★BOOK REVIEW★Kiss Me That way by Laura Trentham

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My rating

New Author Crush, Laura Trentham!
I devored her other CR series a few weeks back, and now falling deep over her Cottonbloom’ series. Cade Fournette just made it to my long list of book husbands!
( If you guys like Jill Shalvis books, smart heroines and rough but sweet alphas… Then you’ll definitely love this author.)

Book Infos

512t6Fg++4LA 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?

Author : Laura Trentham
Title : Kiss Me That Way
Series : Cottonbloom #1

Number of pages : 349
Publisher : St Martin’s
Release Date :  May 31, 2016
Genre : Contemporary romance.

My Review

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I could take you right here, right now, with all the Tarwaters and all of crazy Cottonbloom a few rooms away. And I’d make it good, Monroe. I’d make your body sing. I’d make you beg before giving you everything you need. Then, you could walk back out into that damn party like nothing happened. No one would know the things you want to do in the dark with a poor, dirty boy from Louisiana.

Small town romances. Are you drawn to them like I am? I think it was Jill Shalvis who gave me the virus. I remember loving her Lucky Harbor series so much. You know why? Because  it truly felt like living inside the book with all its characters. A real happy place.

And this is exactly why I loved Kiss Me That Way by Laura Trentham so much. She managed to capture the small town feel to perfection. And it doesn’t matter that I’ve never set a foot in Louisiana or Mississippi. I can tell by all the little details, the way she has to describe the light, the smell, the humidity of  a southern small town, the walks along the river, the secondary characters… It all felt so genuine. I was charmed from the very first pages, and fell in love with this place, with this book. My happy place!

Kiss Me That Way is the first book in the Cottonbloom series and it gripped me from the very first page. I love second chances at love stories and with a start like this, having a peek in the past of both our heroes, I knew I was in for a treat. Kiss Me That Way promised just then to be everything I love a good romance story to be, some unrequited love, second chance at love all wrapped in a small town setting reunion 10 years later.

What more is there to ask? 
Oh wait, the author if you’re new to her, has a gift to bring fictional characters to life. She gives so much details, so much flaws and so much care into  character’s development, that she literally inflates life into them. And that’s pretty much the most important thing for me in my books. I need a dose of realism even though I’m reading fiction. It’s that thread of realism that makes me able to relate and immerse myself in a book. And let me just say that Laura Trentham does a hell of a good job a it.

Let’s chat about the story!

Told in a dual POV, Kiss Me That Way tells the story of Cade Fournette, unfortunately born on the Louisiana side of the river, and Monroe Kirby, the golden kid from the Mississippi side.

By one fateful night Monroe Kirby is going to meet the boy from the wrong side of town, Cade Fournette. And it’s no matter to Monroe that the Fournettes have the reputation to be no more than swamp rats nor it is that Cade is 17 to her 13 years old. What matters to her is that he was the one saving her that night her mother’s new boyfriend tried to molest her. She’s going to grow the infatuation she has for Cade through the years, until that day Cade leaves town suddenly without even saying goodbye. Short of ever discovering if her feelings could have been returned, Monroe is forced to forget about the man from the other side of the tracks.

KissmeThatWay_LauraTrentham_alleskelle_cast2Fast forward 10 years later, Monroe is a successful grown up woman, working as a physical therapist in Cottonbloom and as well giving self-defense classes to the women of the community.

I loved Monroe! She was definitely an heroine I could identify myself to. I loved her sass, loved that she wasn’t one to stop at first appearances or give importance to hear-says. She is this strong young woman, growing and upraising herself from a bad experience while trying to give back o the community.

Cade Fournette is back to Cottonbloom after 10 years due to an injury. His brother Sawyer arranged for him to be back in his hometwown to get some rest and the services of a physical therapist. He is not too pleased to be back, all this only serves to unearth too many memories, most of which he’d prefer to stay buried. Especially those few light hearted nights spent with that young Monroe Kirby ten years earlier…

“I grew up fast and tough.”
“You were nice to me.”
“Don’t fool yourself into thinking I’m nice. I wasn’t then, and I’m sure as hell not now.” 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.”

I adored Cade Fournette. Latest addition to my book husband palmarès! He was close to perfection to me. Strong and down to earth type of hero, alpha but not over the top. Capable, protective, rough around the edges, sweet and sexy at the same time. There’s nothing more appealing than a real man and Cade Fournette was definitely ALL man.

Her husky, sexy as hell near whisper shot through him lie lightning, setting all his muscles at alert. Was she flirting? Was he? And why the confirmation of her single status settled like a ball of warmth in his chest? What did it matter?

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-You lied to me. You are wearing underwear.
-No. I said, ‘What if I’m not wearing underwear?’ And you shouldn’t be peeking. It’s shockingly unprofessional, Miss Kirby.

Both of them shared great banter exchanges as well as a slow building tension, and I for one loved that the author took her time reuniting those two! It made it all the more powerful in my opinion, all the little jabs and sparks between them served a purpose and damn but the reunion was explosive!

