Desert Isle Keeper
Too Hot to Handle
Too Hot to Handle just hurts so good. Know what I mean? The hero is very nearly a total S.O.B.; the heroine subjected to torture nearly beyond belief. The love scenes are filled with incredibly purple prose. The incendiary heat between Tory Wells and Ethan Reever begins, nearly impossibly, the moment they meet. And yet, this book is a keeper – it will arouse and heighten the senses so that you won’t want to put it down after you first pick it up. And when it is finished, you’ll wish it had gone on and on, even though you’ll be an emotional wreck. At least, that’s how it was for me. Two-hanky read? Oh yeah. Luscious love story – definitely!
Tory Wells is a diver recovering from a devastating knee injury. She’s broke and alone, and has been sent by a benefactor to get a job at the Sundance Ranch, operated by Ethan Reever. He takes one look at her, decides she’s a spoiled city girl, refuses to hear her story, and proceeds to throw her out. When he next sees her, she’s being chased by local boys out for no good, beaten down and bloodied after having walked miles on a hot road with a heavy duffel bag weighing her down. After accusing her of “asking for it,” he takes her back to the ranch on his horse, and, all I can say is, what a ride! After he discovers she has no money and can cook, she is given a job. She can stay as ranch cook until she earns a bus ticket “home.”
The ranch hands love Tory, but unless Reever is treating her wounds, he treats her like dirt. There’s this incredible pull between the two of them, and occasionally he gives in to it, only to treat her worse in the aftermath of a kiss or caress. She’d decided long ago that love was not for her, but knows Reever is the one for her. Desperate for money, affection, and for her knee to heal, she puts up with it long after I’d have hauled off and decked the guy.
There are countless incidents where Reever treats Tory badly, and I felt each and every one of them inside myself. There are many incidents where they begin to give in to their passions, and I felt each and every one of them inside myself as well. Tory and Reever’s journey to love is a remarkable one; I was riveted to the book and found that even the very purple love scenes – and they are very purple – worked wonderfully.
Tory is that type of romance heroine I love so well. She’s beautiful but doesn’t know it; in fact, she doesn’t believe much good about herself at all. Everyone around loves her except the man she loves, and she constantly has to prove herself to him (and comes up wanting), at least, that’s how it seems. Reever, on the other hand, is the type of romance hero I hate to love, but when I fall for a hero like him, I fall hard. He’s got his own demons, but as he learns the truth about Tory’s difficult past, he begins to change, to soften. By the end, every nasty thing he’s done will be forgiven, not only by Tory, but by the reader. That’s the amazing power of love – to heal two wounded souls and bring them together forever. That’s the amazing power of Elizabeth Lowell.