Taste the Heat (Love and Games #1) by Rachel Harris
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 8, 2013
Amazon ♥ B & N
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 can’t afford to taste. Colby can’t wait to 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. Disillusioned by his past, he knows he should be focusing 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 can’t 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?
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always been a storyteller in some form. I have a CRAZY imagination, and when I was younger, it took the form of me crafting stories involving characters from my favorite shows or boy bands (ahem New Kids on The Block) falling in love with me. Like I said, I had a crazy imagination. And perhaps a slightly sad one LOL.
Then, around seventh grade, my honors Language Arts teacher encouraged creative writing in class, and I think that’s when I wrote my first real stories. In high school, I mainly wrote poetry—most of it extremely bad—and then in college, I picked it back up with writing fan fiction for Guiding Light.
What inspired Taste the Heat?
I’m from New Orleans and I always wanted to tell a story from there. One night, my family and I were watching Chopped because we’re addicted to the Food Network, and an episode came on with fire fighters. At one point, one of the cute men had a flirtation with a female judge, and thus a story idea was born.
Which came first for you, the characters or the plot?
I think it depends…I’m a total character girl, so either way I choose to start a book, my characters always become the focus. But often times it is a situation, more than a plot, that comes first, and then I quickly create characters that would struggle and grow within that setting.
Is there anything you found particularly challenging when you were writing Taste the Heat?
This book was actually a complete joy for me to write. I had a blast and nothing was too hard, other than having to work writing around my other projects. But I will say endings are always tough for me, even though I’m a plotter, because I never want to leave my characters. It’s like my brain locks up and stubbornly fights letting them go.
If you could be one of your characters from any of your books, who would you chose? Why?
I love all my characters, obviously, and each of them have unique quirks or cool things they go through…however, if I had to pick only one, I think I’d pick Sherry Robicheaux, the youngest sister of my heroine in Taste the Heat. Sherry gets her own book next spring, and besides it being one of my favorite plots I’ve come up with to date, I just love her. She’s funny, says what she wants, goes after what she wants, and loves her friends and family like crazy. She’s fun to write.
When writing Taste the Heat, was there anyone or anything specific that inspired the character Jason Landry?
Fire fighters in general inspired me. Strong men and women who put their lives on the line for others. When I was drafting, I had a few different celebrities in my head, mainly this guy:
BUT my street team (the Flirt Squad) helped me cast Jason, and I must say, this man (whoever he is) fits the bill perfectly (*grin*)
In your opinion what three words best describe Colby Robicheaux?
Funny story. I had a post-it taped to my computer screen during drafting that had exactly this answer…and I can’t find it. Right now, my brain is filled with not just one release, but two (my YA, A Tale of Two Centuries comes out in a few weeks), so it’s cramping on me, making it impossible to make a decision. Trying to narrow it down to the best three are hard…so I turned to my Flirt Squad for help. We settled on…
Colby Robicheaux is sassy, scarred, and real.
If you asked Jason Landry, I’m sure he’d include the words sexy and funny, too. (grin)
Coffee or Tea?
Neither. I’m a Dt. Mt. Dew girl, but Mama definitely needs her caffeine ;)
Milk chocolate or Dark?
MILK. Yummmmmy. I know dark is healthier, so I’m trying to develop a like for it, but when the day is crazed and I just need a pick me up, hand me over that milk chocolate please. And now I’m craving chocolate. blinks eyelashes sweetly at her husband
Favorite novel and why?
It sounds like such a cop out answer but truthfully, Pride and Prejudice. I remember it took me a while to get into it when they first assigned it in high school, but I quickly fell in love. Add in the many movie versions, which I adore, and the fun books about that world written since, and I’m a devoted fan. I probably read this book at least once a year.
Hard copy books or e-books? Why?
I love both—as a homeschool mom, there is just something about having hard copy books on a bookshelf. But, I’m also extremely impatient. I’ve become addicted to the one-click, plus e-readers allow you to bring a ton of books wherever you go. What kind of weather do you write best in?
In the south, we have one temperature: hot. And it doesn’t rain nearly enough. My favorite thing is making it cold in the house and then putting on a big comfy sweatshirt, even when it’s 100 degrees outside, and snuggling down as I write. I freeze everyone out, but the plus side is that when you step out into the sauna that is our backyard, it feels refreshing for a few minutes.
Favorite author and why?
Oh, it’s impossible to pick just one! Especially since I read so many genres! I have favorites in adult contemporary, adult historical, YA, and NA, and even then I can’t just narrow it down to just one in each category I honor and respect (and even met) Jude Deveraux, so if I had to choose only one, I’d say her. Both her career and her writing amaze and inspire me.
If you could turn one book or series into films, what would you pick and who would you cast as the main characters?
I’d have to pick one of my own books of course (he he), and I think I’ll go with my YA debut, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century. I cast my books before drafting and for me, Cat Crawford will always be Lily Collins, and Lorenzo will always be Alex Pettyfer.
Thanks so much Rachel for stopping by and talking to us about writing, Taste The Heat, and your debut YA novel, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century! For more information on Rachel and her books check out the links below!
Rachel Harris grew up in New Orleans, where she watched soap operas with her grandmother and stayed up late sneak reading her mama’s favorite romance novels. Now a Cajun cowgirl living in Houston, she still stays up way 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.
When not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, she homeschools her two beautiful girls and watches reality television with her amazing husband. Taste The Heat is her adult romance debut. She’s the author of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century and A Tale Of Two Centuries.