2020 Book #17 – Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

Title: Love Her or Lose Her
Author: Tessa Bailey
Date finished: 4/24/20
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
Pages in book: 347
Stand alone or series: #2 in the Hot and Hammered series
Where I got the book from: Edelweiss
NOTE: 
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

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 hippie. 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 rating:  4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I have heard a lot of good things about this author’s previous novel Fix Her Up. It was a very popular novel last year so I wanted to try reading the upcoming release (which is now a few months in the past). Bailey’s voice as an author was playful and endearing and if the previous book was anything like this one I can see why it was so popular. I procrastinated on reading this for awhile since I wasn’t sure how I felt about a romance novel featuring an already married couple whose marriage is on the rocks. And when I did start reading the novel, some of it hit a little too close to home for me: husband in the marines, comes home and can’t communicated how his tour in Afghanistan and subsequent return to civilian life is affecting him, and overall just a couple that has trouble communicating. Some of the emotions it brought out in me weren’t necessarily good ones but holy monkeys this book brought out so many emotions. The author did an amazing job of drawing the reader into the story and trapping them in the minds of the characters and their lives. I didn’t want to put it down, I felt so invested in the characters. Some pieces of the story didn’t feel realistic to be and/or they felt a little cliched but overall I really enjoyed the book so much – I would definitely recommend it!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #62 – I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

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Title: I’ll Meet You There
Author: Heather Demetrios
Date finished: 6/20/15
Genre:  Young adult – romance-ish, coming of age tale
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: February 3, 2015
Pages in book: 379
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Terryville Public Library

Blurb from the cover:

If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom–that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.
Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be.
What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise–a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

My rating: 4.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2015 checklist under the “a book at the bottom of your to-read list” check box since it wasn’t even really on my to-read list to begin with. I saw this book in a BookPage publication earlier this year and while I thought it sounded interesting, I didnt add it to my TBR list at the time since the list is already just so overwhelmingly long. I did one of those calculator things and it was going ot take me like 15 years to read all the books on my current to-read list. And since I add more books to the list every week than I read and take off the list every week, its pretty much never going to end! But when I saw it at the Terryville Public Library a couple weeks ago I was on a YA rampage (I checked out 5 new YA fiction books that day) I decided to give it a try. And boy am I glad I did because it was excellent.
The main male character of the story was a Marine who was recently injured in combat and is home on leave while he recovers. Josh has always been a bad-boy and a ladies man in Creek View and even though he returns injured from the war, the town doesn’t really expect him to be any different. And Skylar is a straight-edge girl who is set on escaping this small ho-dunk town and plans to go to San Francisco for college in the fall. But these two can’t seem to stay away from each other and over the summer what used to be a casual friendship turns into something more.
Reading this book was an important experience for me. My husband is a Marine and spent some time overseas in Afghanistan, and while thankfully he came back uninjured physically, there are a lot of mental ramifications for experiencing what soldiers have to go through in a war. There were many times during the book during Josh’s point of view when I heard the parts in my husband’s voice, and (while I’ve never experienced what they experience personally and therefore can’t say this with certainty) I think the author did an outstanding job of capturing what it feels like when a soldier all of a sudden isn’t a soldier anymore. Transitioning back into civilian life is difficult and for some impossible. This book was moving and touching and talked about some extremely relevant topics. I think it was a great book and something everyone should read.
The bottom line: I thought this was a great book, I’m not sure if it meant more to me because I’m connected to a Marine but the characters in this story really moved me. I would definitely recommend this book.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page