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Too Hot to Handle    by Robin Kaye order for
Too Hot to Handle
by Robin Kaye
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2009 (2009)
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Annabelle Ronaldi's life has been nothing but a series of heartbreaking disappointments. While in college, she loses her fiancée Chip to cancer. His death leaves her disconsolate and unable to pursue her passion for painting. A few years later and only days before her big, flashy, Italian wedding, she catches her new fiancée Johnny two-timing her with the undertaker's wife. Rather than suffer further embarrassment by cancelling the whole affair, Annabelle bestows her wedding day upon her sister and pastes on a happy and supportive smile as Rosalie walks down the aisle with the love of her life, Nick Romeo. Twenty-four hours later Annabelle wakes up in her rumpled bed with a massive hangover and lying next to a gorgeous man who is a dead ringer for her first love, Chip.

Dr. Mike Flynn can't figure out why his gorgeous bedmate is staring at him in horror, not after their night of mind-blowing sex. It wasn't as if he did this sort of thing on a regular basis. As a very busy pulmonary specialist, he barely has time to catch a few winks, let alone have any sort of personal life. But there was just something about Annabelle Ronaldi that brought out his inner Domestic God - one his single Irish mother had helped him fine tune.

Over the next couple of weeks Annabelle and Mike declare their love for each other. Despite sensing that something is troubling Annabelle, Mike decides it's time to shop for the perfect wedding ring. But just as he's about to pop the question he stumbles across Annabelle's deep dark secret, one that involves Chip and Mike's surprising relationship. Furious that she hadn't come clean from the beginning and certain she only used him for sex, Mike ends their relationship. Completely heartbroken, Annabelle is determined to forget Mike and move on with her life, convinced that he's better off without her, especially now that he's discovered a new and powerful branch of his family tree. But Annabelle and Mike's family and friends have other ideas - if the two stubborn lovebirds can't figure out that they belong together, then perhaps they need a helpful nudge in the right direction.

Robin Kaye strikes gold in this follow up to her Domestic Gods series. Between Annabelle's old-fashioned Italian family's well-meaning interference and Mike's own trials and tribulations once he discovers his true roots, there are complications aplenty. Neither of their family's antics, however, detracts from Mike and Annabelle's thoroughly engaging characterizations or their love story - which is not only entertaining, funny and steaming hot, but also very touching. Too Hot to Handle is destined to become one of the summer's big hits.

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