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Love Her or Lose Her (Hot & Hammered #2) by Tessa Bailey

Love Her or Lose Her was my first married couple romance and, I'll be honest, I wasn't sure how it was going to go. Weirdly, it ended up with me wondering about my own marriage and analyzing the way my relationship with my husband works. Not exactly the outcome I expected from a romance novel, but not entirely unwelcome either. Let me explain...

Blurb: 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.

Review: This book wasn't perfect, but that's because the characters weren't perfect (ok, so the book was actually perfect and beautiful and amazing). I think I was crying ten pages in and frantically texting my romance-loving friend about how ridiculous I was being because the characters were fighting. And not, like, sexy pre-sex "I'm pretending to hate you" fighting. Like, really fighting and breaking up and I wanted to die. So, it was weird. Instead of the relationship starting hot and heavy and ending with some drama Love Her or Lose Her started with more drama than I could handle and ended with warm fuzzies. A backwards experience, to say the least, but I didn't hate it.

Rosie and Dominic are a typical Tessa Bailey couple. They love the dirty talk, they have fiery tempers when challenged, and they are entirely devoted to each other. The passion was off the charts but, despite the fact that the hot sex is usually my favorite part of Tessa Bailey books, I found myself flitting through the sex scenes to get to the parts where Rosie and Dominic were working on their relationship outside of the bedroom. So weird. Especially for those who know me. And I loved that it wasn't just Dominic who needed to appreciate Rosie more (like I thought it was going to be), but rather the two of them who needed to work on loving each other more which was much more exciting than watching Dominic grovel for an entire book (which probably would have just made me feel bad).

People might not like this book (in fact, I've read a couple of reviews to that effect), but I think that's because it's different from what we might have grown to expect from the explosive-sex, plot goddess Tessa Bailey. It's just as good, but in a different way. And I didn't mind it one bit actually, but I already knew that it was going to be a divergent from her usual stuff.

It's out soon, so don't delay in pre-ordering or purchasing (not sure what day you are reading this review! Shop indie when possible to keep out independent bookstores in business!