by Laura Trentham
Cottonbloom Book 3.5
A very Cottonbloom Christmas!
Jeremy Whitehurst has tried to leave his bad-boy behavior and tarnished image behind in Alabama for a fresh start in Cottonbloom, Louisiana. Unfortunately, trouble has dogged him across state lines. Stepping up and protecting a young woman from her abusive boyfriend earned him a beat-down and got him fired. Although the thanks in the girl’s dark eyes made it all worth it, he recognizes she’s just a different kind of trouble. A trouble he’s not sure he can stay away from.
One rebellious summer dented Kayla Redmond’s carefree innocence. Now her focus is on completing her associate’s degree for bookkeeping, and no one is going to derail her plans. Unfortunately, her job at Fournette Brothers Designs puts her in the path of the one man who has seen her at her worst, yet his blue eyes don’t judge her. He sees beyond the brokenness inside of her and rouses her wild side once more. But, that’s what got her in trouble in the first place.
Christmas is coming and Kayla’s ready to forgive herself and take a chance. But the holiday has only ever brought heartache to Jeremy. No Christmas miracle kept his mother clean or out of jail. Will one reckless night and some time spent in the back of a cop car be the best present Jeremy’s ever been given?
Genre: Contemporary RomancePurchase link(s): Amazon ARe BAM iTunes Kobo B&N
Content/Theme(s): Humor, Small Town
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Excerpt & More
“Thanks for making me feel at home. I was super nervous. This is the first grown-up job I’ve ever had,” she said.
“You’ll do great.” He dropped her hand and stepped away, his hands tucked into the pockets of his coveralls, his head down.
The counselor from the Girls at Risk program had told her years ago she needed to seek closure around the situation with Dylan before she could truly move on. Jeremy had played a small but significant role in her drama and maybe the muddy confusion he inspired was because she needed to settle things. “Jeremy?”
He stopped and turned his head, one dark blond brow raised.
She ran her hands down her skirt. “A couple of years ago—I don’t know if you remember—but you helped me and Monroe out of a tight spot, and I never got the chance to thank you.” Truth was she’d had the chance, she just hadn’t had the gumption. But she wanted to do better and be stronger than who she was back then. “So…thank you.”
He faced her once more, his face unreadable.
Her tongue unspooled in the silence. “I was a really dumb kid and dated a jerk. I let him treat me like crap for too long and—” Oh God, tears clogged her throat and stung the back of her eyes making it difficult to continue. She blinked. Crying on your first day of work was totally immature and unprofessional.
“Let him?” He sighed and touched her elbow, an immeasurable sadness around his eyes. “He treated you like crap because he was a piece of crap and took advantage of the fact you were young and naïve. Anyway, you don’t need to explain anything. I was happy to help how I could that night. As bad as the situation was all the way around, it led me here, and this job saved my life.”
His whispered confession arrowed into her chest and her self-pitying tears dried up. “How do you mean?”
“I understand doing stuff you regret and for the wrong reasons. Before I came here…” He shook his head and looked to the floor.
She understood the tarry, clinging nature of shame. It oozed up at inconvenient times and when you least expected it. Their combined shames were almost tangible.
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Other titles by Laura Trentham:
in the Touch
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Be on the lookout for Laura Trentham's future release(s): Light Up the Night coming March 2017 and Leave the Night On coming August 2017
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