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?
Trentham's first Cottonbloom contemporary draws a clear, albeit stereotypical, picture of a town that straddles a river, half lying in white-collar Mississippi and half in blue-collar Louisiana. As a girl, well-off Mississippian Monroe Kirby climbed out of her bedroom window to escape her mother's predatory boyfriend. Louisiana swamp rat Cade Fournette rescued her. For years they secretly met and shared confidences, until he inexplicably left town. Fifteen years after their first encounter, Cade's a wealthy inventor and Monroe's a physical therapist. He limps back into town with a knee injury and ends up in her office. They still share an emotional connection, and as she treats his injury, desire enters their relationship, leading to sizzling intimacy. At the heart of this wrong-side-of-town story are deftly drawn characters who understand that everyone has fears. Trentham layers the weight of family responsibilities throughout the well-paced story. The towns' competing festivals and quirky characters add humor and link the other romances in the series.
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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.
Sweet Southern Romance
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.
A wonderfully paced story with plenty of heart
Rather than “wrong side of the tracks”, in Cottonbloom, it’s the “wrong side of the river”, providing the divide between affluence and all the privilege that comes with it, especially in reputation. Laura Trentham takes us into this small town that straddles two states and a river, and is replete with all of the issues of small towns, including small minded thoughts.
Monroe was a child of affluence, yet a key piece was missing: protection and safety for a young girl. Her mother’s drinking and all-around neglect combined with improper advances from a man she was dating sent Monroe running, right into the life of a boy from the wrong side of the tracks.
Cade had already been determined to leave town and show everyone that he’s not trash, but he couldn’t leave Monroe without a confidante and protector, just as he couldn’t leave his siblings without a parental figure. Struggling against a reputation not deserved, as well as the daily grind of responsibility, Cade’s options seemed limited while Monroe’s – purely by virtue of money, were limitless.
Taking a chance once his responsibility for his siblings had ended his immediate struggles, Cade went to Seattle to make a name, and new reputation for himself, never to think of the small river-straddling town of his youth. Early struggles in life made for a tenacious and tough minded individual, not willing to take no for the final answer. Now curiosity about the young girl he left being has surfaced, and he returns: determined to show them all that he’s worth more than they could ever imagine.
A second chance romance with questions abounding from both, it was nicely played to see the insecurities and fragility of Cade, despite all he has overcome. Monroe never did care about what he didn’t have, he protected her and was a sort of hero – and she only wanted the best for him. It just stung that he never contacted her after he left. Now it’s time to re-align their friendship, and see if all those feelings are just childish fancy.
Clever insertions and moments from secondary characters, a few hints to future couples in new stories and a small town atmosphere that shows the potential for forgiveness and growth for everyone when stereotypes and prejudices are left behind. A wonderfully paced story with plenty of heart, a touch of heat and just the right amount of feel-good southern-folksy moments.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.