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?
About the Author
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. Then He Kissed Me, a Cottonbloom novel, was named as one of Amazon’s best romances of 2016. 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 big as the to-be-read pile of books on her nightstand.
Read an Excerpt
Kiss Me That Way
By Laura Trentham
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2016 Laura Trentham
All rights reserved.
FIFTEEN YEARS AGO ...
A jangle woke Monroe Kirby. She opened her eyes to a dark shadow standing over her. "Mama?"
The figure didn't answer. Monroe pushed up on her pillow and rubbed her eyes with the heels of her hands. Her sleepy confusion turned into a strangling dread with the sound of a zipper being lowered.
Sam was in her room. She could make out his broad shoulders in the black T-shirt he was wearing when he and her mama had stumbled in drunk from their night on the town. His pants were peeled open, a white vee of underwear at eye level, the bulge something she understood in an abstract way.
"Monroe-girl, I'm here to tuck you in." Sam Landry's sugared drawl veered toward an outright slur.
She pulled the sheet higher. "N-no thanks, I'm good."
"Ah, come on, now. I'll play nice." He ripped the pink candy-striped sheet out of her hands and whipped it to the footboard. She drew her legs up, trying to make herself small.
"I don't want to play with you." She looked from him to her open door. A long way. Could she make it by him to the bathroom? It was the only room with a lock, although not a strong one.
"Don't lie. I've seen you looking at me." He stroked her cheek with one hand while his other burrowed inside his underwear. Her head seemed to detach itself from the panicked mass of nerves that was her body.
Out. Could she get out? Could she get him out? "I think I hear Mama."
He shifted and listened, swaying on his feet. "I don't hear nothing."
"Could you check? And then ..."
"I knew you wanted it." She couldn't see his smile, but she could feel it.
As soon as he turned the corner out of her room, she sprang up. How long did she have? She closed her door and struggled to push the bureau in front of it. One hand slipped off and her shoulder struck the sharp corner. She bit off a cry. Setting her forehead against the top, she rubbed at the pins and needles pain shooting from shoulder to hand until it receded. Seconds ticked off. The tears she fought were less about pain and more about frustration and fear.
Putting all her one hundred pounds into the motion, she pushed once more, gritting her teeth. The bureau inched forward with a loud squawk of wood on wood. The small victory fueled a burst of adrenaline. Inertia was on her side. They'd learned about inertia and momentum in her eighth-grade science class just that week. She'd never thought to put the knowledge to practical use so soon.
The clomp of boots echoed in the long hallway.
Her heart shot into overdrive. Didn't people gain superhuman strength under stress? Her hands shook and her knees felt mushy. She took a deep breath and shoved. The bureau slid a few more inches. She checked her progress. She'd only managed to move it halfway in front of her door.
The door slammed open a few inches, cracking against the bureau. A little scream escaped her throat, and she jumped backward. A rose her mother had given her after her last ballet recital, dried and pinned to the back of her door, fell to the floor, the delicate petals crumbling.
"What the hell, Monroe?" Sam's voice retained the slur but lost the cajoling tone. "Let me in."
She backed away, looking around for someplace to hide. But the thought of sliding under her bed or huddling in the corner of her closet seemed childish and stupid. Sam would find her, drag her out, and do the things he promised with his eyes, things she didn't want to do with anyone, much less her mama's boyfriend.
He slammed the door against the bureau again, shoving it back enough to get his head through the crack. It was only a matter of time before he would be able to slip inside. "Come on, girl. I told your mama I would take care of you."
"G-go to hell." She'd heard her mama yell that phrase enough at various men, her father included, to know it carried some weight. "I'll scream."
Not bothering to camouflage his anger, he slammed the door against the bureau a half-dozen times, the bangs like gunshots. Each one made her flinch. "Your mama is passed out in bed, sweet thing. Let me in. You want this."
A warm breeze snaked through her cracked window, fluttering the curtains. The white cotton of her nightgown tickled her legs. The universe giving her a hint. She ripped the curtains open and slid the window up, the whine quieting Sam.
