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.
Rita Clarkson is a chef in San Diego—or was—until the restaurant her late mother owned was burned down. And after that little stunt she pulled in the reality show she’s joining. Now nowhere to go and feeling lost like a day-old puppy, she found out about her mom’s journal which basically was telling them (including her siblings) to go on some weird adventure somewhere in New York that she seemed to think was her sign to start over. She wasn’t, however, expecting her siblings to go with her nor the place they’re stuck in to feel like home to her.
Too Hot to Handle, to begin with and to give you a heads-up, lives up to its title. Tessa Bailey exceeded my expectation to come up with another favorite that’s not only very hot and dirty but also heartwarming, a little funny and full of personality.
Rita Clarkson having felt like a failure because of the recent happenings in her life that made her question her talents swore off cooking. Even when she met Jasper Ellis, she knew she couldn’t be the woman for her because she’s not there to stay. Also, there’s her insecurities and family issues that held her off. She’s like this rose bud that needed just the right amount of care and time to turn to a rose that bloomed beautifully. And the person for the job was Jasper Ellis.
Jasper Ellis who’s been the town’s go-to orgasm machine until he’s woken up one day that he couldn’t be that guy anymore. He needed to man up because he didn’t want to be a disappointment to his grandfather anymore. And really, I didn’t think Jasper was a bad guy. He’s just a dirty-talking man with his own interesting quirks and definitely not an a-hole. The best part? Him meeting Rita for the first time solidified his plan to be a better man.
I have no idea how Tessa did it with this kind of book but it was different and awesome because Jasper was like a break from all his super alpha males? And I was cheering for both characters this time—not just the MC or the LI. Both Jasper and Rita were very similar in a way that something was taken away from each of their lives and once they stopped to smell the roses, they’ve found each other? Cliche, really. But with Tessa’s penchant to twist things around and make them more fascinating, I found it so entertaining and romantic. Another plus point in the story was that each of the Clarksons got their turn at the spotlight even just a few moments leaving the readers a glimpse of how they are as unique individuals.
Too Hot to Handle is a slow-burn, sizzling romance that’s a sure-fire to light you up on the inside not only because it’s already loaded with super steamy scenes but also because you would feel for Rita and Jasper’s road to HEA, even their hope and hurt. It’s a constant tug-o-war of feelings between them that only added to the explosive build-up of the story. Timing/Timeline was just a little off because of the mere days but it worked for me and I couldn’t be happier because Too Hot to Handle assures another series by Tessa Bailey that would be highly anticipated all year-round.