Nothing beats a Bromance book club read! I’ve been so excited to read the Russian’s story – he’s a fixture in every novel of hers and I was so happy to finally sit down and enjoy his own romance. I tore through this whole book on a single plane ride, I literally couldn’t put it down!
Vlad (the Russian) Konnikov is a bromance book club member with a big secret: his marriage is fake. When he left Russia to play hockey in the United States, he married his childhood best friend, Elena – but their marriage has never been real and their friendship grew further apart. Now, Elena is back from school, but she doesn’t want to give their marriage another shot…she wants to go home.
Elena lost her father when he was murdered while following a story as a journalist in Russia. The Konnikov’s raised her, and when her childhood best friend Vlad promises to whisk her away in the wake of that death, she takes it – but it’s not the love and companionship she always wanted. Instead, she goes away to school to learn to be a journalist herself, and finally solve the story that ended her father’s life.
Now, Vlad is injured and Elena sees caring for him as the last good deed she can do her friend before she returns home to move on with her life. But, it’s bringing them closer together: closer than they’ve been in years, to truly unpack their marriage.
Sorry for the long description, but there’s so much happening in this book! There’s a lot of different elements holding your attention and keeping you interested from moment to moment. There’s even more to it than I was able to describe here; just so many characters and plots and amazing intricacies this series has been able to pick up along the way.
You just can’t help but love anything Lyssa writes. Vlad is my favorite “bro” so far, honestly, and when the arc of the story finally came down to dealing with the problems in their marriage, I just didn’t want to believe he could be in the wrong! He’s just too adorable, like a big puppy. Elena’s actions felt hurtful and self motivated and I wanted to ruthlessly defend poor Vlad – but it’s fair to acknowledge he was also part of the problem. Communication, and communication issues, take a front seat in many of these books and even have me calling myself out on occasion. I learn so much reading these and their total dissection of the romance novel.
I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating: if you haven’t listened to Lyssa on The Laydown Podcast with Gibson’s Bookstore out of Concord, NH, do it!! The interview will absolutely give you a whole new appreciation for this series and her ability to weave a good story. These are honestly underrated, even though they’re highly rated…(especially by me).
I loved that Vlad was also writing his own romance novel! The intermittent parts of the books that usually pull in the story the book club is reading instead take the form of Vlad’s own book, where he grapples with much of his own marriage and the things he’s learning about love. It was cute and creative, and again, highlights the softness of the Russian and the whole group.
Obviously, five out of five from me. Ten out of five, if my rating system went that high. I will read everything she ever publishes, honest to goodness. Please, please go get yourself a copy of Isn’t It Bromantic? on July 20, 2021.
A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.