Title: Love Her or Lose Her
Author: Tessa Bailey
Series: Hot & Hammered #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Chic lit, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 13th – 24th March 2021
5th sentence, 74th page: “In bed or out?” Rosie said, heat staining her cheeks.
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 prefect 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 Rosie’s girlfriends encourage her 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 hippie. Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to Rosie’s surprise, he’s all in, and it forces her to admit her own role in their cracked foundation. As the two 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.
As with Fix Her Up, I was completely in love with and completely pulled into this story. It was fun, light and seriously cute. Plus, I love that the angle in this romance isn’t so much about finding the love of your life, it’s about keeping them. I’ve been with my husband since we were quite young (not as young as Rosie and Dom), and I know that our relationship is a constant work in progress. So, having a story that highlights what happens after the wedding… it certainly was a fantastic alternate angle to a romance.
I’ve always believed in true love, but I’ve also believed that it doesn’t matter how much you love one another, there is much more to a relationship and marriage than love alone. I love that Bailey kind of takes the same standpoint – that Rosie deserves more than just love and needs to fight for something else in her life. It opens up this beautiful world in which love isn’t necessarily enough, there is other work involved. Believe me, a good relationship isn’t just built around love. It is about so much, much more. And that Rosie is willing to fight for this… man, I just fell for this character from the very first page.
It’s always fun when you feel like you have a lot in common with the lead character – and I certainly felt this way about Rosie. I too have a stoic, communicationally stunted man in my life. And, although she always wants him by her side, she is fiercely independent. And intelligent. And just driven. Plus, I love the level of sass – particularly in the moment when she decides to find the most “woo woo” therapist she possibly can. Not just to save their marriage, but also to try and make Dom really try. I love a woman who will occasionally go out of her way to be difficult. The fact that the therapist managed to throw in some very cool and interesting curveballs… well, it had me smiling and giggling all the way through.
Love Her or Lose Her is a beautiful romance, filled with all of the fun and lust that I enjoyed in Fix Her Up. But I honestly probably enjoyed it just that little bit more. Simply because it deals with the day-to-day difficulties of being in a relationship. It highlights that even when you’ve had the wedding, found your happily ever after… things still take work. Plus, the inclusion of the love languages… it just reminds us to never take each other for granted and finding our happily ever after is always about work… in the best way possible.