Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Taste The Heat by Rachel Harris {Review+Spicy Recipe,+Giveaway!}

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Taste The Heat (Love and Games #1)
  by: Rachel Harris

Publication Date: July 8, 2013
Publisher: Entangled: Bliss
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult
Source: e-ARC received from publisher and the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 220 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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?

Now that the initial giggly, big cheesy grin phase is over- I can finally write my review! I think I might have even squealed out loud a few times in this book. I am a new member of Rachel's Flirt Squad (Wooo!) and when I saw that she had a form to sign up to read this one early- I couldn't resist! I loved reading Rachel's teasers for all of her novels, so I already knew I liked her writing style. If you are looking for a good, sweet romance- this is definitely the book to pick up.

I've never been to New Orleans, but let me tell you- Rachel does an incredible job with the setting of this novel. I felt like she described Magnolia Springs perfectly and I could visualize the small town feel that it gave off. When I can actually picture my surroundings, I know the author has done a great job of pulling me in.

I LOVE the characters. Colby, a big time chef in Vegas, returns home to help her brother and sister out at their family restaurant. Colby hasn't been back home in years because of some things that happened in the past. I instantly liked that Colby was able to push aside her personal demons to help out her siblings. It just shows you that no matter how painful her memories are, she would drop everything to help them out. And I think that shows a lot of character. Colby used to be a dreamer- she believed in fairy tale endings and everlasting love. After being burned by love and being betrayed by the one person she never thought would hurt her, she has sworn off the whole idea of it. Ever since she was younger Colby has harbored a secret crush on Jason Landry, her older brother's best friend. Upon her return to Magnolia Springs, Jason does not immediately recognize her, but finds himself completely attracted to this woman. Upon later discovering who she is, he knows he should back off and stay away, yet he can't.

Sigh. Jason. He is completely dreamy. Yes, I said dreamy. I have said it once and I'll say it again- Good guys always win for me. And Jason is a GOOD guy. He is an amazing father to his daughter, he is loyal to his friends and family, and is a responsible adult. As a single father, he has done a great job of raising his daughter Emma, but as she gets older he is finding she really needs a female figure in her life. The only problem? Jason loved his wife. He knows no one can ever replace her and he is unsure that he will ever find love again. This is partly the reason that he ends up agreeing to a no strings arrangement with Colby. Both are attracted to one another and there's definite chemistry between them. What could it hurt? However, the more time the two spend together, the more they realize that what was just supposed to be a summer fling, is turning into a whole lot more.

Emma is Jason's 11 year old daughter and is adorable. She adores her father and for an 11 year old kid is pretty intuitive. She wants him to be happy and find love again and Emma just so happens to bond with Colby. Colby says she could not be a surrogate mother, yet her nurturing tendencies are so natural for her. She can't say no to Emma when she invites her to family events and makes Colby feel like a part of the family. Emma playing matchmaker is TOO cute.

I really liked Cane and Sherry, Colby's brother and sister too. Sherry is a fun character- she's that nosy little sister who loves to be up in your business, but really has a good heart and wants what's best for her sister. Cane is your overprotective big brother. He comes across as a bit of a tough guy, but once you hear about him and Emma, (who is his goddaughter) he's a big old teddy bear! I cannot wait to read his story next! Cane makes it very clear to Jason that he does not want his sister hurt and best friend or not- he will come after him if he does. :D (I always wanted a big brother for that reason!)

Taste The Heat is a beautiful love story about two people who aren't looking for love at all- but realize their feelings for each other are anything but casual. Add in the small town feel of Magnolia Springs, a little Cajun cooking, and a whole lot of steam- you've got yourself an awesome summer read!

Oh. Once you finish the book, this will be you: :) :) :) :) <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

My Favorite Recipe: Italian Sausage and Pepper Pasta

As a part of Rachel's #FlirtSquad, I couldn't help but participate in the Taste the Heat challenge! This week we are posting our favorite recipe, our favorite memory cooking with a family member, etc. I LOVE to cook. And lately all my recipes seem to be on the spicier side... so you'll definitely taste the heat with this one!

The picture is from where I was playing around with instagram so hopefully you get the idea of what it looks like.

Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 25 min.
Level of Difficulty: Easy


1/2 lb. sausage, turkey, raw, Italian-style (mild), casings removed 
2 tsp. oil, olive, extra-virgin
2 medium yellow peppers, cut into 2 inch long thin strips (I only use one, personally.)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup wine, red
1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes (fire-roasted recommended) (If you can't find crushed fire-roasted, I've also used diced.)
1/2 tsp pepper flakes, red, crushed
1/4 tsp table salt
8 oz. pasta (I use whole wheat, but that's your call), uncooked fusili/rotini
1/3 cup basil, fresh, chopped


1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, to make sauce, in a large nonstick skillet over medium-hi heat, cook sausage, stirring and breaking up meat with back of a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes; remove to a plate.
3. Heat oil in same skillet. Add yellow pepper and onion; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are lightly colored and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
4. Add wine and garlic to skillet; cook until most of liquid evaporates, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, crushed red pepper, salt, and browned sausage; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender and sauce is heated through, about 10 minutes.
5. While sauce simmers, add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package instructions. Drain pasta; return to pot. Add sauce and basil; toss to mix and coat.

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  1. This looks DELICIOUS!!! I'm a carb addict. I can admit it. And Pasta rocks my world ;)

    Thanks so much for sharing, girl. And the review made ME giggle and squeal.

    Love you to pieces

    1. :D The secret is, if you use whole wheat pasta, this is actually a very healthy dish! (I stole it off Weight Watchers!) And no problem! I loved sharing and writing my review! Bring on Cane!

  2. Great review! I loved this one too! Rachel is such a sweetheart and I love her Flirt Squad. That looks delicious! Especially with the Cupcake wine ;-)

    1. Thanks Chelsea! Yes! Being in the FlirtSquad is so much fun! Haha, I love me some Cupcake wine! I figure if you have to use red wine in the recipe, you'd might as well drink it for dinner! LOL.

  3. I loved this one too! And Cane, yum! I want his story too :)
    That looks yummy. Pasta and beans are my addictions (food) and yeah, I totally mix them together. Looks gross but so good!

    1. Yay! I'm so excited for Cane's story! Hahah! I'm not a big bean person, but I am eating them a lot more now.

  4. I am so trying that recipe. I like hot and spicy, both in food and books!

    1. :D Wooo! This one definitely has some heat to it!

  5. I just finished reading this! And you're absolutely right, I am totally going :) :) :) :) <3<3<3<3!!!

    So good! Loved Jason! He is absolutely perfect! And Emma! That girl cracks me up.

    Also, yummy looking recipe!! I want to try this. =)


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