Then He Kissed Me: A Cottonbloom Novel

Then He Kissed Me: A Cottonbloom Novel

by Laura Trentham
4.6 13

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Then He Kissed Me: A Cottonbloom Novel by Laura Trentham

Can two hearts come together in one divided town?

As a boy, Nash Hawthorne spent countless afternoons on the Louisiana side of Cottonbloom with Tally Fournette, wading in the river, peeling oranges and catching frogs. When illness stole his mother, Nash yearned to take Tally and run away—for good. Instead, he crossed the state line to live with his aunt. It was a short distance as the crow flies, but it swept him into a whole new world…

After Nash left, Tally managed to struggle through her own losses without him. But now that she’s crossed paths with him again—at Cottonbloom College, where the grown-up, gorgeous Nash teaches history—she is reminded of their cherished youthful connection…and an attraction that has only gotten stronger with age. Between Tally’s possessive ex and Nash’s snobbish aunt, no one thinks they belong together. In a town torn apart by old resentments and rivalries, can they find their way back to the life they once shared—and turn their long-lost dreams into a real and lasting love?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781466889804
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 06/28/2016
Series: Cottonbloom , #2
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 14,172
File size: 929 KB

About the Author

Laura Trentham is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance, including Caught Up in the Touch, Kiss Me That Way, and others. She is a member of RWA, and has finaled multiple times in the Golden Heart competition. A chemical engineer by training and a lover of books by nature, she lives in South Carolina.

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.

