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Taste the Heat (Love and Games, #1)

Taste the Heat (Love and Games, #1) - Rachel  Harris 4-1/2 stars. But I'm rounding up.

I have to admit that I was really excited about this book as soon as I found out about. Set right outside of New Orleans, which is very close to where I live, with a Cajun chef and a hot firefighter dad? Sign me up!

No, really, I whined about it until they made a stop on the tour especially for us.

And I'm so glad they did. OMG ya'll. I really, really loved this book.

Colby Robicheaux, a renowned Cajun chef who's now the head chef at a prestigious restaurant in Las Vegas, is home for the summer to help out with the family restaurant that's in trouble following the death of her father. After being cheated on by her college boyfriend and witnessing infidelities from people she was closest to, she's sworn off love and has a lot of trust issues. She's judging a cooking contest in her small town when she sets eyes on childhood crush Jason Landry.

Jason is Colby's brother's best friend and was the star of her every childhood fantasy. He's now the chief of the Fire department, owns a gym, and is a dad to an adorable 12 year old. He's also a widower. His wife and high-school sweetheart was killed four years and since then, he hasn't even thought of being with anyone else. Now he can't help but miss being with someone. Not to mention he wants a good role model in his daughter, Emma's, life. Colby breezes back into town at just the right moment.
"Wow, an award-winning chef, a fire captain, and now a member of the Magnolia Springs welcome committee? Why, Mister Landry, you've grown up to be quite multi-talented."

He laughed under his breath. "That I am," he confirmed, his eyes lowering to her lips. "And that's only scratching the surface."

Because of their pasts, they know a real relationship is out of the question, but what happens when they realize they both want more? What happens when Jason realizes that he can love again? Will Colby let down her guard and go after the guy she's loved all her life?
For the better part of the last thirty years, she had lusted after the man in front of her. She'd seen him at the breakfast table with adorable bedhead. She'd seen him dressed up and smelling good, heading to a party. Colby had seen Jason at all ages and stages of his life--heck, she even saw him in his hero getup a few days ago. But without question, he had never looked more attractive than he did in that moment.

There's so much that I love about this story. I love the characters, especially Jason. My rob, he's so hot. And even though his analytical way of looking at things when he's thinking about having a marriage of convenience for his daughter's sake is barbaric, his thought process makes sense. And did I mention he's hot?
"Just so we're clear, being on top of me? It would definitely be better than fine."

For the record, I'm claiming this guy now. Also, there's a scene in this book that I actually put this note on: Email Rachel and beg her to send me the next scene. I love Entangled Bliss, but I really, really wish this had been Brazen so we didn't get the fade to black. I want more!!!

Rachel Harris without a doubt brought the magic of New Orleans to this book. The setting of this book was so amazing. The food descriptions, the ambiance of the city, just everything--so good.

I also really loved Colby's siblings. Her brother, Cane, was the perfect souther big brother, and her sister, Sherry, was funny and awesome.
"A chance to have a fling with a hot firefighter--what woman wouldn't want that? It's your duty, on behalf of single women everywhere, to pursue this opportunity."

So what didn't I love? I thought Colby's breakdown was a little overly-dramatic. Also, since Colby's brother has been best friends with Jason since pre-school, I didn't understand how finding out about Emma (and his marriage) was such a shock to Colby. It was explained a little, but really? I feel like Cane would have at least mentioned his godchild at some point over the last twelve years, especially since they're so close. The end was a teeny bit cheesy (grin) and seemed too soon to me, but I'm glad we got it anyway.

I really loved this book. I think you'll love it, too.

Check out our interview with Rachel over at Fictionators.

Check out our Reviews on the Fictionators