Title: Love Her or Lose Her (Hot and Hammered #2)
Author: Tessa Bailey
Edition/Pages: Ebook, 384 pages
I received an arc copy of this from Avon via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review
Rosie and Dominic used to be perfect couple. But ever since he returned from overseas 4 years ago, they’ve just been going through the motions. Sick of the silence and fueled by her new confidence thanks to her girlfriends, Rosie moves out to finally pursue her own dreams of opening a restaurant. But Dominic won’t let her go that easily. Reluctantly, he agrees to try last ditch therapy with a weed-smoking hippy therapist. Can Dominic let go of his overly-manly demeanor and locked-up-tight-emotions to open up to Rosie and save their marriage?
➸ POV: 3rd Person, Alternating chapters from Rosie and Dominic’s POVs
➸ Rosie Vega: 27, Wife, Biracial – half black, half Argentinian, Aspiring Chef, Reluctant cosmetics consultant, Feels unseen and unappreciated in her marriabe
➸ Dominic Vega: 27, Husband, Puerto Rican, Ex-Marine, Construction worker, Alpha-male, Wants to be the provider
➸ Content Warnings: Death of a parent (off page), Talk of war, Marital problems, Talk of divorce
Like in everything else Tessa Bailey writes, the chemistry between these two characters was off the charts. I could feel the tension radiating off the page every time they MCs interacted. And despite the majority of this book taking place while the couple wasn’t allowed to have sex, the sexual tension was palpable. I’m pretty sure I broke into a sweat during the kitchen and camp scenes 😅
I totally understand the criticisms that Dominic was to alpha, macho man. But I personally loved his growth throughout this story. I will 100% agree that his attitude drove me crazy for the first 15% or so. But I thought his character went through a really impressive arc. Their therapy sessions and homework were some of my favorite scenes. And watching Dominic learn to communicate and express himself was really sweet and heartwarming. I think it’s easy to fall into patterns in a long term relationship and take each other for granted. So the representation of an established couple learning how to make their relationship be more and better was absolutely wonderful.
Overall, I didn’t love this one quite as much as Fix Her Up but I still thought this was extremely romantic and sexy. In fact, I thought this one was more romantic than Fix Her Up, which was actually why I didn’t love it quite as much. I wanted more wit and humor from this, since that’s what I love most from this author’s books. However, I think if you didn’t vibe with the quirkiness of book 1, this will be everything for you! I just wanted more banter between the characters because at times everything felt a little to serious and intense. I wanted more of the lighthearted moments that were abundant in Fix Her Up.
Also – I CAN NOT WAIT for Beth and Wes’s story!! I am eagerly waiting to get my hands on that as soon as possible. Their dynamic was everything and I need it right now.