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.
A family road trip becomes a springboard for love in the fun first Romancing the Clarksons contemporary romantic comedy, in which four estranged siblings road-trip across the U.S. to honor their mother's last wishes. When car trouble strands the quartet in Hurley, N.Mex., chef Rita Clarkson discovers an unexpected attraction to sexy, infuriating bar owner Jasper Ellis. The combination of personality clashes and mutual desire leaves them floundering; Rita's ready for a wild fling, but Jasper is trying to leave his raunchy days far behind. She can't wait to move on from Hurley, while he wants to settle down and open his new restaurant. Luckily, their mutual love of cooking helps them overcome their misunderstandings and whip up three courses and a happy ending. Bailey (Wound Tight) crafts an entertainingly spicy tale, with humor and palpable sexual tension fueling an otherwise conventional romance. This is quality comfort food: unsophisticated, unpretentious, and satisfying for its familiarity.
All the Stars
I’ve read all of Tessa Bailey’s books and was fully prepared to read Too Hot to Handle and love it. And I did. But something else happened. This book grew my appreciation and admiration for its author exponentially – Too Hot to Handle is sweet and funny, but at the same time so powerful. Tessa has not only written an amazing story, but she created a new cast of characters that immediately stole my heart and won’t give it back.
Too Hot to Handle is the first book in a family series and since it is Rita and Jasper’s story, we get to meet the other three Clarkson siblings through their filter. From Rita’s POV, we know that they were close as kids, but as adults have somehow sprung from their collective orbit. But what Tessa captures so beautifully is that these four people were there for each other from the very beginning and despite years and an SUV packed full of actual and emotional luggage, there is a love and a loyalty that will never be dampened.
Rita Clarkson is at a crossroads in her young life and the road trip prescribed by her mother’s journal might just be the remedy. Rita is weighted down by the legacies and obligations that she carries; bit by bit her experiences in Hurley allows her to re purpose them and make them work. I loved Rita from the start and wanted so badly to step in and mother her, but in Tessa’s deft hands, it was a joy to witness her metamorphosis.
Jasper Ellis is all the things and more that you want in an alpha hero. If those things include a motorcycle riding, dirty talking, loves his grandma, bar-owning, man, then you will love Mr. Ellis fiercely. Just trust me on this -- Jasper is a dirty talker deluxe, whose filthy words will leave you humming. All of these things sum up the really good man that he is and always has been. Swoon.
So there is something else – The title of this book is not false advertising, because sweet baby Jesus on a cracker – This book is a beyond hot. I can tell you that it took me a little longer to read because I was highlighting passages left and right. The chemistry between Jasper and Rita was AH-MAZING. None of my standard metaphors will even come close to describing it. So let me net it out for you – #ONEHANDED.
I still don’t think that I did this book justice. It is hot and it is swoony. Tessa has set quite the table with this book and I promise you that by the end you will be knocking on her virtual door asking for a particular character’s story ASAP. In the meantime.....
Do me a favor, savor this book – it is a 5-star meal all onto itself.