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cover84923-mediumThen He Kissed Me

Cottonbloom Novels #2

by Laura Trentham

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?

Do you need to have read Kiss Me That Way to enjoy this story?  No.  But it does help because this is one of those series that are intertwined and each is benefited by the others.

We caught glimpses of Nash and got to know Tally a little bit in the first book so we knew where this one was going to go.  But their histories have so much depth – the way that they had an amazing connection and then lost so much at the same time, being separated and having to go through difficult adolescences alone.  It’s similar to Cade and Monroe, the way that they meant so much to each other as kids but life took them away, only to bring them back together at the right time.  But Trentham makes sure that Tally & Nash have their own individual issues to work through.

Tally has felt stupid for years because she struggled in school.  Unfortunately the death of her parents just compounded what was already turning into a problem for her.  With her flighty uncle Del as her guardian and being raised by her teenage brother as best he could there wasn’t enough attention to get her the help she really needed.  It’s led to a lot of years where she’s felt like a lesser person, even after starting a very successful gym.  Subsequently her choices on a personal level haven’t been exactly the best.  Seeing her childhood best friend again, looking hot and being all smart & charming, definitely doesn’t help her insecurities.

Nash had his own image issues.  Being Nerdy Nash and super smart, he was an outcast at school – picked on or ignored.  Just because he got hot along the way doesn’t mean he’s all that more sure of himself than she is.  He seems to have a better handle on it than Tally does, thanks to finding a home for himself in academia, but he’s got some scars from his teen years that still impact things today … isn’t that always how it is?

I absolutely LOVE how easy it is for these two to reconnect.  They complement each other so well and to have that still there even after all these years leads to the foundation that they need to build something more.  As long as they can get over the fear of what it could mean for their hearts.

Then He Kissed Me is an absolutely freakin’ fantastic story of second-chance love.  Together Tally and Nash are cute and fun, bringing out the best in each other and challenging each other to do something more, to finally lay those last few issues to rest and move into a lasting, grown-up love.

Once again Trentham delivers good-ol’ down-home Southern living with quirky but lovable characters and a love story that will having you sighing with pleasure.  And she gives a little more about Sawyer and Regan – enough that I can’t wait to get my hands on their book next month!