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  • The king of romance meets his match

    I loved the first in this series, loosely based around a group of highly successful guys who have a secret romance reading club, so when this came out I one-clicked right away. This book features Braden Mack, successful nightclub owner, founder and the romance expert of the book club, or so they think. In fact Braden has learned everything he knows about romance from novels and so he is one walking cliché of red roses, dinners in Michelin-starred restaurants and expensive trinkets. Liv Papandreas is a pastry chef at one of those fancy restaurants, working for an obnoxious celebrity chef called Royce Preston. The restaurant's speciality is a gold-infused Sultan cupcake which costs $1,000 (so of course guess where Braden is taking his date?), I love it when Liv says it tastes like "ostentatious greed". Oh, and Liv is also the little sister of Thea Scott from the first book. Liv and Braden's worlds collide (again) when she brings out the Sultan cupcake he has ordered for his girlfriend Gretchen who is a defence attorney in immigration cases. There's an unfortunate accident, Liz drops the cupcake on Gretchen's lap and gets fired by Royce after catching him harassing one of the staff. Inspired by the romantic suspense novels Braden loves so much, Braden, Liz and the Bromance Book Club plan a sting operation to expose Royce. At the same time, the Bromance Book Club have a series of bets on Braden's love-life. They at least understand the difference between romancing a woman and real romance. This was a fun (and funny) romantic comedy, the Bromance Book Club scenes were a delight and I enjoyed the interactions between Liv and Braden as he discovers that his 'perfect' woman may not be what he thought. However, I felt that the sexual-harassment storyline veered too often into banner-waving, right-on, bludgeoning the reader with PC messaging accompanied by a Goldie Hawn-esque sting operation complete with a Notting Hill-style race across Nashville. Definitely love this series and can't wait for the next one.

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