So the next book on my list is by an author that was completely new to me, however, I have fallen in love with her writing style and book and can't wait to read more of her works. My next review is on Taste of
So now onto my first crush....funny thing is my story is similar to Colby's.....well at least in the beginning. My first crush was a boy that lived across the street and a few houses down. His name was Aaron and he was 3 years older than me. I honestly can't remember a time when I didn't have a crush on him....I saw him one day and BOOM it hit me. It wasn't until I was in 5th grade that we actually became "friends" or at least he knew who I was. I'm from Columbus, Ohio, but every year German Village (a little section of the south side of Columbus) has a yard sale and I was at it and remember someone yelling my name and when I turned to see who it was....I looked down the street at a brown hair and brown eye boy waving at me. I was SHOCKED.....I mean we'd never really talked other than "hi" in passing and this boy of my dreams knew my name. *Swooning and sighing* I finally manged to wave a hi back...I didn't want to be rude and from there we just got to know each other.
The fact that he was 3 years older than me.....at the time made it seem like we were worlds apart. When I was in 5th grade he was in 8th....getting ready for high school. Why would a boy his age be interested in someone like me? And yet we were friends. So this is going to sound bad....but I had a few stalker tendencies back in the day....and would spend a lot more time outside than I really needed to....but to have the opportunity to catch a glance, a wave, or a chance to say hi was everything to me.
One summer stands out the most to me over everything. July 4, 2001. I was going into my freshman year of high school and Aaron was going to be a senior that year, he was also turning 18 in December. We sat on his porch for 4 or 5 hours just talking about anything and everything. We talked about me going to high school and apparently how I was going to have to fight off all the boys. About him possibly moving to Georgia to live with his dad, life with his mom and two younger brothers. We listened to music, more specifically D-12's song Purple Pills. Aaron used to smoke cigarettes and he "yelled" at me how I should never pick up the habit because it's bad for you. And then the most memorable moments of my life happened. Up to this point I suspected that Aaron might like me a little more than a friend, but I was never really sure...this added to the confusion. He would start tickling me, telling me how he could never have a girlfriend that wasn't ticklish and ended up pinning me against his front door and in that moment I saw something flash in his eyes and thought he might kiss me and then it was gone and he backed away. When I went to go sit back on the banister he came up to me, put his arms around me and leaned me back jokingly to where it seemed like he might drop me. I had to wrap my arms and somewhat my legs around him to make sure I didn't fall and I remember him whispering in my ear; that I can always trust him and he'd never let anything happen to me. It was the most comforting thing I'd ever heard from anyone. And I realized in that moment the amount of trust that I did have in him.....and it scared the hell out of me.
When I started high school I took the bus to and from school and sometimes on my (5 minute) walk home, he would drive by and ask if I wanted a ride and would take me home. Of course we'd spend anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour just talking in his car about nothing and everything. There was just always a comfort there and conversation was never forced by either of us. I remember showing him Halloween pictures of me and my friend, I was supposed to be dressed up as Britney Spears in black leather pants and a silver club shirt that tied in the back, but still left my back open. He asked me for one of the pictures of me and put it in his car....and per him, so he could have something to remind him of me and whatnot because he was moving to Georgia with his dad. Of course I gave it over happily!!! *Mentally jumping up and down like an idiot* After this and into the next 3 years meetings became few and far between, but we always managed to spend a little time together.
I finally worked up the courage and decided that I needed to tell him that I liked him more than a friend and that I've had a crush on him most of my childhood. So one morning when I was walking to my bus stop I put an envelope under his wiper on his windshield, with a 5 page letter of sorts telling him that I liked him. I also reminded him of different times we've had together and the memories that I will always hold dear to my heart. At the end of it I finally worked up the courage (well as much as you can in writing a letter) to ask if he happen to have feelings for me; beyond friendship.
We ended up talking through e-mail and finally after a few back and forth correspondences I finally read the words I'd been waiting to hear for over 10 years. Aaron finally told me that he liked me, more than a friend, however, by the time he told me this he was already 18. He felt that this was some school girl crush and that I'd eventually get over it. He also told me that he wanted to do right by me and not take advantage of me, and also the fact that he was 18 and I was only 15. So the "promise" he made me was that when I turned 18, we would see how we felt about each other and go from there. Me of course knowing that I'd still like him then couldn't wait for the years to pass quick enough.
