Review Tour: When the Stars Come Out by Laura Trentham + Excerpt & Giveaway!


When the Stars Come Out
A Cottonbloom Novel
by Laura Trentham
January 30, 2018

Visit Laura's website HERE for a complete list of participating blogs and reviewers!




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?



“I’ll have a pork plate and sweet tea to go.” Willa did a mental calculation for tax and pulled out two fives. More than she should spend, but her stomach vetoed any protest.
Now not only was she saving to fix her car, but she needed a cushion. If she had to move, money was a necessity. Any decent place required a deposit for rent. Not to mention utilities. And how long would it take her to find another job that didn’t require her Social Security number or real name? The thought made her stomach hurt from something other than hunger.

“Make that two for here, Rufus, and I’m buying.”

Willa spun around. Jackson Abbott’s chest filled her vision. The animallike noises her stomach was making must have drowned out his approach.

“Sure thing, Jackson.” Rufus favored them with a grin and turned to dole out barbeque, baked beans, and slaw.

She tucked her hair behind her ear, feeling intensely vulnerable without her steel-toed work boots, coveralls, and ball cap. Her flip-flops, worn-out jeans with a rip at one knee, and a black T-shirt with the emblem of a band she’d never listened to were from the thrift shop down the street.

“You don’t have to pay.” When she found her voice, it was breathy.

“I want to.” His words were low and rumbly and sexy, and she resisted the urge to lay her cheek against his chest, desperate to have someone, anyone, to lean on, even for a moment. Obviously, hunger was impeding her mental faculties.

In the two years she’d lived in Cottonbloom, she’d never run into Jackson outside of the garage. Her forays to secretly watch him race didn’t count since he’d never noticed her. The only place she was a regular was at the library, because it offered free Internet and entertainment—two things she couldn’t afford to waste money on.

Her mental faculties slipped further away as she allowed her gaze to wander over his shoulders before rising. He’d showered, his damp hair darker than its usual rich brown, but hadn’t shaved, his stubble even more pronounced from the afternoon. The scent of soap and clean laundry was mouthwatering in a different way than the barbeque was. The butterflies in her stomach did a slow bump and grind. God, she was hungry for so many things.

© by Laura Trentham




Laura Trentham’s Cottonbloom books are some of my very favorite contemporary romance stories. I love the dynamics and the characters and the opposites attract romances so much! Each couple fighting for happiness and a love that’s all their own. And when a new Cottonbloom book comes out, I can’t wait to return to the familiarity of this diversely divided town where local yokels, quilting club busybodies, upper-crust snobs, southern belles and bad boys call home.

Willa and Jackson’s story was sweet, sexy and a little frustrating. Frustrating in that Willa is hiding some secrets and is very skittish. Jackson doesn’t want to lose Willa because she’s a gifted mechanic. But soon, he realizes that there’s more to Willa than her greasy coveralls and oversized ballcap. She’s special.

Jackson is a swoon-worthy hero and it’s not just his killer smile and muscular physique that will keep readers turning the pages for more! He’s a hard worker, genuine, honest and, like his brother Wyatt, has a heart of gold!

Willa is a mysterious heroine. She’s quiet, hardworking and carrying an enormous amount of guilt. She doesn’t feel she deserves happiness. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of hers. I think Jackson and Willa are a great match, but I wasn’t very excited about her backstory and how her secrets and past unfolded.  I did, however, absolutely love the ending!

And I was so happy to read about my boyfriend Mack 😊 He works too hard, worries too much and needs me to warm his bed at night! I’m heartbroken he’ll get a different happily ever after. She better be good to him is all I’ve got to say!

WHEN THE STARS COME OUT is another wonder story by the equally wonderful Laura Trentham. I recommend this and every book in the Cottonbloom series.

I was gifted a paperback ARC in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own.


New to the series? Read it from the beginning!


