Kiss Me That Way: Cottonbloom #1 by Laura Trentham

Kiss Me That Way: Cottonbloom #1 by Laura Trentham

Welcome to my stop with Laura Trentham and the first of her new Cottonbloom series. Please read on for my review and excerpt, check out the tour stops to see what other readers thought of the title and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win a $25 Gift Card for Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Kiss Me That Way

Rather than “wrong side of the tracks”, in Cottonbloom, it’s the “wrong side of the river”, providing the divide between affluence and all the privilege that comes with it, especially in reputation.  Laura Trentham takes us into this small town that straddles two states and a river, and is replete with all of the issues of small towns, including small minded thoughts.

Monroe was a child of affluence, yet a key piece was missing: protection and safety for a young girl. Her mother’s drinking and all-around neglect combined with improper advances from a man she was dating sent Monroe running, right into the life of a boy from the wrong side of the tracks.

Cade had already been determined to leave town and show everyone that he’s not trash, but he couldn’t leave Monroe without a confidante and protector, just as he couldn’t leave his siblings without a parental figure.  Struggling against a reputation not deserved, as well as the daily grind of responsibility, Cade’s options seemed limited while Monroe’s – purely by virtue of money, were limitless.

Taking a chance once his responsibility for his siblings had ended his immediate struggles, Cade went to Seattle to make a name, and new reputation for himself, never to think of the small river-straddling town of his youth. Early struggles in life made for a tenacious and tough minded individual, not willing to take no for the final answer. Now curiosity about the young girl he left being has surfaced, and he returns: determined to show them all that he’s worth more than they could ever imagine.

A second chance romance with questions abounding from both, it was nicely played to see the insecurities and fragility of Cade, despite all he has overcome.  Monroe never did care about what he didn’t have, he protected her and was a sort of hero – and she only wanted the best for him. It just stung that he never contacted her after he left. Now it’s time to re-align their friendship, and see if all those feelings are just childish fancy.

Clever insertions and moments from secondary characters, a few hints to future couples in new stories and a small town atmosphere that shows the potential for forgiveness and growth for everyone when stereotypes and prejudices are left behind. A wonderfully paced story with plenty of heart, a touch of heat and just the right amount of feel-good southern-folksy moments.

Kiss Me That Way: Cottonbloom #1 by Laura Trentham

Title: Kiss Me That Way
Author: Laura Trentham
Series: Cottonbloom #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: St. Martin's Paperbacks
ISBN: 125007763X
Published on: 31 May, 2016
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 352
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameHalf a Flame

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A river divides Cottonbloom in two: the upscale enclave on the Mississippi side and the rundown, rough and tumble side in Louisiana. They’re worlds apart—but nothing can build a bridge like love…

Cade Fournette never had it easy Cottonbloom. He stuck around long enough to raise his orphaned siblings and then hightailed it out West—and never looked back. Even though he’s made a success of himself in Seattle, Cade never lost the toughness and the angry edge that helped him survive down South. His only weak spot: the girl he left behind…

Monroe Kirby came from the wealthy side of town, but that didn’t protect her from her mother’s drinking—or her mother’s boyfriend. It was Cade who did that, on a long-ago hot September night, before he disappeared…along with a piece of her heart. Now Monroe is a physical therapist who can fight for herself, and it’s Cade who could use some conditioning when he makes an unexpected return back home. Will he and Monroe pick up where they left off and finally explore their mutual passion—or will the scars and secrets of the past divide them once more?

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

 

Header - Excerpt - Tasty

“You left Cottonbloom without telling me. Without saying good-bye. I want to know why.” Monroe hadn’t meant for the words to come out at all, much less with such vehemence.

“It was complicated.” Cade broke eye contact. “You were a good kid in a bad situation.”

“Weren’t you a good kid in a bad situation?”

He shifted toward her, bracing a hand on the dash and laying his other arm over the back of her seat, invading her space. She didn’t retreat. His intensity spurred her heart rate into an erratic gallop, yet she wasn’t intimidated. Perhaps it was only echoes of the past, but he made her feel safe, even when he was the one she should be scared of.

“I grew up fast and tough.” His voice contained more than a hint of warning.

“You were nice to me,” she said softly.

“Don’t fool yourself into thinking I’m nice. I wasn’t then, and I’m sure as hell not now.”

He ran a callused finger down her cheek, the rasp igniting her nerve endings like a flint. His hand continued south and wrapped itself in her braid, the slight tug on her scalp sending shivers through her body in spite of the sun bearing down on the truck. Her nipples felt tight, and she hoped her tight sports tank masked her sudden, inexplicable arousal.

He pulled her braid, forcing her toward him. She didn’t fight him. He dropped his face next to hers, his coarse beard hair caressing her cheek, his mouth close to her ear. “If I see something I want, I go after it and get it by any means necessary.”

“How very Machiavellian.” She tried a laugh, but it came out more like a stuttering sigh. His scent hooked her even closer, and her lips grazed the outer rim of his ear.

He pulled back, his green-eyed gaze roving her face. She returned the favor, noting the faint brackets around his mouth, the crinkles at his eyes, the thick beard. A full-grown man. Yet was he so different from the boy she remembered?

“Ovid.” The movement of his lips jammed the cogs of her brain. The word made no sense. Her confusion must have been obvious, because the mouth she stared at tipped up in the corners, deepening the grooves. “The Greek philosopher Ovid, not Machiavelli, actually wrote: The end justifies the means.”

“Ovid. Of course.” Apparently, Monroe had slept through that philosophy class at Ole Miss. The fact that high-school dropout Cade Fournette was quoting Ovid made her wonder what other mysteries she might uncover if she went digging.

Just when she was ready to grab a shovel, he released her braid and slipped away. His limp was less pronounced as he took the stairs holding the cane parallel to the ground. Although he’d physically released her, she felt bound to him in some other fundamental way, incapable of tearing her eyes off him until he disappeared behind Sawyer’s front door. Even then, she sat, unable to drive away for a long minute.

How could the simple brush of Cade’s finger ignite a fire when other men left her cold? As her arousal ebbed, she realized something else. She’d just been manipulated by a master. He hadn’t explained why he left.

She spent the evening going through the motions of her life, eating when her stomach growled and heading to bed when her eyes felt heavy. A few short hours ago, her life had been tidy and predictable and boring. Cade Fournette’s return had spun her into chaos.

 

 

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About Laura Trentham

An award-winning author, Laura Trentham was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee. Although, she loved English and reading in high school, she was convinced an English degree equated to starvation. She chose the next most logical major—Chemical Engineering—and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years.

She writes sexy, small town contemporaries and smoking hot Regency historicals. The first two books of her Falcon Football series were named Top Picks by RT Book Reviews magazine. When not lost in a cozy Southern town or Regency England, she's shuttling kids to soccer, helping with homework, and avoiding the Mt. Everest-sized pile of laundry that is almost as large as the to-be-read pile of books on her nightstand.

 

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