Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Mini Reviews: Kiss Me That Way & Then He Kissed Me

Title: Kiss Me That Way
Author: Laura Trentham
Book Genre: Adult Contemporary
Release Date: May 31st
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Book Source: NetGalley

Buy Now: Amazon - Barnes & Noble

Goodreads Synopsis:

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?

Review:

I'm personally a huge fan of small town books. Blame it on Gilmore Girls and Stars Hallow really. So whenever I see books on small towns, I find myself drawn, and Cottonbloom is definitely an interesting town to visit!
The cool thing about the town is that it lands on the border between Mississippi and Louisiana that are separated by a river. The older generations of both sides of the town are not really fond of one another, which causes friction between the people and a lot of arguments and debacles.

Cade, born on the Louisiana side, has had to take care of his family until they were old enough not to need him again. So he took off, made a name of himself, and was forced back into town by his brother after he sustained an injury. Cade doesn't have any good memories of his life in Cottonbloom and wants to leave as soon as he has mended himself. Until he finds out Monroe is his physical therapist. Monroe was born on the Mississippi side of Cottonbloom, and even though everyone thinks she's had a glamorous life, it isn't true. But she's always thought of Cade, her Knight in shining armour and how upset she was he'd left town without saying goodbye. As both reconnect, they need to find a middle ground between their warring sides, lives and selves.

I absolutely loved Cade. He's a dark and brooding character who was forced to grow older because of his parents' death and his mountain-load of responsibilities. I especially loved his protectiveness towards Monroe, even when he didn't want to be. I liked the family conflicts and how the story played out. It was such a fun introduction into this new town!

Rating: 3.5/5.




Title: Then He Kissed Me
Author: Laura Trentham
Book Genre: Adult Contemporary
Release Date: June 28th 2016
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Book Source: NetGalley


Goodreads Synopsis:

Can two hearts come together in one divided town?

As a boy, Nash Hawthorne spent countless afternoons on the Louisiana side of Cottonbloom with Tally Fournette, wading in the river, peeling oranges and catching frogs. When illness stole his mother, Nash yearned to take Tally and run away—for good. Instead, he crossed the state line to live with his aunt. It was a short distance as the crow flies, but it swept him into a whole new world…

After Nash left, Tally managed to struggle through her own losses without him. But now that she’s crossed paths with him again—at Cottonbloom College, where the grown-up, gorgeous Nash teaches history—she is reminded of their cherished youthful connection…and an attraction that has only gotten stronger with age. Between Tally’s possessive ex and Nash’s snobbish aunt, no one thinks they belong together. In a town torn apart by old resentments and rivalries, can they find their way back to the life they once shared—and turn their long-lost dreams into a real and lasting love?

Review:

Tally has always rebelled and lashed out growing up to cover up her feelings of inadequacy. Being reunited with her childhood friend Nash fills her with mixed feelings of joy, abandonment, comfort, pain and that she cannot measure up to him. Nash used to be a swamp rat like her, until his aunt took him to the Mississippi side when his mother died and they never got to see each other after that. Not only is he on the rich side, but he's much smarter than she could ever hope to be. Nash has hated the move to the Mississippi side. He missed his best friend, he hated being bullied, and had no friends. But he loved his aunt, and loved the opportunities he was given. Even though he loved traveling, seeing the world, and learning more, he missed Cottonbloom, his aunt and his best friend. Only this time neither of them is ten years old anymore and they can't seem to get back to being just friends.

Nash and Tally's story struck me as similar to Cade and Monroe in some parts, especially since they both shared history (except that everyone knew about their friendship). But I did like the differences with how nerdy and awkward Nash is in comparison to Cade. There were the warring sides, obviously, especially with the festivals going around in the background making interactions between the characters more difficult. 

I really loved the depth behind both chracters and their separate insecurities that almost tore them apart and made it hard for them to see eye to eye on things and do well together. Even though Nash has excelled in academics and made a great future for himself, he still feels like the ten year old boy being bullied for being different. The same with Tally, even though she successfully opened a gym and is looking to expand, her past failure seems to haunt her.

I can't express how much I enjoyed this story (more than the rest in this series so far to be honest). I'm hoping there's more to the series than just the siblings!

Rating: 4/5.

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