Review: Isn't It Bromantic? by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Title: Isn't It Bromantic?
Author: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Publication Date: December 18, 2012
Having fallen in love in The Bro-Magnet, ultimate man's man Johnny Smith and D.A. Helen Troy marry at the outset of ISN'T IT BROMANTIC? Never has a sports-loving couple been so well suited. Now everything should be wedded bliss, right? Not exactly. On a honeymoon cruise, both contract a virus but Helen recovers more quickly. Still confined to their stateroom, Johnny is fine with her going off on her own, until Helen has a little too much fun playing beach volleyball with an all-male group of German tourists. And things only grow worse as they return home to CT and try to set up life as a married couple. Can Johnny and Helen's marriage be saved?
*Warning: This review may contain spoilers for book one, The Bro-Magnet. Read at your own risk!*
Isn't It Bromantic? picks up shortly after the first book in the series, The Bro-Magnet, left off. (Read my review here.) It's Johnny and Helen's wedding day, they have finally made it to the alter. But of course, you know things aren't going to just go smoothly from here on out. Even with all the shenanigans that took place while they were dating, there are plenty more in store for the couple.
Things are already off to a rocky start when Johnny is insulted by one of Helen's guests at the wedding. Daniel Rathbone, Helen's coworker, seems to think Johnny's job as a house painted is pathetic and he has no shame in making it known. But whatever, it's his wedding day right? Johnny blows it off like he does most things because that's just Johnny, nice guy to a fault.
But things get progressively worse while on their honeymoon cruise. They both end up catching a bad virus, and then Helen starts spending a lot of time with a very attractive, all male, German volleyball team. Things don't seem to change when they get home. They have different tastes and Helen seems intent on giving Johnny a hard time. Will they make it through even the first few months of marriage without giving up and calling it quits?
As much as I wished that things would be great for Johnny and Helen now that they were finally getting married, I'm kind of glad things didn't go that way. I mean, if things were all good then we wouldn't have need for a sequel, right? And I just had to have more of them, especially Johnny. He is the kind of person who tries so hard to do and say everything right that things just always seem to come out wrong. As much as I feel sorry for the poor guy, I can't help but laugh at the ridiculous situations he gets himself into. Too nice for his own good, he doesn't say a word to Helen as she paints their house horrid colors and decorates as she sees fit. Actually, he just lets her do whatever she wants and even though it's driving him crazy, he doesn't say a word to her. You know this is going to blow up in his face and you can't help but sit in anticipation.
Aside from Helen and Johnny, the other lovable characters are back in action. Johnny's Aunt Alfresca (now his stepmother) is stirring up trouble with her Twitter addiction (come on, you know we all have one). His friends all seem to be having relationship trouble as well, except for Sam who finally seems to have found the right girl. We also meet Stavros, Johnny's lovable barber who is in the early stages of what seems like dementia. Johnny takes it upon himself to care for Stavros and this just melted my heart. I swear, if Johnny were a real person, I'd be all over him.
Another important aspect of this story is the feud between Johnny and Daniel Rathbone. I'm not exactly sure feud is the right word, but that's what it seems like. Rathbone is one of those people who thinks that what you do for a living defines you. In this case, he thinks because Johnny paints houses for a living that he must not be all that bright. He doesn't realize that Johnny graduated from a top school with honors. But does Johnny throw that in his face? Of course not. He just lets Rathbone assume whatever he wants. This is another reason why I love Johnny. He knows that just because someone chooses to do one thing with their life, it doesn't mean they aren't capable of doing something else. This is something I think more people need to realize.
So yes, I am going to go ahead and recommend that not only do you go get yourself a copy of Isn't It Bromantic?, but that you also get your hands on The Bro-Magnet to get yourself started off right. In fact, while you're at it, why don't you just go ahead and pick up a few more of Lauren Baratz-Logsted's books? She is a genius storyteller with a knack for creating the most endearing characters. I'm looking forward to reading many more of her books myself!
For more about Lauren Baratz-Logsted and Isn't It Bromantic?, visit her website here.