Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Release Day Blitz : Too Hot To Handle (Romancing the Clarksons, #1) by Tessa Bailey

Too Hot To Handle
Romancing the Clarksons, #1
by Tessa Bailey

Release Date:
May 17th, 2016

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Publisher via NetGalley

eARC received in exchange of honest review


When rescue looks like a whole lot of trouble… 

The road trip was definitely a bad idea. Having already flambĂ©ed 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.

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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.

Mikki's Review:

Too Hot To Handle was one of my most anticipated books of 2016. I am a huge Tessa Bailey fan. When she comes out with a new series, I'm like a kid on Christmas morning. I'm over the moon excited that I get to meet new characters and that I get to fall in love with their stories for the very first time! If you have not read any books by this author you are seriously missing out! You can't go wrong with any of her books. They are the perfect reading escape! Her stories are filled with intense, passionate, sexy and emotional moments. These books will linger with you for days and the characters will always leave you wanting more!

Too Hot To Handle is the first installment of the Romancing the Clarksons Series. This series follows four siblings: Rita, Belmont, Aaron and Peggy Clarkson. In this first installment we get to meet them all, but the main focus is on Rita Clarkson. When life throws you lemons, go on a road trip! LOL!! Rita's life has taken a turn for the worst. She needs a change and she needs it NOW! After the family restaurant goes up in flames, Rita is left with tough decisions. She has nothing to lose at this point and begins a road trip with her siblings. Things haven't been easy for Rita and her siblings. They grew apart and so this road trip is the perfect occasion to reconnect with them. When their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, the last thing Rita expected was to be swept off her feet by the Jasper Ellis. He's unexpected and a breath of fresh air. Rita has a final destination in mind, but will Jasper be able to convince her that next to him is where she belongs?

I'm not a fan of insta-love. I really have to connect with the main characters to be able to feel their love. Tessa Bailey did a phenomenal job at making me fall in love with Rita and Jasper. Even if their relationship grows in just a couple of days, you can feel how strong their connection is. They have a hot chemistry and it's lust at first sight. The more time they spend together, the more their love grows. Both these characters have their own personal struggles and when they are together they forget about everything that surrounds them. Good things come when you least expect them and that is exactly what happened to Rita and Jasper. Rita's life got turned upside the moment the family restaurant caught on fire. When she had the idea to embark on a road trip that would bring her to NYC, she never expected to find Jasper. She definitely did not expect to fall in love the way she did. It was beautiful to see these two characters fall in love. It was heart-melting! Jasper has his own personal demons. He's determined to make his mark in his town. I loved how determined he was to change things around in his life. Rita and Jasper found a place to call home in each others arms.

If there is one thing that I absolute love about Tessa Bailey is the role that she gives to her secondary characters. In every single book that I have read from this author, I always felt like not only was I getting a love story, but I was getting introduced to supporting characters that added their own touch of awesomeness to the story. You will absolutely love all these fantastic characters! The moments that the Clarkson siblings shared were amazing! They might have been a distant family at the beginning of this journey, but they got closer on their road trip. I loved every single moment that they shared together. Aaron is the next Clarkson to get his story. We get a little glimpse of his book at the end of Too Hot To Handle and I'm already hooked! I can't freakin' wait to read his story!! I highly recommend Too Hot To Handle and any book by Tessa Bailey. Unforgettable reading journey guaranteed!


I give, Too Hot To Handle, by Tessa Bailey, 5 unexpected moments, passionate encounters, steamy, fun, falling in love on a road trip stars!


About the Author:

Tessa Bailey - headshot
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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