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.
Where do I start? You all know I’m an avid Tessa Bailey fan. I’ve done at least four reviews since in recent months of her books because I love her style of writing. I love the romance. I love her characters. I just truly enjoy pulling out a Tessa Bailey book and relaxing into the story.
Too Hot To Handle – book 1 of Romancing the Clarksons – had me a little out of my Tessa Bailey comfort zone. This story starts off introducing us to what I know will become the complex and intriguing Clarksons – two sister, Rita and Peggy and two brothers, Belmont and Aaron. Each is clearly unique and you know their story will eventually unfold and yet, the first book doesn’t allow us to see the depth of them. Perhaps that’s because Ms. Bailey has to introduce them all AND tell one of their full stories. But I must admit, the characters didn’t grab me like the usual Tessa Bailey characters do.
Needless to say, though I felt a little let down about not getting a bit more insight into the Clarksons as a whole, I must admit that I enjoyed Jasper and Rita’s story. Rita is that Clarkson that doesn’t know quite where she belongs – always following in her mother’s footsteps, but not sure if she does so because she wants to or she feels she has to. She does something drastic to change the course of her life – only eventually to find she actually liked it to begin with – she just needed someone like Jasper to show her.
Jasper was more intriguing to me. We read all sorts of romance stories where the man sleeps around – never commits. And then in walks our heroine, changing his ways. Jasper is that man, but he discovered he wanted more out of his life before Rita entered the picture and took a vow to become more than the town’s “good time.” I enjoyed this element – a deeper view of man than we sometimes get. Sex is important, but it’s not the only thing to Jasper.
These two make a great couple. I wish we had more time with them. I’m hoping the Clarksons’ adventure continues and that we get to see Jasper and Rita as the road trip carries on.
I give Too Hot to Handle 3.5 silver buckles.
Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.
Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.
She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of eight years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.