Release Day Launch and Reviews: Too Hot To Handle: Tessa Bailey

TooHotToHandle11_RGB300 (1)Too Hot To Handle 
Tessa Bailey 
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Expected May 17, 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.

Four dysfunctional, distant siblings take off on a road trip to honor their mother's last wish. Let the taunting, fighting, chaos, and disasters begin...

Rita Clarkson is lost, sarcastic, quirky and a loner. She feels awkward, has a fear of rejection, and deems herself a failure in everything she tries. Her career as a chef is in shambles. She just watched her livelihood burn down. And she is truly at a crossroads in her life.

Peggy Clarkson is the young, perky sister who is perpetually engaged, but never married. Aaron is the arrogant politician with the perfect facade. And Belmont is the reserved loner who is a man of few words but it seems his emotions run deep. Coming along for the ride is Sage who is Peggy's best friend  who seems to bring out strong reactions in Belmont. This group all has secrets and issues, but now they are actually getting time to explore them.

When a mechanical problems leave them stranded in New Mexico, Jasper Ellis comes to their rescue. And as soon as he sees Rita, he has his own agenda. Jasper hates the reputation he earned as the town man whore. He owns a bar and due to his past behavior, no one takes him seriously or ever expects more from him. So he has sworn off women, become more serious,  and is trying to do more with his life. He likes Rita and wants to find any reason to have more time with her. But he does not just want a good time, for once he really wants to make a connection with a woman. Of course, she is a women not looking for a relationship and has other plans.

They have serious sexual tension. He is charismatic, sexy, dirty talking, and dominant. He sets her on fire, but at the same time holds back. Even the almost-sex scenes were scorching and naughty. They get in deep really fast but know that time is ticking. In a few short days they begin to see what it is like to have someone believe in them and to have passion, support and understand their fears. But they are also torn by Rita's obligations and need to keep rebuilding her relationships with her splintered family. Does true love mean being selfish and begging her to stay or loving her enough to let her go? 

This is the first of the series and has already developed some interesting dynamics between the siblings and teased at their complicated love lives. This book was humorous, steamy, campy, and sweet. At first I had a bit of a hard time connecting to the main characters, but I really enjoyed seeing their vulnerabilities and true passion exposed. Jasper was such an earnest, intense, broken hero with that dirty, alpha edge. And Rita had many insecurities and really needed to find somewhere to fit in and truly be able to be herself and be accepted. I am looking forward to more with this crazy cast of characters especially Belmont. What a big, sweet, mysterious teddy bear... But it looks like Aaron will be coming up next in Too Wild to Tame...

I was gifted a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Rita Clarkson thought it would be a great idea to gather her three siblings and drive cross country in order to fulfill their mother’s last request. She forgot to account for the fact that the 4 siblings are each as different as a single group of people could be. Not long into their trek, they find themselves stranded in the Middle of Nowhere, New Mexico with car trouble.

Jasper Ellis has been trying to live down his reputation in a small town. No one seems to see the man he is trying to be, they just miss the good for nothing partier he used to be. When he rides up behind a broken down Suburban, he knows he will struggle to keep the man he used to be in check long enough to treat Rita the way she deserves.

The tension between these two is epic. Not only are they fighting time, as Rita’s time in town is only as long as it takes to replace a fan belt, but they are also fighting the demons each of them carry. They each struggle with the choices they have made as they work to shape the future.

I haven’t read two people so caught up in what others think in a long time -- and that is both something I liked about them and something that drove me crazy. Jasper is trying to make a new man of himself, but can’t seem to shake that others expect him to be a partier rather than an upstanding businessman. Rita fears so much about her past and her future that she is running nearly blind. But their chemistry is on fire, even as they fight to make sure the other’s feelings don’t get hurt.

The story felt like to was a little slow in places, but as a whole it was a sexy, easy read. Though the timeline of the main story is only a handful of days, they are jam-packed in a way that can only happen in a small town. 