I felt like I was on cloud nine. The man of my dreams finally admitted to me that he actually liked me....like I could be girlfriend material. So I waited 3 years, we kept in touch, chatted, and I went on with my high school life....waiting till I turned 18. On my 18th birthday I was so excited....it was as if everything I'd ever dreamed about was finally going to be within my grasps. It wasn't till that summer that I actually saw Aaron and to find some type of topic to bring up, I showed him my new tattoo that I got for my birthday. We chatted for a moment and that was the end of it and he returned to Georgia. I still held onto hope.....still held on to my dream that I could just get one date. One date with the boy that I'd dreamed and thought about so many nights of my life. When my 19th birthday came and went and Aaron came back up into town and left again....I gave up hope. If he liked me then sometime at this point should have happened and I took it as my answer from him. I assumed it was fate telling me that we just weren't meant to be together. But in the back of my head....I still always had this idea that somehow he would wake up and realize what he'd been missing and come chasing/finding me and we'd live that fairy-tale dream.
It wasn't until 2011 that Aaron and I had spoken again. We ended up talking one night for about 5 hours just catching up and talking like old times. And my feelings for him came back full force. He would constantly anger me because he always told me how pretty I was and that he always had feelings for me, but he could never take me seriously because it was just a school girl crush. Finally, I confronted him and pretty much yelled at him about it. That all I wanted was just a chance or a date or even a kiss to see if there was any kind of spark there. That yes it started out as that school girl crush, but that by getting to really know him and share things with him, it evolved into more. I told him that I wanted to ask him to be my prom date for my senior year, but we weren't talking and I wasn't sure if he would come and I had such high ideals of him that I couldn't take the rejection. His response, I wished you would have asked me and then coming back to the he couldn't take me and my crush seriously.
My romantic side says and hopes that somehow the way we keep coming into each other's lives that eventually we might end up together through circumstances....but of course one never knows. I just wish that I didn't have as much regret to never know what could have been. I'm envious of Colby and Jason.
So after reading all of this....sorry it's so long, I tried to keep it as minimal as possible. When I read Taste the Heat, I could so sympathize with Colby and her crush for Jason, because I've been there. I love that circumstances brought them back into each other's lives and that there was such a strong attraction they both felt for one another that they tested waters to see where it would go. And let me tell you....some scenes were just STEAMY HAWT!!!! Camping, truck rides, fixing burns, dancing in the road, spending the night in a hotel with chocolate!!! See....so many that you can't help but wish for the best for these two.
About the Author:
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.
She grew up in New Orleans, watching soap operas with her grandmother and staying up late sneak still stays up too late reading her favorite romances, only now, she can do so openly. She firmly believes life's problems can be solved with a hot, powdered-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.
reading her mam's favorite romance novels. Now a Cajun cowgirl living in Houston, she
When she's not typing furiously or flipping pages in enthralling romances, you can find her homeschooling her two beautiful girls and loves watching reality television with her amazing husband or taking a hot bubble bath.....next to a pile of chocolate. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult Fun, Flirty Escapes, and LOVES talking with readers!
Five Fun Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Rachel . . . But Totally Should:
-- She interned at Entertainment Tonight in NYC the summer before her senior year at LSU. Highlights included the premiere of The Hours, the press junket for America's Sweethearts, a commercial set for Victoria's Secret, the set of Regis and Kelly, and a variety of other celeb locals. Best. Summer. Ever.
-- Also in college, she was a host and producer of two television shows. Sound Check highlighted the local music scene, and Doin' It was a variety show focused on capturing all things collegiate, such as Panama City for Spring Break, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, local hot spots to hit, and game day celebrations
-- Research for her first adult romance, Taste The Heat, required LOTS of eating, some of which was done blind folded. She did not mind this at all.
-- Her husband went to elementary school with Ian Somerholder from The Vampire Diaries. Yes, she has yearbook pictures of him from the fifth grade. And yes, he was hot back then, too.
-- She threw up on her first date. If that doesn't make great fodder for a YA novel, she doesn't know what does.
How to Stalk Rachel
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?
So where can you buy the book:
Now onto my review of this book. I absolutely LOVED LOVED LOVED this book. I loved the story line, the characters and pretty much everything about this book. Honestly, I think this is the hardest review I've ever had to write because I want to include EVERYTHING!!! There were so many amazing scenes and parts to this book that it's hard to just hand pick a few to give you examples of the awesomeness of this book.
The book starts off with Colby returning to her hometown of New Orleans to judge the St. Tammany Parish Firefighters' Cajun Cook-off. Colby left town years ago and become a well renown chef and owns her own top of the line restaurant in Las Vegas. Right off the bat you learn that Colby left town years ago because something bad happened in her past and part of it has to do with her father. **Side note** I learned a new game from this book that I so wish I could have played as a kid. Kiss and Catch....I've never heard of it before, but it would have definitely been a fun game to play with some boys back in the day or to try and play with my childhood crush.
I know this is considered to be a young adult/romance type novel, but I wasn't sure how in-depth of romance this novel would get until we meet Captain Jason Landry. *sigh* Who by the way is single father reading about prepubescent hormones, shaving legs, and PMS. I find this comical because growing up my dad was grossed out at the mention of being on my period let alone any other "girly" type stuff. However, this does raise the question about where his daughter's mother is. Obviously he isn't currently married because he seems to be checking out the judge of the cook-off and thinking dirty thoughts about her. Not realizing who she is just yet.
