Title: Till I Kissed You by Laura Trentham
Cottonbloom Series Book Three
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
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?
Till I Kissed You, the final novel in Laura Trentham’s wonderful Cottonbloom series, is a beautiful second chance at love romance.
Regan Lovell and Sawyer Fournette’s complicated past is a major factor in their tempestuous relationship in the present. Their teenage romance ended due to parental interference and a major misunderstanding and although they have avoided one another for years, Regan and Sawyer are joining forces to discover who is trying to sabotage their upcoming festivals. They are currently embroiled in a heated competition to win the contest that would provided much needed funds for projects for the winner’s town. Every time they seem to make progress in putting their animosity behind them, their unresolved issues and personal baggage put Regan and Sawyer at odds time and again.
Regan is the mayor of the Mississippi side of Cottonbloom which is much more affluent than the Louisiana side. In addition to her mayoral duties, she also owns a thriving interior design business. Regan is down to earth, smart and dedicated to improving conditions for her town. She is a little unreasonable when it comes to her failed romance with Sawyer and she is quick to blame him for the vandalism that seems to be targeting the upcoming festival. Their previous relationship remains a sore spot for both of them but until they discuss the most troubling aspects of their break up, misunderstandings frequently arise.
Sawyer is charming, persuasive and well-liked by most everyone who knows him. Although he has come a long way from his humble childhood, he has never quite gotten over feeling like he is not good enough for Regan. While he has put the most of these insecurities behind him, he is surprised when these uncomfortable emotions return and he is never quite certain where he stands with Regan now they are back on speaking terms. Sawyer and Regan frequently walk on egg shells trying to maintain the fragile truce between them. This sometimes leads to each of them jumping to conclusions about the other and their relationship remains quite volatile.
As Sawyer and Regan spend time together, both of them are surprised by the resurgence of those long ago feelings. There is plenty of sexual tension between them and their intense attraction results in some explosive encounters. However, as soon as their passion is sated, uncertainty returns since there is little in depth communication between them. Old hurts and misunderstandings lead to some ugly scenes as Sawyer and Regan lash out in anger which then leads to a cycle of making and breaking up. Childhood insecurities are also a problem for both Sawyer and Regan as is their conviction the other is at fault for their painful break up all those years ago. Who will finally work up the courage to broach these uncomfortable subjects? Will their fragile peace hold long enough to work through their issues? And equally important, can Sawyer and Regan put aside their personal differences long enough to uncover the identity of the person trying to sabotage their festivals?
Till I Kissed You is a poignant novel of healing for both Sawyer and Regan. Emotional, vibrant and filled with passion, this final installment in Laura Trentham’s Cottonbloom series is a heartwarming romance between two wounded yet lovable characters. A sweet epilogue wraps up all of the loose ends and although it is difficult to leave Cottonbloom and its inhabitants behind, this final novel is incredibly uplifting and heartfelt. A must read for fans of small town romances.