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Love Her or Lose Her (Hot & Hammered #2)
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
0062872869 (ISBN13: 9780062872869)
New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey returns with a unique, sexy romantic comedy about a young married couple whose rocky relationship needs a serious renovation.
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.
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Rosie Vega: a department store shopper’s worst nightmare.
Really, that’s what her name tag should have read, instead of COSMETICS CONSULTANT. In order to fulfill that title, someone would be required to consult her first, right? Problem was, no one ever asked to be spritzed with perfume. And really, that’s all it was. Just a little spritz. Why wouldn’t customers let her make them smell good? Was it so much to ask?
Rosie hobbled over to the Clinique counter in her high heels, watching out for her supervisor, Martha, before performing a casual lean against the glass, groaning as the pressure on her toes and ankles lessened. One might surmise that Rosie was in the military, instead of a perfume girl at the mall. If Rosie was caught taking an unscheduled break, she wouldn’t be docked pay or anything so serious. She would just get the shittier-smelling perfume to demonstrate tomorrow. Martha worked her evil in backhanded ways.
Rosie leaned over the counter and checked the clock on the register: 9:29. A little over half an hour to go and she was exhausted from standing on her feet since three o’clock. The only customers left in Haskel’s were buying last-minute birthday presents or shopping for impromptu job-interview clothes. There were no pleasure cruisers at the mall this late, but she was required to stay until the very end. On the off chance someone wanted to smell like begonias and sandalwood right before bed.
A squeal rent the air and two children holding giant mall pretzels came tearing through her aisle, their mother sprinting after them with no fewer than three bags on each arm. Rosie managed to lunge out of their way, but one kid’s legs got tangled in the other’s and they went sprawling, both pretzels turning end over end like tumbleweeds into a Dior display, which tilted, wobbled, and crashed onto its side. Perfume bottles hit the floor with a cringe-inducing smash, the scents of several fragrances pooling and combining in what could only be referred to as too much of a good thing.
“Kill me now,” the mother wailed at the ceiling, turning bloodshot eyes on Rosie. “Help us. Please.”
Feedback screeched over the department store PA system. “Janitorial services to cosmetics.”
Both kids burst into noisy tears, neither one of them making a move to get up off the floor.
The PA system sent a ripple of static into the atmosphere, forcing everyone to plug their ears, which Rosie could only accomplish with one finger since she was still holding a perfume bottle. “Bring a mop,” the man on the speaker finished sleepily.
Rosie chewed her bottom lip for a moment, then set down her fragrance, thus committing a cardinal sin in the eyes of her supervisor. Don’t dawdle, always have a bottle. Those words were on a plaque in the employee break room in size 72 font. Desperate times called for desperate measures, however, and with her hands free, Rosie could stoop down to help the children to their feet, while their mother lamented the fact that she no longer smoked.
A teenager appeared on the scene dragging a mop behind him, music blaring in his earbuds, and Rosie ushered the kids over to their mother, waving off her gratitude, knowing she needed to find her bottle before—
“No perfume, I see,” Martha drawled, rising from behind the glass counter like a vampire at sundown. “How are we to entice the customer?” She pretended to search the immediate area. “Perhaps our commission will appear out of thin air.”
Smile in place, Rosie picked her bottle back up and gave it a shake. “Armed and prepared, Martha.”
“Oh! There it is.” Martha sauntered off to go terrorize someone else. But not before calling to Rosie over her shoulder, “You’re sampling the Le Squirt Bon Bon tomorrow.”
Rosie ground her molars together and threw a thumbs-up at her supervisor. “Can’t wait!” No one had ever sold a bottle of Le Squirt. It smelled like someone woke up with a hangover, stumbled into their kitchen without brushing their teeth, and housed a cupcake—then breathed into a bottle and put it on shelves.
She was debating the wisdom of paying the janitor to hide every bottle of Le Squirt—an inside job!—when the sound of footfalls coming in Rosie’s direction forced her spine straight, as if on command. She pushed off the glass and held her perfume bottle at the ready, a smile spreading her mouth and punishing her sore cheeks. A man turned the corner, and her smile eased somewhat, her hands lowering. Even if he were to buy the scent as a gift for his wife, the dude definitely wouldn’t want to go home reeking of women’s perfume.
Rosie assumed the man would pass on by, but he stopped at the counter across the aisle, peering into the glass case for a moment. Then he straightened and sent her a warm grin.