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Hotter Than Texas
by Tina Leonard
Perfection takes time, but desire waits for no man. Or woman…
Pecan Creek, Book 1
With more than one skeleton rattling in her closet, Sugar Cassavechia hopes “The Most Honest Town in Texas” will be the perfect place to start an online business. As soon as her mother remembers the family recipe that’ll get hotterthanhellnuts.com off the ground.
In the meantime, no way is Sugar letting their new landlord get away with renting them a run-down house that’s decorated like a rich widow’s orgasm. Even if he’s the biggest hunk of hot she’s ever laid eyes on.
Jake Bentley would love to do nothing but sit back and be amused as the Cassavechia women unwittingly stir up trouble in his uptight town. But something about them thaws out his frozen rescue complex. Especially Sugar’s long, chestnut hair and sassy mouth.
Right about the time Sugar figures one steamy night in Jake’s bed won’t hurt, another skeleton joins the party in the form of a dead body in the “Belle Watling” room. And Sugar must decide if her family’s reputation—and her own heart—are safe with Jake.
No sex in this book. Nope. None. Nada. Honest. Now, if you believe that, the author has an iceberg in Texas to sell you. Better hurry before there’s none left to cool the fevered dreams generated by this book.
Welcome! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
My name is Tina Leonard. I’m a writer, a mom, an owner of a silly Golden retriever, and a lover of dog and horse rescue organizations. I love to grow organic veggies and I have a fern garden I’m working on diligently—though some years the ferns die off and I have to start over. Still, that’s what makes it fun!
Is Hotter than Texas a single title, or part of a series?
Hotter than Texas is the first book of the Pecan Creek series.
What were your inspirations for the story?
The three women in the story had long been in my mind, whispering their story to me. The book itself probably took me around five years to write because I kept going through so many revisions as I got to know them better. The Pecan Creek pecan farm is based on a pecan farm we found in the middle of nowhere on the way back from Florida. I doubt I could find it again—but I knew I’d found the Cassavechia’s ladies’ home when I saw it!
Please share your setting for Pecan Creek. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
Pecan Creek is a small town set in the middle of nowhere, Texas, on a pecan farm. The house the Cassavechia’s rent has something of a reputation! It’s decorated in Hollywood sets, i.c. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas room. Our heroines are a little disturbed that they driven all the way from Florida and have come to a place styled like a “madam’s orgasm!” It’s just not what they envisioned for their “home sweet home” at all.
When did the writing bug first bite?
I’ve written since I was a little gitl. My family can remember me sitting in my closet at night trying to avoid getting caught as I scribbled on the tops of shoe boxes!
Who are you favorite authors, book/series?
So many wonderful authors! PG Wodehouse, Jane Austen, Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House series, Jennifer Crusie, Katie Macalister!
If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?
Living? Jennifer Crusie, Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis, RaeAnne Thayne, Katie Macalister, Diana Gabaldon. No longer with us but their words living on? Austen, Wodehouse, Wilder, Willa Cather—actually, this list could go on for years!
Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?
Organic gardening and cooking, traveling, reading, visiting with family and friends, studying finance. (I know, boo, nerd!) J
Thank you very much for hosting me!
“Sugar,” Jake said, “I’ve wanted you since the first time you sassed me.”
“I wanted to punch you in the nose.”
He laughed and kissed her forehead. “My advertising skills left something to be desired.”
“You rooked three unsuspecting women.”
“I know.” He kissed her lips, taking his time. “I’m offering you a chance for payback.”
“And that payback is sex?” He smelled awesome, like a hot, sexy man who’d been in a kitchen trying to please her. Or maybe please himself. With Jake, you never knew.
He pulled her tighter against him, kissing her slowly, thoroughly. “I’d do my damnedest to make you a happy woman the second time I sold you something.”
Sugar looked into Jake’s eyes. He was too hot, too sexy, almost taking her breath away. “I think your gravy’s burning.”
