Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review and giveaway for a new contemporary romance from Tessa Bailey. I’ve read the first two books in her Romancing the Clarkson’s series, TOO HOT TO HANDLE and TOO WILD TO TAME, and really enjoyed them. TOO HARD TO FORGET features the youngest Clarkson–Peggy–finding her ‘one that got away’…and bringing him back.
Catch and excerpt below and be sure to scroll down and enter the giveaway for one of 10 paperback copies of TOO HARD TO FORGET, too! (Giveaway ends 5/4/17!)
About the book:
The third book in New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey’s Romancing the Clarksons series about four siblings on a cross-country road trip, perfect for fans of Gena Showalter and Julie James!
This time, she’s calling the shots.
Peggy Clarkson is returning to her alma mater with one goal in mind: confront Elliott Brooks, the man who ruined her for all others, and remind him of what he’s been missing. Even after three years, seeing him again is like a punch in the gut, but Peggy’s determined to stick to her plan. Maybe then, once she has the upper hand, she’ll finally be able to move on.
In the years since Peggy left Cincinnati, Elliott has kept his focus on football. No distractions and no complications. But when Peggy walks back onto his practice field and into his life, he knows she could unravel everything in his carefully controlled world. Because the girl who was hard to forget is now a woman impossible to resist.
How about a little taste?
“I don’t know, Peggy.” He whirled on her, closing in until she was forced back onto the desk. “I had an All-American on my squad this morning and now I don’t. That’s all I know.” He pointed a finger toward the window. “I solve problems down on the field. Saving people isn’t my job.”
Saving people. God, there was such a wealth of regret and pain in those two words. But he couldn’t hear it and she couldn’t address it. Letting him know she saw right through his façade to the hurt beneath might force Elliott to close himself off. “You didn’t always limit yourself. Why are you doing it now?”
“Accepting things that can’t be changed isn’t a limitation. It’s realistic.”
“But how will you know if something can’t be changed unless you try?”
“When it comes to certain things, Peggy, trying leads to losing.” He was in her face now, the mint from his toothpaste familiar and inviting where it slid over her lips. “And I don’t lose.”
No one ever stood up this man but her, and she wouldn’t be cowed now. “No? You’re out a receiver.” She hitched herself up on his desk. “I’d call that a loss.”
The tips of his shoes met Peggy’s, his hands gripping the furniture on either side of her hips. “Who do you think you are, little girl? Coming into my office and telling me what I’ve done wrong?” His eyes were brilliant in their vexation, the attraction he was trying so hard to fight. “Where do you get the goddamn bravery?”
“The bravery is what you liked best about me,” she breathed, heat sizzling in a downward V toward her thighs. “Isn’t it?”
“No. That bravery is what almost led to my downfall.” His hands found her bottom, jerking her to the edge of the desk. “I resented it. Still do.”
“Liar,” Peggy whispered, easing her thighs wider. “You’re dying for an excuse to head for another downfall.” When her legs were as open as she could spread them, she leaned up to Elliott’s ear and let her breath shake loose. “One thrust.”
Elliott’s right hand came up out of nowhere, molding over Peggy’s mouth as his hips crowded into the notch of her legs. With a quick maneuver to recline her halfway back, Elliott’s erection found the apex of her thighs, delivering an aggressive pump against her underwear that sent a scream climbing up Peggy’s throat, only to be trapped by his hand. Knees jerking up out of reflex over the rush of sensation, an orgasm almost—almost— broke past the surface, sending her waters rippling out on all sides. Her legs wanted to hug Elliott’s waist, her voice wanted to beg for one more, one more, one more, but he shook his head, denying her, even though his gaze was hot, a low groan issuing from his harshly masculine mouth.
He leaned in and nipped the lobe of her ear. “Next time, ask for two.”
This is the third book in a four-part series about the Clarksons, adult siblings who began a road trip from San Diego to NYC at the behest of their late mother. They were meant to bond with each other–because this is a rather dysfunctional family–and all jump into the ocean on January 1st. While you can read this one on its own, I know I enjoyed it more for having read the first and second books already. As the books progress, one of the Clarksons find his/her soulmate and stops traveling with the promise of reuniting for the Big Plunge.
This book is about the youngest Clarkson, Peggy, finding her true love. Peggy’s twenty-five and broken four engagements at the altar. She came back from college a shattered person, despite her bubbly facade. Her mother suspected she’d had her heart broken, and it was true. Approaching Cincinnati, Peggy wants to stop in at her alma mater and shake loose the dust of the man who smashed her heart: head football coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats, Elliott Brooks.
Elliott Brooks is a superstitious man, but not a sentimental one. He knows football and church, and if he veers even a little the consequences could be devastating. Case in point, he barely knew his wife of fifteen years. When she injured herself and called for help, he didn’t answer, because he’d veered. And, she languished int eh cold, eventually falling into a coma and later dying.
Peggy Clarkson is a distraction to Elliott’s ordered world. She’s the sun shining on his un-pious mind. He never should have taken up with her when she was a senior in college, no matter how lonely and dejected he felt for failing his wife–a good woman he believes wasted her life with him. And, Peggy surely shouldn’t go near his thirteen year old daughter, who quite seriously dislikes him.
But, Peggy does all these things, in her very Peggy way. Rescuing Elliott’s daughter from socially-lethal stage fright and breathing life into Elliott again. Their previous relationship was way-dysfunctional, and Peggy thinks she’s only happy if Elliott is demeaning her–not realizing that Elliott’s loathing was only for himself, and his perceived failings.
Truly, I didn’t like Elliott much. I’m glad his a far different man at the end of the book, because I mighta left him in the desert with a bottle filled with salt, if he didn’t get better, and treat the people in his life like a compassionate human. Peggy is a woman who gives her all to a situation, or a man, and I’m glad she and Elliott were able to reach out and fix their dynamic. No person should be subject to the mind games she suffered. This wasn’t my fave book int he series, but it’s definitely sexy and worth a try. The ending is good, with a solid HEA and our favorite mostly-mute couple, Belmont and Sage, on the road (alone) to NYC. This is the love story I’ve been WAITING to read. Looking forward to it!
Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link TODAY for your final chance to win one of 10 paperback copies of TO HARD TO FORGET.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!
Interested in the first book, TOO HOT TO HANDLE? Watch shy Rita get wooed by a man working hard to turn his lady-killer reputation around.
It is both sweet and sexy…
And the second book of the series, TOO WILD TO TAME, was a surprisingly tender book that featured the jaded political analyst, Aaron, falling for a girl suffering years of PTSD. Catch my review for more deets.
About the Author:
Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days. Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.
She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of eight years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.
Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!