Sunday, May 3, 2009

Too Hot to Handle by Robin Kaye

Book Description:
He sure would love to have someone to take care of...

Dr. Mike Flynn's single mom taught him early how to cook and clean, and there's nothing like vacuuming or doing dishes to help a guy relax. Annabelle Ronaldi is an artist without a domestic bone in her body. Since her fiance's death, she can't paint, and life looks hopeless.

Until the day after her sister's wedding, when she wakes up with Mike next to her in bed, and then she's really beside herself - because the handsome stranger is a dead ringer for her dead fiance.

After their mind-blowing one night stand, Mike is sure this is the woman he wants to take care of forever, but she acts like she's seen a ghost. While Mike sets to work wooing Annabelle, she sets to work sniffing out the truth of the convoluted family secret that turns everybody's lives upside down.

Ms. Kaye has written another winner!

The second in her Domestic God series, this is the story of Annabelle Ronaldi and Dr. Mike Flynn. Annabelle is the sister of Rosalie (from Romeo, Romeo). Let's just say, Mike Flynn is a dream man - and a doctah no less! A contemporary romance set in Brooklyn, it picks up right where Romeo, Romeo left off. At first, I was a bit put off by Annabelle, she's not exactly likable in the first book, but she grows on you during the course of this one. She's complex and has a lot of baggage to carry around. On the surface you wouldn't know it, but underneath she has lived an entirely different life in Philadelphia in love with a boyfriend who dies of cancer, of which her family in Brooklyn knows nothing about. At her sister Rosalie's wedding, she meets Dr. Mike Flynn, who happens to be the spitting image of her dead boyfriend, Chip. Well, let's just say, he's not the exact spitting image of him of which is an ongoing joke in the book - you'll have to read it to find out what it is.

As I said before, Annabelle has her flaws. Having just broken up with a slimy mortician fiance, she unexpectedly takes up with Dr. Mike. They have a whirlwind romance after she gets plastered at the wedding and they wind up in bed together the next morning, which is how the book opens. Annabelle has never been a fan of sex until Dr. Mike opens her eyes to it. Mike has been looking for a girlfriend, but as a young workaholic doctor he hasn't had much time for relationships - until Annabelle. For the better part of the book, I couldn't really see what Dr. Mike saw in her, and why he was so crazy about her to the point he falls in love with her in less than a month, although it does happen to take place during the lusty month of May - Spring Fever and all that? Anyway, it's obvious what she sees in him to begin with - he looks just like her old boyfriend, but aside from the mind blowing sex they have together, she just seems kind of cranky most of the time. But, Dr. Mike flips over her and they spend a lot of time at her apartment, and again, like Ms. Kaye's last hero he enjoys cooking and cleaning! Not to mention he's great in bed - every women's dream. Ms. Kaye is an expert at steamy and romantic.

Still, their story is complicated. Not only does Annabelle have to deal with the truth of who Dr. Mike winds up really being, but she's convinced that he won't want to continue to be with her once he does. Added to the pot is her best friend and Chip's twin sister, Becca, who is her confidante. I really liked Becca who I pictured as being a Reese Witherspoon type. Annabelle learns of the truth of who Mike's real father is and it turns out he is the love child of Chip and Becca's super wealthy doctor father from before he married their mother. Are you with me here? It gets a little complicated. Mike is really Becca's half brother. Becca's parents hated Annabelle from when she was with their son Chip, and felt she was just a gold digger. Now Annabelle doesn't want to come between Mike and his new family, plus she's sure he'll hate her once he finds out that she used to be with his dead brother who looks just like him! I must admit, I think that would throw me for a loop if I were Dr. Mike too. Understandably, the shit hits the fan when the truth is revealed. But, this is a romance after all with a happy ending, and I was glad to see that Annabelle is able to cope with the demons from her past. She comes a long way in one short month and I wound up liking her for it. She really blossomed over the course of this book, thanks to the love of a really great guy and some true blue friends.