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Then He Kissed Me 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
JewelsBookPages 3 months ago
This was a great friends to lovers story! Small town nostalgia, a steamy romance, and a wonderful cast of secondary characters lend this story a heartwarming vibe.
Suze-Lavender 4 months ago
Cottonbloom is a divided town, split in two by a river. One side is part of Louisiana and the other of Mississippi. There's quite a bit of animosity between the two and this has made life difficult for Nash and Tally. They used to be neighbors and were best friends. They spent all of their time together and Nash wanted nothing more than to run away with Tally. When his mother died he had to move in with his aunt at the upscale side of the river and he lost Tally's friendship. His aunt considered her a swamp rat and didn't think Tally was good enough for her nephew. Nash is back in Cottonbloom to teach at Cottonbloom College. Tally owns her own gym. The past has damaged them both. Tally went through something traumatic and had to do this without the support of his best friend. They've missed each other, but now that they're adults their lives are very different. Nash's aunt is still against Tally and Tally's ex boyfriend is making her life incredibly difficult. Will they be able to find a way back to each other and repair their once so precious friendship and is there a chance there can be more between them? Then He Kissed Me is a beautiful romantic story. Nash has a good heart. He's a kind and patient man with a lot of hidden depts. I was immediately fascinated by his multilayered personality. He's smart, strong and resilient. He can stand up for himself and will always defend the girl he loves. I liked the special friendship between Nash and Tally. They've loved each other for so long and it's clear from the start that they're soul mates. I couldn't wait to find out if they'd finally find happiness and read the book in one sitting because of it. Laura Trentham has an amazing heartwarming writing style. I love the setting she's chosen for her books. The two towns where love and friendship are often being influenced by rivalry between the different parts of the river are a great setting for plenty of intriguing stories. The inhabitants of both parts are equally fun to read about. I love how they all have their own story and how the river plays such a big part in them. Nash and Tally are very special and I hoped they wouldn't let the river separate them ever again. Their story kept me glued to my seat and the ending is fantastic. I really enjoyed reading this amazing romantic book.
cozylibrarian More than 1 year ago
Tallulah Fournette is the younger sister of those Fournette men. They live across the Mississippi River, on the Louisiana side of Cottonwood. Nash Hawthorne has been “Talley’s” best friend since they were children. Nash was always there for her until his mother died, daddy left and he had to move in with Aunt Leona on the Mississippi side of the river. Nash left for college but now he’s back and of course he’s out to find Talley. Did she change? Is she still his best friend or can their relationship be like his dreams? I’ve decided that I love to read books by Laura Trentham because of her endearing characters and sweet and sexy romantic plots. I started this book with anticipation after reading the first of the series, Kiss Me That Way. I was not disappointed. The dialogue is “real” and entertaining. I latched onto Tallulah and Nash and loved them from beginning to end. Yes, that’s what I like! Characters that I cheer for all the way to the end. Then He Kissed Me by Laura Trentham will be published June 28, 2016 by St. Martin’s Press. An egalley of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review
Foxylutely More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the Cottonbloom series but each can be read as a standalone. I had not read the first book in this series but I will now go back and read it as I want to know more about the eldest Fournette. Tally Fournette has not had an easy life since the death of her parents. Before that though her life lead a wealth of potential at the young age of ten with her best friend Nash. They both spent hot summer days down by the river thinking the heady days of summer would never end. But then Nash’s mother dies, quickly followed by Tally’s parents and therefore their happiness together ends. Nash was a nerdy little boy who grew up into a nerdy but gifted teenager. He has travelled the World and is now back in his hometown after two decades to be a professor at the local college. He sees Tally in a local bar and frequents it thereafter to try and get her attention and get to know his best friend again. Unbeknownst to Nash, Tally has definitely noticed Nash and can’t believe that this sexy stranger used to be her nerdy best friend from all those years ago. The pair finally strike up a conversation and this starts the unravelling of their past and a possible promise of the future. Firstly though Tally needs to take care of the problem of her stalker of an ex-boyfriend. Nash is not the person he used to be as a young child, the acne ridden teen who was bullied and ridiculed has overcome his past insecurities and is strong in his convictions of his self-worth. If only he can break through Tally’s insecurities and let her see she is worthy for her to take a chance at a different kind of love this time around with him. This was a really tender and sweet (and at times passionately hot!) romance that was easy to dive into and become invested in the storyline. Yes there was some frustration in how Tally kept falling back on her insecurities and it was one step forward and a three steps back kind of dance. I kept routing though for this pairing to take a chance and make a go of their