She looked over her shoulder, her gaze clashing with his. The moonlight streaming into the room revealed a good-looking forty-something man. His face was all over town on his insurance agency ads. A toothy, too-charming smile turned his lips, and he gestured her closer with two fingers.
She turned back to the window and punched the screen out in a fluid motion. It clattered to the roof of the covered porch.
"Aw, hell no. You get back over here and let me in. You don't want me to hurt you, do you?" He banged the door against the bureau again.
She threw her leg over the sill. He had jammed his upper body through the crack. The look in his eyes sent her out the window, clinging to the sill. She dropped and landed on the covered porch next to the screen. The gritty black roofing tile scraped her palms and knees. She peered over the short side of the porch roof to the bushes below. Logically, she knew it couldn't be more than fifteen feet, but all her body knew was she was getting ready to fall.
She lowered herself over, the edge of the gutter biting into her belly. The prickly leaves of the bush brushed her toes. Her arms shook with the effort, her fingers numb, her palms sweaty and stinging from cuts.
"Monroe! Where you at, girl? Come on out now. You're being silly." Sincerity laced his voice.
A shot of doubt stilled her, dangling over the edge, her muscles screaming. Was she being silly? He was the adult after all. But where her mama was desperate and trusting, Monroe had seen too many men come and go from their lives. Some were nicer than others, and some, like Sam, were too nice. The way he stared at her barely there breasts and skinny legs made her uncomfortable. What did she trust? Him or her instincts?
Mentally counting to three, she took a deep breath and let go. She hit the bush and pitched backward, landing on her back with her legs in the air, her nightgown bunched above her white cotton panties. Her lungs burned. Her panic had nothing to do with Sam and everything to do with the clamor of her body for oxygen.
Her lungs switched on, and she allowed herself five seconds to just breathe, in and out, in and out, until she'd stopped wheezing. Rolling over onto her hands and knees, she listened. Sam was shaking bushes on the far side of the yard where her old, rotting play set stood, one swing swaying in the warm breeze. The kind of breeze that carried the scent of the ocean even though it was a hundred miles away.
She couldn't stay and play cat and mouse with him in the fenced-in yard. Holding her nightgown to keep it from flapping like a white flag of surrender, she scampered around the pool through the door at the back of the fence and hesitated.
She had nowhere to go. Her father was in the Caribbean with his new family, and if she showed up at Regan's house her best friend's parents would have questions Monroe would be too embarrassed to answer. Hearing the crack of a branch and Sam's voice get closer, she ran into the unknown.
* * *
Cade Fournette snuck through the night under the full moon. If the Cottonbloom, Mississippi, police chief picked him up again for trespassing, he would end up in jail for sure. His last chat with Chief Thomason had not gone well. The man's condemnation had lit a fire under Cade's pride. A couple of insults about the sheriff's excess weight and minuscule intelligence had resulted in a wrenched arm and bruised ribs.
Cade's nighttime poaching activities were becoming riskier now that he was on the chief's radar, but his family needed to eat, if not eat well. Anyway, he never emptied the nets, only took enough crayfish to make a couple of decent meals. His rabbit traps were a boon for everyone. Cottonbloom, Mississippi, took pride in its prize tomatoes and the mayor wouldn't want a rabbit herd destroying its reputation. Really, he was doing everyone a favor. That particular argument hadn't made a dent in the chief's stony demeanor last time.
Cade slipped in the mud down to his metal skiff hidden in the tall reeds close to the bank. He froze in a crouch, listening. All he could hear was his own heart beating, but the hairs on his neck stood on end. Not much scared him these days, except for thoughts of getting taken away from his family and put somewhere he couldn't protect them.
Had the police found his boat? Was the chief waiting? Should he run? No more than ten seconds passed.
"Who's there?" a little girl's voice called out, trembling behind the facsimile of bravery. "Leave me the h-hell alone, Sam."
He duckwalked closer, parted the reeds, and peeked through. A figure in white huddled on the far seat of his skiff. Her knees were pulled toward her chin, her hands clenching and unclenching around the sides.
