I have now read both books in the ‘Hot and Hammered’ series written by Tessa Bailey, and I have some thoughts. First of all, that is a terrible series name. Second of all, one of these books was pretty good. The other one was pretty bad. Read on to find out which is which.

Love Her or Lose Her (Book 2)

Ok, I liked this one! (That was easy). Part of it is that the first one is so bad it makes this one look good. Sorry Bailey, just speaking the truth. But I also think there’s something great about a relationship worth fighting for.

Married couple Rosie and Dominic are going through a rough patch. It’s lasted 8 years. He came back from his Marine service quiet and closed off, she let that put her in a funk. She’s always wanted to open a restaurant but instead she’s working a deadend job at the mall. Rosie’s been saving up to buy a place but has let her recent marriage troubles stop her from chasing the dream, she wanted to do it with Dom. But they can’t be a team apparently. So she leaves him. And when he chases after her, she agrees to give him another chance. But they have to go to therapy. 

PS I totally believe everyone should go to therapy

It was kind of painful because it’s obvious how much they still care about each other and I just wanted to be like TALK TO EACH OTHER. OPEN YOUR MOUTHS. SPEAK WORDS. But real life is rarely that easy. 

Also Dom bought them a house and didn’t tell her because he thought it was their shared dream to own a home and raise a family. Again, TALK TO EACH OTHER. Yes she wants that but she wants a restaurant too! But through all the drama, I was rooting for them. I wanted things to work out, I wanted them to stay together and be able to be happy together.

The whole like, we can’t communicate except for sex thing was laid on pretty thick and cringy, but I suppose Bailey was trying to keep things interesting.

And should Rosie have been more understanding about Dom’s time in the military and insisted he talk to an expert about what happened? Yes. And should they have just learned to communicate so they could have avoided a lot of their problems that lasted years? Yes. But they got there in the end. 

So if you’re looking for a book with some kinda weird steamy scenes and a helping of heart, look no further! You don’t have to have read Fix Her Up to read this one, any overlap is covered in this book. And actually, I wouldn’t bother with Fix Her Up if I were you. Go straight to Love Her or Lose Her, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

Fix Her Up (Book 1)

Holy smokes. This book was terrible. Like, 1/10 would recommend, can’t believe this was so popular in 2019, how did Bailey get this published, terrible. 

Georgie (not from IT) is a professional clown (ok, maybe from IT). No one takes her seriously; friends, family, clients. But she wants them to. 

Like, Bailey knew what she was doing, right?

Travis is her brother’s best friend. He was a professional baseball player who hurt his rotator cuff and is back home to find out what to do with himself now. Georgie likes Travis. Really really likes Travis. Travis doesn’t notice Georgie as anything except a little sister until she gets a makeover, buys some new [tight] clothing, and goes on a date with another man. A date that Travis ruins out of jealousy.

But Georgie doesn’t mind because he’s hot stuff. And then, roughly before the halfway point, an actual plot element comes in. Travis is offered a job as a sports commentator but first he has to prove that he’s cleaned up his image. And what better way to do that then to fake date the girl he sees as his younger sister? And then people will take her more seriously too. 

Except what started out as fake has turned into ~ReAl fEeLinGs*. 

They have a lot of (uncomfortable, misogynistic, -creepy because he keeps calling her sister and talking about her brother and dad-) sex. The descriptions are rough and the dirty talk is worse. 

And then magically they’re together and it’s totally cool. Basically.

Honestly, skip this one. If you want romance, go with the Unhoneymooners or the Hating Game. Or maybe if you really want a Tessa Bailey, skip this one and go straight to Love Her or Lose Her.