Title: Till I Kissed You
Author: Laura Trentham
Series: Cottonbloom #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
It’s 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 Cottonbloom—and now, as mayor, she’s 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 wasn’t being undermined by Sawyer Fournette, who’s 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 she’s had it with him—no matter how much she enjoyed those stolen hours in his truck bed, so many years ago…
Sawyer knows that Regan’s never forgiven him for breaking her heart—but despite his reputation as a low-class swamp rat, he’d 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 back…and the rest of her too, if she can ever let go of her distrust. But will a common enemy be enough to unite them—and finally fulfill the promises they made one passionate night under the stars?
Source: ARC from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley
I somehow managed to miss the fact that this was the third in this series when I picked it up. However, I still really enjoyed it. Yes, if, like me, you are starting here without reading the previous two books, you will miss out on some nuances and back story between the various characters and the history of the two sides of Cottonbloom, but the story itself is engaging enough to drag you in regardless. So if you love a small town, second chance romance, with a touch of antagonism between the main couple, then give this a go, because it’s lovely.
Regan and Sawyer have a long history, which began with a Romeo/Juliet love story and soon descended into mutual loathing as a result of their broken hearts. Ten years after it all fell apart, Regan is a successful and determined, ready to do whatever is necessary to revitalise her side of Cottonbloom, while Sawyer is working hard to do the same on his side of the river. Despite their class differences, they have an awful lot in common, even if they are determined not to notice at times.
I liked both of them. Regan is capable and smart, with so many excellent plans on how to improve things. She’s also compassionate when she needs to be, caring of those she loves, and has a mother who is best avoided at all costs. Sawyer is easy going, likeable, loyal and decent. He also has a fissure of deep insecurities that he does his best to hide. Both of them are very good at putting on an act for the rest of the world, and it’s only when they’re together that they can be their true selves. Which leaves both of them vulnerable to the same hurts and problems they faced before.
With a romance strewn with memories, both bitter and sweet, miscommunication, chemistry and kindness, this story was a lovely read. Add in the town and its collection of interesting residents, the competing festivals and the disruptive presence of Regan’s harasser, and there’s plenty going on in this book. If I’m honest I would have liked to have seen more of the festivals themselves, and the planning that went into making them. They provide a great backdrop for the story, but I did feel like they got shuffled out of the way when more important things came along, and by the end they felt almost like an afterthought.
On the whole, though, this is great. Romantic, enjoyable and perfect for escaping into. If you like a second chance that has to be worked for by both parties, then give this a try. I’m glad I did, and I’ll definitely have to catch up with the other Cottonbloom books sometime soon.
Till I Kissed You is Out Now!
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