REVIEW: Love Again by Christina Marie

Dominique Hastings didn’t have the best childhood the first seven years of his life, living in a home with an abusive, drug addict father. Fortunately, he and his mom are rescued by a wealthy, benevolent couple, the Wilsons. Their help allowed for a better life for Dom in which he becomes a pro football player then business owner upon his retirement. The Wilsons recently died so when Dom finds out their home is up for sale, he calls the listing realtor — Lennie Ericson, to buy it.
Lennie is a 20-something realtor. She’s been married a couple of years but the marriage has gone from not-so-great to epically bad as her husband, Justin, has become increasingly verbally and emotionally abusive in the latest months.

When they meet, there was an immediate spark between Lennie and Dom…they both feel it but Lennie is resistant to act on it. Even though her marriage is on the rocks…she is still married nonetheless, so she feels guilty having less than professional feelings for Dom. Of course, the fact that her husband has repeatedly shamed Lennie for her sexual desires doesn’t help matters.

The story is a bit insta-love-y as Dom is all in after only a few DAYS of Lennie’s acquaintance. I was somewhat perturbed by the fact that Dom was so willing to pursue a married woman. It’s Lennie who puts the brakes on things and insists that they become friends without sex. Even still, the ILYs and sexy times came rather quickly before these two know much about one another.

Besides that, I enjoyed Lennie and Dom’s journey. Even though Dom and Lennie seem to exist in different worlds, they had common backgrounds and emotional angst. There’s palpable chemistry between them as well. Furthermore, Dom is not naive to Lennie’s issues following repeated emotional abuse by her husband. He’s firm in his desires regarding their relationship but patient and compassionate to Lennie’s needs too. With the exception of Justin’s racist rants regarding Dom being Black, Lennie and Dom’s racial differences are happenstance, not anything of conflict in the story which I was thankful for considering other issues they had to face along the way.

Unfortunately, just as Lennie and Dom hit their stride, Justin reappears and things take a tragic turn. The story is told in dual POV and the timeline is clear and easy to follow prior to this incident. While Lennie recovers mentally from Justin’s attack, she breaks things off with Dom. There is a time-jump of two years total while they are separated and depending on who’s POV we are in, the story is told in present tense or fast forwarded to the future. I had whiplash trying to keep up with things in the last third or so of Love Again.

I sincerely wanted to rate this book higher because I did enjoy the premise and storyline. Unfortunately, the obvious lack of copy editing was so distracting from the story that it made a higher rating impossible. Usually, I don’t bother quibbling over a few minor typos as almost every ebook has them whereas this was egregious — with repeated spelling and grammatical errors that even a simple word processing program should have fixed. Other errors required a good proofreader, which sadly, it seems that this book did not have. Some examples:

  • Characters names spelled differently throughout
  • “Your” and “you’re” used interchangeably
  • “Trans” for “trance” used repeatedly
  • Lack of or incorrect punctuation

When readers pay their money for a book, we expect the best product an author can deliver. Such care was not taken here it seems.

My final gripe is that there were a few details that didn’t curl all the way over for me; such as, was Dom a multi-millionaire or billionaire. The latter seems a bit far-fetched and OTT for someone his age. Not every romance hero needs to be über rich, IMO. As a retired professional athlete and successful business owner, it was clear that he could afford the finer things like the Wilsons’ mansion. Lennie’s commission from the sale of the Wilsons’ home to Dom…she would not make a $4 million plus (>25%) commission on a $14 million sale.

Lastly, Hannah…not saying she should have been a jealous harpy, but a little resistance would have been more believable to me. These were more just nitpicky issues that I gave me pause, not anything that prevented me from enjoying the book overall.

I did enjoy the supporting cast members, Trevor and Corinna. Corinna brought a good dose of voice of reason when I was getting frustrated with Lennie; while Trevor was a great source of levity at just the right times. I wonder if the author plans to expand on repeated hints that there was more to Corinna and Trevor’s relationship besides a platonic friendship with a book with them as leads. If so, I’d gladly read more by this author.

Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️