love. There were some additional angst thrown in due to Tally’s ex, her trust issues and Nash’s snobby Aunt. I love how a story unravels to reveal actions from the past have influenced the present. The small town feel and town rivalries was very descriptive and atmospheric that I could almost feel I was there right in the thick of it. I adored Nash and how he wasn’t your typical alpha hero but he played it much more subtle and believable. When Tally reveals her deepest secret he just took it on the chin and was there for her to support and guide her even though he knew she needed to overcome that by herself. The chemistry was easy to feel and the slow gradual build up intermixed with some hot sexual tension kept me engaged and eager for these two to reach their HEA. This was a wonderful childhood friends to adult lovers storyline that was both heart-warming yet passionate, set in a small town surroundings that delivered an emotive and believable plot. I will definitely by reading the first book and eagerly await the third book. Highly recommend to other readers. Four and a half stars.
Anlenhart1 More than 1 year ago
Then He Kissed Me is the story of best friends that become lovers. Nash and Tally grew up together and were best friends before Nash moved in with his Aunt. They are reunited when Nash returns to Cottonbloom to teach history at the local college. Tally has worked hard and now owns the local gym. Nash pursues Tally with more than friendship in mind, and he must work hard to convince her that they were meant to be together. Will they have a happy ending or just be friends? I really enjoyed this story and thought it was a wonderful follow-up to the first book. I liked the setting and found my self pulled into Nash and Tally's story. The dialogue was interesting, the chemistry outstanding and I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I was given a free copy for an honest review.
IreneC More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars Then He Kissed Me was a heartwarming friends to lovers romantic read. I'm a huge fan of friends to lovers genre and Laura Trentham has written a beautiful, entertaining and heartfelt story in Then He Kissed Me. I loved Tally and Nash, they were both fun, sweet, honest and likable characters who shared a very special friendship growing up. They were inseparable, until tragedy strikes and see's them being torn apart just when they both needed each other the most. It warmed my heart watching Tally and Nash reconnect after so many years apart. From the moment they see each other again you could feel the attraction between them. I loved how the relationship grew and how they would encourage & support each other. They were able to help each other find peace from the past hurts and love each other unconditionally. I'm really enjoying the Cottonbloom Novels, each book can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend you read them all!! Looking forward to Regan and Sawyer's book next in Till I Kissed You
BookReaderAnnie More than 1 year ago
I have to say this is one on my new favorite series. I just love the people of Cottonbloom, all the people. The whole idea of this series is a wonderful one. Two states, one town. What's not to love? Then He Kissed Me is about Nash Hawthorne & Tally Fournette I really enjoyed both of them. This is a love story that started while they were children, even if they didn't really know it. Both of their childhoods are heartbreaking. You will feel yourself tearing up as you read about how it began for them. Nash and Tally truly are best friends. Now that Nash is back home, he a Tally pick up their friendship right were they left off. Of course this time they added something to their childhood relationship... Sex! Everything would have been going good if Tally didn't allow her insecurities to overshadow everything. She has a ton a childhood issues that she has never dealt with. I think we all can understand that. Of course like so many of us, she blew them up so much within her head and thought others judged her the same way she judged herself. You have to love a man who really fought hard for the woman he loved. Tally puts Nash through the ringer and he keeps coming back to her. Sigh!!! I think you'll really love these two and their relationship. This is a great series that I can't wait to read more of. You'll also get to visit with the residents of Cottonbloom.
Wishfull_Miss More than 1 year ago
I love friends to lovers romance and this one was a really sweet, comfy read. It had great chemistry, strong emotional connections and two really awesome MCs. It was equal parts funny, romantic and sexy. It had a little bit of everything that I love in a romance. The H in this story is Nash, a geeky nerd boy turned sexy professor and all around good guy. His h is his childhood friend, Tallulah aka Tally, a street smart wild child. On the outside these two have very little in common but their hearts align, they fit together. This isn't insta-love, although Nash does recognize Tally as his other half much sooner than Tally does herself. I loved the teasing and sharing of memories between them. It gave me that "other" I need to really root for a couple. This had it in spades! When 10 year old Nash looses his mom to cancer, his aunt whisks him away from the only home he has ever known and the only person he cares about, Tally. Across the river, Tally faces the lose of her best friend but also the sudden and unexpected lose of her parents in a car accident. As close as these two were growing up, they deal with their grief in vastly different ways. Nash retreats into his books and studies, Tally acts out and runs wild. When they finally meet up again after almost two decades apart, these two discover that time and distance kept them apart but didn't severe their bond. Like the river it was forged