Review: Too Hot to Handle by Aleah Barley

 

Title: Too Hot To Handle

Author: Aleah Barley

Publisher:  Entangled

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

She was playing with fire…

Honey Moore has made a pledge: no more stealing cars and no more lusting after Jack Ogden. But when an arsonist torches her house and chases her all over Los Angeles, she’s forced to throw herself on Jack’s mercy. No one will look for a convicted felon in an LAPD detective’s apartment, right?

Jack doesn’t need a woman like Honey in his life. She might be sexy, but trouble follows her everywhere. But it’s hard to walk away from someone who lives at full throttle—and even harder to keep her safe. Now he’ll have to sacrifice everything to protect Honey from the arsonist determined to kill her.

Review:

When I read the blurb for Too Hot To Handle, I was intrigued.  The heroine is a car thief.  That was new for me, and I was eager to see how events played out in the story.  Honey’s love interest is a cop, and I didn’t think I could be convinced that they could put her past indiscretions behind her.  I was wrong.  This is a very fun read, perfect for vacation reading or lounging by the pool.  I hate to keep saying that lately, but during the summer, I do adjust my reading habits to include fluffier fare, because I enjoy escapist reading so much.  While I enjoyed Too Hot To Handle quite a bit, I did have to check my skepticism at the door.

Honey Moore is a reformed car thief.  Kind of.  After serving eighteen months in jail for stealing Jack Ogden’s police car, she decided to turn over a new leaf.  Instead of stealing cars, she fixes them now.  Honey loves working on cars, but when the chance comes to score some easy money by recovering a stolen car, she agrees to find and retrieve billionaire Logan Burrow’s auto.  She quickly regrets the decision after her house is burned down to the ground.  Quickly realizing that someone wants her dead, Honey adds another crime to her portfolio – she breaks into Jack Ogden’s apartment.  She has had a crush on Jack since high school, but realizing that her shady family would ruin his political career, she denied her feelings for him.  Except that she couldn’t stop thinking about him, leading to harmless pranks and the not so harmless car theft that left her a convicted felon. 

When Jack finds Honey hiding out in his apartment, he isn’t amused, but he can’t deny the attraction that still simmers between them.  Another attempt on Honey’s life kicks him into protector mode, and soon they are both flirting with danger, as well as with each other.  If Jack doesn’t come clean with his involvement with Honey, he can ruin his career, which is already on shaky ground because of his temper.  Now that Honey is back in his life, he will do anything to keep her there.

I thought this was a humorous and fast-paced read.  I loved the tension between Jack and Honey.  Jack has no reason to trust her, given her long list of crimes, and he is still baffled by her sudden rejection when they were in high school.  I understood his confusion, and I even forgave him for jumping to the wrong conclusions about Honey’s actions.  She has never been straight up with him, and with her history, it’s easy to believe that Jack would have some reservations about trusting her.  Honey is so used to defending her family, which by her own admission is full of criminals, that she doesn’t think that she is good enough for Jack.  His parents are prominent and socially influential people,  and Honey doesn’t fit in well with them.

The ending is a bit too neat, with all of the loose ends tied into a pretty bow, and that is my one gripe with the story.  Honey’s circumstances change dramatically, and I thought that it would have been more interesting if they hadn’t.  Not only does she score the love of her life, she also finds a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  I kind of wish that she hadn’t, though I am certain she loved letting Jack’s nosy mother know about the change in her social status.

Grade: B

Review copy provided by publisher

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