I enjoyed getting to know all four Clarkson siblings here. Each one is hiding secrets from the others (and from themselves it seems). As the siblings get to know each other as adults for probably the first time, they realize that they are all struggling with aspects that no one else sees. I can’t wait to see more as they travel across the country. 
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Rita and Belmont were sitting silently on the sidewalk, staring at the decimated restaurant, when a sleek, white Mercedes with the license plate VOTE4AC pulled up along the curb, eliciting a sigh from them both. Rita shoved a hand through her dyed black hair and straightened her weary spine. Preparing. Bolstering. While Belmont’s modus operandi was to hang back, take a situation’s measure and then approach with caution, her younger brother Aaron liked to make a damn entrance, right down to the way he exited the driver’s side. Like a Broadway actor entering from stage left into a dramatic scene, aware that eyes would swing his direction. His gray suit boasted not a single wrinkle, black shoes polished to a shine. His golden boy smile had made him a media sensation, but for once, it was nowhere to be seen as he approached Rita and Belmont.
Aaron shoved his hands into his pants pockets. “Fuck. Right?”
“Yep,” Rita said, swallowing hard.
Her politician brother did a scan of the dire scene, brain working overtime behind golden brown eyes inherited by all the Clarksons. Except Belmont, whose eyes were a deep blue, on account of him having a different father. A fact that Rita forgot most of the time, since Belmont had been there—an unmovable presence—since the day she was born. Aaron had come later. The second coming.
“Are you all right?” Aaron asked her abruptly, a suspicious twinkle in his gaze. “You must have been in there a while with the smoke. The soot around your eyes—”
“Hilarious, dickhead.” Her heavy, black eye makeup and general fuck off appearance were a constant source of amusement for her clean-cut younger brother. “You have a funny way of showing concern.”
“Thank you. What do I need to handle?” Aaron adjusted the starched, white collar of his shirt. “Did you make a statement yet or anything?”
Rita allowed the steel to leach from her spine. “I’ve been kind of busy just sitting here.”
“Right.” Aaron feigned surprise at finding Belmont on the sidewalk with them. “Jesus. I thought you were a statue.”
“You smell like the ocean.”
“You smell like the blood of tax payers,” Belmont returned.
“Well.” Rita finally found enough presence of mind to yank the smoky apron over her head, chucking it into the street. “I think I just remembered why we haven’t hung out since Mom died.”
Truthfully, even before that rainy afternoon, the time they’d spent together as a family had felt mandatory. Organized by their mother and fled from in almost comical haste.
“Oh. My. God.”
At the sound of their youngest sibling, Peggy’s, voice, all three of them cursed beneath their breath. Let the family reunion officially begin. It wasn’t that they didn’t love their baby sister. And in many ways, Peggy, a personal shopper to San Diego’s elite, was still a baby at twenty-five. Her big coke-bottle curls and cheerleader appearance guaranteed she got away with just about everything. Including neglecting to pay her cab driver, if the irritated-looking man following her with a receipt clutched in his fist was any indication.
“How did this happen?” Peggy hiccupped, playing with the string of engagement rings dangling from her neck, as Belmont wordlessly paid the cab driver. “I just had dinner here two weeks ago. Everything seemed fine.”
Rita battled the compulsion to lay down on the sidewalk in the fetal position. Oh God. Her mother had bequeathed her an award-winning restaurant and she’d burned it down. On Rita’s first day back.
Aaron was busy scrolling through his phone, the screen’s glow illuminating his perfectly tousled dark blond hair. “Look at the bright side, Rita. Now you can pursue your dream of being a Hot Topic register girl.”
Rita barely had the strength to flip him the bird. “Jump up my ass.”
When Peggy approached, Rita couldn’t look her in the eye, so she focused on her younger sister’s toes, peeking out of strappy silver sandals. “Hey. I’m glad you’re okay.”
Rita’s throat went tight. “Thanks, Peggy.”
“I’m sorry about the restaurant, too. I know how much you loved it. How much Mom loved it.” Her youngest sibling nodded and cast a discreet glance over her shoulder, turning back with a charming half smile. A smile responsible for four marriage proposals over the past three years. “Mom probably would have wanted me to talk to those firefighters, though. Am I right?”
Rita groaned up at the sky.
Meet the fucking Clarksons.
Too Wild to Tame 

tessa bailey bio.jpg
Tessa Bailey
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 Brooklyn, New York with her husband of seven years and three-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.

Join her Facebook Book Bailey's Babes


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