by Rachel Harris
Release Date: 07/08/13
Summary from Goodreads:
One sexy fire captain. One Cajun chef, One combustible kitchen…
When chef Colby Robicheaux returned home to New Orleans to save her family restaurant, the last person she expected to reconnect with was her brother’s best friend and her childhood crush. As tempting as a sugar-coated beignet, Jason is one dish she doesn’t want to taste. Colby is counting down the days till she can leave the place where her distrust of love and commitment originated and go back to Vegas.
Fire captain Jason Landry isn’t looking for love, either. He knows he should focus on finding the perfect mother for his daughter, but when he first sees Colby, all grown up and gorgeous, he can’t help but be drawn to her. And when she suggests a no-strings-attached fling, Jason doesn’t want to say no.
As their relationship grows more intense, Colby finds that Jason isn’t as easy to leave behind as she thought. Could turning up the heat on something real be worth the possibility of getting burned?
A Dash of Spice: Are YOU Hungry For Love?
I love food. Growing up in New Orleans, events focused around meals were as big a part of my childhood as cartoons and chocolate. From seafood boils and barbeques, to red beans Mondays and fish-fry Fridays, my family and friends gathered together often with one objective in mind: to celebrate life via yumminess.
When I sat down to write Taste the Heat, I went in wanting to share this unique culture with the world. Over the years, Hollywood has certainly provided comedic fodder about my hometown, but rarely do they capture the strong family bonds and the deep-rooted love for community that makes up our lives. History is made and life is shared around our meals, and what better way for me to show that—and take it up a notch—than feature a trio of siblings who own a Cajun Restaurant.
Our feisty middle child, Cajun chef Colby Robicheaux, kicks off this culinary series of love and games, but she’s far from the lone cook in this book. Jason Landry, aka our hottie fire captain hero, knows his way around the kitchen, too. And when these two collide on page, you best believe there’s sparks. Because you see, food is more than just nourishment for our bellies. Or even a reason to gather with loved ones. Food is a universal language. Eating, and preparing a meal for someone special, is a sensual experience. And I have a lot of fun—some may say too much fun—exploring that in Taste the Heat.
So this is my official warning: you will be hungry reading this book. Heck, you’ll be hungry reading the entire series (Seven Day Fiancé featuring rugged big brother Cane releases October 14th). And to warn you properly, I thought it only fair to share one of my favorite excerpts… Bon appetit!
DELICIOUS EXCERPT: Colby inhaled deeply, trying to get a hint of what Jason cooked. Not picking anything up, she asked, “What’s for dinner?”
A muscle clenching and unclenching in his jaw was her only clue—and not much of one—before he said, “That’s a surprise.”
Curious, she let him pull her farther inside. But instead of heading toward the dining room as she’d expected, or even toward the more intimate kitchen table, he led her into the living room. He gently backed her against the leather sofa. “Take a seat.”
Okay. No need for concern here, she told herself, sinking into the soft cushions. Just because she absolutely hated surprises, didn’t trust them, and hadn’t had a good one since her life fell apart twelve years ago, she didn’t need to go mental. This was a date, and dates were supposed to be fun. Spontaneous. She could go with the flow.
Besides, it was possible he wanted to talk before they ate. Or watch a movie, breaking out the TV trays like they did when they were kids. She could handle that. It wasn’t romantic, but she didn’t need romance. She and Jason were just two old friends hanging out, throwing in some much needed benefits, and getting their freak on.
Do people still even say that?
Colby shook her head, her inner-monologue only confirming how long it had been for her. And how badly she needed this. She put on her sexiest smile and glanced up at him, feeling it freeze on her face when she glimpsed the object in his hands.
A black silk blindfold.
Now that was the type of surprise she could get behind.
“And the night takes a turn for the intriguing.” She bit her lower lip as Jason started rubbing the soft material between his long, work-roughened fingers. She cleared her throat and asked, “But shouldn’t we eat first? You know, shore up our strength?”
Jason chuckled. “This is for eating.” At her nose crinkle of confusion, he sank to his knees in front of her. “I’m going to feed you blindfolded.”
She didn’t know what she had expected from tonight, but this certainly wasn’t it. Not that she was complaining. She knew very well how sensual food could be. And how turning off one sense heightened all the others. Colby swallowed hard as Jason leaned forward, gently stretching the elastic band of the blindfold.
“Do you mind?” His voice was a husky whisper at her ear. All she could manage was a small shake of her head. Already her pulse was taking flight and heat was pooling in her belly.
What will it be like later? Was it possible to self-combust from anticipation alone?
He chuckled lightly under his breath, most likely hearing the pant of her breath. She’d be embarrassed if she weren’t so damn excited. As he secured the band around her head, the spicy scent of his aftershave flooded her senses, making everything electric. Goose bumps skittered down her spine as his palm smoothed the back of her hair. Just before tugging the silky material over her eyes, Jason looked into them and said, “Bon appétit, Chef.”
A pop of a joint and the rustle of fabric told Colby that he was moving. The pad of his footsteps on the carpet grew faint, letting her know he was walking away, probably into the kitchen to get their dinner. She still couldn’t pick up any scents, but then, the thrum of expectation coursing through her body made it hard to concentrate. Soon those same soft footsteps returned, growing louder as Jason neared. “I hope you don’t mind, but I outsourced dinner. This is a three-course tasting.”
She stopped herself from saying that all she wanted to taste at that moment was him. The admission seemed a bit over the top—even if it was the truth. Instead, she said, “Can’t wait to see what you brought me.”
The sounds of preparations stilled and then the warmth of Jason’s hands pressed on her thighs. “Colby, before we start, I just want you to know that I care about you. And all I ask is that you trust me.”
“I do trust you.” Right now, in this moment, she couldn’t think of anyone she trusted more.
He squeezed the sides of her legs and moved away, taking the heat of his skin along with him. A clink of glass meeting glass then, “Open your mouth and suck.”
Colby barked a laugh. The teasing tone of his voice told her he knew exactly how that had sounded. “So that’s how you’re gonna play it, huh?”
His seductive whisper came at her ear. “Gotta keep you on your toes.”
Rachel Harris grew up in New Orleans, watching soap operas with her grandmother, and staying up way too late sneak reading her mama's romance novels. As an adult, she continues to stay up late reading romances, only now she does so openly.
A Cajun cowgirl now living in Houston, she firmly believes life's problems can be solved with a hot, sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations.
She homeschools her two beautiful girls and watches reality television with her amazing husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult Fun, Flirty Escapes, and LOVES talking with readers!
Find Rachel and her books here:
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Grand Prize: (US only)
1-Cajun Wine Charm
4-inch mini icing spatula (great for frosting cupcakes or spreading just about anything), mini apple-shaped cutting board, microfiber dishrag.
$15 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble
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