He'd seen her around Cottonbloom a time or two, although he couldn't recall her name, if he ever knew it. She was his sister's age or thereabouts, but with the attitude of a Mississippi deb. One of those girls who were bred to know their place in the world and with a glance would recognize he wasn't part of it. What the hell was she doing out on the river?
Self-preservation had been his constant companion the last few years. Best all around if she didn't see him. Then, there'd be no one to squeal to later. No one would believe a Louisiana swamp rat over a well-to-do 'Sip. He eased the reeds back together and took a step back, his boot squelching in mud.
"Don't come any closer. I-I have a gun." Any hint of bravado was gone from her voice. She sounded straight up terrified. He looked through the reeds again. She was half out of her seat, the skiff rocking slightly in the shallow water. The girl reminded Cade of a rabbit, half-trapped and ready to gnaw its foot off to escape.
What if Tally needed help and he wasn't around? He looked up to the moon and mouthed a curse. The wave of protectiveness had him pulling off his ball cap and rising out of his crouch, his hands in front of him. Although he didn't see any sign she actually had a gun, this was Mississippi.
"It's all right. I'm not going to hurt you, girl. Name's Cade Fournette."
"D-don't come any closer or I'll ..." She looked around her feet.
"I don't keep any sort of weapons in my boat. Unless you want to hit me upside the head with a paddle."
"This is your boat? I'm sorry. Do you need it?" The girl looked torn about what to do. Politely give up her hiding place or hunker back down.
A huffing laugh escaped him. "We can share for a while if you want. I have a sister named Tallulah. You two look about an age. What ... Thirteen or so?"
"Yes." The girl nodded like a bobblehead but still looked ready to throw herself over the side in a bid for escape.
"She loves to come out on the river with me. Sometimes I even let her drive the boat." Lies. Tally hated the river. Said it reminded her of too many sad things. He tried on a smile.
Unlike Cade, the girl was used to trusting people. Her shoulders rounded with a shuddery sigh, and she plopped back onto the seat. Her hair appeared almost white in the moonlight, her features delicate, and when she tucked her hair behind ears that stuck out a little her face took on an elfish quality, cute and innocent.
He hauled himself onto the opposite seat, folding his legs into a modified crisscross-applesauce. He'd learned when to be big brother, father, uncle, or friend. This girl needed a big brother.
"What's your name?"
"Kirby. Monroe Kirby."
"Are you an international spy like ... Bond, James Bond?" His joke was silly, but it worked. A giggle spurted out of her. "What're you doing out here so late, Monroe?"
"What are you doing out here so late?"
He barely managed to keep his reaction contained to a quirk of his lips. He was glad that whatever had happened, the girl retained some spunk. The river that divided Mississippi from Louisiana also divided the town of Cottonbloom. At one time the town had been united, but for the past fifty years the sides faced off across the river like two sentinels on guard. And Cade, being a Louisiana swamp rat, shouldn't be this far upriver.
"I asked first. Who is Sam and why are you scared of him?"
She tensed again, fear masking her face. Her knees and legs were scraped, her bare feet streaked brown with mud, her hands scratched and dirty. Her ruffled white nightgown looked childish — she was in eighth grade if she and Tally were the same age — but her finger-and toenails were painted hot pink.
"You can trust me. I promise," he said softly.
A chorus of bullfrogs filled the silence. She didn't flinch away from his gaze as some people did. Something passed between them, something almost electric that put Cade on alert. Not attraction — he wasn't a pervert — but a sort-of understanding he couldn't explain.
As if a door unlocked, words poured from her. Not just about what had happened that night, but about her mother's descent into alcoholism, her parents' divorce, her shame. The more she told him, the angrier he became. It seemed things on the Mississippi side of Cottonbloom weren't always brighter than on the Louisiana side. Bigger houses, more money, same problems.
"What should I do?" She tucked her hands between her knees, the ruffles on the front of her nightgown waving in the breeze.
"Your mom is passed out?"
