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Too Hot to Handle Mass Market Paperback – 7 Aug 2006

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (7 Aug. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312937970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312937973
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 2.4 x 17 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,272,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By josie82 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Jan. 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Emily Barnett has run to London to escape her scheming cousin who plans to marry Emily and then send her blind sister to an asylum. Now needing to raise funds, Emily interviews for the position of a governess for the wards of Michael Farrow, Earl of Winchester - only when she arrives at the Earl's residence she realises that she's accidentally stumbled across the Earl's interviews for a new mistress instead!

Michael Farrow likes his women to be experienced with lusty appetites much like his own. One look at Emily in her drab outfit and he can tell she is not the type of woman he is used to but he's intrigued all the same. When she runs off, scandalised, Michael tracks her down to offer her the position of governess. But as they are thrown into close contact together they both begin to realise that neither can deny the passion they find in one another. But when Emily's cousin, a jealous ex-mistress and a devious ward all start to plot - Emily and Michael have to decide how much they really want to fight for each other.

This is the first book of Cheryl Holt's that I've read and I found that I really enjoyed it and will definitely be looking out for other books of hers in the future.

I really liked Emily's character especially - an innocent and naive young woman while still refreshingly strong and resilient. Michael on the other hand is one hundred percent alpha male and tries so hard to keep his emotions out of his life that it is really enjoyable when you finally see him brought down by love. Their interactions are funny, fiery and sexy. The secondary characters are also very well developed and have their own stories which add nicely to the story.

The plot isn't too demanding and you definitely focus more on the interactions of the characters because of this. If you enjoy your historical romances light with some passion and emotion thrown in then I would definitely suggest that you give this book a try as I'm sure you will like it too.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 19 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Lackluster and Lacking Appeal! 22 Oct. 2005
By Kristi Ahlers - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Cheryl Holt is known for her passionate love stories that almost always revolve around the most decadent of hero's. Her characterization almost always included a sassy, smart lady who knows her heart. Sadly, this is lacking in Ms. Holt's latest effort. The reader will be introduced to basically two different romances, two brothers, two sisters...happy endings for all...except perhaps for the reader.

Michael Farrow is Earl of Winchester and he makes a career of living life as recklessly as possible. He is about to make his first mistake. He is shopping for a new mistress when one applicant is introduced to him. He thinks she's there to apply for mistress when in fact she's actually there to apply for the post of governess to his two new wards. After this one misunderstanding you'd think that he'd stay clear of this obvious upright lady. But problem is he feels bad about the misunderstanding and sets out to make right this wrong. This is the first time he's ever felt compelled to fix things and it just doesn't sit well with him. Nor can he overlook the attraction that sparks between them. He's going to get Emily into his household one way or the other. After all he always gets what he wants.

Emily Barnett is responsible for her blind older sister, and her niece. She has no practical experience but sets out to win the position of governess to the Earl of Winchesters new wards. The fact that Michael has awakened the sensual feelings of attraction can't be ignored. For good or ill she will take whatever he's willing to give her. After all he won't marry her she's beneath his station in life. But the longer she spends time with him, the harder it is to remember why she can't love him on her own terms. Will Michael allow Emily into his heart or will he run the other way and away from the happiness that Emily promises.

Emily and Michael are singularly uninspiring as lead characters. Perhaps this is due to the fact that there truly wasn't any "tension" between the two. What Michael wanted...Michael got, not very romantic. The secondary storyline of Alex, Michael's brother with emotional and physical scars paired with Mary, Emily's blind sister was another attempt at drawing the reader in with the acceptance of loving a person regardless of their physical appeal. Alex though was so obnoxious that when he did finally warm up it was only to lukewarm. I would have like to have seen Emily and Mary both being portrayed as having a tad more self-confidence. Overall this was an okay read but not the strongest effort Ms. Holt has ever offered readers. I hope that her next effort is better and look forward to reading it.

