Love Her or Lose Her
Series: Hot & Hammered, #2
Author: Tessa Bailey
Publication Date: January 14, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp.
Never in a million years did Rosie believe her stoic, too-manly-to-emote husband would actually agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippy. Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to her surprise, he’s all in, and it forces her to admit her own role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous—yet surprisingly helpful—assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger than ever. Except just as they’re getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret… and it could demolish everything.
Most romance novels are about the beginning of a relationship. Some are second chance romances where a couple is reuniting after years apart. Very few romance novels are set in the middle of a relationship. That’s exactly where Love Her or Lose Her is set. It’s set amidst the chaos of relationship gone bad.
Rosie and Dom are childhood sweethearts whose relationship has fallen apart. The crumbling of their marriage has happened gradually for Rosie, but is a surprise to Dom. Dom didn’t realize Rosie was unhappy. Rosie is ready to walk away, but Dom is willing to do whatever it takes to save his marriage.
What I loved about Love Her or Lose Her was the journey it took me on. It’s a story about remembering why you fell in love with someone, figuring out where things broke down along the way, and learning from your mistakes. Dom and Rosie were unique characters going through a made up situation, and yet I could see the truth in their story. It was eye-opening at times to see what Rosie and Dom were going through. There was blame, lack of communication, poor communication, actions, lack of actions, frustration, longing, anger…and yet there was a whole lot of love. Once they opened themselves up and communicated (with the help of a therapist) there was learning and understanding. It’s easy to blame others for a situation without examining our part in it. I loved how Tessa Bailey was able to show this within a relationship. The fact that she was able to do that while adding humor to a very serious story was amazing.
While I loved this book, I do have to admit there were a few things that could have been done better. One was that Dom’s nickname for Rosie. He uses honey girl a lot. Honey girl is an awkward nickname. It’s like an odd combination of honey and baby girl or something. It made me cringe every time I read it. The second thing was that Dom’s back story could have been explored more in-depth. He shut down when he came back from war and it felt like that was barely touched on. The last thing was the POC representation. It was weak, to be honest — just mostly food that Rosie cooked and the color of her body. It would have been nice to have more or better representation.
Overall, Love Her or Lose Her was a sweet story about two people on the brink of divorce finding their way back to each other.