Victoria Dahl is a contemporary romance author whose books I have always wanted to check out. Too Hot To Handle is the first book I have read by Victoria Dahl, but it most definitely will not be the last. One of my favorite romance authors is Jennifer Crusie, because she blends strong women, humor and love to make an awesome story, so when I go in search of contemporary authors to read, I end up hoping they meet the Crusie standard. Thankfully, Victoria Dahl does – I found Too Hot To Handle to be peopled with lovable characters, have a gorgeous setting, and a very engaging plot.
Merry Kade is a ‘nice girl’. She’s patient and kind and sweet. She is a bit of a doormat. All of this, however, is going to change with Merry’s new job as a museum curator in Wyoming. She is in charge of all the restoration work, which means she will have to be assertive and take charge. She then meets Shane Harcourt, a contractor who agrees to help fix up the ghost town. He’s also her neighbor. Of course, Shane has a secret. He does not want the museum to succeed, as he stands to inherit the money used for the museum’s trust if his lawsuit goes through. Merry has no idea, though. Meanwhile, the two have an undeniable attraction to each other, even though they have goals that are in direct opposition.
The main character of Too Hot To Handle, Merry is definitely some one to root for. She is consistently shown to have a good heart. She cares deeply about her friends and her mom. Merry is also passionate about the past and history. As a reader, I wanted her to succeed after reading about all of the jobs she has failed at. Unfortunately, Merry was a bit lacking in self-esteem. She did not find herself attracted and was constantly comparing herself to more glamourous women. However, it’s nice to read about a character who is comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt and who would rather stay in with pizza and a movie than go to a dinner party. Overall, Merry came across as someone who was very likable.
As a reader, I was more on the fence about the love interest Dahl wrote, Shane. Of course, his motivations for the law suit make sense, yet he also lies about it which is kind of a deal breaker. Honesty is so important in a relationship, so I found his dishonesty to be disappointing. On the other hand, it’s plain that he really genuinely likes Merry and that she is not just a one night stand for him. I did like that he is given a chance for redemption and quite a strong backstory which shows why he is mistrustful of long term relationships and resistant to commitment.
The chemistry between Merry and Shane in Too Hot To Handle by Victoria Dahl is very strong. Although the two are different and although Merry is socially awkward with men, I think that they really complimented each other. Merry is the passionate and emotional type whereas Shane is the strong and silent type. There are a lot of bedroom scenes in this book, but none felt out of place. Further, the bedroom scenes were actually pretty good and not at all awkwardly written.
If you are in the mood for an opposites attract romance set in Wyoming with humor and great characterization, definitely get your hands on Too Hot To Handle by Victoria Dahl. Fair warning, the bedroom scenes are explicit, but if you do not mind that, you will probably really enjoy Dahl’s latest.
Disclosure: Received for review via Amazon Vine
Other reviews of Too Hot To Handle by Victoria Dahl:
Dear Author – “I finished it with a “that was okay but not great” feeling”
The Book Nympho – “Their emotional reactions rang so true”
Harlequin Junkie – “I have to say I really loved Victoria Dahl’s writing style”