Too Hot to Handle by Victoria Dahl

Too Hot to Handle (Jackson, #2)
Grade – B
Hotness Level – Blaze
Kink Level – no kink
Genre – Contemporary
Series – Jackson #1
Reviewed by Anne

Merry has been a tumbleweed through life, but she’s finally putting down roots and showing her family and friends she can be a success.  She’s gotten a job as curator of a ghost town.  She’s going to develop it and turn it into a tourist attraction.  Shane lives across the hall from Merry.  He has ties to the ghost town that Merry doesn’t know about.  In fact, he is contesting a will that has direct effect on the ghost town.  Merry knows he does carpentry work and asks him to do some restoration work in the ghost town.  Shane accepts the job, thinking he can get a little inside information on the committee opposing him in the lawsuit about the will.  When he starts feeling attracted to Merry, his deception weighs on him, but not quiet enough for him to come clean.

I usually don’t like this kind of set up.  I’m not a fan of BIG SECRETS.  And I was initially annoyed at this one.  However, the farther I got into the story, the more believable it got.  Shane tells himself, just a little while longer.  With every passing day you know the revelation of the big secret will be even more painful, but I found myself rooting for them to stay in the lie just a little longer, because they were so good for each other and I knew the truth would rip them apart.  So I understood why Shane kept the secret.  In the end, I felt like his grovel and apology were fitting for the hurt he caused and I was ok with everything.
Other than the BIG SECRET, I really have nothing to complain about. I loved Shane and Merry’s chemistry.  Victoria Dahl is such a fun and funny writer!  There were so many stand out scenes in this book.  The shower scene, the hidden vibrator scene, all the moments between Merry and Grace were delightful, too.  I really enjoy a book where the characters have real friends.  Raylene at the bar was a hoot!  
This is the second book in the Jackson series.  I haven’t read the first book and I followed this one just fine.  I’m going to read the first one, though, because Grace was such a good friend to Merry and such a strong woman that I want to know more about her.  This is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it!  Dahl is back on my favorite writers list.

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