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

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Fingers crossed that Hot & Hammered #3 doesn’t have the same problems as this book.

Book CWs

  • Sexually Explicit Scenes (some where consent is iffy)
  • Separation
  • Profanity
  • Misogyny/Sexism

Premise

Rosie and Dominic Vega have been together since middle school. Their relationship is full of love, understanding, compassion, and communication. At least, it used to be.

A few years into their marriage, Dominic was deployed to Afghanistan. And ever since he came back, nothing’s been the same. Rosie is ready to call it quits. But just when she’s about to leave for good, Dominic surprises her by agreeing to go to marriage counseling.

Can Rosie give him a second chance? Or will all of the secrets he’s been keeping from her come crashing down?

Review (No Spoilers)

I read the first book in this series, Fix Her Up, because it seemed ridiculous. In particular, the sex scenes have some really weird one-liners that were both cringe-worthy and mildly entertaining. Love Her or Lose Her was much better at not delivering such lines, but I actually liked this book a lot less.

The story focuses on two side-characters from Fix Her Up who are struggling to keep their marriage together. I went into it expecting a lot of tension, talking about feelings, and (of course) sex, which the book did deliver on. But what it also delivered on, was intense amounts of misogyny and very sketchy views on consent.

Dominic, the male love-interest, basically believes his only job is to provide Rosie with sex and money. He doesn’t understand how his marriage could fall apart when he’s giving her dick and working his butt off in construction. He completely ignores the fact that–outside of sex–he never talks to her…never tells her he loves her…never kisses her…never acknowledges her presence.

As you can imagine, this was pretty upsetting. These issues are addressed eventually, but the book kind of skims over how toxic Dom’s view of a “Good Husband” is. And honestly, Dom was a huge mess the entire book. Even until the very end. I’m not at all convinced that he’s really changed all that much.

The other thing I wanted to talk about is how the beginning of the book really grossed me out. Dominic forces himself on Rosie several times, despite her being upset and expressing that she wants to get away from him. And the book excuses this whole freaking thing.

The narration tells the readers that it’s okay that Dom is being predatory because he’s hot and Rosie is attracted to him…I’m sorry Tessa, but no thanks.

What I did like about this book was the humor (good laughs), and the parts where we saw how in love Dominic was with Rosie. Even though the two of them had been together since middle school, he was still taken away with her beauty every time he saw her. I appreciated these moments very much. In fact, they were probably the main reason I didn’t throw Dom’s character out all together.

If I had to do one of those “Reread, Rewrite, or Burn” book challenges, I think Love Her or Lose Her is a solid Rewrite contender. I could have loved this book. But it needs to undergo a few major changes.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey (Hot & Hammered #2)

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