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Short Excerpt #1
A countdown had started, and now the end was in sight.
If she was going out, she might as well go out with a bang. Well, not a literal bang. That was out of the question. Although now the thought had been planted, she had a good idea what her dreams would entail that night.
Short Excerpt #2
Willa Brown had been his right-hand woman in the shop for the last two years, and he’d taken her for granted. Treated her as if she were a high-end tool like his favorite socket wrench or air hammer. Always there and reliable. She was easy to be around, logical, sane. Funny even.
But now, for the first time, he recognized her as a flight risk. He couldn’t lose her.
Short Excerpt #3
Tentatively, she ran her fingertips over the back of his hand. He didn’t flinch away from her touch. In fact, his fist loosened enough for her tuck her fingers around his palm for a squeeze. It was like she’d plugged into an electric socket, the zip of energy raising the hairs on the back of her neck.
She’d touched him before of course. They passed tools back and forth with utilitarian expediency. This was different. Compassionate and tender. His hand was strong and the calluses spoke of hard work and expertise.
Short Excerpt #4
“Because I’m interested in someone else.”
Two more steps and her back hit the wall with nowhere else to go. He caged her in, his hands flat next to her shoulders. She trailed her gaze from one of his big, callused hands up his roped forearm and the bulge of his biceps to his eyes.
She might be naïve and in denial, but she wasn’t dumb. The last two weeks of dancing around one another had led her to one startling and unexpected conclusion. Finally, Jackson saw her as a woman and wanted her. It was the stuff of her dreams and nightmares.
A Bit Longer Excerpt #1
“Short hair suits you. It’s—” He looked to the ceiling for a moment before dropping his gaze back to hers. “Spunky. Unique.”
Spunky? It made her think of an annoying, precocious child. The expression on her face must have been obvious.
His laugh rumbled like the leading edge of a storm, still miles away with plenty of time to take shelter. Yet all she wanted was to stand still and wait for the onslaught.
“Okay, how about tough and sexy?”
Sexy? The assessment was like a lightning bolt. Sizzling and scary. She had a difficult time coordinating her throat muscles. Her ability to handle men and attraction had been stunted at nineteen, and she felt her inexperience keenly. Her goal the past five years had been to hide her sexy.
A Bit Longer Excerpt #2
“I’m not a damn car.” Anger heated her voice.
“I know that.”
“Do you?” She stopped and he turned to face her. “You haven’t spared a thought about how much you pay me or what I wear or why fall is my favorite season for two years.”
“I know and that’s my bad. I should have been paying more attention to you.”
She made a scoffing sound. That’s exactly what she didn’t need. Everything depended on her staying under the radar. “You want to fix me like I’m some broken-down car. Or fix my problems or whatever. But that’s not how people work. Maybe I’m unfixable.”
Half his face was in shadows from the setting sun. Even in the best of times it was difficult to get a read on his mood, but the roughness in his voice was more pronounced than usual. “I don’t want to fix you. I want to help you. I want you to trust me.”
When the Stars Come Out
A Cottonbloom Novel
By Laura Trentham
Cottonbloom. A beautiful, faraway place where a woman can escape her past—and find reason to stay forever in Laura Trentham’s When the Stars Come Out. . .
Willa Brown never planned to stay in Cottonbloom. She was on the way to somewhere else when she landed there and found work at the Abbot brothers’ garage. . .and a sense of comfort and safety that she had never known. The same holds true for Jackson Abbott himself. With one glance in her direction, he can make Willa’s heart melt. But what begins as an unrequited crush turns into something far more powerful than Willa could have ever imagined. . .
Jackson’s most meaningful relationship has always been with his car—and he’s not afraid to admit it. Still, he can’t help but become emotionally entangled with his new star mechanic Willa, who is definitely hiding some dark secrets of her own beneath the hood. Jackson desperately wants Willa to trust him, and to seek protection in his arms. But even as the two slowly surrender to their shared attraction, the danger lurking in Willa’s past remains a stubborn obstacle. Can she open up enough to give them both a chance at having real and lasting love?
Praise for When the Stars Come Out
“The fifth installment in the Cottonbloom series, following Leave the Light On (2017) is hot and sweet, and readers will cheer for Willa and Jackson. Fans of Kristan Higgins and Susan Mallery will love the immersive world that Trentham has created in Cottonbloom, a small southern town divided by the Mississippi River.” Booklist
“When the Stars Come Out is a tender and sexy small-town tale of blossoming love.” BookPage
Returning to Cottonbloom has never been sweeter, When The Stars Come Out is pure literary magic, it’s sure to have readers mesmerized from start to finish!! Red’s Romance Reviews, 5 stars
An award-winning author, Laura Trentham was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee. Although, she loved English and reading in high school, she was convinced an English degree equated to starvation. She chose the next most logical major—Chemical Engineering—and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years.
She writes sexy, small town contemporaries and smoking hot Regency historicals. KISS ME THAT WAY, Cottonbloom Book 1, won the Stiletto Contest for Best Long Contemporary and finaled in the National Readers Choice Award. THEN HE KISSED ME, Cottonbloom Book 2, was named an Amazon Best Romance of 2016 and was a finalist for the National Excellence for Romance Fiction. TILL I KISSED YOU, Cottonbloom Book 3, is a finalist in the Maggie contest. LEAVE THE NIGHT ON, the latest Cottonbloom book, was named an iBooks Best Book of the Month and a Recommended Read from NPR.
When not lost in a cozy Southern town or Regency England, she’s shuttling kids to soccer, helping with homework, and avoiding the Mt. Everest-sized pile of laundry that is almost as big as the to-be-read pile of books on her nightstand.
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Enter to win the first four (4) books in the Cottonbloom series!
Kiss Me That Way, Book 1
Then He Kissed Me, Book 2
Till I Kissed You, Book 3
Leave the Night On, Book 4