Too Hot To Handle by Tessa Bailey
Series: Romancing The Clarksons #1
Published by Forever on May 17, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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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.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Too Hot to Handle is the first book in a series about 4 siblings who find themselves on a road trip to fulfill their late mother’s last wish. She wants them to do a polar plunge together in New York on New Years Day. I have a brother who does this every year in Wisconsin. I absolutely adore him, but he’s obviously not right in the head. If I happen to outlive him and his dying wish is for me to jump in a freezing cold lake, I might have some explaining to do when we join up in the ever after because there is not enough Jägermeister in this world to make me think that is a good idea.
I decided that Rita was the screw-up, Aaron was the sanctimonious jerk, Peggy was the diva, and Belton was the stoic emotional mess. I found myself wondering about their late mother and how she could be so beloved by her children, yet raise four seriously screwed up kids who couldn’t seem to be able to stand each other. One or two I get, but all of them? That’s one of the many things I added to my “things that make you go “Hmmm” about this book list.
Off they went fussing and fighting the whole way, or at least until their rusty SUV breaks down in Nowheresville. With no cell service, they send their sister off with a stranger to the nearest town to send a tow truck. That’s some pure brotherly love there, I don’t care if they did take a picture of his license plate.
Jasper, the stranger, noticed Rita right away. The good news is he was hot, had a bike, and he wasn’t an ax murderer. I was really surprised that he also didn’t have an alpha bone in his body. For years he was known as the party guy who owned the local bar. He was good for a roll in the hay, but not much else. Something happened which led him to change his ways, but a couple years down the road and still no one is really taking him seriously (maybe because he didn’t start by changing the name of his bar from the Liquor Hole, but I may be wrong on that). He gave me kind of a desperate vibe rather than the OTT alpha I was looking for. He was likable enough, just in a sad and kind of pitiful way.
Rita was the only sibling who followed in their famous chef Mom’s footsteps and never felt like she measured up. She was so unsure of herself, especially in the kitchen, that I had a hard time believing her to be the culinary school graduate who was good enough to make it on some Top Chef like show. This chick was lost and evidently had been for a long, long time.
With Jasper doing everything possible to not be the one-night stand guy, and Rita doing everything she can to have a one night stand there was a lot of extremely frustrating push and pull. These two just never really clicked for me, until the last part of the book. As for the sex scenes, Jasper had such a personality change during them, it kind of threw me. I found myself skimming through a good portion of the book. Things picked up in the last part which redeemed things somewhat for me and elevated it to a three star.
Spice’s Rating: 3 Dysfunctional Family Stars
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