Welcome to Cottonbloom: Book Blog Tour

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I do not read as many contemporary romances as I probably should, as mysteries are always calling my name.  When I do pick up one of these romances I usually go for small town series.  Cottonbloom was a great place to visit over the last few days.

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…

26114466KISS ME THAT WAY (Cottonbloom: #1) Written by Laura Trentham

2016; 324 Pages (St. Martin’s Paperbacks)
Genre: romance, contemporary, small town, series

(I received an ARC from the PUBLISHER via NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating: ★★★

Cade Fournette was born and raised on the Louisiana side of Cottonbloom, where life has not been easy for him and his siblings. When his parents died in an accident, Cade was left to raise his younger siblings, while having everyone expecting him to fail. He does find success once he leaves Cottonbloom behind but left behind his family and maybe his heart. Cade return home and realizes just what his departure had meant.

Monroe Kirby, a physical therapist, also volunteers her time to help girls learn self defense. Many years ago Monroe could have used this training and wants to make sure other girls have it. Cade had come to her rescue and became somewhat of a protector. When he left Cottonbloom without saying goodbye she thought she would never see him again.

Cade has turned to Monroe for her therapy and soon the two discover that the feelings they had all those years ago may have never extinguished.

I found that the first book was great in setting up the town and characters. I gave this book a three because I felt like while it was a good read there wasn’t anything exceptional or unique to set it apart. The story between Cade and Monroe has been done before and while I liked them, I found the chemistry was just so-so. The secondary characters also seemed to have more characterization than the hero and heroine. I am looking forward to he next book which I hope is Nash and Tally’s story.

 

26114329THEN HE KISSED ME (Cottonbloom: #2) Written by Laura Trentham

2016; 301 Pages (St. Martin’s Paperbacks)
Genre: romance, contemporary, small town, series

(I received an ARC from the PUBLISHER via NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating: ★★★ 1/2

Tally Fournette, has her own business, with the help of her brother but still feels like she is not smart enough. When her childhood friend and crush, Nash Hawthorne returns to Cottonbloom to take care of his aunt, Tally feels the old feelings again. Nash has always been brilliant and has returned to his hometown to teach at a college. He has gone from being nerdy to sexy. And, the one woman he wants his Tally. As the two spend time together the flame burns brighter but the insecurities they both feel may drive them apart.

I identified a lot with Tally and loved Nash then and now. The characters were more vivid in this novel and I enjoyed the story even though it was a predictable. I did like that you knew there was a HEA coming but that there would be some tears before then. I am currently dating at this time, though a decade older than some of these characters so I did find the emotions quite realistic.

 

26114185TILL I KISSED YOU (Cottonbloom: #3) Written by Laura Trentham

2016; 320 Pages (St. Martin’s Paperbacks)
Genre: romance, contemporary, small town, series

(I received an ARC from the PUBLISHER via NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating: ★★★ 1/2

Finally, we get Sawyer Fournette and Regan Lovell’s story! These childhood sweethearts both had their heartbroken by one another and have made it their mission to make the other suffer. Regan is the Mayor and Sawyer is the Commissioner, each is trying to make their side of Cottonbloom the best. As the days get closer to the festival the sabotage gets meaner. The two discover they may not be the ones behind the pranks so they team up for the good of Cottonbloom.

I loved the chemistry and banter between these two characters. And, like the second book it also had better characterizations. I also liked that there was a bit of a mystery aspect and wished that part would have been drawn out more. While this third book rounded out the Fournette family saga, there is more in these series with new characters.

 

31450643LEAVE THE NIGHT ON (Cottonbloom: #4) Written by Laura Trentham

AUGUST 1, 2016; 350 Pages (St. Martin’s Paperbacks)
Genre: romance, contemporary, small town, series

(I received an ARC from the PUBLISHER via NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating: ★★★ 1/2

We return to Cottonbloom, but this time we meet the Abbott brothers – four brothers running their family business – fixing and restoring cars. Wyatt Abbott, one of the twins, is set to work on Sutton Mize’s fiance’s car for a big commission for the shop. As he empty’s the car’s glove compartment he accidentally unleashes heartbreak for Sutton. They find receipts for fancy dinners and a thong underwear that was custom made by Sutton for her best friend, Bree. When Andrew, Sutton’s finace, and Bree confront Sutton together she tells them she has been cheating too…with Wyatt.
Wyatt, who has always had a thing for Sutton as kids, readily agrees and the two end up falling for each other.

