*This is a book review of Too Hot to Handle by Tessa Bailey.
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Genre: Romance, Contemporary fiction
Main Characters: Rita Clarkson & Jasper Ellis
Number of Pages: 338
SJ Rating: 73%
On a mission to escape feeling like a failure, Rita Clarkson gathers her three siblings for a cross-country trip to fulfill their mother’s dying wish. Along the way, car trouble lands them in a small town in New Mexico, where Rita comes face-to-face with Jasper Ellis, who is nothing but good looks, big feelings, and bad boy energy.
First and foremost, whoever did the cover image is amazing; it matches the characters’ descriptions perfectly.
The author placed the acknowledgments at the beginning of the book, which reveals she used the name of her grandmother’s sister as the main character’s name in a smutty romance, and something about that doesn’t sit right with me. However, I did like having the acknowledgments come first; it is a sure fire way to make sure they get read.
This is also the first book I’ve read, in a while, where the male lead is truly, blatantly obsessed with the female lead from the moment they meet. I’ve read books where the male lead is in love with the female lead from the beginning, but it’s never revealed until towards the end; Jasper was on honest and straightforward from the jump. I need a man to be healthily obsessed with me the way Jasper is obsessed with Rita.
It’s no secret I’m not a fan of third person point-of-view, but it actually suits this book really well. It’s a beautiful way to get the main characters’ perspectives and thoughts without compromising the non-titled chapters. I thoroughly enjoyed that aspect of it, and I think it’s part of why I was able to read this book so quickly.
Speaking of “quickly,” the beginning felt very rushed, like there was a section of the plot missing between chapters two and three. Honestly, it kind of turned me off from wanting to read the rest; I wasn’t sure if the rest of the book would be full of plot holes.
This book was more sexual than I was prepared for. Some parts gave mid-western Christian Grey energy in a semi-uncomfortable way. It didn’t leave me hot and bothered like other books, but I also didn’t cringe either. Given the timeline of the plot, it felt like a much raunchier version of a Hallmark movie.
Also, I strongly dislike Jasper’s accent. Like, I’m not a fan at all. Jasper’s accent is especially awful when they’re having sex in chapter twenty-nine. I’m also not a fan of Rita’s stuttering; it seems unnecessary for her character, despite her being an introvert.
With an incredibly large font, it was easy to fly through this book. Thank goodness. I’m tempted to read the other books that I’m sure are written for the other Clarkson siblings, but I don’t think I mentally can, given the way the plot of this book was written.
Next book to be read and reviewed: Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word by Randall Kennedy