Rhonda Laurel – June 2014

laureltrs0614Rhonda Laurel

Isabelle Reed is having a bad year. The classical violinist is struggling with a divorce, and a broken arm has left her unable to play. So when she receives a wedding invitation from her cousin, her heart just isn’t in it. Going to the wedding will mean seeing everyone from back home, and seeing everyone back home will mean facing the music about her divorce. Unable to miss her cousin’s wedding, she bites the bullet and takes off—and lands right in the arms of her cousin Morgan’s brother-in-law, country western music star Tate McGill. She’d heard about the singer and his bad-boy reputation, but there’s something about those storm-filled eyes that made her yearn to look deeper. Even though she should know better than to risk being the subject of a song on his next album…

Country western singer Tate McGill is living the good life. He’s surrounded by beautiful women, hit music, and a great family. But he gets more than he bargained for when he agrees to babysit his nephew Jake for his brother Seth Blake, and finds a beautiful woman in his way. Isabelle Reed is talented and strong-willed, and she’s a natural with little Jake. But she’s keeping a secret from Tate, and he’s determined to find out what it is…

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Tate bid the ladies farewell early that evening and began to pack his bags. Being nestled between two beautiful women for the better part of the day was just what he’d needed to unwind. As predicted, they asked if their rendezvous would be on his next CD. He promised them he’d scribble a tune about their delightfully erotic time together, hustled them out the door, then called room service and ordered dinner. It was time for his daily call to his nephew Jake.

Jake was only a year old, but Tate wanted him to know at an early age that Uncle Tate kept his word. It was eight o’clock in Philadelphia. Jake should be getting ready for bed. Tate scanned his phone for the video conferencing app and hit dial.

Morgan’s face appeared on his screen. “Congratulations!”

“Thank you, darlin’. How are you?”

“I am doing great. Just gave Jake his bath, and Seth is going to fix me a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream.” Morgan rubbed her flat tummy.

Tate laughed. “Having cravings already?”

“Nah.” She sighed. “But Seth is on an expectant daddy rampage, and feeding me ice cream makes him feel better.”

“Ah, then you won’t want none of this filet mignon I’m eating.” He waved a piece at her.

Morgan scrunched up her nose. “That’s pretty fancy for you.”

“It’s this fancy hotel I’m in. What decent restaurant doesn’t have a porterhouse on their menu?” He sniffed.

“I know! How dare they make the winner of the Best Collaborative Song of the Year eat dainty fixin’s?” She stuck her tongue out at him.

Tate laughed and swigged his beer. “How’s the big man?”

“Never seen him this happy.” Morgan put her hand on her cheek.

Tate nodded. “He has everything he needs. A beautiful woman, great family, new fat contract, and five more years with his team before he retires.”

“Stop flirting with my woman, McGill!” Seth yelled from the other room.

“He always hears when I’m talking about you. Sometimes I think he’s part robot.”

Morgan just shook her head and ignored Seth. “So did Lana McNeal place you under citizen’s arrest before she frisked you on stage?”

“I thought I was going to have to do the jitterbug just to get away from her.”

“I sent her a message via her social media account, asking if she found what she was looking for in your pants.”

“You didn’t!” Tate let out a deep chuckle.

“Yes, I did. Nobody molests by brother-in-law on national television and gets away with it.”

“Uncle Tate!” Jake appeared from nowhere and grabbed the phone.

Tate loved talking to him. They talked mostly about Jake’s dog, Rowdy, who lived at the ranch in Texas, and his fascination with race cars, no thanks to Tate’s brother Tyler. After about a half hour of chatter and four I love yous, Jake was ready for bed and gave Seth the phone. Morgan carried Jake away.

“Had a wild night last night?” Seth raised an eyebrow.

Tate’s cheeks reddened. “How can you tell?”

“I can always tell when you’ve had too much liquor or too much sex. By the looks of it, you had too much of both.” Seth burst out laughing.

“Let me tell you…”

“No, you can’t.” Seth shook his head. “I’d like to have sex again this month.”


“Every time you tell me about one of your escapades, somehow I get punished for it, but you get a heartfelt speech about finding the right woman.” Seth folded his arms over his chest.