She brushed her lips against his. The hand in her hair clamped tighter, holding her in place. The slight tug sent pleasure to every nerve in her body.
– ‘What are we doing?’ His lips moved against hers.
– ‘I’m trying to kiss you, and you’re sitting here like a bump on a log.’

Sexual chemistry? Off the roofs! We are not talking smut here, but the sex scenes were more than hot and perfectly written, with impeccable balance between steam and emotions, rightly in tune with the character’s feelings.

His gentleness only threw tinder on the fire, making her frantic for more. More of his mouth on hers, his hands on her body, his body over hers, easing her ache. More of everything.

Kiss Me that Way was a sublime mix of sweet and slow burn romance, great banter, sexual tension and chemistry ( that delivers!) and perfect southern setting. Once I started I just couldn’t stop, and you’ll understand within the first pages how easy and addictive Laura Trentham‘s prose is.
I loved the attention given to introduce all the secondary characters, Tally, Nash, Sawyer and Reagan, Miss Lorna, Uncle Delmar… It felt as if I was part of the story somehow, knowing all the people of Cottonbloom.

All the books in the Cottonbloom series read as perfect standalones, I loved all three and would recommend them to any reader in search for a happy place with a thing for small town romances!

ReadLovedREcommended_july16a_alleskelle

Excerpt

Kiss Me That Way (Cottonbloom #1) by Laura Trentham
Copyright © 2016 by Laura Trentham

Monroe’s lips silenced the rest of his question. The champagne on Cade’s tongue was almost as intoxicating as his scent. The music from the great room drifted, muted and unrecognizable. As if slow dancing, he wrapped his arms around her and turned them enough so he could close the door, leaving them in silence, except for the ticking of a clock.

His hands roamed her bare back, slipping inside of her dress to brush the top curves of her buttocks. She pushed him backward against the wall. Infinitely stronger than her, he could have held his ground or taken charge at any point, but the fact that he let her lead only made her want him more. She was done listening to logic, done fighting her hunger for him.

She wanted him.

Cupping her cheeks, he pulled his lips from hers. “And again you do the unexpected.”

“Unwanted?” she whispered.

“Does it look like I’m protesting?” His breath puffed against her cheek before he kissed her once more, slipping his tongue alongside hers, before his mouth retreated once more. She tipped into him seeking more. He took her weight, bracing his legs farther apart, but evaded her mouth.

“I watched you dancing with Tarwater. What are you playing at? Is he the man you want to be seen with and I’m the one you’re keeping for the dark?” A thread of emotion in his voice tied itself around her heart and bound her. Was he jealous? Hurt? Angry?

“Do you think I’m using you?” She pushed off his chest.

“You know I’m not staying long.”

She did know. She just didn’t want to think about the day he would walk away from Cottonbloom. And from her. “What are you getting at?”

“I think you get something from him you can’t get from me and vice versa. He has clout in this town, but I’m the man that you want in the dark and in your bed, aren’t I?”

“If you think all I care about is my standing in this town, why did you follow me?”

“Because I want you. That’s why I came.” Belligerence instead of seduction beat at his words. Underneath was a boy who did care what Cottonbloom thought of him. He hadn’t always been the poor swamp rat sneaking around in the dark.

“All you want is sex?”

“If that’s what you’re offering.” His voice softened, and he squeezed her hips and fit them together. “I can be rough and dirty and a little bit dangerous if that’s how you want me.”

Arousal flared even as the gentleness of his touch belied his coarse words. He skimmed his good hand from her hip to settle under her breast, his thumb running up and down the exposed skin in between. Her nipple puckered, begging for his touch.

“Is that what you want, sweetheart?”

Her body shifted toward his instinctively, seeking to anchor itself to him, needing to draw from his heat and strength. “Th-that’s not what I want.” Before the words were even out, she knew they were untrue, or at least a partial truth. Sex wasn’t all she wanted. But she did want it.

“Don’t lie to yourself or me.” He dropped his lips to the shell of her ear and nuzzled. She grabbed the lapels of his jacket. “I could take you right here, right now, with the Tarwaters and all of crazy Cottonbloom a few rooms away. And I’d make it good, Monroe. I’d make your body sing. I’d make you beg before giving you everything you need. Then, you could walk back out into that damn party like nothing happened. No one would know the things you want to do in the dark with a poor, dirty boy from Louisiana.”

Her body sang a song of longing and need. She wanted to stay in the dark with him the rest of the night, but there was something even more important she needed to do. With the effort of separating strong magnets, she pried her body from his, opened the door, and took him by the wrist.

Author Bio

Laura Trentham was born and raised in a small town in Northwest Tennessee. Although, she loved English and reading in high school, she majored in Chemical Engineering (in order to avoid becoming a starving artist!) and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years.

She is the author of 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 her kids to soccer, helping with homework, and avoiding the Mt. Everest-sized pile of laundry in her room that is almost as large as the TBR pile of books on her nightstand.

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