I love Jason's description of Colby as he first takes her in. "Looking back at the brunette stunner, Jason admitted she was out of his league, too. The woman was five-alarm gorgeous. Her long dark hair hung loose around her shoulders, and her pouty lips were lifted in a contemplative smile. She bit the edge of a polished fingernail, lost in thought, and the effect was like a punch in the gut. His fingers actually itched with the desire to wrap her hair around his palm. He bit his lip, wondering if her mouth tasted half as good as it looked. As Jason's eyes snapped back to the brunette, it was all the prompting his imagination needed to fire up a vision of the kind of panties the woman had on –silk black thong, if he had to guess –and all the creative ways he'd like to remove them. With his teeth". HAWT!!!! What I would give for some hot sexy fireman to think that about me at a first glance.
The next part is interesting because Colby recognizes Jason right away, especially since she has spent her entire life crushing on her older brother's best friend. Jason and Colby spend a few public moments openly flirting with each other and it isn't until Colby's older brother Cane sits next to her that some puzzle pieces start to fall into place. And of course everyone knows that the little sister of your best friend is a no no. But of course everyone knows that you're still going to chase after her because you can't help it. And thankfully Captain Jason here continues with the chase. Colby and Jason meet a lot by accident and that spark is there every time they are near each other. They are always drawn to each other in a way that every thing in the world disappears and all that is left is the two of them. Colby also shares things with Jason that she's never told anyone before, especially what happened with her father all those years ago and why she left and never looked back.
The conflict that arises in this story is that something awful happened in Colby's past with her father and she can't stay in her hometown. She is only there for 3 short months to help the family restaurant and then it's back to Las Vegas and her "normal" life. Jason is just as screwed up. We learn that a few years back his wife died and he is looking for a mother for his daughter, who by the way is an adorable child that I would be the step-mother of. But the way he states it is really weird, because he would be with someone who would be a good mother, but not really have a wife. They would live together and be married, but he wouldn't love her and wouldn't really be "in" the marriage. Ohh and both Colby and Jason know that she doesn't really want to be a fill-in mother and she isn't in town to stay, but he still wants to try and have "something" with her.
So based on that information what is the deciding factor? By dating each other of course....as a no strings attached relationship. So Colby gets to date and sleep with the man of her dreams and Jason gets to get down and dirty with his best friends little sister. What could go wrong? Everything? Nothing? Well so they start this hawt and steamy fling and I love them together and what I find funny is one of Colby's biggest hesitancy's is being a fill in mother of sorts, and yet she is awesome at it. Emma wants to be a chef someday and so her and Colby have a connection from the beginning and it just grows from there.
Of course the game changes up because Jason realizes that he doesn't just want a fling with Colby, he wants a lifetime with her. So of course he is going to show her an AMAZING time and what she could have...and O.M.G. who isn't going to want what he is throwing out. I will say that after reading in the first chapter how Jason wanted to remove Colby's underwear with his teeth, their first night together fell a little short for me. There was this build up between the two of them, so many steamy scenes to lead up to the big night and for me it was almost like going up the hill in the beginning of a roller coaster, and it just levels off instead of really going anywhere. Honestly, it isn't like some 50 shades had to be pulled out, but come on this has been Colby's dream for how many years? Even if just touching the subject a little more without having too many details would have worked for me. What is Colby thinking now that this is FINALLY going to happen? Does the sexy fireman have any fun and interesting tricks? What's going through his mind during all of this....he's about to get it on with his best friends little sister. With that being said the idea behind their first night together was still enough to have an imagination, especially with chocolate.
Colby's brother Cane and her sister Sherry play big roles in this book. Cane is the big brother I've always wished I had and Sherry....well she's Sherry. She's the baby of the family and you can bet she lives up to that name. She has some awesome moments and some pretty funny ones too, especially since she is ALL about Jason and Colby hooking up. And I love her character and when some stuff happens to her I want to go beat the crap out of people.
Now we know somehow drama has to come up and something has to happen for Colby to truly begin to question everything. And of course it does and her past comes colliding with her present. And a lot of questions arise because of this. And some tragedy happens and I was almost in tears at that part, because I was so into the book. Will Colby want to stay? Will she go back to Las Vegas? Does she want to be in a more serious relationship and be a step mom? Can she love and trust Jason? Can he love Colby? So many questions that are answered in this book and trust me when I tell you, you won't be disappointed by this book at all. So go pick up your copy now!!! And spread the word!!! Again a HUGE thank you to Rachel for writing this and sharing so much. She is one of the most interactive author's I've ever come across....love love love you and your flirt squad!!!!