Tate laughed. “You know Morgan can’t stay mad at me.”

“Tell me this.” Seth looked over his shoulder. “Will it be on your next CD?”


“I heard that!” Morgan yelled from the other room.

“Gotta go.” Seth tugged at his shirt collar. “You feel like doing your brother a favor?”


“Morgan and I wanted to get away until the chatter about my renewed contract dies down. Do you feel like coming to town to babysit?”

“Say no more. Just let me know when you need me there.” Tate grinned and ended the call.


About the author

Rhonda Laurel is a contemporary interracial/multicultural romance writer whose two great loves are writing and landscape photography. She uses both as a vehicle to convey the complexity of the human spirit and the beauty of the world around her. Ebb Tide, For the Love of the Game and Masquerade were released in 2012. Shutter, Memories of You, Star Crossed, MVP, California Bored and Tourism and The Blake Legacy in 2013. The print anthology, The Rhonda Laurel Collection, featuring Ebb Tide, For the Love of the Game and Shutter released June 2013. Texas Heat, book 4 in The Blake Boys Series, featuring Tate McGill released April 2014.

The author is happily building her backlist.


Also by Rhonda Laurel

The Blake Legacy (The Blake Boys Book 3)
California Bored and Tourism
MVP (The Blake Boys Book 2)
Star Crossed
Memories of You
For the Love of the Game (The Blake Boys Book 1)
Ebb Tide


Interview with Holly Hewson

HH:  Rhonda, thank you for talking with us at TRS. Your featured book is Texas Heat and is part of your Blake Boys series. What can you tell us about this sizzling series?

RL: The Blake Boys series chronicles the romantic adventures of the Blake men: Seth, J.J., Tyler, Channing and Tate McGill.  With busy careers, the Blake men find love in the most unexpected places.

HH:  What can you tell us about the books that came before Texas heat?

The series begins with Seth Blake, NFL quarterback for the Philadelphia Titans.  Seth’s adventure beings when he meets Morgan Reed in For the Love of the Game.  They continue their romance in MVPThe Blake Legacy shows the couple dealing with many life changes like parenthood, busy careers and tackling important decisions that will shape the future of their family.

HH:  How does Texas Heat continue it?

RL: Texas Heat picks up immediately after The Blake Legacy. Morgan and Seth are taking a vacation and ask Tate to come to town and babysit their son Jake. What Tate doesn’t know is that babysitting his nephew will change the course of his life.

HH:  What do you like best about Isabelle and why will readers identify with her?

RL: Isabelle is sweet, loving and determined to rebuild her life after a string of personal setbacks.  She is passionate about music and we get to see how not being able to play her instrument affects the concert violinist.   She wants to get back to the thing she loves and understands most, playing her violin.

HH: What do you like best about Tate and why will readers love him?

RL: Tate’s charming, funny and has a good heart. The development of Tate’s character has been a joy because when we meet him in MVP, he’s a charming rogue who likes to have a good time. When Texas Heat begins we get to see a little bit about his past and his evolution from rogue to a man who is fighting his demons to allow love in his life.

HH: What else do you have coming up for lucky readers?

RL: I am working on Love Notes and Football, Morgan and Seth’s next adventure, which is an update for readers on how the couple is doing. The next Blake man to get a story is J.J., the oldest Blake who was a pro football quarterback like Seth until he blew out his knee in a game. J.J. has traded in his football gear for the corporate life and is now the president of the family company Blake Enterprises.

HH: What is your writing schedule like?

RL: I write daily time but I do take breaks when writer’s block creeps up on me.

HH: Where do you mostly draw inspiration for your writing?

RL: I’ve been writing stories since I was a kid. Initially a cure for boredom, I realized I’ve always had a penchant for imagining other worlds.

HH: What do you enjoy reading personally?

RL: I like to read mysteries and thrillers.

HH: Where can readers find you online?

RL: My blog:         http://www.rhondalaurel.com

Facebook:       https://www.facebook.com/authorrhondalaurel
Twitter:           https://www.twitter.com/rhondalaurel
Pinterest:         http://pinterest.com/rhondalaurel/

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