Too Hot to Handle
HQN / March 26, 2013 / $7.99 print, $6.15 digital
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.
There are three schools of romance readers: those of us who want a complete escape from reality, those of us who want a character that we can relate to and those of who want both. Luckily, Victoria Dahl writes not only relatable characters but gives us a great escape on top of a great story.
Too Hot to Handle is book two in Victoria Dahl’s Jackson Hole series, and here we meet Merry Kade (best friend of Grace from the first book in the series). Merry has always been positive and has always looked on the bright side of life. She’s also always been the best friend and the confidante—but she has never been the one to turn heads herself. According to Merry’s family, she has never amounted to much and let her whims take her.
“She was a jack of all trades, and while she hadn’t mastered anything, she was a hard worker. She wasn’t lazy. She wasn’t dumb. Even if her cousins had given her the nickname The Merry Slacker a few years before.”
But this time, she is hell bent on making her new job at a little museum in Wyoming count. Merry figures that this job will prove once and for all to her family that she isn’t a slacker and that she doesn’t need them as a safety net. Little does she know, she’s been set up to fail, which isn’t going to help with her recently developed self doubt.
“Family gatherings were a little painful, but Merry could deal with it. What she couldn’t deal with was her newly hatched self-doubt.”
When Merry asks Shane for help remodeling the museum, she does it without a second thought. She is there for the job, to prove herself to not only herself but to her family that she can succeed. Shane doesn’t want to turn the land into a tourist attraction at all, but finds himself liking being in Merry’s presence. This is where Merry’s positivity shines through and infects Shane. When proving yourself, you don’t seem to think clearly and beyond what the goal is. Sometimes that goal is in the form of a hunky cowboy who reluctantly helps you.
“He shook his head. “You have no idea what you’re asking.”
Victoria Dahl is truly a master at writing real life characters that we all can relate to. How many of us ARE the girl next door? How many of us have been the best friend but have never the one and only? If you are looking for an escape or a character you can relate to, this is the series for you.
Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Victoria Dahl's Too Hot to Handle (Jackson Hole #2) before its March 26 release:
Natasha Carty reviews Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy on her website Wicked Little Pixie and lives in Toronto, Canada, with her cat, Seamus.