Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Till I Kissed You Laura Trentham

Review of Till I Kissed You by  Laura Trentham
‘The custodian is fixing to lock up, so you won’t be able to sneak back inside.” She stomped down the stone stairs, and he fell into step beside her.

‘Just getting some air before I head out. It’s a pretty night, isn’t it?” He sounded friendly, jovial even. 

She shot him a suspicious side-eye. What was he up to? Deciding to play along, she looked up. Even with the town’s light pollution, the sky was unusually full of stars. A cool front had moved in and cut the humidity, making the night pleasant. 

When they reached the parking lot and he should have headed left toward his truck, he kept pace with her. She pivoted toward him with her hands on her hips. “Okay, what’s going on?” 

‘It’s dark. There’s no one around. I am making sure you get to your car is all.” 

A warmth unfurled in her stomach as a good portion of her vitriol faded. “I’m a grown-up. I can handle myself.” 

“I would do this for any woman, so don’t go thinking you’re special or something. ‘Cause you’re not.” 

His words snuck past her defenses. She swallowed against a sudden wall of tears. What was wrong with her? The question had too many meanings. Why was she crying over some petty insult? Why had he cheated on her so many years ago? Why did he have the power to wound her so brutally? 

Why couldn’t she let the past go and move on?” 

As a reader, I can’t say enough good things about Laura Trentham’s Cottonbloom series! The small southern town setting, the characters and the storylines in each of the three stories captivated me! Each book focusses on one couple but each of the couples journey is unique and that held my attention.

I have been eagerly waiting for Regan Lovell and Sawyer Fournette’s story since Sawyer, his brother and uncle decided to drop several rabbits in Regan’s mother’s garden in Kiss Me That Way. The plan to ruin Mrs. Lovell’s tomato crop and Regan’s chances at winning the festival gave readers a taste of this couple. It was obvious that Sawyer loved to tease prim and proper Regan. There was a definite connection between the couple and the air sizzled whenever Regan and Sawyer were in the same room.

Till I Kissed You is a second chance at romance novel with several plot twists. Regan and Sawyer dated in high school and broke up because of a messy misunderstanding. The couple is in close contact because Regan is the Mayor of Cottonbloom, Louisiana and Sawyer is the head of the Parish Council in Cottonbloom, Mississppi. They are both competing in the Best Small-Town festival contest. Sawyer and Regan go to great lengths to spy and annoy each other during the competition; the author’s dialogue is superb! I could hear the teasing tone of Sawyer’s voice and see his grin as he tormented Regan. I understood Regan’s desire to win the competition because she is very devoted to her community—she enjoys being the mayor and working with the citizens in Cottonbloom. Although Regan is self-confident in her role as mayor and in her career as a designer; she is not confident in the romance department.

The author does a fabulous job pacing the romance between Sawyer and Regan. Sawyer’s affection and concern for Regan’s safety is apparent in the first few pages of the book. There have been a few mysterious incidents which have escalated as the competition’s deadline approaches. Sawyer has carried a torch for Regan while she finds it hard to let go of his past indiscretion—this piece of the story is presented in an honest, emotional conversation between the couple. The author does a fabulous job with continuity in the series. She effortlessly weaves the characters from the first two novels into this book. The last few chapters of the book were intense. Laura Trentham does a superb job of balancing b the festival competition, the increasing threats towards Regan and the couple’s journey. The conclusion was fabulous—full of surprises and just perfect for Regan and Sawyer!

I am looking forward to the Cottonbloom holiday novella and to the next three books in this series!

I received copies of the first three books from St Martin’s Press. Enjoyed the books so much that I bought them. I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I have and the Cottonbloom series rates a special spot on your keeper shelf!

Reviewed by Susan Gorman
Photos of Celeste by Susan Gorman

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