A river divides Cottonbloom in two: the upscale enclave on the Mississippi side and the rundown, rough and tumble side in Louisiana. They’re worlds apart—but nothing can build a bridge like love…

Cade Fournette never had it easy Cottonbloom. He stuck around long enough to raise his orphaned siblings and then hightailed it out West—and never looked back. Even though he’s made a success of himself in Seattle, Cade never lost the toughness and the angry edge that helped him survive down South. His only weak spot: the girl he left behind…

Monroe Kirby came from the wealthy side of town, but that didn’t protect her from her mother’s drinking—or her mother’s boyfriend. It was Cade who did that, on a long-ago hot September night, before he disappeared…along with a piece of her heart. Now Monroe is a physical therapist who can fight for herself, and it’s Cade who could use some conditioning when he makes an unexpected return back home. Will he and Monroe pick up where they left off and finally explore their mutual passion—or will the scars and secrets of the past divide them once more?



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?



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?



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?



When a police chief who craves stability meets a free-thinking, colorful college professor, neither anticipate the fireworks that light up the night... 

After a mugging in grad school left her with an irrational fear of the night not even her PhD in psychology has helped overcome, Sadie Wren is sure she’s found an idyllic, safe place in Cottonbloom. When a break-in at her house shatters her sense of safety, gruff, protective Thaddeus Preston storms into her life. On the surface, they have little in common, but a loneliness she’s only too familiar with hides behind his infrequent smiles. But based on her knowledge of the human psyche, Sadie is convinced her infatuation with Thad will burn out as quickly as it flared. 

As the Chief of Police of Cottonbloom, Mississippi, Thaddeus Preston maintains a strict control on everything in the small town—himself included. With an older brother serving time for a crime Thad committed when he was just a kid, he lives a life of penance, not allowing anyone to get close. When a reported lurker turns into a real threat, Thad is determined to restore order as quickly as possible and get back to his virtual jail. 

But Thad’s brother gets out on probation just as Sadie and the town turns to him for protection. His tidy, barren life spins into chaos, and the only thing that makes sense is the one woman who shouldn’t.
Light Up The Night is a FREE eBook!



Love, betrayal, and sweet revenge—life in Cottonbloom is about to get a whole lot hotter . . .

Sutton Mize is known for lavishing attention on the customers who flock to her boutique on the wealthy side of her Mississippi town. So when she finds a lace thong in her fiancé’s classic cherry-red Camaro, she knows just who she sold it to: her own best friend. In an instant, Sutton’s whole world goes up in flames. . .

Wyatt Abbott has harbored a crush on Sutton since he was a young kid from the other side of the tracks. He witnessed Sutton’s shocking discovery in the Camaro at his family-owned garage—and it made him angry. What kind of man could take lovely, gorgeous Sutton for granted? But then Sutton comes up with an idea: Why not give her betrothed a taste of his own medicine and pretend that she’s got a lover of her own? Wyatt is more than happy to play the hot-and-heavy boyfriend. But what begins as a fictional affair soon develops into something more real, and more passionate, than either Sutton or Wyatt could have imagined. Could it be that true love has been waiting under the hood all along? 




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?



Coming July 2018... Mack's Story!

Cottonbloom is the perfect place for starting over, finding your way back home--and falling head over heels. . .

Ella Boudreaux has a lot to prove to her family, friends, and foes--and to herself. So when her marriage ends she decides to invest her energy and money into a place that brings back some of Ella's happiest memories: the Abbott brothers' garage. Maybe, if she puts her mind to it, she can teach skeptical, stubborn Mack Abbott how to make the business a true success. Which would be a lot easier if the hunky mechanic didn't make her motor run quite so fast...and hot.

Mack was furious when his brother, Ford, sold his share of the business. He's in no rush to team up with a wealthy divorcee who shows up to the garage in stilettos--and the longest, sexiest legs he's seen in forever. But Ella's grit and determination won't quit...and soon Mack can see that she's been down a few rough roads herself. Neither Mack nor Ella can deny the fierce attraction that's revving up between them. Could it be that true love has been in the backseat all along...and they've finally found the key?













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.




Enter to win the first four (4) books in the Cottonbloom series!


No comments:

Post a Comment