First off, I need to give a bit of background because I know if it was me and I was reading someones review of a book three books into a series, I would be wondering why said “crazy” person was diving into a series at this point.
So here it is. During Lockdown back in May of this year (seriously, will 2020 ever end?), I was browsing the internet when I came across an article on new romance authors. Now at this point, I can’t remember if it was Buzzfeed or Entertainment Weekly. Regardless, The Bromance Book Club jumped out of the page and needing some light hearted goodness, I jumped online and bought the first book. Needless to say I devoured this book and loved it so much, I bought Book 2, Undercover Bromance. You could say that I had suddenly become a fan of this author and series. The downside was that I had to wait for book 3. I had instantly pre-ordered the book after finishing Undercover Bromance, but I noticed that the publisher had put up eARCs on Netgalley. As is the case in these strange times, the EARC sat languishing on my kindle as time marched on. Until, the lovely publishers asked me to be part of the blog tour, which I jumped at the chance to do.
So we have a cliff note version on my history with the series and now I can get on with reviewing this most excellent addition to one of my newest favourite Contemporary Romance Series.
Crazy Stupid Bromance is a straight up Friends turned Lovers romance book, with the book centred round Alexis and Noah, who were supporting characters in the previous book, undercover romance.
The book takes place about a year after the previous one, with Alexis’s café ToBeans Cat Café becoming the local support centre for women who have experienced sexual harassment or abuse, since Alexis had become well known for the part she played in holding her previous boss to account for sexual harassment.
Through this, Alexis and Noah had become friends since Noah helped by using his tech know how to help in justice being serviced. It is clear, at the start of the book that they are best friends, but underneath there is an attraction between them that neither really wants to pursue at the risk of jeopardising their friendship.
So, when a young woman drops into Alexis’s life with a bombshell about her past and a very big request to ask of her, the catalyst is set for these two to move to the more than friends level.
As is always the case with Romance novels, and some of the other members of the Bromance Book Club have commented, its not the ending but the journey to get there that is centre to this genre. However, you need characters that you can invest in to fully engage you as a reader. With Crazy Stupid Bromance, Adams once again creates characters that you can’t help but root for. Yes, at times you want to smack them over the head for reacting or doing something so stupid, but you want them to work it out.
At the start of the book, you can see the thin barrier that is in place with regards to Noah and Alexis’s relationship. They know each other so well from Alexis knowing Noahs favourite foods and buying him a Lego set for his birthday, to Noah knowing from Alexis body language or the way her voice will change pitch if something is affecting her. It rounds off these characters and shows how they know each other so well.
When a sister that Alexis never knew drops into her life with a request on Alexis to undergo testing to see if she could be a kidney donor for her estranged father, you see the protective side of Noah rear its head. It’s at this point their relationship morphs into more than friends and with it the complications that threaten the bond they share.
Noah and Alexis, as a leading couple, are two of my favourites in the series. Both have suffered loss and both don’t want to hurt the other by over stepping the boundaries, but in this very difficult and complex situation both make mistakes in the handling of the obstacles placed in their path.
What I really found interesting in the handling of this long lost family, huge request plot was how, from the books, shows and films I have seen, Adams steers away from not only completely vilifying Alexis’s father, but showing that the need to protect a loved one can have a lasting impact. No one is blameless but it shows how humans are flawed creatures.
As for Noahs own backstory, here we have a man who has had to live up to this impossible ideal of being the man he, and those around him, think his own father would have wanted. Coupled with anger at losing his father at such a young age, we have someone who feels that no matter what he does it won’t meet them and thus he will fail his father.
It is difficult to really convey what a joy this book really was to read. For me, this is an ideal and almost fairy tale type version of how I would love to see the world be. They are the best form of escapism in these uncertain times and I closed the book with a warm fuzzy feeling inside and huge grin on my face.
Oh, and Netflix, if you are looking for your next commission into Romance then I think you should look at these. I’m sure that Adams has plans for Colton and the Russian (two characters I really want to get their own books)