Title: Too Hot to Handle by Victoria Dahl
Jackson Series Book Two
Imprint: Harlequin HQN
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
This good girl’s going bad….
Merry Kade has always been the good girl. The best friend. The one who patiently waits for the guy to notice her. Well, no more. Merry has just scored her dream job, and it’s time for her life to change. As the new curator of a museum in Wyoming, she’ll supervise a lot of restoration work. Luckily she’s found the perfect contractor for the job.
Shane Harcourt can’t believe that someone wants to turn a beat-up ghost town into a museum attraction. After all, the last thing he needs is the site of his dream ranch turning into a tourist trap. He’ll work on the project, if only to hasten its failure…until the beautiful, quirky woman in charge starts to change his mind.
For the first time ever, Merry has a gorgeous stud hot on her heels. But can she trust this strong, silent man, even if he is a force of nature in bed? When Shane’s ulterior motives come out, he’ll need to prove to Merry that a love like theirs may be too hot to handle, but it’s impossible to resist.
Victoria Dahl’s second installment in her Jackson Hole, WY series, Too Hot to Handle is a light, easy to read romance that fans of contemporary westerns romances are sure to enjoy.
Merry Kade has finally found her niche in her new job and she is bubbling over with enthusiasm with the renovation of the Providence ghost town. Hoping to jumpstart the slow moving project, Merry takes the initiative and hires local carpenter Shane Harcourt to begin restoring the dilapidated buildings. Unbeknownst to Merry, Shane is the reason the project has stalled and his reasons for accepting the job are not exactly as altruistic as she thinks.
Merry is an absolutely delightful breath of fresh air and I adored her. She is refreshingly down to earth with realistic insecurities and self-doubts. Merry’s childhood was not easy, but she has an optimistic and sunny outlook on life. She deliberately looks for the good in people and although she is not naive, she is trusting. Merry is not overtly sexy or drop dead gorgeous. Instead she is every guy’s best gal pal; the one they discuss their woman problems with. So when Shane begins to treat her like she is a sexy, desirable woman, Merry is flustered and her self-esteem issues cause her to doubt his intentions. But when she eventually accepts that his attention is genuine, she eagerly enters into a no strings attached passionate fling.
Shane is a little more difficult to like since he is deceiving Merry. He has abandonment issues that stem from his childhood and he has serious commitment issues. In his favor, he is upfront with Merry that he is not looking for a permanent relationship. Of the two characters, Shane undergoes the most growth. Part of his change in attitude results from Merry’s positive attitude. New information about past events also comes to light and he finds closure for a childhood loss.
Some of the characters from the first novel in the series, Close Enough to Touch, play key roles in Too Hot to Handle. As Merry’s closest friend, Grace Barrett is fiercely protective of her and she is always looking out for her. While Grace is distrustful of Shane, but she is respectful of Merry’s decision to become involved with him. Grace always has Merry’s happiness and best interests at heart.
Too Hot to Handle is an entertaining novel and an excellent addition to the Jackson Hole, WY series. The romance between Merry and Shane is sweet and their sex scenes are deliciously steamy. Victoria Dahl’s writing style is humorous and engaging and her characters are well-developed and true to life. An all around lovely story that I highly recommend.
Read my review of Close Enough to Touch HERE.