on, their connection still ran strong. Tally goes through a lot of emotional angst while dealing with her insecurities and self doubt and this does lead to some back and forth drama in the relationship but I liked her character. She was a tough girl with a soft vulnerable interior. As a girl who loves to read, and a proud book lover, it was heart breaking to get a glimpse of Tally's struggles with Dyslexia. Tally was definitely a soft spot for me. I liked that she was finally able to overcome her fears and trust issues with Nash, it made for a very sweet and uplifting romance. But Nash really stole the show for me. A hot guy who reads Harry Potter, loves books, drinks tea and has a charming off kilter accent from studying aboard??? Yeah, by description alone I was intrigued. But than he goes all sweet modern day knight in shining armor for his girl and I was hooked. I loved how affectionate and caring he was, how determined he was to show Tally that he loved her for who she was and not what she was and most of all I loved that he was patient with her. (Trust me, it was almost saintly!) My favorite scene with him has to be when he shares his love of books with Tally by reading to her. Not ashamed to say that had me going all gooey inside. It was a perfectly adorable moment between these two. This was a fun and laid back read with some angst, but nothing OTT. I loved both Nash and Tally and loved their sweet romance. This is the second in the series but can be read as a standalone. The writing was solid, the dialogue smooth and holy cow was it hot! I look forward to reading more from this author and the town of Cottonbloom :) *** ARC provided for an honest review ***
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
I adore geeky nerd heroes in my romances and this book has one of the best! Nash Hawthorne is back in Cottonbloom after spending time in Scotland on his studies. Now he's a professor at the local college. Nash and Tally Fournette were inseparable as kids until Nash's mother passes away. Then he's whisked away by his aunt to live on the Mississippi side of the river. While the miles are few, the differences in their lives were great. In the small divided town of Cottonbloom, which side of the river you live on means everything. Now that they are adults that doesn't seem to matter, to them anyway. The connection between them is still as strong as ever only now a real adult attraction is there too. Can they be together regardless of the past? I loved this story. These characters feel like they live next door. Real, vibrant, and intriguing. Definitely a book I recommend to everyone.
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
Nash Hawthorne met the girl of his dreams when he was just a young boy, and he always told himself that one day he would make her his wife, but life ended up getting in the way and took him across the state line and to a whole new living environment... one that Tally didn't belong in. Through the years they lost touch, Nash moved onto to college, dated some, but never really found someone who quite "fit" with him like Tally. He has often thought of her, wondered what she is like now, and if that spark would still be there if they saw one another again. And now he might just get the answer to his question... he knew moving home to take a teaching job might have them crossing paths again, question is when they do will they find their instant connection again? The minute Tally Fournette lost best friend Nash things in her life took a drastic turn, a turn that had her feeling a little lost and out of control, he was her safety net, and when he left she lost a part of herself... a part that she has never really been able to replace. She has since tried to let her feelings for Nash go, hoping that dating other men would fill the ache he left behind, but no one has ever been able to fill the void. So, when she learns that he has returned home she begins to wonder if it's finally their chance to be together, if fate's given them a second chance to salvage the connection they once shared... or if life will just get in the way again. After meeting these two in the first installment in the series, I began to wonder if they'd be able to let go of all the hurt from their pasts and find their way back to one another... or if the damage would be to great. Tally struck a cord with me in the first installment, something about her really resonated with me, and left me hoping she would be able to find her well deserved happily ever after. Life left her a little rough around the edges, and not so willing to let others in, for fear of losing them in the end... but after a great struggle she finally found a path that suited her and rewarded her with a well deserved happiness that I hoped she'd find. I am really enjoying this new series from Ms. Trentham, not only are the stories unique, and oh so enjoyable, but there also equipped with some very endearing characters that you can't help but lose your heart to! Charming romance story with a southern twist, that's sure to warm your heart and leave you with a permanent smile!! ARC requested through NetGalley, and kindly provided by St. Martin's Press in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
As I familiarize myself more with Laura Trentham's body of work, I have come to realize that she has mastered the tearjerkers quite well. It is hard not to feel every heartache, regret and experience every memory presented within Tally and Nash's story. Victims of circumstance, these two close friends could always depend on each other until tragedy caused a divide that proved hard to overcome. Then He Kissed Me examines the strength of friendship and the powerful connection between the main characters. It is a story that conveys stirs up deep emotions but is also a journey of hope, forgiveness and redemption.