“Nice try. I turned it off.” He tugged her hips against him, kissing her as if he’d never tasted anything as good as her mouth. Sugar moaned and let Jake hike her up on his waist. “If I’m moving too fast, say so. I’ll back off and feed you the best shrimp and steak dinner you’ve ever had. Just good friends breaking bread together.”
Sugar gasped as Jake sank his teeth gently into her lower lip. Heat and warmth filled her, stealing her desire to tell him no about anything. “I’m not really that hungry.”
His smile turned dangerous. “I am.”
*sigh* Ms. Leonard has written a book that I read in one sitting. And yes, its over 300 pages. I need to mention that I don’t think I missed one of her Harlequin releases yet. Psst…if you like Hotter than Texas then check out her American Romances from Harlequin. Not as hot but still has the elements that she has in Hotter than Texas. Your welcome! 😉 But yes, this book is beyond HAWT!
What was different from her Harlequins, besides the heat level, is that she can dive more into the more emotional aspects of her characters. This book is essentially about three women: a mother and her two daughters. Each as different as the colors in a Crayon box and that’s what makes this story much richer. Ms. Leonard took the time to let us get to know them, laugh with them, cry with them and at times, get frustrated with them. Plus in Hotter than Hell, the secondary characters are totally integrated into the story. Yes, we follow their story and its a good thing too. I would have to know about the sex girls and how everyone fared in the parade. 😉
Sugar is the main character is quirky, loyal and doesn’t know what to think of Pecan Creek and especially Jake. Such a study in contrasts for her but oh so sexy. But what I really loved about Sugar was the she is strong. She doesn’t need a man in her life and her “mothering” of her mom and sister makes sense with everything that she has been through. She’s different but in a good way. She shakes things up for the good but unfortunately there are some people “proper” people in town that don’t see her that way at all.
Jake was a bit difficult to wrap my head around at times. He really came to like and yes, love the Cassavechia’s, especially Sugar. I had issues with the hold that his snotty mom had on him. Grow a backbone and cut the strings. I live in a small town and yes, there are people like her trust me. They think that they can run the town because of who and what they are and it’s just wrong. I love my small town but sometimes too much small mindedness comes into play and that’s the biggest problem I had with the book has a whole. I live in East Texas that is ruled by religion. No Hooters, have to go to another county to buy liquor and forget about an adult store. We finally got beer and wine sales at the grocery store last year. Yes, does it work out in the end? Well, you need to read it to find out. Just wish Jake had figured it out sooner but when he did…I fist pumped! Woot!
Oh course, let’s not forget about the house that they are renting. OMG, why did I picture Dolly Parton singing on the staircase? The house is a character of its own and its perfect. And yes, there is a Best Little Whorehouse room. 😉
I will have to say that I don’t like pecans that much. I know…I’m weird but both sets of my grandparents had trees and they are nasty buggers to take care of and there is nothing worse than web worms. Just saying. I do cook with them now but it took me a long time to get past the whole “nasty” things about them from my childhood.
Do yourself a favor and read Ms. Leonard. She brings a realistic portrayal of her story and characters and authenticity to her stories. You will laugh, cry, sigh and wish you lived in the towns that she creates for her characters.
OMG…I didn’t mention the Oldsmobile…that’s another post for another time. *sigh*
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author Tina Leonard has sold over 2.6 million copies of her titles. She has made the USA Today Bestseller, Waldenbooks, Bookscan, and Ingrambook lists, and has written and contracted seventy-one books and special projects. Her work has been published by Harlequin, Samhain Publishing, Robinson Scarlet, and most recently Random House Loveswept contracted for a single title trilogy project, Hell’s Outlaws. Leonard was chosen to be among the first authors published for Robinson’s Scarlet line, writing four single title novels for that imprint. Not long after, she sold on proposal to Harlequin American, where she has since written several popular series, most notably the Cowboys By The Dozen, Morgan Men, and Callahan Cowboys series. Her newest single title project, HOTTER THAN TEXAS, was published in March 2013. Leonard is known for her fun sense of humor, endearing communities, snappy dialogue, and memorable characters.
Join Tina at www.tinaleonard.com