Monday, July 8, 2013

Taste the Heat by Rachel Harris

As a newer member of Rachel's Flirt Squad, I was so thrilled to find my e-arc of Taste the Heat in my inbox. And I devoured it as soon as I got the chance. Of course I'm a huge fan, but Rachel's writing makes it easy to present you a fair and honest review because her writing is just that good. So here's my shining review AND a great contest for you from Rachel and Entangled Publishing. BUT before we get to those, I want to say a big THANK YOU one more time to Rachel, Heather Ricco, and Entangled Publishing for gifting me with such a wonderful book, and the opportunity to share it. 

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?

As a teen, Rachel Harris threw raging parties that shook her parents’ walls and created embarrassing fodder for future YA novels. As an adult, she reads and writes obsessively, rehashes said embarrassing fodder, and dreams up characters who become her own grown up version of imaginary friends.
When she’s not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, you can find her homeschooling her two beautiful princesses, hanging out with her amazing husband, or taking a hot bubble to a pile of chocolate.

Aw, I loved this story. It sweep me off of my feet. I mean, Rachel Harris knows romance. Real romance. Heart pounding-knee wobbling-can't get enough of you-stay with me forever-you complete me romance. Her books are my escape from the harsh realities of life. She allows me to dream, to wish, to hope. To never give up on the possibilities. While she deals with some serious issues in Taste the Heat, she weaves a spell upon Colby (how cute is her name?!) and Jason, that you cannot help but be moved by. The attraction was tangible. The heat profound. These two had a spark that ignited a series of wild fires.
Without ever being crass or crude, Rachel brings the magic of finding, and falling in love, again. Her intimate scenes are smoldering, but tasteful, and leave you wanting more. But this isn't what drives the story. What really makes Taste the Heat such an enchanting and enthralling tale, is the magic between Colby, Jason, and his daughter Emma. I absolutely LOVED these characters. They were so alive and real. What they felt, I felt. When each struggled in their own way to find the happiness they deserved, to heal from the past, to truly move on, I fought back the tears (unsuccessfully), and prayed they all found their HEA.
Why did I love them so much? Mostly because they were kind, goodhearted, and giving. They didn't have any perverse agendas or dirty little secrets. That's not to say that Colby didn't have secrets, but she'd never done anything wrong. She'd never hurt anyone. She was hurt, broken, as she would say. But while she's still running away from her past, she can't help but be drawn to Jason. The boy she grew up loving had grown into a man she couldn't turn away from. She needed him like air. She was terrified and thrilled by that.
And Jason? Besides being incredibly hot, was he indeed a GOOD guy. Hardworking, an amazing father and friend. A rare find in a genre filled with motorcycle riding, rock stars, and rebels. He is a true Southern gentleman. It is his goodness, his honesty, and warmth, that is his charm. This guy doesn't have a mean bone in his body, but he is a protector and a provider so earnest it's a total turn on. His character was so refreshing. So swoonworthy. So freaking HAWT. The sex appeal just oozed out of him without him even trying. He proves you don't have to be an alpha to be a man.
Emma was delightful and a charmer in her own right. Craving a family- at twelve years old she needs a woman again in her life, a mother figure and role model to guide her, and comfort her when Jason isn't able to  understand what she's going through. In her mind, Colby fits the bill. And they immediately form an unbreakable bond. Wanting her dad to find his own happiness, she does what she can to bring Colby and Jason together. She's a wise one. And so freaking adorable.
The setting of Taste the Heat only enhances the steaminess of this sweet romance. Rachel paints such a lovely picture of Magnolia Springs and New Orleans. The historic sites, the music, the FOOD, fill your senses and transport you into a world most only dream of. I try to never spoil, but I have to mention a certain evening spent in New Orleans would make the hardest of hearts melt. It's incredibly touching and sensual.
There's so much more this story offers, but I want you to discover all that Rachel cooks up for yourself. It has it's up and downs, as any story does. Our characters struggle with doubt and confusion, and wanting to do the right thing. For a too short time, I was fully immersed in their world and consumed by it. I guarantee you won't want to put it down. Most of you will read it in one sitting. It's that potent. That captivating. Just that damned good.
A favorite quote from the book. So simple, but so moving: "Love never gives up."
Go out and grab Taste the Heat for yourself, and fall in love, with love, all over again.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I swear, this review makes ME want to read the book...and I wrote it! Thank you so much!

    So much love,

  2. Rachel, you say the nicest things! I <3 you so much!!! ;)

  3. Sigh. This books sounds so sweet. Love your review :)