I knew I was going to love this book. I enjoyed the first book in the series but I was already intrigued by Dominic and Rosie. I couldn't wait to read it and I tell you friends, I was not disappointed.
Here is the official summary of the book:
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 hippy. 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.
Now, let's get into this:
I am not a big fan of second chance Romances. I am one of those people who love falling in love and second chance Romances mess with the happily ever afters that I have created in my head. I know, it doesn't really make much sense but rational or not - this particular trope doesn't do it for me. This book, however? This book did everything for me.
All in all, I give it 4 "I've got a motherfuckin 10 at home" stars - this sentence makes a lot more sense when you read the book.
There are a lot of reasons to love this book. The diversity, tortured hero in in uniform, the emphasis on hard work and being true to yourself, all the girl power.... there is just so much but I'll focus on these 5
1. It is written by Tessa Bailey
That's it. That's one of the reasons. She is one of those authors whose work is always hit or miss and this was a definite hit. The only issue I have with her is the nicknames... she seems to always pick the worst nicknames & petnames. This book was no exception but I'm choosing to ignore that part.
2. Toxic masculinity & love languages
In my opinion, this book is about a man who loved his wife so much that he wanted to give her the world but he did not know how to do so. Throughout this book, you hear Dominic talk about what he wants and how he feels for his partner. He puts everything into trying to make sure he is "man enough" for her but she doesn't see it. Tessa Bailey shows the very different ways in which men are taught to show affection and how it can affect a relationship. She goes even further and addresses the issue of love languages and how important it is to understand that of the person that we are with.
3. Dominic is in love with his wife.
Dominic is just swooooooon worthy. Mostly because he really loves his wife. I know, this is not a shocker or at least it should not be... but you guys, Dominic is in love with his wife! One of the things that I don't like about second chance romances is that they tend to be less passionate. The story centers around how the couple has drifted apart and how they need to rediscover each other to find their connection again. This element is somewhat present in this book but from the beginning, you can tell that although they have drifted apart, their emotional connection is still there and Dominic's feelings are still as strong and swoon worthy as those of a blooming romance.
4. Loving someone is hard when you are unhappy with yourself.
I don't think any other novel has ever made this so clear. I can't expand on it without major spoilers but it's definitely what resonated with me the most.
5. The angst
It's a good thing I am black because your girl was reading this in public and BLUSHING! I am not even going to pretend that this book did not have me all hot & bothered for a hot second. It's just....the sexual chemistry between these two deserves it's own stand alone novel. For a big chuck of the book, they are not allowed to have sex so we get a lot of longing, lustful thoughts and stolen kisses - basically all the good angsty things.
I will give you another minor spoiler: the banging ( yes, that's what I am calling it) is definitely worth waiting for.
This book definitely lives up to the hype. The series has been allover bookstagram so if you are wondering whether to read it or not.... I highly recommend it. You just need to ignore the petname.