Friday, May 13, 2016

[ARC Review]: "Too Hot to Handle"

Too Hot to Handle by Tessa Bailey
Publisher: Forever (May 17, 2016)
Series: Romancing the Clarksons, 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance

The first book in a brand new contemporary romance series from New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey!

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.

Where to Buy*:
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My Review:

"That man was wicked hot. I doubt many girls would pass up a chance for a ride."

Belmont and Aaron's expression mirrored their disgust. "Your brothers are literally right here, in the room, Peggy."

"I meant a ride on his bike. Mostly." Peggy threw herself backwards on the bed with a monumental eye roll. "Either way, I'm twenty-five years old. I've been engaged to four different penises. Innuendos will be launched at will."

Aaron looked as though he wanted to argue, but he visibly shook off the urge and refocused on Rita. "Far be it from me to give you a hard time--"

Peggy snort-laughed. "He said hard time. Right after I--"

"Please stop." Aaron held up both hands.

Before I even hit the 15% mark, I knew I was going to love the Clarkson family -- they're flawed and dysfunctional, but deep down they care about one another. Oh, and they're fun to follow, which is always a plus. Snark and sibling fights, ahoy!

[...] because to know Belmont was to accept that you might never understand him.

As soon as Belmont stepped onto the page, I knew I had to have his book. Like, yesterday. Belmont's strong-silent-and-tortured vibe activated my reader grabby hands like WHOA. But of course his book will be last, because Tessa Bailey is evil like that. That's okay though. I'll happily read Aaron and Peggy's books, too. No need to twist my arm, as I really did love meeting this entire family.

Anyway, back to this book, Rita and Jasper's story, which was fantastic on so many levels.

In his thirty-three years, he'd learned better than to provoke a female when her eyes said Bring it on.

Unless they were in bed. Then all bets were off.

First, I loved that Jasper was the town man-whore trying to move on and be something more. I don't see this theme often and Bailey did it very well. Hearing about how Jasper was (and still is at times) treated -- like a disposable boy-toy -- hurt, but don't worry, Rita will make it all better. I loved watching him try to woo -- seriously, woo -- Rita, even as the sexual tension threatened to drive them both crazy.

"You're an up-against-the-wall kind of girl, aren't you?"

"All girls are up-against-the-wall girls," she whispered, then looked surprised at herself for having spoken. "I-I think."

Damn her for making him want to laugh when he needed to break something. "You have me there. Why do you think that is?"

Jasper propped one hand high above her head, tracing the waistband of her black jeans with the other, back and forth across her belly button. Slower. Lower. "Um..." Her stomach hollowed underneath his touch and shuddered back out. "There's nowhere to go?"

"That's right. You have nowhere. To go." He flicked open the button of her pants. "Maybe every girl does like it against the wall. But not every man can keep her up there long enough to call it fucking. It's only fucking when a man finished the woman, in my book."


Speaking of all things smexy . . . . god DAMN! If you've read Bailey before, you know she brings the heat and the dirty talking heroes. Too Hot to Handle is no exception. In fact, the title is a perfect fit, really; your Kindle may have scorch marks by the last page. Not even joking. Jasper is just . . . gah, such a dedicated lover, so focused on Rita's pleasure and the best way to tease her, please her, and, yes, please himself, too. :) There's so much A+++ smut in this book and I am so NOT complaining. At all.

There's a scene that involves Rita's vibrator and some very creative mutual humping/masturbating, again thanks to Jasper's dirty mind. I approve of that entire scene, and it's far too long to fully capture in this review. Just have some ice handy while you read it. ;)

Also, this:

"And at some point tonight, I'm going to make love to you. The kind of sex that takes an hour of slow rocking and pumping. The kind where we wrap our fingers together, then twine them around the headboard. And I whisper things in your ear I can't say in the light."

I mean, UNF.

FYI, Jasper did indeed make good on that promise, though not until the end of the book. But DAMN, he came through. [No pun intended . . . . Okay, okay, pun intended.]


"Just stop talking like that for a second, stop stealing my breath when I'm trying to catch it."

"No." He pressed their foreheads together. "I don't want you to catch it. I want it to stay lost and I want to be the man who steals it. All day, every day. Forever. Stay with me right here."

I laughed at more than a few scenes, especially between the siblings.

"Rita Clarkson, there will be time to weep . . . but not when there's still time to take it deep."

Peggy, Peggy. I have a good feeling her book is going to be fun.

I liked watching them try to find themselves -- and revive their sibling relationships. I loved Jasper and Rita together, as well as the tantalizing glimpses of Sage and Belmont (!!!). In short, I LOVED THIS BOOK! Ahem. :D

A perfect start to a sexy new series about finding family and love on a cross-country road trip. I highly recommend it and will be stalking Bailey for the other books. Especially Belmont. Oh, Belmont...

4 1/2 STARS! 

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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley.

*Note: The quotes used belong to Tessa Bailey; TBQ's Book Palace does not claim them. Any mistakes or typos in the quotes are my own fault.

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You need this book in your life. Yes, yes you do, trust me! 

Do you have a favorite Tessa Bailey book?

Remember, since this is a Royal Pick, come back on May 26th for a chance to WIN an ecopy of your own!


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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