"This Sam fella has been sleeping over regular-like?"
She bit her bottom lip, but her chin wobbled. She nodded again.
"How about this? Let's go up on the bank to get away from the skeeters, and I'll clean up your scratches. When the sun comes up, I'll see you home."
"What about Sam?"
Innocence was fleeting, and Monroe was a kid. A kid who reminded Cade painfully of Tally, but as long as he was alive Tally would be safe. Monroe had no one.
He considered stalking to her house and de-nutting her mother's boyfriend, but that would only scare Monroe worse and get him thrown in jail faster than a hiccup. Instead, he banked his rage, knowing it would be there when he needed it.
"I'll handle him later. Make sure he doesn't bother you again."
Whether she heard the darkness in his voice or not, she didn't ask him how he would accomplish it. She held on to that much innocence at least.
"Thank you, Cade." She smiled, the action lighting her from the inside, turning her from cute into something beyond pretty, something like the flash of summer's first firefly or a shooting star. Then, it was gone, and he blinked, wondering if it had been his imagination.
He tucked the first-aid kit from the skiff under his arm and helped her up the slippery bank with a hand under her knobby elbow. She sat with her back against a cottonwood tree and talked while he cleaned her knees and palms and dabbed on antiseptic. She was too young to edit herself, and by the time the first streaks of sun lit the sky he knew her favorite foods, bands, color. He also knew her dreams and goals and fears.
Shockingly, he shared a few of his secrets, too. Things he tried to protect Sawyer and Tally from. The charity Cade had been forced to accept at the food bank since his parents had been killed by a drunk driver. A different sort of shame than Monroe's, but just as cutting. The medicine he'd stolen from the pharmacy when Tally's cough got so bad over the winter. Even though Monroe couldn't help him, she seemed to understand him, and in that simple act his burdens and shames were lessened.
With the branches of the tree swaying in the warm sea-infused breeze, he and Monroe watched the stars fade into predawn light. Handfuls of white bolls dotted the freshly harvested cotton field on the far side of the river. It wasn't until pink streaked from the ground that she spoke again. "Cade, please don't tell anyone."
"You could go to the cops." Even though he didn't trust the law to treat him fairly, surely it would protect someone like her.
"I can't. Then everyone would know."
He wanted to tell her it wasn't her fault, but he understood how hollow the words would sound. He'd heard enough platitudes like that to last a lifetime. "I won't tell. And you won't tell anyone about me, either?"
She took his hand and squeezed. "I would never."
He'd never met a teen girl who could keep a secret, but he could only nod. They walked side by side through the grassy field, entering her yard through a narrow door in the back of her fence. Her house was enormous by his standards. The chlorine of the pool pungent but not unpleasant. He'd never played in water so blue and clean. The murky river was his swimming pool.
He wrapped a hand around her skinny upper arm, all bone and tendons and tender flesh. Heat flashed through his body at the thought of her trying to fight off a grown man. "Can you get in the house? Where's your room?"
"Mama keeps a key under the flowerpot around front." Monroe pointed to an open window on the second floor, the drapes swaying with the wind. "That's my room. I think I can squeeze past my bureau."
He stifled a curse. A miracle she hadn't broken her neck. "Go around the front. Run straight to your room and give me a thumbs-up. Remember what I told you?"
"Jam the back of a chair under the door handle whenever Mama brings a man home."
"Right. I know you're tired, but you go to school today, you hear?"
Excerpted from Kiss Me That Way by Laura Trentham. Copyright © 2016 Laura Trentham. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Cade and Monroe were from separate parts of town - Monroe was from the money side, Cade was not. When Monroe flees from one of her mother's boyfriends after he came into her room, Cade rescues her. Cade has been raising his siblings since the death of his parents but he is forced to high tail it out of town, leaving Monroe's heart behind. When Cade returns to Cottonbloom after being gone many years, Monroe finds him in her office for physical therapy. Monroe has always had a strong connection to Cade and realizes it even more. The problem is Cade is a runner but has always had a soft spot for Monroe. Will the two realize that their connection is more than it seems? An awesome read that proves certain people are worth fighting for in their lives. Cannot wait to read more of the series.