RomanticReadsandSuch More than 1 year ago
Do you need to have read Kiss Me That Way to enjoy this story? No. But it does help because this is one of those series that are intertwined and each is benefited by the others. We caught glimpses of Nash and got to know Tally a little bit in the first book so we knew where this one was going to go. But their histories have so much depth - the way that they had an amazing connection and then lost so much at the same time, being separated and having to go through difficult adolescences alone. It's similar to Cade and Monroe, the way that they meant so much to each other as kids but life took them away, only to bring them back together at the right time. But Trentham makes sure that Tally & Nash have their own individual issues to work through. Tally has felt stupid for years because she struggled in school. Unfortunately the death of her parents just compounded what was already turning into a problem for her. With her flighty uncle Del as her guardian and being raised by her teenage brother as best he could there wasn't enough attention to get her the help she really needed. It's led to a lot of years where she's felt like a lesser person, even after starting a very successful gym. Subsequently her choices on a personal level haven't been exactly the best. Seeing her childhood best friend again, looking hot and being all smart & charming, definitely doesn't help her insecurities. Nash had his own image issues. Being Nerdy Nash and super smart, he was an outcast at school - picked on or ignored. Just because he got hot along the way doesn't mean he's all that more sure of himself than she is. He seems to have a better handle on it than Tally does, thanks to finding a home for himself in academia, but he's got some scars from his teen years that still impact things today ... isn't that always how it is? I absolutely LOVE how easy it is for these two to reconnect. They complement each other so well and to have that still there even after all these years leads to the foundation that they need to build something more. As long as they can get over the fear of what it could mean for their hearts. Then He Kissed Me is an absolutely freakin' fantastic story of second-chance love. Together Tally and Nash are cute and fun, bringing out the best in each other and challenging each other to do something more, to finally lay those last few issues to rest and move into a lasting, grown-up love. Once again Trentham delivers good-ol' down-home Southern living with quirky but lovable characters and a love story that will having you sighing with pleasure. And she gives a little more about Sawyer and Regan - enough that I can't wait to get my hands on their book next month! (Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review.)
bouncyberthaCR More than 1 year ago
4 - "Do you remember when I asked you to run away with me..?" Stars! The second book in Laura Trentham’s Cottonbloom Novels series certainly doesn’t disappoint. Nash and Tally’s story is sort of second chance, in that they were friends who drifted apart due to circumstances beyond their control as children, but the attraction that simmers between them as adults, threatens to take that friendship into a whole new direction. You get to know Tally quite well in the first book of the series in that she is one of the Fournette siblings, her older brother and his relationship were the main focus of that one, but she played a part in their story. Time had tested but not severed their connection. Nash arrived back into town during that book as well, but was more on the periphery than having any major role in it. You know about their childhood friendship though, and Then He Kissed me gives you their redeveloping relationship as adults. She was why none of his relationships had ever lasted. He’d left part of himself on the river, he’d left part of himself with her. The one thing that becomes apparent very quickly with this one is that we have an imbalanced couple, in that whereas both of them had their issues as children, one has gotten over them, and the other hasn’t, but tries to hide those insecurities behind bluster, confidence, and ducking out if the going looks like its potentially getting a little tough. "You throw the same lame excuse out to avoid anything that scares you." I won’t lie I struggled a little with the repetitive nature of this aspect of the story, and in the latter stages of the book it was erring towards being in the over-done territory for me. But the author managed to keep both characters pretty likeable, and the story-line moving at a steady pace so it stayed within bearable parameters for me. "Sometimes I want to shake some sense into you…" I think the sexual tension between the two of them was another thing that kept things flowing as well, it’s thick and sticky like molasses for a lot of the book, they take two steps forward, then one of them pulls back, to the point that as a reader you are sexually frustrated for them. But I liked it, the time to rebuild the friendship was taken around their building attraction as well as developing upon their pasts and how what happened to them has then shaped their future. "You knew me as a weak, wimpy kid, but you need to accept me as a grown man." The story as a whole develops through this one as well, with both towns on either side of the river still vying to win the competition that will see a much needed cash injection into the community coffers. The conclusion of that story as well as the culmination of all the fiery passion you have seen between opposing town Mayors; Regan Lovell and Sawyer Fournette in the first two books is due to play out in Till I Kissed You, due for release early August. "We both had to make mistakes before finding each other…" ARC generously provided via Netgalley, in exchange for the above honest review.