Saturday, April 18, 2020

The Bromance Book Club

The first rule of book club: You don't talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott's marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville's top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it'll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife. - excerpt from Goodreads

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams is a witty book addressing real problems of a marriage/relationship. With a sudden change of direction towards the negative side, Gavin is lost for words and doesn't know what to do. Lucky for him, his best buddy has the solution - a book club! I was hooked instantly and could not put down the book because this book has good characters and great plot lines.  The author's writing is simple yet emotions are conveyed strongly. 

I love the point of views of Gavin and Thea throughout the chapters, problems of a marriage definitely stem from something and with their thoughts and reaction you would realise there's truth in it in any relationship. Although I'm quite partial to Gavin because I couldn't agree more that it is frustrating when you don't know what's the problem and how to fix it. At some point I thought Thea was selfish, there's just slight character growth in her compared to Gavin. The interactions drives the story forward and I love it every time the book club gathers. The side characters definitely catches my attention and I hope that I would learn more about their backstories.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

The Bride Test

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love. - excerpt from Goodreads

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang continues right after her debut novel, although it's not really a series but the characters are mentioned in the first book.  Here we have Khai and a new addition Esme which builds a very different dynamic. All autistic people are different so expect Khai to differ from Stella very much. Of course certain characteristics are the same else they would not be catogorised as autistic but because of different family backgrounds Khai's understanding of feelings and emotions are special and often noted as an emotionless person. How Khai view himself and other see him is not the same and often misunderstandings stems from it.

With a new leading female, Esme's life and background is something to take note in this book as it's the key story of what the author is trying to show her audience. Inspired by her mother's story, the author created Esme that is somewhat simple at first but learns to adapt and grow with opportunity. I love how Esme is strong yet because of her background she feels inferior in many ways. The impressiveness of this books is how all the characters interact with each other, the reactions to situations that arises when a stranger is just thrown into your life. You get a bit of laughter, sometimes a bit of heartwarming moments through the interactions of family members.  One thing that was not to my satisfaction is I wanted more of the side characters to be involved such as Khai's brother and of course his cousin as well but mostly we get more of Esme interacting with others than Khai.

The plot itself is unexpected given there is a timeline to Esme's stay in the states. Throughout the story, you'll probably try to anticipate if anything will happen between the two and often you will be a little bit surprise and a little bit disappointed as well. I would say the plots are smooth with little flaws but everything feels a bit rush because of the deadline. I would have loved a bit more expand into Khai's and Esme's relationship as some timeline is just rushed over with a mentioned of a week later and what not.

Overall, this is one entertaining book with a good backstory. The alternating POVs from the male and female characters is always refreshing as you get both sides of a story. I love Esme's personality and it certainly compliments Khai. As for Khai, sometimes I don't remember he is autistic and just felt that he is like every other male in the planet. I would not compare both books as characters and plots are different but the excitement I had for the first book is not at the same level. I can easily take a break from this book where else the other one was a strong page turner. I believe this is because the flair and the attraction is not as strong but it is just my own opinion. The last book will be about Khai's brother and this is one book that I am excited as I have been curious of him since the first book.

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