Weight of Silence: Isn’t It Bromantic? Review

by Theja Pk
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Last updated on February 10th, 2024

In this Isn’t It Bromantic? review, we’ll explore Lyssa Kay Adams’ emotional and wholesome novel, packed with wisdom and lovable characters, a perfect pick for rom-com enthusiasts.

This is the fourth installment in the delightful Bromance Book Club book series and takes a deeper look into Vlad, also known as ‘the Russian,’ and his marriage to Elena. As a fan of his comedic relief in the previous books, it was a pleasure to see this gentle giant finally getting his own story.

Isn't It Bromantic? – Lyssa Kay Adams

3.6 out of 5
Illustrated book cover for Isn't It Bromantic? by Lyssa Kay Adams depicting a tabletop with various forms of stationary

GENRE: Romantic comedy
PUB DATE: July 20, 2021
TROPE: friends to lovers, marriage of convenience, second chance, forced proximity

An emotional and wholesome story packed with wisdom and lovable characters, making it an ideal choice for rom-com fans.

Characters
4 out of 5
Plot
3 out of 5
Writing
3.5 out of 5
Overall Enjoyment
4 out of 5

Pros

entertaining, easy read

hilarious side characters

insightful

getting to know Russian culture

story within a story format

challenging toxic masculinity

Cons

miscommunication

anticlimactic plot lines

intimate scenes didn't live up to the slow burn

crime plot line felt underdeveloped

Table of contents

Synopsis

With his passion for romance novels, it was only a matter of time before Vlad wrote one.

Elena Konnikova has lived her entire adult life in the shadows. As the daughter of a Russian journalist who mysteriously disappeared, she escaped danger the only way she knew how: She married her childhood friend, Vladimir, and moved to the United States, where he is a professional hockey player in Nashville.

Vlad, aka the Russian, thought he could be content with his marriage of convenience. But it’s become too difficult to continue in a one-sided relationship.

He joined the Bromance Book Club to learn how to make his wife love him, but all he’s learned is that he deserves more. He’s ready to create his own sweeping romance—both on and off the page.

The bros are unwilling to let Vlad forgo true love—and this time, they’re not operating solo. They join forces with Vlad’s neighbors, a group of meddling widows who call themselves the Loners.

But just when things finally look promising, Elena’s past life intrudes, and their happily ever after is cast into doubt.

Characters

Vlad

The Russian, as he’s known in the previous books, is a sweet, tender-hearted soul who wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s not your typical buff Russian guy. He fosters stray animals, gossips with the neighborhood gals, and exhibits enough emotional depth to write his own romance novel.

His sexiest quality is his kindness, and seeing him outside of his role as just the comic relief was a delight. I liked that Adams gave us such a dimensional character that defies your usual expectations. 

“Don’t hide anything from me, because you are a part of me.”

For more romantic and inspiring quotes from the Bros, check out this compilation of the best quotes from LK Adams.

Elena

The female MC is a stubborn, badass journalist who’s engrossed in completing her father’s unfinished story that caused his disappearance. I think many people can relate to her desire to chase the ghosts of her past.

However, there were times when I found it hard to like her, especially when she made decisions for both herself and Vlad without talking to him first. While I understand her desire to be self-sacrificing, it was also a bit frustrating to see her always putting herself last.

Side Characters

In addition to our hilarious group of Bros that we have come to adore throughout the series, we are introduced to a new group of ‘love consultants’ known as THE LONERS – a meddling group of ladies who serve as Vlad’s sounding board and confidants. These gals have everything we love about the Bros but with a bit of extra sass thrown in for good measure.

THE BROS continue to be my favorite fictional friend group. Their comedy and support have remained steadfast throughout the series and are some of the most delightful things about these books.

The scene where they help Vlad take a shower because of his injured leg had me laughing so hard, especially the way Colton kept teasing him.

“little butt” – “that’s what my grandma used to say she gave me baths as a kid. She’d dry me off and say, there you go, little butt.”

We get a lot more of COLTON in Isn’t It Bromantic? as we gear up for his story in the final Christmas-themed installment of the series – A Very Merry Bromance – and his character is one of my favorites. He’s fun, funny, and flirty, and I look forward to seeing what Adams does with his character.

Plot

Isn’t It Bromantic? relied on miscommunication due to the long-term friendship and fear of ruining it. But it was handled somewhat realistically, adding enough angst and pining to the story. Their years of wrong assumptions about each other made sense and didn’t feel forced, allowing the story to progress organically. 

Despite all the sexual angst, the sex scenes were anticlimactic compared to the previous books. I can guess why the author did this – because of Vlad’s secret (no spoilers) and to paint him as more of a ‘gentle giant.’ But if you prefer your love scenes to be a bit more steamy or passionate, then you might be disappointed with this one.

The climax of the Russian mafia subplot was underwhelming, and it felt like it was thrown in for the sake of quickly tying up loose ends. The whole thing was solved within a few pages, and I wanted more because it was a huge part of who Elena was. But the twist about who the crime lord was, was a good surprise. 

I admire Adams for her unwavering efforts to challenge toxic masculinity. While Isn’t It Bromantic? may come across as slightly preachy, Vlad’s story delivers a powerful message to readers about the importance of embracing vulnerability and inspiring other men to do the same.

Writing

After taking a break from the story within a story format seen in the first book of the series, Adams returns to this writing style more creatively by using Vlad’s manuscript to progress the main story. Although this made the main story a little bit predictable, it added an extra nuance to the plot.

I liked learning about Russian foods and culture. Especially the way the author used Pushkin’s poems (famous Russian poet) to convey the gravity of Elena and Vlad’s emotional moments in a more engaging and alluring manner.

However, the tonal differences between the main romance story and the crime subplot felt a bit jarring and out of place. In book #2 – Undercover Bromance – the crime is developed alongside the romance, and they feel more intertwined.

But in this one, crime is used more as an afterthought, so I couldn’t connect with its inclusion as much as the author might have intended. 

Conclusion

With a lovable teddy bear hero, a badass heroine, and plenty of laughter, Isn’t It Bromantic? is great for anyone looking for a quick and fun read. But beware if you’re not a fan of miscommunication and underwhelming crime subplots.

Enjoyed this Isn’t It Bromantic review? Then be sure to add it to your TBR. And if you have already read this book and have some thoughts to share, drop them in the comments below. I would love to hear them!

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