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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: Hard to Handle (Love in the Balance) by Jessica Lemmon

This is sweetly charming even with its consistent, building sensuality.
by Jessica Lemmon

  • File Size: 438 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1455573787
  • Publisher: Forever (October 1, 2013)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Sadie Howard never dates a guy more than once-but Fate has other plans for her when it comes to Aiden Downey, the one that got away. Aiden loved her, left her, and broke her heart. Yet suddenly she's bumping into him at every turn, driven to distraction by his wicked grin and rock-hard body. Now she can't resist finishing what they started-as long as she doesn't let herself fall in love . . .

Aiden Downey threw away the best thing he ever had when he let Sadie go, and now he's determined to win back the woman he's always wanted. Sadie agrees to let him into her life-and her bed-as long as there are no strings attached. But Aiden's not about to make the same mistake again. Can he convince her to take a second chance on a once-in-a-lifetime love?

Aiden’s mother was suffering from cancer so he didn’t want to tell her about his failed marriage. He was hurt when his wife had an affair with his best friend and business partner. The business failed too and Aiden was really struggling when his mother decided against chemo treatments and in favor of moving to another state for alternative treatments. Aiden had recently met Sadie and was enchanted with her as they shared time and grew closer over several weeks. But he chose to tell Sadie that their new romance was over when he left to help his mother.

Sadie was planning the marriage of her dreams when she was jilted by her fiancé, Trey. Not only did Trey leave her but he married her younger sister who was light and carefree rather than intense and focused like Sadie. Sadie developed a rule of one date only after losing Trey. Then she met Aiden and let her shields drop. She was excited about the chemistry she had with Aiden and the gentle intimacy they had even without sex. Then he ended their blooming relationship leaving her more heartbroken and angry.

A year later Aiden and Sadie are pushed together at his brother’s wedding to her best friend. Then Sadie discovers that Aiden is the new manager of Axle’s local motorcycle shop, an account she has been pursuing for three years. Sadie gets the account which puts her working closely with Aiden who hopes to buy the chain of shops when Axle retires.

Aiden regrets giving up Sadie and would love to get her back in his arms and life. But Sadie remembers the hurt and wants to protect herself even though the chemistry still runs hot between them. Can Aiden gain his dreams of buying the motorcycle shops and also find a way to gain Sadie’s forgiveness, trust and a commitment beyond the short term?

The attraction between Aiden and Sadie begins quickly and builds through the story. Both characters have flaws and insecurities that are realistic. Sadie is particularly annoying with her wanting to protect herself from any pain when life and love just don't work that way.

I was cautious selecting this title to review as I wasn't sure how sexy it would be and I generally prefer contemporary reads with suspense or mystery plots rather than just romance. This story is definitely all romance and the conflict exists around Aiden's desire for a second chance and Sadie's reluctance to take a risk. This read quickly and the sex is sweet though sensually detailed, but not gritty graphic.  I recommend this to readers who enjoy pure romance and especially like second chance stories.

I received this title from Hachette, through NetGalley, for an honest review.

Hachette/Grand Central Station has allowed me to offer one PRINT Copy for Giveaway.

Don't forget to fill in the form for entry! 
I have noticed a few commenters who forgot to enter through the Form.  
For 3 Extra Bonus entries comment on the review, OR
visit the author's website and tell me something you like/learned there.

* This contest is open to U.S. address only for print.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on April 25, 2014.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.
WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED after April 25, 2014.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.


  1. This sounds like a type of second chance romance to me---and they are my favorite kind.

  2. I learned she has a new book, The Millionaire Affair, coming out on June 24th.

  3. she has a lemon tree on her site

  4. she has a new book coming out, and this book sounds great, about a broke up couple and the x marries her sister. thank you so much

  5. Jessica will be appearing at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, NOLA on May 15. Sounds like a fun convention!


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