Crazy Stupid Bromance
The Bromance Book Club series delivers its third volume with Crazy Stupid Bromance, a best friends-to-lovers, hacktivist-meets-cat-loving café-owner romance.
Computer security technician and ex-teen hacktivist Noah Logan is trying to be the best man possible for his friend Mack (hero of the previous in the series, Undercover Bromance), but the interminable number of wedding activities he’s been subjected to – including being forced to learn an interpretative dance for the ceremony – is pushing his patience to the breaking point. He’s equally resistant to the notion of being enlisted in the Bromance Book Club, though all of his friends swear by it.
Noah’s best friend, Alexis Carlisle, runs the Toe Beans Cat Café and is trying to cope with the international press attention she’s getting after being one of dozens of women who accused celebrity chef Royce Preston of sexual harassment. The fame has gotten the café some notoriety, and when she notices a sad-looking customer coming into the café, the social Alexis approaches her and tries to engage her in a conversation. She gets a shock when the customer, who introduces herself as Candi, explains they are half-sisters, and their father – who abandoned Alexis when she was a baby – will die without a new kidney.
Cue Noah stepping in, concerned that Alexis’ biological father Elliott Vanderpool might be trying to take advantage of her. When Alexis asks Noah to dig into Vanderpool’s past, he discovers that his company is an enormously wealthy defense contractor whose negligence resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. He also finds out that Vanderpool was engaged to another woman – the mother of his other children – while he was involved with Alexis’ mother. Noah’s hacktivist side is back with a vengeance, but he has an even deeper secret.
For Noah wants nothing more than to convince his BFF that they belong together. Some things cannot be found in coding and wires. Bromance Book Club to the rescue!
Crazy Stupid Bromance is a very cute story with a soap opera subplot that doesn’t really work all that well amidst the froth. But the warm relationship between Noah and Alexis pulls the book through.
Alexis is the best. No doormat but also not the least bit wicked, it’d be easy to reduce a character like her to her victimhood status, but she bounces back, alive and sassy, and Noah, the introverted computer geek who just kinda wants to be alone with his girl, is a great hero because he’d do absolutely anything for Alexis.
His love for Alexis and vice-versa feels so real that one senses that, even if the romance didn’t work out, they’d still be best friends. Their bond is moving, sensual and compelling.
There are a lot of great secondary characters – chief among them, besides the other members of the BBC, are Beefcake, Alexis’ ginormous cat, who HATES Noah and it’s kind of hilarious. Candi is super sympathetic as well.
The biggest problem I had with the book is that the whole kidney transplant plot – with its billionaire dad and dramatic affair and attendant silliness – feels extremely outré when placed against the much quieter and smaller romance happening in the main part of the novel. Without it, the simple story of Alexis’ sexual harassment plot and the Noah’s wooing of Alexis would have been enough of a storyline.
But that isn’t quite enough to put a dent in my recommendation. Crazy Stupid Bromance works as a romance, and in that it is pretty successful.
Buy it at: Amazon, Audible, or your local independent bookstore
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