Entry 91: Love Her or Lose Her (Hot & Hammered #2)

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Author: Tessa Bailey
Genre:
Fiction > Adult > Romance
Fiction > Adult > Contemporary
Published/Publisher: January 14th 2020 by Avon
Pages: 384
Format Read In: Paperback

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey returns with a unique, sexy romantic comedy about a young married couple whose rocky relationship needs a serious renovation.

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.

My Review

Fix Her Up was an average romance to me, and that’s coming from someone who has barely dipped her toes in the genre. However, Rosie and Dominic caught my eye instantly and I’ve been greatly anticipating this novel! These covers those? Still hideous.

What I Liked

  • I’m so glad that part of Rosie’s character development is finding confidence in herself, and not just validity from others. She’s really getting the chance to show her independence for the first time in awhile.
  • The Just Us League is so awesome! I’d read more books about their adventures and mis-adventures without the romance bits. I often get annoyed that the guys just walk into their meetings but also those scenes can be pretty hilarious.
  • I hadn’t expected that part of Rosie’s feeling of isolation from her town was the fact that she was Afro-Latina and often the only WoC around. I thought that was a really interesting touch, and something I recognized as a WoC who grew up in predominantly white neighbourhoods.
  • I think I like Bailey’s female characters more than her male characters. Dominic spent most of the book as a stony, caveman-esque who didn’t show his feelings and relied soley on being the provider. But I was really impressed with the way he became open to expressing his emotions and abandoning the belief that all he needs to do is provide for Rosie without showing her how he feels. The term was never used, unlike in The Bromance Book Club, but Dominic’s tackling of toxic masculinity was engaging.
  • I was happy to see the acknowledgment that sex can only drive a relationship so far.
  • There were duel POVs and that really lends itself well to the narrative.

What I Didn’t Like

  • Miscommunication is such an annoying trope and unfortunately, it rears it’s head in throughout the novel.
  • Bailey often focuses on how manly and overpowering her male character is and how he “smells like a man”, which makes little sense to me. I don’t find these kinds of descriptors for men very attractive. It feels stifling.
  • The scene with all the guys crashing the girls’ night out really annoyed me. It’s creepily possessive, and they tried to dress it up like they were protecting them from men, but it just came across as obnoxious.

Conclusion

This was a really great read and only solidified my love for “marriage on the rocks” romances! However, the third book will be touching on Beth–Georgie’s older sister–and a new guy in town, with the trope being “hate to love”, but oh boy, was their dynamic written so poorly and with little chemistry. So I guess I’ll be skipping the finale in the trilogy (?).

My Rating: 4/5


Where to Find Me

twitter
@SwtrsRndrps
goodreads
email
sweaters.and.raindrops@gmail.com

2 thoughts on “Entry 91: Love Her or Lose Her (Hot & Hammered #2)”

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