25 Mar '13

A Nix Romantic Review – Too Hot to Handle by Victoria Dahl (3.75 Stars)

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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.

I started this one with the expectation of finding a cute book with lots of heat.  I definitely did find this but, although I liked the tale, there was something about one of the main characters that stopped me loving this book.

 Merry was a heroine that I could identify with. Not in the perpetually happy way (in fact, that got quite irritating) but with the fact that she couldn’t believe that anyone could find her sexy. A habitual wearer of Star Wars t-shirts, Merry is the one that guys usually become friends with, not want to jump into bed with. Enter Shane. Shane looks at her with lust in his eyes, makes her feel desirable and makes her want to do naughty things again (seriously? No sex for TWO years… that’s just….just?!?!).  In that casual relationship she gets to experience a relationship with a man the way it should be and I truly enjoyed her character within the confines of their tryst. Of course that all goes to hell in a hand-basket when she finds out who he truly is and then she gets a bit whiny again but, to be honest, I’d be the same; except possibly with more violence and a heck of a lot more swearing.

Shane was my major bugbear in this book. I just didn’t believe in him as a romantic character. He went into the business relationship with Merry to suit his own gains and I didn’t quite believe that it wasn’t always in the back of his mind that he could get insider information from her. I know he felt guilty but, if I were in Merry’s situation, I would never be able to forgive such a beginning. I don’t care how good he is in the sack or how good he looks in a Stetson; I would never be able to forget it.  It didn’t help that, this being the central obstacle to the relationship, it was brought up a lot. In the book, the only good side I saw to Shane was within the confines of the relationship and this saddened me slightly.
The chemistry in this book? Whoa. In this particular area, the book far surpassed my expectations. The sparks between these two lit up the pages and I found myself getting all hot and flustered frequently.  From blow-jobs in a truck to mutual masturbation in a shower, there really was some adventurous, and highly steamy, sex.  These two together were fabulous; it was a shame that they were a car-crash waiting to happen.
Although there were quite a few side-characters in this book, the only one that seemed to develop the plot was the heinous cousin; that woman was horrific and I was glad when Merry finally stood up to her. The rest of the characters were in as filler to be honest; fun to read but confusing as to their role within the overall picture.
Overall, this is a really sweet book that is guaranteed to steam you up. With a fun heroine and a well developed plot, I found myself swept away for a few hours with a fuzzy kind of enjoyment.

“Grace is cock-blocking me, Mom”

“Merry!” her mom shrieked, disappearing from the screen as it wobbled from her laughter.

“It’s true! I need that old copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves you gave me when I was twelve. I need to explain to Grace what my vagina is for”

Nix

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