Monroe has known Cade Fournette since she was 13 years old. He was always there for her, until he vanished for many years. He’s back now and things pick up right where they left off. Monroe is now a successful physical therapist and she’s only missing one thing in her life, love! Cade is a business success (former bad boy), coming back to his hometown to see his family. After all these years, he’s never found love either. Things in Cottonbloom are heating up! I loved this book! Yes, it’s a contemporary romance but it has wonderful dimensions that are so interesting and relevant. Laura Trentham has developed “touchable” characters who are so real. (Her style reminds me of Robyn Carr.) She takes the reader to two ordinary little towns and makes the reader feel “at home”. The depth that she gives to Monroe and Cade have you begging for more! The book touches the subjects of physical abuse, teen drinking, and the problem that some teens and women have with abusive relationships of all kinds. I loved the story line about teen drinking and young girls that allow men to abuse them. The author did a fabulous job on this story line and I appreciate that she wrote about it. Monroe is definitely not a weak woman and her character was so interested in helping young women. I loved it! Oh, I won’t even get into the character of Cade but Trentham did such a great job of writing him, I felt like I knew him towards the end. I am giving my honest opinion of this book in exchange for the egalley from the publisher, via NetGalley.
Monroe shared things in her life with Cade, which she has never told anyone else. He was consistently there for her growing up just as he was there for his family without fail. Spending time with her was always a welcome respite from his burdens. She was from the rich side of the river. She had a nice house and money but lacked security and love. He was from the poor side. He had to quit school and work several jobs just to provide for his younger brother and sister. He had real love but lived in constant fear of not being able to take care of everyone. This has a little bit of the feel of a second chance at romance because Cade moved away and has come back, but it isn't. They were never lovers. Although, they do have a very close bond, and there is no denying the heat between them now. Kiss Me That Way is set mostly in a southern small town right on the Mississippi Louisiana border. Several quirky characters bring charm and humor to the story. It was a fun, easy read for me and made me smile often. If you're looking for sweet and sexy with a down to earth cast, check this one out.
Wow! This is one of those reads that leaves you eager for more. I am sooo happy that I was able to complete the series, but at the same time I'm sad to say I've read the 3 books. I want more! KISS ME THAT WAY is a wonderful beginning. The storyline is engaging and fast-paced, the characters are realistic and pull you into their lives. The setting is one I'd love to visit! It may be fictional but it doesn't feel that way. KISS ME THAT WAY is a second chance at love kinda story, I say kinda because they really weren't "in love" the first time around but it still fits that type of story. Cade and Monroe were part of each other's lives but too young to be "in love" or at least Cade thought Monroe was too young. I loved watching these two reconnect, watching Cade come to terms with his past and recapture the family he had. I also really liked how the author give Monroe a chance to face her demons and to overcome them. Overall this was one of those stories that you really hate to leave. I wanted to visit with Cade and Monroe and the rest of CottonBloom some more. I loved the town. I want to see a map! I want to visit! Fans of small town contemporary romances will find this one to be perfect. I highly recommend KISS ME THAT WAY to all! You'll be so glad you read this one. Be warned once you find your way to Cottonbloom you aren't going to want to leave! So glad these books are being released so close together. So don't worry once you read KISS ME THAT WAY you won't have to wait long for the next two stories.
