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?
as intoxicating as his scent. The music from the great room drifted, muted and unrecognizable.
As if slow dancing, Cade wrapped his arms around her and turned them enough so he could close
the door, leaving them in silence, except for the ticking of a clock.
His hands roamed her bare back, slipping inside of her dress to brush the top curves of
her buttocks. She pushed him backward against the wall. Infinitely stronger than her, he could have held his ground or taken charge at any point, but the fact that he let her lead only made her want him more. She was done listening to logic, done fighting her hunger for him. She wanted him.
Cupping her cheeks, he pulled his lips from hers. “And again you do the unexpected.”
“Unwanted?” she whispered.
“Does it look like I’m protesting?” His breath puffed against her cheek before he kissed her once more, slipping his tongue alongside hers, before his mouth retreated once more. She tipped into him seeking more. He took her weight, bracing his legs farther apart, but evaded her mouth.
“I watched you dancing with Tarwater. What are you playing at? Is he the man you want to be seen with and I’m the one you’re keeping for the dark?” A thread of emotion in his voice tied itself around her heart and bound her. Was he jealous? Hurt? Angry?
“Do you think I’m using you?” She pushed off his chest.
“You know I’m not staying long.”
She did know. She just didn’t want to think about the day he would walk away from Cottonbloom. And from her. “What are you getting at?”
“I think you get something from him you can’t get from me and vice versa. He has clout in this town, but I’m the man that you want in the dark and in your bed, aren’t I?”
“If you think all I care about is my standing in this town, why did you follow me?”
“Because I want you. That’s why I came.” Belligerence instead of seduction beat at his words. Underneath was a boy who did care what Cottonbloom thought of him. He hadn’t always been the poor swamp rat sneaking around in the dark.
“All you want is sex?”
“If that’s what you’re offering.” His voice softened, and he squeezed her hips and fit them together. “I can be rough and dirty and a little bit dangerous if that’s how you want me.”
Arousal flared even as the gentleness of his touch belied his coarse words. He skimmed his good hand from her hip to settle under her breast, his thumb running up and down the exposed skin in between. Her nipple puckered, begging for his touch.
“Is that what you want, sweetheart?”
Her body shifted toward his instinctively, seeking to anchor itself to him, needing to draw from his heat and strength. “Th-that’s not what I want.” Before the words were even out, she knew they were untrue, or at least a partial truth. Sex wasn’t all she wanted. But she did want it.
“Don’t lie to yourself or me.” He dropped his lips to the shell of her ear and nuzzled. She grabbed the lapels of his jacket. “I could take you right here, right now, with the Tarwaters and all of crazy Cottonbloom a few rooms away. And I’d make it good, Monroe. I’d make your body sing. I’d make you beg before giving you everything you need. Then, you could walk back out into that damn party like nothing happened. No one would know the things you want to do in the dark with a poor, dirty boy from Louisiana.”
Her body sang a song of longing and need. She wanted to stay in the dark with him the rest of the night, but there was something even more important she needed to do. With the effort of separating strong magnets, she pried her body from his, opened the door, and took him by the wrist.
1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?
Explosive! (In reference to the chemistry, sex, humor, and feels.)
2. What would you say inspired you to write it? ?
This was an unusual situation (I think). My editor actually approached me and asked if I would be interested in writing a “summer series.” She really didn’t have a story-line in mind, but she wanted summer to be a strong theme because of the targeted release dates (June, July, Aug). So I got out a paper atlas to decide where to set the book. When I saw the state-line of Louisiana/Mississippi, and knowing the hard-core rivalries between the two states, the idea of a town divided over a state line popped into my head.
3. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it? ?
Because the release dates of these book were set prior to me even having an idea(!), I had *zero* time for writer’s block. In fact, I wrote four full-length books in 2015, including the three in the Cottonbloom series. I wrote nearly every day, even getting up at 5:30 on weekends before the kids. It was slightly insane.
4. Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way? ?
I worked before I had kids, then became a stay-at-home mom for nearly a decade before I wrote my first book. Honestly, becoming an author has given me my sense of self and (most of) my sanity back. I love it so much that I would be writing even if I wasn’t contracted for the books.
5. Was there ever a time, during your work on the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind? ?
This is the thing no one tells you…once you sign a publishing contract, it’s becomes a job. It’s no longer something you can put aside if it’s not going well. I ascribe to the Nora Roberts school of writing, BICHOK (Butt in chair, hands on keyboard.)
6. What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside writing? ?
Drink copious amounts of coffee…see answer to fun facts question below Oh, and I do feed and cart my kids to their various activities.
7. How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect? ?
I drink wine, but I don’t know if I’d advise other authors to do the same! No, seriously, I try to ignore them (and drink).
8. Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series? ?
Kiss Me That Way (Book 1) and Then He Kissed Me (Book 2) and Till I Kissed You (Book 3) are coming back to back to back! It’s the perfect summer read. My hope is that the series will make readers laugh, tear up a little, and end with a big sigh of happiness.
9. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series? ?
Another three-book series set in Cottonbloom is coming your way starting summer 2017 about hot blue-collar brother mechanics. Bring a fan! And, a Christmas novella starring two secondary characters from Cottonbloom will hit virtual shelves in October.
Fun facts: :
1. Coffee or tea? ?
Coffee. I drink close to two pots a day…is that bad?
2. Favorite season? ?
Fall…I love football season!
3. How about fav time of 24 hours? ?
9PM. The kids are in bed and my husband and I can relax and watch some TV.
4. Were you a boyscout/girlscout? ?
I was a girlscout until my parents sent me to a two week sleep-away camp with latrines and then I was like, Nope.
5. Favorite food for breakfast? ?
Country ham and biscuits (I am from Tennessee!)
6. Latest book you’ve bought and read? ?
A Court of Thorn and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. Loved them!
7. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us! ?
Orange (Throwing back to my favorite season, I’m a huge Tennessee Volunteer football fan.)
8. Drama or comedy? ?
Comedy. But, they’re hard to do right. Bridesmaids is a favorite, and I’m looking forward to the Ghostbusters reboot.
9. Have a fav quote or personal motto? ?
Just Keep Swimming…
10. What song have you listened to most recently? ?
I may be slightly obsessed with Sam Hunt…Right now, it’s Make You Miss Me.
1. The one thing you’d do anything to avoid/get out of is… ?
2. You’d immediately fall for someone who… ?
Makes me laugh.
3. The one thing you could/can never get over is… ?
The ending of Lost. I mean, wth?
4. The one thing that always brightens your day is… ?
I feel like I should say my family…but Ellen DeGeneres always makes me laugh in the afternoons. Watching her show every day is probably my guilty pleasure.
5. The most awkward moment in your life happened when… ?
My email got hacked and some jerk sent out a crazy poorly-written email asking for money to my contact list…including all the teachers/principal at my son’s school and a good number of agents that I had queried. I wanted to crawl under the covers and not come out. I think the worst part was several people thought I had actually written something that was sent by an obviously non-English speaking person.
6. The awesomest thing in your life is… ?
Actually having people I don’t know read and love my stories!
About the Author & Links:
Laura Trentham is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance. She is a member of RWA, and has finaled multiple times in the Golden Heart competition. A chemical engineer by training and a lover of books by nature, she lives in South Carolina.