Adorable, original, second-chance, romantic comedy
Reading Level: Adult Romance
Release Date: November 5, 2019
Pages: 352 pages
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry
When major-league, second baseman, Gavin Scott, discovered that his wife, Thea, had been faking orgasms almost the whole of their three-year marriage, he was overcome with humiliation. He hid out in the guest room, ignoring Thea for over a month, until she shocked him out of his self-pitying funk by ordering him to move out. It suddenly hit him, like a fastball to the head, that he’d totally blown it with his wife. But apologizing and begging for another chance got him exactly nowhere. Thea wanted a divorce.
Thea was madly in love with Gavin when they got married when he was 26 and she was 20. Unfortunately, they had only been dating three months when she got pregnant, and they rushed into marriage. It was not the most promising way to begin their life together. Complicating matters even further, shortly after their shotgun wedding, Gavin was called up to the majors, and he has been on the road most of the time ever since. As far as Thea is concerned, however, their unsatisfying sex life is not their main problem, or even Gavin’s one-month, bruised-male-ego sulk. Those were merely the final straws. For three solid years, she has turned herself inside out to put in a solid performance as a good little Stepford, baseball wife in order to fit in with the snooty wives of the other players. She dresses conservatively and fake-smiles a lot at team-family events, and she dropped out of college without completing her art degree to shoulder the one-sided burden of raising their twin girls practically on her own. But, in spite of her endless sacrifices, Gavin takes her for granted, is emotionally unavailable, and she’s not even sure that he ever truly loved her.
Gavin is down and desperate, living in a lonely hotel room, when a small, tightly-knit group of his teammates rides to his rescue. They claim that they’ve all been in a similar predicament themselves with wives or fiancées, and they have a workable solution to offer him to get back in his wife’s good graces. They belong to their own private, relationship-at-risk, support group, which they call the Bromance Book Club. The only books they read together are romances, which they study carefully. “Romance novels,” they gravely inform Gavin, “are primarily written by women for women, and they’re entirely about how they want to be treated and what they want out of life and in a relationship.” The guys are determined, both for Gavin’s sake and the sake of the team—because he’s a depressed mess whose game is suffering—to help him salvage his marriage by learning how to be a better husband, the romance-novel way.
I love a good romantic comedy, and this one is simply terrific. Burly, macho guys hanging out together in a romance-reading book club, and acting as matchmakers to their clueless teammate, is a hilarious concept, and they provide a number of laugh-out-loud moments in this extremely original, reunion romance.
Both Gavin and Thea start out almost equally clueless about what it takes to build a solid marriage, but they both grow a lot in this book, individually and as a couple, as they gradually rebuild their broken relationship. It is particularly endearing that Gavin heartily repents his past unconsciously selfish ingratitude, and that he goes to such entertaining extremes to regain Thea’s respect and affection.
This is a slow-burn novel, and the eventual, well written sex scenes are both tender and sexy. That’s a big plus in a romance novel, for my particular taste.
This book is definitely a keeper for me, and I am very much looking forward to reading the next book in this series. The Bromance boys will make a second appearance, and they are a hoot.
I rate this book as follows:
Romance Plot: 5
Bromance Bookclub Plot: 5