Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Release Blast for KISS ME THAT WAY by Laura Trentham, May 31st, 2016.

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Cottonbloom #1
Laura Trentham
Releasing May 31st, 2016
St. Martin's Paperbacks

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?

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Don't miss the next Cottonbloom romance 
coming June 2016

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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“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.

Kiss Me That Way is an engaging story set in the small, southern town of Cottonbloom. Author Laura Trentham has created an unusual setting which appealed to me. The town of Cottonbloom is set in two different states and is divided by a river. One side of town is wealthy Cottonbloom, Mississippi and the blue collar side of town is located in Louisiana. The author does a fabulous job of comparing and contrasting the residents from both sides of town. I loved the quirky townspeople in this slice -of l-life novel, especially Uncle Delmar and the Quilting Bees.

The first chapter of the book introduces Cade Fournette and Monroe Kirby and provides their back story. The reader learns that on the Louisiana side of Cottonbloom, Cade grew up quickly after his parents were killed by a drunk driver. He was determined to keep his family together and worked several jobs to provide for food and shelter for himself, as well as for his younger brother and sister. Cade regularly crosses the river into Mississippi to poach rabbits and fish. One evening while hunting, Cade finds thirteen-year old Monroe Kirby sitting in his boat which he has hidden by the river on the Mississippi side of town. Monroe has run away from her home because her mother’s drunk boyfriend tried to rape her. Cade walks Monroe home that evening and their five year secret friendship begins. The pair meet monthly until Cade suddenly disappears without a word leaving Monroe heartbroken.

The present day story begins in the second chapter as Monroe is shocked to find an injured Cade in her physical therapy office. Even though she hasn’t seen him in ten years, Monroe has kept up with him through her best friend, Cade’s sister Tally. Monroe agrees to treat Cade, who has injured himself while climbing a cliff. The author does a fabulous job establishing the realistic development of Monroe and Cade’s romance. Even though Monroe and Cade share a past—he was her knight in shining armor—they are very different now. Both characters have unresolved self-esteem and trust issues from their childhood. In addition to her job as a physical therapist, Monroe teaches a self-defense class and works with teenage girls. Cade is a savvy, wealthy businessman who is based on the west coast. The chemistry between the couple sizzles and the author’s descriptive writing style allows the reader to see Cade and Monroe deal with social and emotional challenges as their romance progresses.

Kudos to Laura Trentham for tackling the subjects of abuse and alcoholism in the novel. These themes are woven subtly throughout the novel. Kiss Me That Way has all of the elements of a contemporary novel that appeal to me. It presents an original, passionate love story with well-crafted main and secondary characters, lots of humor and a unique setting. The author blended the right amount of humor, passion and angst in the novel. The novel’s conclusion was superb, not what I expected but perfect for the couple and their story.

This is the first book written by Laura Trentham that I have read. I enjoyed it very much and am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Reviewed by Susan Gorman
Edited by Brian McGee


  1. Thanks so much, Sue!! Thrilled you enjoyed it:)

  2. Thank you for sharing your lovely review!


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