Against the backdrop of twenty half naked models on DD land, and in the midst of fighting the oil establishment that just won’t give Riley a chance, Texas Heat is the story of one hot summer in Texas with a Gay Rodeo, humor, angst and a love between two men that just grows stronger every day.Jack hires Robbie, a man recovering from a great loss, to be his right hand man. Meanwhile Riley’s mischievous photographer friend, Eli, decides the DD is the perfect backdrop for a cowboy themed model shoot. Eli has secrets not even Riley knows about but despite what he is hiding he falls in lust with Robbie at first sight. Everyone except Robbie can see how perfect Eli would be for him.
What happens when secrets spill and lies are discovered? And just how far will Riley and Jack go to play matchmaker?
Texas Heat finds us back on the DD ranch with the Campbell-Hayes family and another wedding. Both Riley and Jack are overseeing the expansion of each of their professional ventures. Of course the Campbell-Hayes clan does nothing by half-measure so the reader knows that while the ventures will be successful, they won’t be without drama. But this family is exactly that, FAMILY, and they will always do what they need to in order to insure they remain a strong family without stooping to the level of the previous patriarch of the Hayes family.
As part of the expansion at the DD, Jack hires on new staff to meet the increased work demands associated with the training of quarter horses. After an initial unintentional slight regarding Jack’s sexuality (which was laughable because Robbie is gay too), Robbie is welcomed into the fold without hesitation. I loved the first night’s dinner scene and how Hayley’s ease with his presence and the cooking rotation conversation dispelled any notions Robbie had about not being welcome inside the main house. However, once Riley’s friend Eli shows up and commandeers the DD for an underwear shoot – yeah, Jack’s still trying to figure out how he got roped into that one – Robbie is probably wishing he had moved on after his friend Neil’s wedding. Due to a health scare, Eli does his best to live his life to the fullest and Robbie quickly becomes part of that plan as they spend time together on the ranch. Theirs is most definitely NOT a drama-free courtship either.
What I enjoyed about Texas Heat is that Ms. Scott does a wonderful job of keeping Riley and Jack as the primary focus of the book and series, yet works in the stories of those in their lives that are important to them. Robbie and Eli’s romance plays out well within the novel without overshadowing the main characters or getting so underplayed that it’s lost. Donna and Neil’s wedding was a wonderful way for the book to open and because Donna wasn’t the only one wondering how her wedding day was going to go in light of Jack’s recent protestations, it gave the author the opportunity to show Jack’s character grow more. The same can be said of Riley in regards to his sister Eden’s romantic relationship. And the scene at HayesOil when Riley’s mother shows up and proceeds to show the boys how to close a deal without them knowing they’re being finessed was perfect. I LOVED IT! That the author writes the continuation of Riley and Jack’s story in the midst of “life going on around them” adds an element of realism that I enjoy – as does their still smoking hot sex life. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, Texas Family, to see just how much bigger the Campbell-Hayes family is going to get.
This is book three in the Texas series and should be read in order.
I just love this series all the same players appear in this book. Riley and Jack have been happily married and everybody is settled into a nice comfortable life on the ranch and in the office. We are introduced to a couple of new people that bring a new twist and drama to the story and of course the family rally around and support these issues. I fully enjoyed the gay rodeo and cowboy under ware shoot. I did find that maybe we had too many stories going on, but the author does a good job separating them, it doesn’t get confusing. We are not left with a cliffy, but left with a lead on that we know we will get another one.
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