New Release Review: Too Hot To Handle by Tessa Bailey

Thursday, December 1, 2016
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.






“So.” He plunked his beer down on the bar. “Where were you four headed in that big, rusty Suburban before Hurley reeled you in?”
She looked pensive as her shit-stomping boots started to sway back and forth, bumping the wooden rungs of the stool. “We need to be in Coney Island by New Year’s Day. So we can jump into the Atlantic Ocean.”
“Why—what?” He dropped onto the stool beside her, his drink forgotten on the bar. “That’s pretty high on the list of things I didn’t expect.”
“Oh, I know the feeling.” A beat passed. “It was our mother’s last wish.”
“I’m sorry.”
She nodded, brushing her hair back in a jerky motion, as if she were uncomfortable having someone’s undivided attention. He’d never had cause to use the word preposterous before, but that was the only way he could describe her lack of confidence. Despite the inappropriate name, the Liquor Hole was his life’s work, and, at the moment, it was nothing more than an unworthy backdrop for Rita. And, God, he was staring at her hands like an aggressive palm reader. “Most mothers want to avoid having their children turn into floating ice sculptures. What was her reason?”
“Good question.” A hint of sadness winked in her eyes, and Jasper wished he’d let the subject drop. This was what happened when he avoided talking about sex. He stumbled right into deceased parents. And yet he wasn’t sorry. Not even a little bit. He wanted to know everything. “I think…she meant it as some sort of symbolic bonding experiment. But I don’t know. We’re kind of unbondable.”
“Got the feeling I interrupted a near-melee this afternoon.”
“Aaron called my soufflé decent.” A strand of dark hair caught on her lips when she shook her head. It took one hundred percent of his impulse control not to tug it away, but she beat him to it, anyhow. “It sounds silly now.”
“Nah.” Jasper couldn’t help leaning in to get a whiff of cooking spices. “He would have had it coming just for dressing like a preacher on a weekday.”
Another one of those quiet, smoky laughs. “I guess there’s a fine line between politician and preacher.”
“Politician?” Jasper shivered, then recalled the threat Rita’s brother had leveled at his head back on the highway. “Still, I can’t help but like him for wanting you safe from a stranger. He can’t be all that bad if he worries about you.”
“Worried might be an exaggeration,” Rita said.
When her golden-brown gaze lit on his mouth, Jasper realized he’d moved into her personal space without any conscious thought. One of her knees brushed the denim covering his hip and, God help him, if the bar were empty he would’ve been between her split thighs before she could call for Jesus. For someone who hadn’t felt more than a passing appreciation for the opposite sex in years, his libido was sure trying to play catch-up tonight.
“What are you thinking about?”
Lie. He had to lie. I want to strip you down and fuck you on this seat, but I’m trying my hand at being a gentleman, was not an acceptable line. It was too aggressive when she seemed spooked merely from his close proximity. But she was leaving, leaving his town tomorrow, and the slow-game option had been ambitious for Jasper when he knew nothing about it. So he’d tell the truth while leaving out the oh-so-dirty reality in his pants. “I was thinking it would have been a goddamn shame if you’d broken down one town over.” His voice was gravel, so he cleared it. “More than a shame. I’m kind of finding it hard to think about, if you want to know the truth.”
For long moments, he couldn’t hear a single sound in the loud bar. No music, no crunching ice or raucous laughter. And, somehow, he knew she couldn’t hear the noise, either. It was there in the perplexity of her expression. He expected her to call bullshit or make a joke, but she didn’t. She shocked him instead.
“I’ll think I’ll take that kiss now.”

         Amazon Kindle [x] ; Amazon Paperback [x]

If there is one thing I know, it's that Tessa Bailey never disappoints. I have to admit that I missed reading books by this author. Too Hot To Handle was literally- way too hot to handle. The chemistry between Jasper and Rita was enough to make the pages go up in flames. Their back and forth banter and Jaspers straight forwardness won me over almost immediately.  I loved the moments of humor in this book and I think that's one of my favorite things about Tessa's writing. Sometimes there will be lines that'll make me spit my drink and I enjoy it every single time. I really enjoyed how this entirely new series revolves around siblings who are so, so different from one another come together to cross things off in a notebook left to them by their mother. I thought that was a good way to get things moving between the siblings and bring them closer even though 9 times out of 10 they couldn't stand eachother. Overall, I think this was a great start to the Romancing The Clarksons series.
*Disclaimer: A Review Copy was kindly was provided to Reads By Rose by the author in exchange for an honest review. My reviews will always remain truthful, unbiased and respectful.



Wondering who Tessa see's as the main characters in this book? 
Well, we asked her and her is her answer! Who do you see as your Dream Cast?
When I cast TOO HOT TO HANDLE in my head (and on my Pinterest boards o’course!) I used a more introverted version of Emilia Clarke as Rita Clarkson. All the shiny effervesce and beauty of a brunette Emilia, with more dark makeup and clothing. This is the picture I sent to my editor when casting for the cover, because I think it captures Rita’s personality: http://bit.ly/2ga6Aks

As for Jasper, he is described in the book as a young, revamped Matthew McConaughey and I think his personality totally matches that of a young carefree (non naked bongo playing) version of the actor. I promise he doesn’t say “alright, alright, alright,” but he does have that cool guy, ladies love me spirit. Scott Porter from Hart of Dixie would be my choice to play Jasper in a film: http://bit.ly/2fHtCmG


    Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans, and laptop, and drove 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 and 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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