I really liked this one! I found Wyatt so endearing and I could relate to Sutton (like I could with Tally). Even though I knew they were destined for a HEA I was invested in seeing how they would get there. We do see some of the characters from the first three books come through so it is a nice surprise if you have read them before. If not, they just seem like random characters with some importance and they are overly described for the part they play. I recommend this series…and is perfect for the remaining weeks of Summer.

 

Laura Trentahm IIAbout 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.

 

Social Links:

Facebook

Author Blog

Twitter– @LauraTrentham

Author Website

 

Q&A with Laura Trentham

1. What inspired the novel plot?
Plots are strange things for me…I can rarely pinpoint anything in particular that triggers an idea. They usually pop into my head when I doing something else entirely like making dinner of driving the kids around.

2. What’s your favorite scene? Why?
I love the scene where Sutton gets drunk and finally propositions Wyatt for real. I hope it’s funny and sexy and the reader can feel her mortification when she thinks he turns her down.

3. Who’s your favorite character? Why?
Wyatt. He’s sexy and tough, but also incredibly sweet. He loves his family and would do anything for them. My heroes are complex and most definitely not a-holes.

4. Any other books in the pipeline?
Two more Cottonbloom books! WHEN THE STARS COME OUT (1/30/2018) features Wyatt’s twin brotherJackson. SET THE NIGHT ON FIRE (8/2018) is Mack Abbott’s book. Also, sometime in the fall of 2018, I’ll have a military themed romance/women’s fiction book releasing! I’m super excited about it too.

5. What led you to write in this genre over others?
Actually, my first books were historical romances, and I’ll be re-releasing two and adding a new book in my historical Spies and Lovers series this fall (Sept/Nov 2017). But, while the historical books were on submission with publishers, my agent suggested I try a contemporary. It sold to St. Martin’s Press only a couple of months after my historicals sold. I’ve set all my contemporaries in the American south because that’s where I was born and have lived most of my life. I understand the way southerners talk and think.

6. Do you have a favorite book and author?
I’m going to have to throw it back to Mary Stewart as my favorite author. I quite often reread her books. But as far as which book I’ve reread the most, it would have to be Julie Garwood’s The Bride.

7. Why and how did you decide you wanted to write for a living?
I’ve always been an avid reader, but I didn’t even consider writing until five years ago. My daughter started preschool, and going back to work doing what I went to school for (chemical engineering) wasn’t feasible. I sat down one morning and started writing. At first, I didn’t even tell my husband what I was doing. I won’t lie, it took a lot of work and rewrites to get those first manuscripts good enough. But, eventually, I signed with an agent and sold them both.

8. What’s your favorite way to relax?

Reading! (I know that’s a shocker:) I also enjoy the mindlessness of games on my phone.

9. What’s your favorite food?

Fried rice! I just learned to make it at home. My rice cooker is my second favorite appliance (behind my coffee maker!)

10. Sounds like Sutton’s fiancé’s a cheating…um…cheats. Why did you decide to use that as an aspect of your story?
Andrew is a secondary character in the first Cottonbloom trilogy about the Fournette siblings. He’s kind of a slime ball in those books too.

11. Tell us something about Wyatt that we don’t learn from the book.
He likes to wear women’s underwear. Just kidding!! Actually, I’m drawing a blank, he’s an open, honest kind of man.

12. This book is set in Mississippi. Does this location contribute to the story in some way?
It’s actually set half in Mississippi and half in Louisiana. I wanted a southern location. But, I also envisioned a twist on the wrong side of the tracks story. In Cottonbloom, the more affluent live on the Mississippi side and the blue-collar working class live on the Louisiana side. I wanted that push-pull and rivalry between the two. It informs the relationships between my couples.

 

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