Today is my stop during the blog tour for Too Hot to Handle (Romancing the Clarksons #1) by Tessa Bailey! I’ll share my review with you and there are two teaser images and an excerpt for you to check out!
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 has to choose between her head and her heart in this funny, heart-warming tale of finding true love and happiness.
This series has a great premise, and once I read the description, I just knew I had to read this book.
The Clarksons are a mad, eclectic mix of personalities, and I can’t wait to read more of this series to find out what’s in store for the rest of Rita’s siblings. All of them were unique in their own way, and it was refreshing to read about such different characters. Characterization was superb.
All of them are suffering severe emotional baggage, and they are at a crossroads in their lives. They are attempting to rebuild their relationships after the passing of their mom. Their mom was this larger-than-life somewhat-celebrity chef. Rita was her nominated heir and she is in charge of her mom’s restaurant, but she is miserable as sin, and crumbling under the pressure of delivering to the same high standards as her belated mother. She manages to convince her siblings to go on a trip – it was their mom’s last wish- and they hit the road.
Jasper enters the picture when their car breaks down just outside his village. He finds himself instantly attracted to Rita and wants the opportunity to get to know her. He is battling his own demons, which force him to pull back from Rita when he doesn’t actually want to. Consequently, he is sending out all kinds of mixed signals that are confusing Rita. There is a fair amount of angst and back and forth, so you have been warned!
The main focus of the book is the developing relationship between Rita and Jasper and how they both come to terms with the issues they are hiding. While, on the surface, they appear to be in similar situations, they are being drawn in opposite directions. Can they make it work to build a life together?
This book is chock-full of witty banter and hysterically funny scenes and there are plenty of sizzling sexy times, too.
I enjoyed the writing, the setting, and the pacing was bang-on.
The only thing I didn’t like was how this all took place in three days. I had to suspend my disbelief in order to enjoy the story, because, in reality, Rita would have to be cray-cray to make the decision she did after only three days.
Overall, though, this was a great read, and I look forward to continuing the series.
Thanks to the publisher and publicist for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
“Believe this, Rita. I think you’re gorgeous as sin and I need your mouth on mine.”
Rita nodded, meshing their wet lips together in the process. “I want to believe that. You might have to help me.”
Their mouths slanted and somehow—somehow—that feast of lips and tongue and teeth was even more potent than the night before. His knee rammed into the bike—almost as if his leg had tried to buckle—shooting pain up his right thigh, but it vanished under the pleasure. Vanished into vapor. The stroking, hot, abandon of Rita. They were both breathing through their noses so as not to break the voracious mouth-fucking they were engaging in, and that shouldn’t have been so all-out sexy. But it sure as shit was. They were attacking each other with seeking tongues and open lips, playing chicken to see who would give in first.
When her hands slipped under his shirt and pulled down on his belt buckle, putting pressure on Jasper’s cock, he cursed into her mouth, securing his fist in her hair like a goddamn barbarian. And she liked it, too. Why else would she be tugging on his belt, encouraging him to rock into the notch of her pussy? Too far. This was going too far. Any farther and they’d end up somewhere naked.
She’d leave the encounter with no doubt of his experience, because, hell, Jasper knew every button to press, when to change rhythm, when to be forceful or pull back. Knew it all. But Rita wouldn’t look at him the same way afterward. She’d see the local tramp, like everyone else.
She’d leave. And he’d have failed in his one attempt to be more to someone.
Jasper tore his mouth free, releasing a gruff exhale into her neck. “You have me ready to bust in my jeans, beautiful. I was smoother than this in high school.”
“That’s a scary thought,” she breathed out in a rush, her fists still curling in his shirt. “Was that the other half of your apology for last night? B-because I have to say, it was pretty effective.”
“At the risk of sounding arrogant, Rita, I haven’t even moved my hips yet. You’ve barely gotten a preview of how thoroughly I can…apologize.”
“Don’t leave me in suspense,” she whispered, those golden-brown eyes going as big as salad plates.
Don’t do it. You’ll have a hard-on for a decade. “If you agree to go out with me tonight, I’ll rub that wet, aching seam of yours with my own ache.”
Rita’s head fell back on a whimper. “Fine. Yes.”
About the Author:
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.