Sunday 15 March 2015

Review ~ Hard to Handle by Jessica Lemmon.

Title: Hard to Handle.
Author: Jessica Lemmon.
Publisher: Forever.
Genre: Contemporary Romance.
Publication Date: October 1, 2013.
Source: Netgalley.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK


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?

Hard to Handle is the standalone book two in Jessica Lemmon’s Love in the Balance series. I’ve not read the first book yet but as it revolves around two different main characters, it’s not an issue. Hard to Handle is Aiden and Sadie’s story and I’ve just realised there is a novella before this one which details, I think, how Aiden broke Sadie’s heart and the reason they’re not together when they’re clearly attracted to each other and thinking about each other all the time. I felt caught up enough in Hard to Handle to not need to have read the novella before but then again, maybe I would have enjoyed this book more if I had. I really wanted to like this book and there were some aspects I did enjoy (mostly Aiden related ones) but generally I found the story really hard to engage with and at times quite frustrating too.

Aiden and Sadie meet again at the wedding of their best friends Shane and Crickitt. Aiden and Sadie have history but when Aiden’s mother was dying of cancer, he broke things off with Sadie so he could focus on his mother and not have to introduce his mum to the other woman in his life. He regrets not being honest about Sadie to his family and the moment he sees her again, he’s going to try everything he can to win her back and make things up to her. I guess that’s where my issue lies. Reading the synopsis you’d probably just assume that Aiden was a commitment phobe or had cheated on Sadie, not something as heartbreaking as his mum dying. So I did like how Hard to Handle wasn’t a repeat of so many other contemporary romances in this manner, it was a little different. But I could not understand why Sadie was making such a big drama out of it. Maybe I’m just unsympathetic but I think Aiden had his priorities right (he and Sadie would both disagree I’m sure). If Sadie was so genuinely upset and hurt that he pushed her aside, then why within about thirty seconds of seeing him again was she spending all her time with him, acting virtually like nothing ever happened? It felt unrealistic.

I really liked Aiden’s character, especially the moments when he’s on the bike and I’m picturing him with that long hair that Sadie’s telling us suited him so much… I was swooning a little. He was caring and thoughtful, a little cheeky and easy to like. I liked his friendship with Shane and his pure dedication to winning Sadie over. The chemistry between Aiden and Sadie was evident and became more fun to read as the book went on. At the same time, though, I did find myself disliking Sadie more. I just couldn’t understand her. Fair enough, she was insecure but how many times was she going to run scared before realising maybe she shouldn’t keep coming back to him… Their feelings were so obvious and I get that all the angst was for fiction sake, of course, but it didn’t make sense to me.

I thought the author developed the characters well, not just Aiden and Sadie but the supporting characters, as minor as some of them were. I could picture them all and they didn’t have to be involved a lot to make an impression. My favourite characters were actually Shane and Crickitt so maybe I’d enjoy book one in this series more. Hard to Handle was just too predictable for me – not just with the ending but predictable in the sense that you can see every single freak out coming and know exactly how things were going to work out. It was a light, easy read however, just not for me.

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK


  1. Doesn't sound like one for me either. X

    1. Just re-read my review and looks like I was having a bit of a rant! But definitely wasn't for me. x


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