Tuesday, August 01, 2017


Romance Reviews Today review (to post in August):

LEAVE THE NIGHT ON – Laura Trentham
A Cottonbloom Novel, Book 4
St. Martin’s Paperbacks and e-Book
ISBN: 978-1-250-13095-2
August 2017
Contemporary Romance

Cottonbloom, Louisiana and Mississippi, the Present

Cottonbloom: a town not just divided by the Mississippi river; it’s also divided by demographics. The Mississippi side is the more affluent and considered more refined. The Louisiana inhabitants are of a laboring class dependent on the river and its fishing industry. Relations are not always smooth between the two sides of town.

Miss Sutton Mize is from the Mississippi side where her father is a judge, and she owns an upscale boutique. She is engaged to an attorney, Andrew Tarwater, in partnership with his father. She wants to get her fiancé a special wedding gift. He owns a classic red Camaro that could use some loving care, so she takes it across the river to the Abbott Brothers Garage and Restoration to have the interior done over. She delivers it to Wyatt Abbott whom she knew growing up. Before leaving it there, they discover receipts from high priced out of town restaurants, and, from under the driver’s seat, Wyatt pulls out a sexy black thong with an embroidered red heart on the hip. Sutton is stunned! It is one she special ordered for and sold to her very best friend since childhood, Bree Randall!

Wyatt is sympathetic. He can’t understand why any man could cheat on such a wonderful woman as Sutton—one he’s had a strong crush on for years, but never knew how to get her to fancy him back. Wyatt was rather heavy handed as adolescent males can be, and Sutton always thought he hated her. In her hurt and humiliation, Sutton can see no reason why she can’t get a little revenge on Andrew by pretending to have also had an affair . . . with Wyatt.

Gossip is rife in small towns, and with the rivalry between the halves of Cottonbloom, their friendship certainly raises eyebrows. Not to mention the reaction of her family and his.

This new series is connected to the recent Cottonbloom trilogy: KISS ME THAT WAY, THEN HE KISSED ME, and TILL I KISSED YOU (June, July, and August 2016). However, many new characters are introduced here, especially the large Abbott clan. Wyatt, himself, is only one of the four brothers who share the garage left to them by the recent death of their loved father. There are scores of other relations, including two spinster aunts who came to them when their mother left years ago. Her leaving when he was little messed with Wyatt’s head and heart. Sutton also lacks confidence; though her parents love her and her sister, they are very controlling.

So, both Wyatt’s and Sutton’s backgrounds make it difficult to believe in the other’s affection. Yet Wyatt has an empowering effect on Sutton. He gives her freedom to believe in her dreams and act on them. They also come quickly to believe in their mutual sexual attraction . . . and so will readers!

Ms. Trentham has a definite talent for creating realistic characters—and ones you can love! Wyatt is a jewel, so tender, so considerate, so unselfish. Sutton is likable as well, and it’s a pleasure watching her bloom. As for the storyline . . . it’s a grabber. While it centers on the couple, the other Abbott brothers are intriguing as well. Happily, we can look forward to two or three—or more?—Cottonbloom tales to come.

Jane Bowers

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Love, betrayal, and sweet revenge—life in Cottonbloom is about to get a whole lot hotter . . .

Sutton Mize is known for lavishing attention on the customers who flock to her boutique on the wealthy side of her Mississippi town. So when she finds a lace thong in her fiancé’s classic cherry-red Camaro, she knows just who she sold it to: her own best friend. In an instant, Sutton’s whole world goes up in flames. . .

Wyatt Abbott has harbored a crush on Sutton since he was a young kid from the other side of the tracks. He witnessed Sutton’s shocking discovery in the Camaro at his family-owned garage—and it made him angry. What kind of man could take lovely, gorgeous Sutton for granted? But then Sutton comes up with an idea: Why not give her betrothed a taste of his own medicine and pretend that she’s got a lover of her own? Wyatt is more than happy to play the hot-and-heavy boyfriend. But what begins as a fictional affair soon develops into something more real, and more passionate, than either Sutton or Wyatt could have imagined. Could it be that true love has been waiting under the hood all along?

Author Bio:
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.

Social Links:
Twitter- @LauraTrentham

Buy Links:


“You want me to go get your friend?” His chest vibrated against her, deep and rich.
Friend? She didn’t want to examine the other half of the betrayal. Worse than Andrew cheating on her was who he’d been getting down and dirty with. Her best friend. No. A friend wouldn’t sleep with her fiancé behind her back while helping her plan the wedding with an enthusiasm that oftentimes exceed her own.
Sutton ransacked her brain for moments she could point to and say Aha! but none came to mind. Bree had been supportive and helpful over the last few months. Lies. How many lies had Sutton accepted as gospel truth? A few more tears escaped along with a ragged breath.
Wyatt made a humming sound that was distinctly uncomfortable, and he pulled away. “Let me—”
She grabbed his coveralls. “No. Don’t you get it? That was her thong.”
He shifted to face her. “Is identifying underwear in a single glance your superpower?”
Despite her life crashing down, a shard of humor sliced through the shock, and her lips twitched. “Expensive underwear. The heart on the panties matches her tattoo. A special order.”
“You fiancé and your best friend?”
Put like that, she felt even dumber. “My life has turned into a cliché.”
“It’s a cliché because of how often it happens. Nothing for you to be ashamed of. It’s them that should feel like chickenshit.”
“You don’t understand how people like to talk.”
“I understand, alright. I just don’t care what people say.” The defiant edge in his voice spoke of his own pain and sorrows, but right now she only had room for her own. He was quiet for a moment. “You want me to get rid of her?”
Sutton sank back and took a swig of Coke, the burn bringing a different, more welcome, sort of tear to her eyes. “I need to talk to her. Confront her.”
“Yeah, but not hurt and crying. You need to prepare. Get mad then get even.”
His advice made her sit up straighter. She’d been raised to smooth feathers, not ruffle them. Her mother had taught her how a smile and pleasant word could diffuse most situations. The lessons had contributed to her business success but hadn’t done her personal life any favors. Another whip of red-hot fury flayed her heart.
“She’s my ride back over the river.” Her voice sounded even and strong, her anger a mast to cling to amid the wreckage.
“I can be your ride.”
“But you have work to do.”
The look he cast her was full of disbelief. “You’re not going through with the restoration, are you?”
The Camaro, the red harbinger of her ruin, had already slipped her mind. She didn’t even like the stupid car. Her daddy and Tarwater senior had hatched this surprise over a round of golf with Ford Abbott after she’d confessed she couldn’t think of anything to give Andrew as an engagement present. Only when her daddy had anted up half the money had she agreed. Their “go big or go home” mentality had seemed a ridiculous waste to her.
Dear Lord, her family. What would her daddy say? As a long-standing judge, he was sort of a colleague of Andrew’s. She closed her eyes and rocked forward and back on the edge of the couch.
“What if I’m overreacting?” If only this was a bad dream. Yet, did she really want that? An undercurrent that felt vaguely like relief trickled through the anger and humiliation and doubts.
“About which part, your fiancé cheating or who he was cheating with?” Wyatt stuck a hand into his pocket, came out with the thong and tossed it on her lap.
She leapt up and brushed it off as if she were Miss Muffet and it was a venomous, hairy, black spider. She kicked at it with the toe of her shoe. The red heart mocked her from the black lace. Yet the little girl who’d shared her pimento cheese sandwich with Bree every day during kindergarten wanted to be wrong.
She sank back down to the edge of the couch, feeling like she was shoring up the situation with Scotch tape. “There could be a reasonable explanation. Like she and Andrew went to lunch and for some reason she had them in her purse and they fell out. Maybe I’ve jumped to the wrong conclusion.”
“Maybe.” He shrugged. She appreciated the fact he wasn’t calling her on her BS excuses even though his face was the definition of skeptical.
“You sure you don’t mind giving me a ride?” she asked.
“I’ll get rid of your friend and take you home. That should buy you some time to figure things out. Confront her on your terms.”
Her initial impressions of Wyatt Abbott were from the viewpoint of a preteen girl. Back then, she’d been self-conscious of her skinny arms and legs and flyaway hair, and whenever she’d come to the garage with her daddy, Wyatt had made it his mission to tease her mercilessly.
What was he now? On the surface, she’d label him a good old boy. Fun, flirty, simple. Except, his gray eyes were anything but. Not flat like shale, but ready to spark a fire like a flint. Raw emotions provided a sharp awareness. Her memories of him urged her to be cautious with her trust, yet his jaw was set and his shoulders were rolled forward as if ready and willing to go into battle.
“Why?” she finally whispered.
“Why what?”
“Why are you being so nice to me? You hated me as a kid.”
Hated you?” He stuffed his hands into his pockets and tipped his head enough to shutter his intensity of his eyes. “I never hated you, in fact . . .” He shook his head.
“In fact what?”
“Not important. Simply put, unlike your fiancé and your friend, I’m not an asshole. If you don’t need me—”
“No, I do need you.” She stood but misjudged how close he was. They weren’t touching, but she could feel his heat and appreciate his strength. “I just . . .”
Wyatt Abbott was handsome, but even more potent than his looks was an intangible confidence and ease with himself. The man probably talked a different woman out of her panties every weekend. Would he cash in on her humiliation for a good story to tell brothers and drinking buddies? Did it even matter? Whether it was him or someone else, rumors would rush through the town like their river after a storm
Insecurities pinged between her head and heart, the message clear. Protect yourself. But surely, she could at least trust him to get her home. “I would really appreciate a lift home.”
He chaffed her arms like a coach might comfort a little kid after a loss. “It’ll be okay. You wait here while I handle your friend, okay?”
She nodded, and he strode back toward the garage. Highlighted in a shaft of sunlight, he hesitated at the metal door they’d ducked through and glanced behind him. A zing of warning—or premonition?—skittered down her spine.
Her life had been spun into chaos, yet in that moment, she felt connected to Wyatt in a way that terrified her. Then he disappeared, and she waited to discover out if her trust had once again been misplaced.

Copyright © 2017 by Laura Trentham and reprinted by permission of St. Martin's Paperbacks.

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