Exclusive Excerpt: Tina Leonard's Hotter than Texas
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Hotter Than Texas by Tina Leonard
Pecan Creek Book 1
Available March 19, 2013
Perfection takes time, but desire waits for no man. Or woman…
With more than one skeleton rattling in her closet, Sugar Cassevechia 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 Cassevechia 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.
Warning: 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.
The start of a new week meant a new plan of action for Jake, and that plan of action was working himself out of the doghouse he knew he had to be in with Sugar. There was no way a woman appreciated being left on a first date— even if it hadn’t been a date in anyone’s mind but his.
Since he didn’t want to become a footnote to Kel’s unhappiness, Jake planned to take his own advice and fix what needed to be fixed.
He rang the doorbell, holding a bouquet of flowers hopefully appropriate to melt a woman’s heart. Lucy opened the door, eyeing his offering with a jaundiced eye guaranteed to wilt the blooms.
“What do you want?” Lucy demanded.
“To sleep with your sister. What do you think?” Jake said.
Lucy sniffed. “Tell me something I don’t know.” She started to edge the door shut. He stuck his boot toe in the doorway.
“Hang on a minute. Please.”
Lucy relinquished some of the pressure on his foot. He removed his boot, ceding ground, hoping a truce could be called. “I want to apologize to Sugar.”
“You should,” Lucy said. “You certainly should.”
“And I certainly will,” Jake said, “if you quit guarding the door like a dragon and let me in.”
“I don’t know,” Lucy said. “My sister isn’t really prepared for your kind of games, Jake. My guess is you’ve nursed at the adder’s bosom, and there’s probably a lot of mean in you. Sugar’s already been disappointed. Why should I let you in?”
He could see he’d made an error by not bringing something to soften up Lucifer— Lucy— with. “Lucy, I swear I have no nefarious designs on your sister.”
“Define nefarious. I don’t think it’s possible you know where the lines are drawn, Jake.” She looked at his bouquet. “Do you really think those weeds you probably dug out of a field or snatched from someone’s grave are a decent apology?”
Jake grimaced. “Do I have to show you the florist’s receipt to get past the door?”
“Let me think,” Lucy said. “Yes.”
She started to close the door, then thought better of it. Glancing over her shoulder— he guessed to make certain no one was listening— she snatched the flowers from him. “Look, Jake. I’ve decided Bentleys are poison, okay? So buzz off. Leave my sister to her nuts. She’s happy now, happier than she’s been in a few years, and she doesn’t need a guy like you whose girlfriend is still jerking him around on a chain.”
A thought occurred to him. “Lucy.”
She stopped in the act of closing the door. “What?”
“Have you talked to my mother lately?”
She hesitated, then closed the door.
“And that was a yes,” Jake said. “This is not good.”
He stood on the porch for a moment, perplexed as to his next move. How did he dislodge himself from the doghouse?
The door opened, and Jake straightened.
“Hi,” Sugar said.
“Hi!” Jake felt his face split into the world’s biggest grin. “I didn’t think, I mean, Lucy—”
“She’s protective. Thanks for the flowers. They’re beautiful. And no, I don’t need to see the receipt.”
“Good,” Jake said, “because I was kind of bluffing on that one. You don’t get a receipt at our town flower shop. It kind of works on the honor system of the owner’s memory. She rings you up on her hand-crank Monroe, and you walk out with your purchase, and everyone hopes everyone is happy.”
Sugar smiled. “You didn’t have to bring flowers. I’m not upset. I assume that’s why you brought them.”
“Well, yeah. I’m hoping for another da— I mean, another friendly outing with you,” Jake said.
Sugar looked at him. “Are you trying to date me, Jake?”
“I’m trying, but it’s not going too well,” he admitted. “For example, I’d love to take you out to dinner tonight, someplace where my knuckleheaded friends can’t find us.”
“I like your friends. They’re fun.”
“Okay, then, I’d like to go where my ex-girlfriend can’t find us.”
Sugar’s gaze leveled on him. Her eyes searched his face, probably for honesty— she seemed like the kind of woman for whom honesty mattered a whole heckuva lot— so he hoped she saw what she needed to convince her. She looked so pretty in blue jean cutoffs, her hair pulled through a visor and a white eyelet blouse with fluttery sleeves that blew a little bit in the breeze, that he had to concentrate on not staring at her.
“I’m free tonight,” she said.
He got a rush of pure adrenaline he hadn’t had since he left the military. “What time, doll? Just say the word and I’ll be here.”
“Where are you taking me?”
He thought fast. “Want to go canoeing?”
She smiled. “I would love that.”
“Then we can go whenever you want to.”
She stepped out the door. “Like now?”
Thank God he had bug spray in the truck— the skeets were going to be all over those delicious legs and those sweet— Jake nearly blacked out thinking about what the mosquitos would feast on that he probably never would. “Here’s the deal. We’re going to wear a lot of bug spray.”
“Mm. Date night,” Sugar said. “Guess that means no sex for you.”
A circuit felt like it blew in his brain. He was pretty certain he wore one of Kel’s poleaxed expressions, the kind Kel got every time he thought about Lucy. “I wasn’t aware sex was a possibility.”
Sugar shook her head. “It’s not. Sex and bug spray just doesn’t seem healthy.”
Also Read: Hotter Than Hot, A Pecan Creek Short
She’s sinfully sweet. And he has a taste for sin…
Monet Goody is keeping the spiciest secret in town. When the proper daughter of the town sheriff isn’t working at her tame librarian job, she writes a sex advice blog under the name “Allure Crimson”.
There’s something about the Harley-riding new guy in town, Elijah Stone, that makes her want to let her flirtatious alter ego out to play. But there’s something else about the bad boy that seems too good to be true.
Elijah is finding his latest undercover job almost too easy. Too easy to keep his eyes on the woman he’s been secretly hired to protect from a stalker. Too easy to discover what she does during her off hours. And too easy to succumb to her sweet seduction.
But when the job is done, Elijah finds it’s not as easy as he thought it’d be to put the Harley in gear and hit the road.
Warning: Contains a motorcycle bad boy with a bad case of wanderlust. And a secretly lusty good girl who might just get him to put his kickstand down for good.
Bestselling author Tina Leonard decided to become a writer when her grandmother told her she should be the next writer in the family. Fifty projects later, Tina writes what she loves with humor, sexiness, and fun. With over two million books sold, Tina plans to keep writing the books her readers enjoy.
Tina received her undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee. Wtih two children in college, Tina is fighting off the urge to go back for a master’s degree. Happily, her writing schedule keeps her busy with independent, adventurous heroines and heroes in the truest sense of the word.
When not writing, cooking or working out, Tina loves going out with friends, reading, and spending time with her family. After livinig in many states over the years, Tina calls Texas home.