ARC Review – Hotter Than Texas (Pecan Creek #1) by Tina Leonard

Hotter than Texas, is witty, charming, sexy, and fun. I found myself very wrapped up in this story and I could imagine living in Pecan Creek with its prim and proper outside, and its steamy, sexy inside. ~ Slick, Guilty Pleasures 

“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 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.


When I read the synopsis for this book, I knew it was one I had to read. Growing up my father owned pecan orchards and ran a pecan business, so I spent a lot of time as a pre-teen and atruegemawardteenager and know quite a bit about those savory nuts….yes, I’m talking about pecans! I have a few varieties I prefer and I know all about buying, shelling, selling and marketing them. Being from Texas, I can honestly say that when a book is set in Texas I usually hate it or love it and this one is one I love. Tina Leonard really “gets” small town Texas and she apparently understands that not everyone here speaks strangely, drives a truck, and has big hair. I applaud her for not only that, but because her latest release, Hotter than Texas, is witty, charming, sexy, and fun. I found myself very wrapped up in this story and I could imagine living in Pecan Creek with its prim and proper outside, and its steamy, sexy inside. Yes, truth is that’s what you get in most small Texas towns.

This book has a great plot no doubt about it, but it’s the cast of wacky and wonderful characters that make this story. When the Cassevechia women (Maggie, Sugar, and Lucy) roll into Pecan Creek in their big, blue Oldsmobile convertible, the town and its residents are forever changed. Maggie, the mother, is a breast cancer survivor and a two time loser in the husband department and smokes like a chimney. Sugar, the oldest daughter, has just divorced her two timing husband, has a plan for a business for her family, and is seeking a fresh start while trying to forget about the past. Lucy, the youngest daughter, recently honorably discharged from the military, has a chip on her shoulder a mile wide, and aims to prove to everyone that she’s tough and not to be messed with. Their new landlord J.T. (Jake) Bentley is immediately enthralled with the three women but he really “digs” Sugar. (I note that because Jake uses the term frequently in the book and I couldn’t help myself envisioning Greg Brady which isn’t exactly how you want to envision a hero, but I let it slide.) Trouble is, Jake’s mother and her friends are the “pillars” of Pecan Creek (PC) and they take an immediate dislike to these women putting Jake in a really bad spot.

I really love Sugar’s character, she’s sassy and bold. I like that she gives Jake a run for his money, she just doesn’t get all swoony when he’s around. She’s been hurt by men and doesn’t trust easily and Jake makes some pretty stupid mistakes when it comes to her. I understand her need for a new life and a way to make a go of her home based business to keep her family together. It’s admirable and it’s obvious she wants and needs her family to be together. She really takes on the “Mom” role with her mother and her younger sister and after we learn why, a lot of how she deals with men and situations makes a whole lot of sense. I respect that while attracted to Jake she holds him at a distance and even after they become more intimate, she doesn’t let him get away with any BS. I also love the way she doesn’t let Jake’s mother or the rest of the town stop her from going after what she wants.

Even after finishing the book, I’m still not completely sold on Jake. I do understand a lot of why he does things the way he did, but I’m not sure I completely agree with his thinking. At some point in time you have to cut the apron strings and he seems to have a really hard time with that. I get that he feels he owes his Mom for everything she did for him, but that’s what Mother’s do…and he really has her up there on a pedestal. I do like that he stood up to her on more than one occasion on Sugar’s behalf but I still felt like he was being way too compromising. I admire that even though he was immensely attracted to Sugar, he built a friendship with her before taking it further. Some of his “lines” to her though were a little over the top and had me snickering. He did prove however he is a stand up guy and did right by Sugar, so for that I’ll forgive all the things that made me not want to like him very much.

It’s hard not to mention that in addition to the growing relationship of Sugar and Jake, there are many other couplings that come about and a lot of very happily ever afters. The secondary cast is very prevalent in this book and adds much excitement, humor, and interest to the story. There are many laugh out loud moments; making it a very fun story.

This is the first book I’ve read by author Tina Leonard and if this is typical of her writing style; it won’t be the last. This town and its residents remind me of Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor but with a Texas twist. It may be hard for people not from Texas to understand that we are very much located in the Bible belt and the things some people find offensive will sometimes blow your mind and drive most sane people crazy, but it is what it is. This is a town where there are a lot of sexy things going on behind closed doors, but heaven help you if you speak about it publicly or use a curse word. But to quote one of my favorite entertainers of all time Jimmy Buffett, “There’s a thin line between Saturday night and Sunday morning.” I personally am all about the Saturday night ! I do however; have a healthy respect for Sunday morning.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about small towns and enjoys romance with some heat. Just like Sugar’s nuts, Hotter than Texas blends all the right ingredients to make this a laugh out loud, sexy, and entertaining book you’ll be hard pressed not to enjoy!


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8 thoughts on “ARC Review – Hotter Than Texas (Pecan Creek #1) by Tina Leonard


  2. I’m so glad you said that Slick! I also have a love/hate preference when it comes to books about Texas. Looking forward to this one! Thanks!

  3. I refuse to feel “guilty pleasure” over reading one of Tina’s books!! She is a great writer and they are always good reads! Just finished this one this morning and can’t wait for the next one!!

  4. Thanks everyone for stopping by and posting! I chatted with Tina yesterday and she seems like one fun author. Hope you’ll enjoy this one as much as I did!

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