Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on August 2nd 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
ItÔÇÖs summertime in Cottonbloom, where two lovers find themselves at a crossroads just as things start to heat up. . .
Regan Lovell grew up on the wealthy Mississippi side of CottonbloomÔÇöand now, as mayor, sheÔÇÖs determined to save it from the fate of so many small towns. Part of her plan to help the local economy is the Labor Day tomato festival. If only she wasnÔÇÖt being undermined by Sawyer Fournette, whoÔÇÖs planning a crayfish-themed celebration on the Louisiana side of the river on the very same weekend. The pranks and sabotage are getting out of hand, and sheÔÇÖs had it with himÔÇöno matter how much she enjoyed those stolen hours in his truck bed, so many years agoÔÇª
Sawyer knows that Regan's never forgiven him for breaking her heartÔÇöbut despite his reputation as a low-class swamp rat, heÔÇÖd never hurt the woman who still secretly drives him crazy with desire. Someone in Cottonbloom has it out for her, though, and Sawyer intends to watch her backÔÇªand the rest of her too, if she can ever let go of her distrust. But will a common enemy be enough to unite themÔÇöand finally fulfill the promises they made one passionate night under the stars?
Till I Kissed You is the 3rd in Laura Trentham’s Cottonbloom series and the first that I’ve read. But I will say I’m already halfway through book one and I’m adoring it. So although this is a series, these books can be read as standalones. Here’s what I know – they are fantastic sweet second chance romances set in a fictional township that’s split by state lines. There’s Cottonbloom , Mississippi and Cottonbloom, Louisiana and both are inhabited by families that sometimes get along and sometimes don’t. The series centers the Fournette’s who seem to have found a place in my heart. Till I Kissed You is Sawyer Fournettes’ story, with his world being upended as his first and only love, Regan Lovell, find cause to be in each others life after a decade of avoiding each other.
Most of us think that the oppostite of love is hate, and that is just how Regan and Sawyer feel about each other. Both powerful emotions, the only thing that would indicate they don’t really like each other is apathy, but that’s not the feeling that they draw out of each other. Nope, what they have is powerful . While Regan resides and is mayor in Cottonbloom, MS, while┬áSawyer lives on the “river rats” side in LA, this alone puts them at odds. Always has and always will. But Regan and Sawyer are electric. They have a distinct chemistry that makes reading about them and their confused state of emotions ( for each other) both fun and heartbreaking.
What keeps them always in each others lives is the rivalry between the 2 towns. What drives them back together is a little mystery surrounding threats to Regan about one of the very things that pushes this rivalry. It’s a great plot driver as Sawyer’s alpha-ness is played up. But the history between them is long and things ended badly. I love the intensity level of their history. High school sweethearts making life-long plans breakup and neither seem to have moved on, not really. Trentham gives us both sides of their history and neither can be faulted for their actions/reactions.
It’s a joy to be in Regan’s head, reading what she thinking, sometimes saying and sometimes not saying. And Sawyer, he’s a sweetheart and sexy as all get out. But he makes some bonehead moves that left me shaking my head thinking “badly done Sawyer”. In these moments I felt the sting of tears prick the back of my eyes for Regan (okay so once or twice I let loose with some big tears that ran down my cheeks). As a sucker for second chance romance I can tell you that Trentham gives us all the happy and sad emotions as two people fight emotions from the past to create a new happy place ( including a few moments of Sawyers’ and Regans’ steamy re-connection).
I’ve travelled through both states and with Trentham’s writing I can easily picture this charming little town and the hospitable people. Till I Kissed You is a wonderful read that’s well plotted with easy to adore characters. In the end it made me immensely happy and clamoring to read books 1 and 2. 4.5 Stars and Recommendation!
~Review by Cyndi
ÔÇ£Are you going to pretend last night never happened?ÔÇØ Sawyer asked.
Regan took a quick breath and matched what sounded like hurt feelings with equal amounts of defensiveness. ÔÇ£You were the one pretending.ÔÇØ
He took a step closer. She held her ground even though one of her feet slid backward on the dirt floor. ÔÇ£ItÔÇÖs almost like it was a dream, isnÔÇÖt it?ÔÇØ
At least he hadnÔÇÖt said ÔÇ£nightmare.ÔÇØ She rubbed her lips together. He took another step. The heat of his body and fresh scent enveloped her. HeÔÇÖd showered recently. Maybe heÔÇÖd worked late. Maybe his hair was still damp. Maybe the stubble from the night before was growing into a beard.
ÔÇ£It was dark and secluded and we were kind of forced into one another. It had nothing to do with you and me. Just like the night of the rabbits. It was the situation, right?ÔÇØ Why had she asked instead of stated? And why had she mentioned the night he had pressed her into the sweet-smelling grass and left her a puddle of lustful confusion?
ÔÇ£Exactly. ItÔÇÖs dark and secluded now too.ÔÇØ Another step and his chest grazed hers. She lifted her face toward his, every nerve ending straining for him.
ÔÇ£It is that. And weÔÇÖre close.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£How do we keep managing to get ourselves into these dark and secluded situations?ÔÇØ He circled her nape with his hand. It was all the encouragement her body needed. She pitched into him, her arms rising to circle his shoulders. Her fingers wound in his damp hair, the faint scent of his shampoo niggling at her memories. It was the same one heÔÇÖd always used even though he could probably afford a salon brand. Solid, practical, sexy Sawyer.
His lips coasted from her temple to her jaw, laying small kisses along the way. She arched against him, turning her head in search of his mouth. Finally, he kissed her. A stuttering sigh escaped her on contact.
His one hand tightened on her nape while the other coasted down to cup and knead her backside. She whimpered, the noise coming unbidden from her throat. His tongue made gentle forays inside of her mouth, twining with hers. She sucked his bottom lip into her mouth and nipped it. He pulled back with a growly sound that veered humorous.
ÔÇ£You missed this havenÔÇÖt you, baby? IÔÇÖll bet none of those Mississippi boys made you feel like this.ÔÇØ
His words were a dunk in the ice-cold waters of reality. She had spent too long getting him out of her system to regress over one short summer. Pushing off his chest drove her pelvis into his, and she nearly succumbed to temptation. His hard length pressed into her.
The truth was she had missed him. Terribly. Not only physically, but the emotional connection that sparked so readily between them. She twisted against him and he let her go, leaving her stumbling backward two steps before she caught her balance.
Her lips felt swollen and tender and craved more. ÔÇ£This is crazy.ÔÇØ
What Others Are Saying:
ÔÇ£Laura TrenthamÔÇÖs romances are like the icing on the cake, the extra scoop of chocolate ice cream or a perfect summer dayÔÇªÔÇØ – Tome Tender Book Blog
ÔÇ£I am really sad that this series is over as I have fallen in love with Cottonbloom. I can’t wait to see what Laura Trentham writes next!ÔÇØ – LoveÔÇÖs A State of Mind
ÔÇ£Till I Kissed You is full of spark and snark. There is heat and tension, with a bit of a whodunnit thrown in there for good measure.ÔÇØ – BJÔÇÖs Book Blog
Other books in the series
Kiss Me That Way: A Cottonbloom Novel #1
Then He Kissed Me: A Cottonbloom Novel #2