This is the first book in Laura Trentham's new series about Cottonbloom, Louisiana/Mississippi. This is the first book that I've read by Trentham and I'm a bit on the fence as to whether I'd pick up another novel by her in the future. There seems to be a new trend going around these days with romance novels. The leading ladies all seem to have some sort of sexual abuse in their past. And this sexual abuse all seems to happen when they are children. I just can't stomach this stuff. I know that it's a horrific thing that happens probably more than I want to acknowledge because there seem to be more and more sickos out there but it is possible to create a character that has not been sexually abused. Every once in a while when you pick up a book, it's not too bad but when it seems to be every single book that you read, it gets tiring. It's like the dystopian thing in the young adult genre ... one comes out that's successful and everyone else has to do it. Anyhow ... I almost put the book down because of the child molestation. Unfortunately, the book is just really slow. There was quite a bit going on but there were just stretches of pages where nothing was happening and it slowed the book down tremendously. I felt like I was trudging through a swampy marsh during the last part of the book. I wanted to crack a whip and get the plot moving again. That being said ... I did like the characters. I thought that Cade and Monroe were interesting separately and then together, it was a perfect fit. I instantly just adored Cade and throughout the entire novel, I couldn't get enough of him. I would get irritated when he wasn't involved in a scene and then super excited when he was. Monroe was okay ... she was a bit boring to me as a character, even given her past. Monroe read like wallpaper ... you didn't really notice her until someone directed your attention there. But like I said, the Cade and Monroe characters really complemented each other, so maybe Monroe's boring-ness was intentional to get that balance. The author did an exquisite job of setting up the next novel. You're told quite a bit about the supporting characters and it amps up the excitement for their own story. This book was okay ... definitely not close to being the worst that I've read. A lot of my friends liked this one, I'm (once again) in the minority. * I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *
Cade and Monroe grew up together in the same small town of Cottonbloom. They became friends when Cade saved Monroe as a teenager. He left town suddenly and became Monroe's one that got away. Fifteen years pass and Cade returns to town to recover from a mountain climbing injury and needs Monroe help as a physical therapist. They renew the friendship and old feelings start to re-emerge.... Will Cade be happy in a small town o will Monroe be left with a broken heart again? I always enjoy Ms. Trentham's southern setting because she perfectly captures the spirit of the small towns that are common through out the South. I liked this book because the characters were well written, the pace was fast, and dialogue snappy. I look forward to her next book. I was given a free copy for an honest review.
*sigh* Trentham did it again - made me fall in love with a small Southern town and the wonderful people who live there. My heart just breaks for how much Cade had to take on when his parents died. Too much pride and youth had him taking on too much, doing anything he could to make sure his siblings stayed together and had what they needed to have a chance at a future. Unfortunately that meant that he gave up a lot of his own dreams. But the same grit and smarts that had him surviving in the swamps had him making a name for himself as an adult. Guilted into a trip back home has him back with the girl that meant so much to him as a kid … but she’s all grown up. While it might seem that Monroe would have had a golden past, things aren’t always better on the other side of the river. Her childhood has left scars of their own and she’s still living with the fallout. Running into the one man that always made her feel safe throws her world off kilter. The man he’s grown into is hard to resist, especially as he was one of the bright spots of her past. But he’s not staying … right? You know that these two are going to get together and that he’s going to find a way to come home to Monroe & his family. But as with any romance, it is the journey that makes it so good and this one is a can’t miss. The characters are interesting, with great depth, and you easily find yourself sucked in as they try work their way through some long-held troubles. We’re also introduced to characters who are going to make appearances in the next couple of stories and from what I’ve seen they are going to be must reads! (Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review)
