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review 2020-09-22 07:30
Tools of Engagement - Tessa Bailey

This is book #3 in the Hot & Hammered series. This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader to enjoy and avoid spoilers, I would recommend reading the series in order.


Bethany likes to have her life in order.  She prides herself on the ability to be the best at what she does.  Then the one man who can spin her whole life out of control is the one who volunteers to help her when it counts.


Wes is glad to have a good job and be appreciated.  He also has been trying to get Bethany to go out with him for so long.  Now they must work together and dating and more is off the table.  Better to help her get her business off the ground.


This story was a slow burn.  The attraction between the characters is obvious from the beginning.  The book picks up pace, and so does the main characters.  Then they are invited to do more and add humor, and well I cannot spoil it.  I give this a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!



***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review by Netgalley and its publishers.

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review 2020-02-25 21:29
Love Her or Lose Her
Love Her or Lose Her: A Novel - Tessa Bailey
Hot & Hammered, Book 2

I Picked Up This Book Because: Continue the series.

The Characters:

Rosie Vega:
Dominic Vega:
Georgie, Bethany, Steven, Wes (West?),

The Story:

WOW this couple burns up the pages. If you are looking for a dirty talking alpha male look no further than Dominic Vega. As attractive as all that is Dominic has his shortcomings too and Rosie is tired of them. With the help of their friends, a weed smoking therapist and honesty and bravery from them both they have to learn to get back on the right tract in their relationship or end it all.

The Random Thoughts:

The Score Card:


4 Stars
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review 2020-01-15 21:31
Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey
Love Her or Lose Her: A Novel - Tessa Bailey
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Rosie and Dominic are childhood sweethearts who have let each other drift away from one another. When Rosie declares she's leaving, Dominic has the wake-up call he needed and he's not going to let his marriage go without a fight. It's a second chance for the Vegas' marriage and hard truths are going to have to be told and feelings expressed if they're going to have a chance.

Everything between them was dark, lustful, confusing, and . . . so far off course, she wasn’t sure their marriage would ever point in the right direction again.

If you read the first in the series, Fix Her Up, you've been waiting for Rosie and Dominic's story after getting glimpses of their simmering heat and emotions. Bailey reveals their wounds right away and the story starts with Rosie finally done with going through the emotions of her life. Dominic is on the surface caught off guard but as some of his layers are peeled back, it becomes clear that he was feeling the distance in their relationship too.

“Go, then. No one’s stopping you.”

I thought the story started off well with the hurt and pain Rosie and Dominic was feeling bubbling out from under the surface, Rosie's more overtly. Bailey typically writes her males very protective and Dominic's streak was definitely evident with what he later calls his selfish need to have her all to himself. I thought having Dominic so clearly loving Rosie and admitting to himself, Rosie, and the readers that he would do anything for her gave the tone a good underlining simmering heat. Rosie's emotions towards Dominic were more dominated by her sexual attraction to him. With every “pointed nipple” and “wet thighs” I lost concentration on the emotional angst and the story's tone slid into more lustful. Bailey is known for her strong sexual scenes and those are definitely here but for this couple, I personally, wanted teeth gritting cognitive emotion.

Providing was a no-fail way to communicate love, wasn’t it? So where exactly had Dominic gone wrong?

The author has this couple bring to light and work out their issues through therapy and puts most of their issues on differing love languages. Dominic has a bit of not feeling worthy of Rosie hero syndrome and this made him put his head down and work extra hard to provide her with enough money for security, he inadvertently blocks her out in order to provide. I liked this route the author took but thought she fell short when it came to Rosie. Rosie begins to realize that she doesn't provide or speak the love language Dominic needs and it was a nice moment to see her realize she was also a problem in the marriage but after an attempt to give Dominic what he needs, this avenue with Rosie kind of drops off and it felt like Dominic was going to go back to doing most of the work.

“I’ll do anything you ask me to do,” he said in a gravelly voice. “Except walk away.”

