Review and Excerpt: Too Hot to Handle

From New York Times Bestselling author Tessa Bailey comes the first novel in her hot, new Romancing the Clarksons Series.


When Rita Clarkson’s Suburban takes its last breath on a New Mexico roadside, rescue roars up on a Harley in the form of smooth-talking honkey tonk owner, Jasper Ellis, a man as mysterious as he is charming. Rita’s cross-country journey to New York City–with her three estranged siblings in tow–is only beginning, but now that Jasper has found Rita, his plans do not include her leaving.





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.

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EXCERPT


He dipped down until they were nose to nose, saw the rush of thought going on behind her eyes. It was pretty damn breathtaking up close. “Mind cluing me in as to what’s going on in there?”
“If—if—we need to stay overnight—”
“You will.”
“—then I might see you at the bar.” She wedged a hand between them and separated their bodies. “I’d rather see someone’s worst than their best. Saves time.”
Jasper heard the tow truck pulling into the garage parking lot and cursed. Not even remotely confident that his first attempt at polite conversation with an available woman had been successful, Jasper walked her backward until they were hidden behind a rusted pay phone. She’d broken away from his touch, so he was careful to respect that. He dropped his mouth to an inch above hers and said, low, “I didn’t get near enough time with you, Rita. If you don’t show up tonight, don’t be surprised if I come looking.” He laid his palms against the warm building, above her head, watched her gaze dip to his stomach. His lap. “And if I have to come looking, I’ll be twice as determined to get that kiss.”
Her head came up. “W-what kiss?”
Jasper lowered his mouth until their lips brushed. He listened to her breath accelerate, watched her wet her lips. “The one I want to give you right now.” He allowed himself to linger another few seconds, then, with the effort of ten oxen, Jasper stepped back. “Tonight, beautiful.”
On his way to his bike, Jasper tipped his hat at Rita’s gaping siblings.








4 hearts

It's been a while since I've read Ms Tessa Bailey, but this book is quite a bit different from the other books you may have read by her.  Too Hot to Handle is the first book in a series following 4 siblings as they find themselves in the world following their mother's death.  They aren't chummy on the best of days, but decide to travel cross country to fulfill their mother's last wish of having them all polar bear plunge into the Atlantic Ocean.  


The group runs into car trouble in New Mexico and thus begins Rita's life adventure.  Jasper rescues the group along side the road and becomes intrigued with the allusive Rita.  He needs to know her and more importantly, needs her to SEE him.  


The lead characters are definitely attracted to each other from the start.  What was unexpected was the slow build up to the relationship.  Jasper is determined to make their time together mean more than a one night stand.  Rita is unwilling to let go of her heart.  The story follows their week trying to get to know each other.  I will give you that sometimes when it's right, you just know.  These two characters fight themselves for most of the book before they finally listen to their hearts.


Very interesting dynamic with the siblings.  Each one is going to be an onion with multiple layers I am sure.  Liked many of the side characters.  Nice humor throughout the book.  Well written book.  Looking forward to watching the rest of the family fall by the wayside along the way to New York. 


*ARC received for an honest review






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.

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