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?
“You needed me?” Her voice was husky, and she lifted her gaze the last few inches to meet his, the green as dark and beautiful as a magnolia leaf.
“I do need you.” His whisper hooked her a step closer. His eyes flared and he cleared his throat. “I mean I need your help with my nuts.”
“Your nuts?” She dropped his hand and startled back a step.
“Of the nuts-and-bolts variety.” They both glanced toward his crotch. He scrubbed his hand over his head. Red tinged his cheekbones even as a small laugh stuttered out.
His smile lightened the mark so many desperate years had left and her lips mimicked his instinctively. She would put on a clown costume and hit herself with a cream pie if she could keep a smile on his face forever. She wasn’t sure what that meant, but it couldn’t be good.
“I’d be happy to help with your nuts.”
ARC received from: Netgalley
Trope: Small town romance
One-Sentence Summary: Two people from different sides of the track rediscover an old friendship which grows into something more
Review: This is the first book I’ve read by Laura Trentham and it looks like I chose the right book to try. I fell in love with the characters and setting and before I had even finished, I was already looking forward the two subsequent books in the series.
This book is set in a small Southern town which is divided into two along economic lines. Cade and Monroe come from different worlds but started a blossoming friendship when Cade rescued thirteen year-old Monroe from one of her alcoholic mother’s predatory boyfriends. Cade moved out of town when he was a young adult and is only forced back by his brother and sister to recuperate from an injury.
Monroe and Cade reconnect and grow closer as they help each other work through issues from their past. Throw in Cade’s brother and sister and Monroe’s best friend who will all feature in future books, you have a really well written romance which plays out in an interesting setting.
It lost a star because I felt that whilst Monroe’s job as a physical therapist is what brought Cade back into her life, her job and his injury (especially when he was lifting her up the riverbank) were soon forgotten about. Also I wasn’t sure about the fact that one minute Cade was exploring the idea of staying in Cottonbloom with Sawyer but as soon as Monroe turned up he told her categorically that he was going back to Seattle.
Definitely looking forward to the next book in the series!