by Laura Trentham
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?
I hate to say it but it took me a little bit to get into this book. I absolutely loved the first two in this series (Kiss Me That Way & Then He Kissed Me) and was so excited at the idea of finally getting this couple’s story … and it was because of that that I kept at it until I got hooked. I can’t put my finger on exactly why, maybe it was because I was so anxious to get their HEA that the build-up just got to me, but whatever it was I was very happy that I didn’t give up. Once it did get going I had a hard time putting it down.
I love Sawyer. He’s got a good heart, cares about his family and his community. His only big weaknesses are his feelings for Regan and how his insecurities from his childhood still cause him moments of doubt. Especially with the wealthier ‘Sips (most importantly Regan’s mom).
Regan isn’t my favorite of the heroines but she grew on me as we find out her secrets and fears. She’s a complicated person but she’s spent her whole life hiding every little thing and putting on a “face” for everyone. I think that it causes her to be misunderstood by not only those around her but the readers as well. As we get to see beneath the surface we start to understand her more.
The threat to Regan wasn’t as big of a deal as I expected it to be after having it be a part of all three stories – if you’ve read the others, it pretty much continued on in the same vein, but of course we finally get to find out who is behind it, which worked very well with what we’ve seen so far. I was also thrilled to get the resolution on what happened to Regan & Sawyer all those years ago, causing such bad feelings between the two of them. Unfortunately those emotions are still present and give them all sorts of trouble in the present. But it was fun seeing them try to fight it out!
As is to be expected from Trentham, complex personal interactions and layered personalities are present in the last of the Fournette stories. These stories are so much more than just a romance – it’s the chance to get to know people and love them like family. I’m happy that there are more coming (most especially a HEA for my favorite Alabama transplant) and I definitely am looking forward to the new & sure-to-be interesting characters we will have the pleasure of meeting 🙂
(This is part of a series but can stand on its own with minor overlap to other stories, which are explained well so you can easily keep up if this is your first book.)