Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Tessa Bailey’s Too Hot to Handle, the first book in her new (and awesome) Romancing the Clarksons series! It probably comes as no surprise that I loved this book, but you can find out more about why I did – and read an excerpt! – below. Thanks for dropping by!
Too Hot to Handle by Tessa Bailey
Series: Romancing the Clarksons #1
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: May 17, 2016
Format: eARC, 336 pages
How I got it: NetGalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
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.
“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.”
I’m sure it comes as absolutely no surprise whatsoever that I fell in love with a Tessa Bailey book. It’s no secret that I adore her and love her strong, dirty-talkin’ men and her sassy women. I love the hot sexy times and the feels that she manages to pack into every story. I’ve been really looking forward to her Meet the Clarksons series since she began teasing it out a few months ago. I couldn’t wait until I could get my hands on it and, once I did, I didn’t hesitate before starting it. (I also didn’t want to set it down once I started.) It was funny and sexy and sweet and gave me a solid dose of feels – along with a few tears. I couldn’t have asked for more.
I thought Rita and Jasper were both wonderful characters. They were complex and interesting. Some might be turned off by how quickly these two connected and fell for each other, but I’m not one of them. Sure, things moved quickly between them, but I think that’s also a product of the situation they found themselves in with the road trip aspect. I don’t think it’s all that uncommon in books (or movies or even real life) for things to progress at warp speed when there’s a time limit on how long you get to spend with someone. But, I digress. Rita and Jasper had sizzling chemistry and I loved them together. I always love it when the guy who’s all in and the woman who is a little more skeptical and that seemed to fit their characters perfectly here. I loved how they played off each other and I found myself completely into them as a couple. I hoped they could find a way to work things out and stick together. And, of course, the sexy times were freaking hot AF. *fans self* I do have a weakness for Tessa’s dirty-talkin’ heroes. (And, of course, how they treat their ladies.)
I loved the romance and the hot sex. But, you know what I loved every bit as much? The dynamic between the siblings. I love a good, strong family in books and Tessa more than delivered here. (Even if they’re a bit dysfunctional. And honestly probably BECAUSE they’re a bit dysfunctional.) I was fascinated by the ways the characters interacted with each other – for better or worse. Each of them is so unique and the relationships they share are so different. Their mom’s passing hit them each hard, if in varying degrees, as expected. I’m an only child so I think that’s why I find myself so intrigued by characters from larger families. No matter what the cause, I’m totally hooked on the Clarksons and I want to know everything about every single one of them.
The Meet the Clarksons series is off to a fantastic start. I’m already itching to get my hands on Aaron’s story (and I presume Grace’s, as well) in Too Wild to Tame. September can’t get here soon enough. Hopefully I’ll get a crack at it before then though. *fingers crossed*
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Men like Jasper were supposed to be reserved for naughty Internet memes, but here he was. Her own private, moving GIF, only he didn’t loop back to the beginning after three seconds. No, he just kept coming, like he might never stop kissing her once he started. Like he might do a shit ton more than just kiss with that mouth.
“That’s why you’re here, isn’t it? You need a good, leg-shakin’ finish and decided I’d be up for the job.”
“I want to treat this tiny bud between your legs so special that she pays attention when I walk into a room. I want her to remember my tongue so well you have to excuse yourself when you see me coming because she needs a rubout.”
“You ruined the sky for me today, Rita. It’s flat-out mediocre without you up against it. I reckon it always will be now.”
“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. Promise me.”
Be brave! I wish I would have said that more often without throwing my own bravery in their faces. Be brave, crash together and fall apart. It’s okay. It’s okay to diverge, knowing sometime in the future, you’ll collide again. As long as those rare times are remembered, their meanings retained.
Does Too Hot to Handle sound like something you might enjoy?