If you read the first in the series, you'll be happy to hear that the Just Us League is still going strong and the female relationships formed from it give readers some great women friendship scenes. I thought the obvious series baiting for Bethany and Wes, through their bantering and bickering, seemed a little forced but Bailey probably has some hot and heavy scenes planned for those two.

Love Her or Lose Her approached and picked at intricate issues of long-term relationships but Bailey's focus on heavier sexual lustful tones kept it from achieving the deep angst ridden emotional path I thought could be felt wanting to burst from this couple and personally wanted. There was a scene of Rosie and Dominic dancing in the kitchen that I thought hit what I wanted, two people who have loved each other forever but are seeing each other for the first time in many years; top-shelf emotion.
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review 2019-08-08 14:47
Fix Her Up - Tessa Bailey

Seriously the most insipid characters I have read in a romance novel in some time. I loathed the heroine who just needed to get any type of life, hated her sister in law who was a nasty piece of work to her husband, and thought the hero was lame. There's also a women's only league that the heroine starts and I ended up disliking every damn woman that popped up in this book after that.


"Fix Her Up" follows former baseball star and now wash-up Travis Ford as he tries to get his life together after being booted from the majors. His best friend's little sister, Georgette (Georgie) Castle has had a crush on Travis since she was a kid and now that he's back she's determined to get him back on his feet again. When Travis is offered a new job opportunity that entails showing the world that he's changed into someone whose settled down, he does some fake relationship nonsense with Georgie. Blah blah blah romance and cringe inducing love scenes commence.


So I thought Georgie was exhausting. She's a virgin (of course) who is just focused on Travis because of a crush. I didn't see what she saw in him since he acted like an ass for a good portion of this book and then they started the stupid fake dating thing and I just said good lord. If I can see why a hero wants to be with you, but not you with him, it's not working. Also, Georgie is a literal clown as her job and.....look I kept flashing to Pennywise and laughing (not in a good way).


Image result for it gif


Georgie's whole thing is to have her family to stop discounting her, but she does continue to act like a child (at least to me) and her fake mess with Travis didn't help matters.


BTW please read Sam (AMNReader)'s review because it's hilarious and it's spot on with the nonsense regarding Travis and his nickname (Two Bats). I can't add anything more to it beyond the paternalistic nonsense that Travis had going with Georgie was creepy as hell. 


The secondary characters were blah. Georgie's sister in law was a jerk. Constantly punishing her husband Stephen if he didn't do exactly what she wanted when she wanted it. And he's literally begging her to have children the whole book. I just could not. They are going to end up divorced or he's going to write into Dear Prudence one day asking why doesn't his wife seem to like him and plays games like she's a teenager.

Speaking of Stephen again, why in the world didn't we see more of him with Travis? He is whipped by his wife and seems to have no personality beyond making her happy. 


The writing was uninspired. Back to Sam's review again, she's right the dirty talk was embarrassing to read. I think there was a sentence that was like, you are about to meet your God (his penis) and I shrieked and I kid you laughed so hard I started to cry last night. If I had time I would have posted screenshots from the paperback but didn't want to inflict this on other people. There is also the fact that a couple of times Travis refers to Georgie as "little sister" during sex or thinks it (I can't remember and refuse to look this up again) and I shuddered each and every time. Also I hate hate hate being called "baby girl" so the fact that was another name that Travis had for Georgie made me roll my eyes. 


The flow was off for me after the first couple of chapters. Until we get to the fake dating thing you don't know where Bailey is going and how she's going to get the two characters to realize they are in love. Of course there's a misunderstanding that was beyond dumb and I just struggled read until the end. 


There's other stuff but I just want to put this review and bad book behind me. 


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text 2019-07-28 23:11
Reading progress update: I've read 29 out of 400 pages.
Fix Her Up - Tessa Bailey

Sighs so deep that I cause my cat to flee the room.

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