantic? may come across as slightly preachy, Vlad’s story delivers a powerful message to readers about the importance of embracing vulnerability and inspiring other men to do the same.
After taking a break from the story within a story format seen in the first book of the series, Lyssa Kay Adams returns to this writing style more creatively by using Vlad’s manuscript to progress the main story. Although this made the main story a little bit predictable, it added an extra nuance to the plot.
I liked learning about Russian foods and culture. Especially the way the author used Pushkin’s poems (famous Russian poet) to convey the gravity of Elena and Vlad’s emotional moments in a more engaging and alluring manner.
However, the tonal differences between the main romance story and the crime subplot felt a bit jarring and out of place. In book #2, Undercover Bromance, the crime is developed alongside the romance, and they feel more intertwined.
But in this one, the crime is used more as an afterthought, so I couldn’t connect with its inclusion as much as the author might have intended.
For more great quotes from the Bros, check out The Bromance Book Club Quotes page.
With a lovable teddy bear hero, a badass heroine and plenty of laughter, Isn’t it Bromantic? is great for anyone looking for a quick and fun read. But beware if you’re not a fan of miscommunication and underwhelming crime subplots.
Check out the rest of the series!
Book 1: The Bromance Book Club – marriage in trouble
Book 2: Undercover Bromance – enemies to lovers
Book 3: Crazy Stupid Bromance – friends to lovers
Book 5: A Very Merry Bromance – grumpy/sunshine
Enjoyed this review? Then, add ‘Isn’t It Bromantic?’ 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!