Goodreads summary: Women have been known to lament, “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” For Johnny Smith, the problem is, “Always a Best Man, never a groom.” At age 33, housepainter Johnny has been Best Man eight times. The ultimate man's man, Johnny loves the Mets, the Jets, his weekly poker game, and the hula girl lamp that hangs over his basement pool table. Johnny has the instant affection of nearly every man he meets, but one thing he doesn't have is a woman to share his life with, and he wants that desperately.
When Johnny meets District Attorney Helen Troy, he decides to renounce his bro-magnet ways in order to impress her. With the aid and advice of his friends and family, soon he's transforming his wardrobe, buying throw pillows, ditching the hula girl lamp, getting a cat and even changing his name to the more mature-sounding John. And through it all, he's pretending to have no interest in sports, which Helen claims to abhor. As things heat up with Helen, the questions arise: Will Johnny finally get the girl? And, if he's successful in that pursuit, who will he be now that he's no longer really himself?
My thoughts: Oh, Johnny! There were so many things I liked about him, and Baratz-Logsted turned the quintessential "guy's guy" into a really likable, even lovable, hero. He kept me laughing with his goofy attempts at romance, and he dispelled my doubts about a chick-lit book told entirely from the male perspective. Johnny was such a great leading man – loyal, funny, generous and endearingly awkward – and he and Helen were the perfect match. His attempts to become "a girl's guy" are simultaneously funny and cringe-worthy as he takes on everything from throw pillows to General Hospital.
The Bro-Magnet isn't a terribly complex story, but it is heartfelt and sincere, and it's about more than just Johnny winning the girl. He has a close circle of family and friends, and his relationships with them add depth to the story. In fact, seeing how Johnny interacts with his loved ones made me root even more for him to find romantic love. Baratz-Logsted gives him a quirky voice that some readers might find off-putting, but I loved it and thought it made Johnny stand out in a sea of books filled with cookie cutter heroes. I definitely recommend this short, sweet read.
Distributor: TKA Distribution
Publication Date: December 11, 2011
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review.