Official Reviewer for Romance Designs
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Not up to CH's normal standards 7 Sept. 2005
By Lisa Daily - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this book very difficult to finish because I was so tired of the characters. I am a great fan of stories with the hero beginning as a disolute rake and then reforming, however I like my heroes intelligent, and I'm afraid I found Micheal lacking.

Most rakes have redeeming qualities that draw their heroine to them. This was more like "oh wow, your cute and I like to kiss you.... so I must love you," on the heroine's part. I didn't believe ethier of the character's really cared about the other. In fact the most interesting character in the book, with the most honest feelings was Alex Micheal's brother. I felt there most more to be redeemed in him than his idiot brother.

I agree with a previous reviewer, go read Love Lessons if you want a hot, and entertaining read about a rake who is both sexy and intelligent.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2 and a 1/2 stars 6 Sept. 2005
By Viv - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In her latest Regency historical, Cheryl Holt goes for the governess turned mistress theme. Harriet Klausner already summarized the book (even adding a spoiler), so I will tell you what I thought of it.

The heroine, Emily was an obnoxious would-be governess hired by and the hero (and of course rake), Michael for his new wards.

I felt no love at all between the two. There was virtually no sexual tension or chemistry. Nothing to keep you up all night till you finish. I felt the subplots with Pamela were superfulous and added just to make the book longer. I found myself skimming through because I already knew the conclusion. And I'm no mystery reader.

It was a very predictable read. What saved it from being a complete dud was the hot sex scenes for which CH is known for.

If you are just experimenting with CH's work, try "Love Lessons" instead.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Awful, just awful 19 Sept. 2005
By NewGirl05 - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm desperately trying to find a redeeming quality for this book, and there just isn't one. There wasn't a single likable person above the age of ten. And those two had about fifteen lines of dialogue between them. The two sisters and their respective love interests were just ridiculous. They didn't deserve their happy ending.

Given the genre, I could buy the whole governess mistaken for a mistress idea, but for Emily to fall instantly in love with Michael, given the circumstances, makes no sense at all.

Emily and Mary are so desperate and gullible, I wanted to feel sad for them, but time after time they were such pushovers without pride or self-respect that I finally couldn't believe their supposed sterling qualities. As for Michael and Alex, they may have had a trying childhood, but the fact that they know they're being selfish jerks with no spine, doesn't excuse the fact that they keep proving it again and again. If only the author could have started their moral transformation earlier in the story, we might have cared when their lives became a complete disaster.

The supporting cast was slightly demented. The adolescent ward, the ex-mistress and the childhood fiancé were included to add some spice or something, but they were just disturbing, and not even a good sort of disturbing like you get in a truly chilling suspense novel. I have no idea why the butler was so loyal, a past anecdote showing the boys in a better light might have been a good idea. The fact that they used to be dashing just doesn't cut it for me. They need to have at least SOME strength of character. Working hard on the estate, taking care of his people, a spy for his country, ANYTHING!! A hero needs something to give his character some depth and make him more appealing. At least Alex was in the army, but we never learn how he got the scar. Was he a heroic soldier or a coward on the battle field? All those little hints that tell you that the protagonist is going through a rough patch, but is someone worthy of love in the end, were completely absent from this book.

I was completely disappointed with this book. There was no wit, no spark, no intelligence, no intrigue, and no suspense. After a while I began to believe that this was a bad eighties reprint, but it was published this year for the first time. This book has run out of excuses, SAVE YOUR MONEY.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
If I could give this 0 Stars I would!!!!! Worst Romance I have read! 19 Oct. 2005
By Jenna P. - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Oh where oh where as Cheryl Holt's talent gone? The last several books have been so lackluster but this one by far is the worst I have read! I agree with the other reviewer who said this book was the worst read of 2005. I disagree with the reviewer who said the cover was the only good thing - this cover doesn't even look like it belongs to a regency historical but a cowboy contemporary.

I don't want to bore everyone with the details of the book just that the characters were all a bunch of idiots - not one was likeable.

I can't even believe that I finished this ridiculous book. Cheryl has been taken off my must buy list and now on my purchase with caution list.
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