In addition to all the drama that is taking place on the Annabelle/Mike end of the story, one of my very favorite parts and the real heart tugging emotion in the book for me was the poignant storyline between Mike's mother and real father. The scene in which Dr. Larsen (Mike's real father) is reunited with Mike's mother brought tears to my eyes. I was so there with them in the kitchen, after seeing one another again after so many years. I would have liked to have seen more between Dr. Larsen and Mike's mother. But, we get enough of a glimpse and innuendo to get the idea of what they must be feeling. I also really loved the part in which Mike meets his father for the first time. I was riveted and sucked into this part of the storyline and couldn't get enough of it.

Another side character story that I liked was Annabelle's wealthy and oh so good looking boss, Ben Walsh who seemed determined to drive Dr. Mike crazy with jealousy! With his good looks and smirks, he had Matthew McConaughey written all over him! He was actually pretty funny stole every scene he was in. One of my very favorite parts of the book was when Mike finally socks Ben in the face - ha ha! I laughed out loud - in the face! Too perfect! I really hope we see more of Ben, he deserves a book of his own - and a someone to really throw him for a loop. *grin*

I highly recommend this book, you don't need to read the first to appreciate it, but it was fun to see old friends like the Fairy Godfathers, weird Aunt Rose and Dave, the big galoot of a dog. The Brooklyn lingo, snappy come backs and settings all ring true. The book has a fast pace - a quick enjoyable sizzling read. By the way, I have got to check out that St. Andrews restaurant - do all the waiters really wear kilts?



Barbara said...

Okay, I skimmed your review, only because I just bought this one yesterday! I can't wait to read it. I really liked Romeo Romeo! I'll be back ;)

Lea said...

Wonderful review Julie! I read about this author's work when "Romeo Romeo", was released but didn't pick up the publication.

Your excellent review has certainly piqued my interest, and I will add her books to my list.

Warm Regards

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Barbara, glad you skimmed since I have spoilers, can't wait to hear what you thought of it and if you agree with some of my points.

Lea, give her a try, her books are so entertaining and I happen to love all the Brooklynese talk and I feel like I can just "hear" everyone and imagine everyone so perfectly, she paints a vivid picture of Italian-American New Yorkers! Plus, her leading men are the best lovers! *swoon*

Blodeuedd said...

Hi Julie :)

I have heard good things about these books, and I do think I would enjoy them :D

Kilts, restaurant, oh I am so there!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Blodeuedd - yes, I really want to go to this restaurant, it's not far me in NYC! I am there!

Amy C said...

That's great that this one is another winner for you!!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Amy, yes, I've been on a roll!

Caffey said...

This does sound like a fun romantic read! Awesome review Julie (you're name right?)!
I'm looking forward to visiting here more! I've not read the Outlander yet but so love Time Travels, Historical, Paranormals, and so much more! Alot of those you have up on your blog (which is beautiful!) Looking forward to chatting books with you more!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Caffey, welcome and thanks for the compliment! As you probably figured out I luuuurve time travels and historicals. I'm not big on paranormals (yet) I think I have to warm up to them. Robin's a friend of mine, and her books are a lot of fun, they have this real New Yawkah feeling to them, her first was my favorite!

DeSeRt RoSe said...

Great review.. I better check this book out :)

You got an award waiting :)

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Desert Rose - thank you!

Robin Kaye said...

Hi Julie~

Thanks for the great review! I'm so glad you liked it.

Sorry it too me so long to get in touch, I just finished the revisions for Breakfast in Bed and am finally coming up for air.

Definitely visit the St. Andrews, it's on 44 or 45th between 6th and Broadway. I can't remember which because one has The St. Andrews and other other has O'Lunny's, my other favorite bar. I love that I now can do a real honest-to-God pub crawl!

Next time I have a trip to the City planned, I'll give you a call.

Hugs...Robin :)

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Robin, yes please call me when you'll be up here (maybe we can go to St. Andrews!). Can't wait to see what you have planned in Breakfast in Bed!

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