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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Review: Too Hot to Handle by Tessa Bailey

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: May 17, 2016

When rescue looks like a whole lot of trouble . . .

The road trip was definitely a bad idea. Having already flambéed her culinary career beyond recognition, Rita Clarkson is now stranded in God-Knows-Where, New Mexico, with a busted-ass car and her three temperamental siblings, who she hasn't seen in years. When rescue shows up---six-feet-plus of hot, charming sex on a motorcycle---Rita's pretty certain she's gone from the frying pan right into the fire . . .

Jasper Ellis has a bad boy reputation in this town, and he loathes it. The moment he sees Rita, though, Jasper knows he's about to be sorely tempted. There's something real between them. Something raw. And Jasper has only a few days to show Rita that he isn't just for tonight---he's forever.

After Rita Clarkson’s culinary future goes up in smoke and a road trip ends with being stranded in New Mexico with her three siblings, with whom she doesn’t have a great relationship with, Rita is ready to call it a day. When Jasper Ellis shows up to help her and her siblings there’s definitely a spark between them but it’s only a matter of time before Jasper’s bad boy reputation reaches Rita’s ears. Jasper’s determined to prove to Rita that his reputation is something he’s not proud of and that he’s changed but Rita’s determined to move on from the town even though Jasper is a good reason to stay.

The Good: Those Clarkson siblings are entertaining as hell! They’re not particularly close and they were barely civil in some cases but I really loved it when Rita and her siblings engaged with one another. Put all four Clarkson siblings in a suburban? Entertaining. Having that suburban break down in the middle of nowhere? Genius. Now throw in a dirty talking Jasper Ellis and now we’re cooking! I loved that this guy wanted to change his bad boy reputation and that he put a lot of effort into trying to make that happen. He wanted to be the “forever” kind of guy that reserved his bad boy side for one special lady. I tell you my internal voice was going “ME! PICK ME!” Seriously, the physical chemistry between Rita and Jasper was pretty hot. Now I see why the name Tessa Bailey is synonymous with the words “Dirty Talking”

The Bad: Ugh, the timeline! Too Hot To Handle almost had me sold except for the timeline of the story. It’s a little hard to get behind a romance that takes place in only a handful of days. If Rita and Jasper had had a prior connection to when this story takes place then I could probably buy the insta-love but not between two people who just met. I think that timeline was also what caused me to not fully connect with Jasper or Rita. I felt that because the romance was so rushed (but the pacing was a bit slow for being a less than a week romance), there wasn’t much time spent on character development.

And the “Meh:” As much as I enjoyed the Clarkson siblings I have to point out one big thing that I noticed, they’re a lot more fun together than apart. I liked them, I liked Rita but I didn’t love them as separate entities. They were just, there. So was Rita. She wasn’t a bad heroine but she wasn’t stellar either.

Final Verdict: I wish that the story had a longer, more believable timeline or that Jasper and Rita had a history together to explain the quickie romance and that more time had been spent on character development but Too Hot to Handle was still not a bad way to pass the time.

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