***Warning: This book contains some heavy subject material including abuse and adult situations that may make some readers uncomfortable*** KISS ME THAT WAY is a cross between Romeo and Juliet and The Hatfields and The McCoys, sprinkled with comedic antics and a whole lotta love! When speaking of love, I’m not talking about the wooing of flowers, dining, sonnets of desire or declarations of affection. It’s not just defined as romantic. Love is doing whatever’s necessary to feed your younger siblings when your parents have died far too early. Love is finding friendship in an unlikely savior and discovering a kindred spirit. Love is taking care of a parent who can’t/won’t take care of themselves. Love is showing up to the same spot under the same tree every full moon for years in order to be what that person needs the most: a friend. Cade and Monroe’s story was heartfelt and beautiful. I loved that they had a history, unfortunately it wasn’t the best first meeting. The two had a unique friendship that they both needed, lasting several years. As fate (or the law) would have it, Cade leaves town unexpectedly, leaving a college-bound Monroe and Cade’s siblings behind. Thankfully, it’s that same fate that brings Cade back home to Cottonbloom. Cade’s siblings, Sawyer and Tally, were vital to the story. Sawyer’s feud with Regan (best friend of Monroe and town mayor of Cottonbloom, Mississippi) made for excellent comic relief. Not to mention the fact that they secretly dated in high school. Could they possibly get a second chance at love??? Tally also had some sparks of her own when her best friend Nash moved back into town recently. I believe their story will be told in the next book! This was my first read by Ms. Trentham and I really enjoyed it. I thought it was brilliantly written and exceptional. I’m looking forward to Tally’s story and I hope, hope HOPE that Sawyer and Regan can find that second chance at love they both so desperately deserve! ***I was gifted an eBook copy from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. All conclusions reached are my own***
Somethings are just worth fighting for... Monroe Kirby was from the rich side of the river. When her mother’s boyfriend makes inappropriate advances toward the young teen, Monroe she escapes to the river bank where she is saved by Cade Fournette. Cade is a young man, who had to drop out of high school, to provide for his siblings after a deadly car crash kills his parents. Desperate times cause Cade to resort to poaching to survive. One night on a crawfish poaching run, Cade finds a scared young girl in his boat, Monroe. Monroe ignites all his protective instincts. After a heart felt talk, Cade promised to protect Monroe from her mother’s boyfriend and does. As Monroe matures, she dreams that someday Cade will be hers. But Cade just sees her with sister like googles. Soon after Monroe graduates, Cade disappears from Cottonbloom. Monroe still has contact with Cade’s sister but now that his sister is grown Cade moves to the west coast to pursue his own dreams. An unexpected fall over a cliff, a trip back to Cottonbloom and an emergency visit to see a physical therapist reunite Cade and Monroe. Monroe just happens to be the physical therapist called into treat Cade. The chemistry Monroe has always felt starts to burn in Cade. Emotional scars and life choices work against Monroe and Cade but some things are just worth fighting for… Wonderfully sweet, Kiss Me That Way is a touching story that deals with emotional scars as well as difficult topics including abuse and the people strong enough to fight them. Kiss Me That Way is a perfect pick for the hometown loving, contemporary romance fan. I received this ARC copy of Kiss Me That Way from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for a honest review.
Thank you to St. Martin's Press via NetGalley for a copy of this book! This is book 1 in the Cottonbloom novel series. This is my first read by Laura Trentham and it won't be the last! I love small town books! Cade couldn't wait to get out of Cottonbloom. He hung around long enough to raise his orphaned siblings and then he was gone. He headed out west and has become a success. His only regret about leaving Cottonbloom is Monroe. Monroe was raised with an alcoholic mother and her boyfriend, even though she was raised on the "right side of town". As hard as that was, Cade was always there for her....and then he left town and took her heart with him. Cade is back in Cottonbloom and the way some people feel about his "wrong side of town" upbringing, he's struggling mentally. He's still considered white trash in Cottonbloom, will he ever get rid of that label? Can a bond that was there so many years ago resurface? Does Cade still love Monroe? I loved this book! Loved the characters! Especially loved Cottonbloom!! A great beginning for a new series!
Love this Boy from the wrong side of the tracks story. Cade was always like a big brother to Monroe. He looked out for her as well as his siblings, but times were tough and there was never enough money. In order to stay out of jail Cade takes off, never knowing of the hurt he left behind. After an accident Case comes home to recope and finds all that he has been hinting from. More stills needs him, but does he have room in his life for her? And do they finally find what they have each kept bottled up for so long?
