Review: Candy Cane Christmas by Laura Trentham

Author: Laura Trentham
Series: Cottonbloom #3.5
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: Swerve
Source: Net Galley
Pages: 90
Reviewer: Elizabeth
Rating: 5 Stars
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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?

Elizabeth's Thoughts
This is a super sweet novella about two previous secondary characters in the Cottonbloom world. We first meet Jeremy and Kayla in Book 1, Kiss Me That Way, Cade Fournette and Monroe Kirby’s story. Monroe taught self-defense classes and Kayla was one of her students. Monroe also had a soft spot for the young lady and made sure Kayla knew that if she ever got into trouble, she could call Monroe.

Well, one night Kayla needed help. Monroe and Kayla were cornered by Kayla’s drunk abusive boyfriend and a good Samaritan came to their rescue in the form of Jeremy Whitehurst. Jeremy sees the women in trouble and intervenes, getting his behind kicked in the process. Kayla never forgot that night…and neither has Jeremy.

We fast-forward a couple of years to present day Cottonbloom. Kayla has gotten her life together and is almost done with her associate’s degree. She’s coming to Fournette Brothers Designs (Cade & Sawyer’s business) to apply for a bookkeeping job. And before she has a chance to head inside, she trips in the parking lot just as Jeremy comes riding in on his motorcycle. She hasn’t forgotten Jeremy’s kindness and although they’ve seen each other over the past two years, they haven’t really shared a connection until he renders first aid on her knee.

Jeremy has been working for Cade Fournette and his brother Sawyer as a mechanic for a while now. He keeps to himself as well as keeping everyone else away. Jeremy had a bad childhood and was labeled a troublemaker early on in his small hometown in Alabama. But he wasn’t. He was just a kid that had to grow up WAY faster than everyone else. Thankfully the Fournette brothers saw his potential and hired him shortly after he saved Monroe and Kayla from an attack.

Jeremy and Kayla have excellent chemistry. I was hoping for their story when I first met them back in Cade’s book! Their story was so special and tugged hard on my heartstrings. Jeremy didn’t believe he deserved happiness, especially a beautiful woman like Kayla in his life. The story kind of hit home for me a bit. I could easily relate to Jeremy and his struggle to accept that he was worthy of being happy. Jeremy and Kayla’s story is well-deserved and beautifully written.

CANDY CANE CHRISTMAS can definitely be read as a standalone or part of the series. It’s a Christmas story full of hope, heart and happiness. Sometimes we need to be smacked upside the head in order to accept the fact that we are not undeserving of happiness. I want to thank Laura Trentham for writing this beautiful book and I can’t wait to find out what she has in story next in this wonderful community of Cottonbloom!

I want to thank the publisher for generously offering me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All conclusions reached are my own.

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