TITLE: Isn’t It Romantic? (Bromance Book Club Series Book 4 of 5)
AUTHOR: Lyssa Kay Adams
GENRE: Romantic comedy
PUBLICATION DATE: July 20, 2021
TROPES: Friends to lovers, marriage of convenience, second chance
Isn’t it Bromantic? is the fourth installment in the delightful Bromance Book Club series that 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. This book is emotional, wholesome, and packed with lots of wisdom. Paired with witty banter and lovable side characters, it is an ideal choice for anyone who enjoys a good romantic comedy.
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 book, 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. 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, 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.
We get a lot more of COLTON in Isn’t It Bromantic? as we gear up for his story in the next novel, 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.
Books #2 (Undercover Bromance) and #3 (Crazy, Stupid Bromance) did not have much of the story-within-a-story format that I love. But with this one, Adams gives us another taste of how the internal story influences the external story. Using Vlad’s manuscript to guide his romance with Elena was brilliant and effortlessly done. Although this made the main story a little bit predictable, it added an extra nuance to the plot’s progression. I love how the author finds different ways in each book to try and include the book-within-a-book format.
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.
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 (even though it’s not overdone) and underwhelming crime subplots.
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Ultimate Guide to the Bromance Book Club Series
If you want to learn more about the Bros from this heartwarming romance series, then you’re in luck! This guide has got everything you need to know – check it out now!
Isn't It Bromantic?
RATING: ★★★/5 ᐧ || ᐧ Isn’t it Bromantic? is the 4th book in the Bromance Book Club series, focusing on Vlad and his marriage to Elena. The book features witty banter and lovable side characters, making it a great romantic comedy read for fans of the series.
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
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