Undercover Bromance - Lyssa Kay Adams


Not gonna lie. This book nearly killed me, and I wouldn’t have survived without the help of my patient agent, Tara Gelsomino (you were right, Tara; this book was, indeed, very ambitious), and my creative, reassuring editor, Kristine Swartz. Thank you for putting up with the panic attacks and helping me bring Mack and Liv’s story to life. Thank you, also, to the entire Berkley team. Bridget O’Toole and Jessica Brock, you are the best at what you do. I am forever in your debt for answering all my questions about marketing and publicity. And I would be a total jerk if I didn’t shout a loud THANK YOU to the copyeditors who catch important details, including interesting tidbits about chicken genitals.

All my love and thanks to my writing squad—Meika, Christina, Victoria, and Alyssa—and my hilarious Binderhaus crew. As always, you keep me sane.

Thank you to my family. I love you all so much. You make it possible for me to live this dream. I do what I do for you.

Lastly, thank you to survivors. I believe you. Always. #MeToo. (I refuse to thank, however, the real Randy the Rooster. You’re an asshole, Randy. Leave the damn hens alone.)


Braden Mack pulled his Porsche SUV into an empty spot at the back of the dark parking lot and waited for the signal. Facing him from two rows down, a Suburban idled with its lights on.

A moment passed. Then two.

Finally, the Suburban flashed its high beams twice.

It was time.

He turned off the engine, silenced his cell phone, and shoved it in the pocket of his leather jacket. As he exited his car, the men in the other vehicle did the same. One by one, their hulking frames unfolded from the Suburban, their breaths forming little puffs around their faces. Mack met them halfway between the two cars.

“You’re late,” said Del Hicks, one of Mack’s closest friends.

“I had to save a marriage.”

“Another lonely wife?” That was from Derek Wilson, a local businessman.

“Men never learn.”

“Which is why we’re here, right?” said Malcolm James, his voice deep and Zen-like behind the thick beard that hung nearly to his collarbone.

“Right.” Mack sized up each man, measuring guts and commitment. “Anyone who wants out, say it now, because the minute we start this, there’s no going back.”

“I’m in,” Derek said.

“Yeah, man.” Del pounded one gloved hand into the other. “Let’s do this.”

“What the fuck are we doing again?” whined Gavin Scott, one of the newest members of the group, his shoulders hunched against the wind. “Besides freezing our balls off?”

Mack turned and looked at the building. A bright-red sign lit up the bustling sidewalk that ran the length of the strip mall. MUSIC CITY BOOKS. For three years, their book club had hidden in the shadows. Read in secret. Met behind closed doors. There were ten of them in all—professional athletes and city officials, tech geniuses and business owners. And, in the case of Mack, the owner of several Nashville bars and nightclubs. All drawn together by a shared love of books that had made them better men, better lovers, better husbands.

Except for Mack on that last one. He was currently one of the last single guys in the group. “What are we doing?” he repeated, looking at the guys. “We’re going to buy some goddamned romance novels in public.”

He planted his hands on his hips and waited for the dramatic response. Maybe some cinematic music or something, or a loud cheer from the guys. But all he got in response was a resounding fart from the fifth member of their group, a hockey player whom everyone just called the Russian and who had an unfortunate intolerance for dairy products.

The Russian clutched his stomach. “I have to find the bathroom.”

Mack shook his head. “Let’s go.”

The Russian took off first with a slightly lopsided gait. The rest of them followed, with Mack in the lead. They waited at the edge of the parking lot for a line of cars to pass before jogging to the sidewalk. The Russian disappeared inside without a backward glance, his steps growing quicker every few feet. Things were getting dicey there. That bathroom had no idea what it was in for. RIP to the bookstore’s plumbing.

Mack took a deep breath, hand on the door handle. He looked once again at the rest of the guys. “Okay. Here are the rules. Everyone has to buy at least one book for the rest of the club to consider for our next read. No hiding the