From the first book of Laura Trentham I was hooked. I just love her books. She does a wonderful job of small-town romance. I was so excited for this new series. It sounded so good. And it is! I admit, I'm a fan of the back to back books. I'll even go so far as to say that I'd take a smaller page count to get them. When I'm in a new series I want to know more and more. Here with the back to back books I get all the main characters I like, right away. Leaves room for more upcoming characters next year. Of course Christmas in Cottonbloom would look mighty pretty! Hint, hint!!!! When I first read about this series I was thrilled at the idea. Two states, one town! Cool right? Loved, loved Cade! He is such a great caring guy. He gives 100% and then some. You won't be able to not love him. You know pretty much right away about his past so you really want to see him get a great loving future! Monroe was also a great character. Of course I did have a little issue with her name in the beginning. It took me at least a chapter to remember shes a she, and not a guy. These two are perfect for each other. When you read this, and you will, you'll see what I mean. Right away I wanted to know everything about them. You'll be so happy after reading this heartwarming, funny & touching story. Not only do you have great charcters (hero & heroine) you will love the secondary characters that have stories coming soon. Secret here....you are going to love Sawyer and Regan! Yeah, yeah, it's not much of a secret....
Loved this book!! A wonderful start to a new series from this author. It's a small town second chance story that takes place in a small town split between Mississippi and Louisiana. One side affluent one side poor. An interesting relationship develops between Cade Fournette and Monroe Kirby. A relationship that they had to keep secret since the town would never approve. Then suddenly one day Cade is gone. Now Cade is back recovering from recent injuries and he's nothing like the young boy he was before. He's been able to accomplish great things since he left but the one thing he's never been able to do is forget Monroe. Cade needs to work with a physical therapist and Monroe is the best one around. Getting to know each other again may turn out to be the worst thing ever. Or maybe..... I really enjoyed this book and can't wait for the next in the series. I highly recommend this one!
Kiss Me That Way by Laura Trentham is the first book in her new Cottonbloom series. This is also the first book I have read by Trentham, and after reading this, it will not be my last. Monroe Kirby is our heroine and you will love her from the start. We get a glimpse at the beginning of the past of Monroe when she was 13 years old, as her mother’s drunken boyfriend tries to rape her. She managed to escape into the woods, and ran into Cade Fournette, an older & tough young boy from the other side of the tracks. Cade protected her, and managed to watch over her from a distance for many years, until he left Cottonbloom. Now in the present time, Cade has returned home to recover from a serious injury. Monroe is now a physical therapist, and is surprised to see Cade after all these years. She never knew why he left town, and can feel her attraction to him still stands after all these years. Cade looked at Monroe as a kid; someone he wanted to protect, but never had any romantic feelings. But now she is a beautiful young woman all grown up. What follows is a slow build romance that will find Monroe helping him recover, and Cade slowly beginning to have feelings for her. Cade has a successful business in Seattle and has every intention of returning there when he recovers. He doesn’t want to act on his newfound feelings for Monroe because he would hurt her. Cade has had a hard childhood, and doesn’t believe in permanent relationships. Will Monroe be able to convince Cade to stay, now that they have begun to act on their feelings? This was a fun story, with many characters in this small town of Cottonbloom. I loved Monroe’s best friend Regan; Cade’s sister Tally. I also liked Sawyer, who is Cade’s brother, who I suspect will have his own story with Regan in the future. Monroe and Cade made a wonderful sexy couple, but I did get annoyed at him with his stubborn refusal to accept how much he was falling in love with Monroe. Laura Trentham not only created a nice fun sweet romance in a small town, with great secondary characters; but she also touched on subjects such as, physical abuse and self defense for teens, which Monroe teaches in her spare time. If you are a fan of pure romances, that are also fun, I suggest you read this book.
From the outside looking in, it's easy to judge the have and have nots. Money, power and privilege equals happiness. Poverty equals misery. But is that always the case? With her latest novel, Laura Trentham removes the blinders and gives readers a clear view of how dark and unfair circumstances can be no matter who you are, or what you have. Cade was used to looking out for himself. He had to be the strong one in order to provide for his family. Monroe was his complete opposite. She had an enviable life. A wealthy family that kept her safe from the painful existence that Cade had to endure. But appearances can be deceiving. Kiss Me That Way delivered some hard truths about pride, life and prejudice. It takes a strong person to endure the obstacles that Monroe and Cade did and rise above the anger and bitterness.