Katiebabs is a self-proclaimed present day bluestocking with her head always in a book. She runs her own book blog called Babbling about Books and More!
Kiss Me That Way (Cottonbloom Novels #1) by Laura Trentham has a small town romance feel featuring a mature couple who have learned a lot in life and used it to their advantage, even though both were on opposite ends of the social spectrum. The heroine was from an upper middle class family, while the hero was known as a river rat, taking care of his younger siblings the only way he knew how after his parents died when he was a teen. The hero appears to have issues with channeling his emotions and lacking self-esteem, which ranges from his childhood even though he successful, has money and his younger brother and sister have excelled in life because of him. The heroine seems to have a perfect life, but her past that deals with an alcoholic mother and her mother's former boyfriend who almost rapes the heroine when she's twelve has motivated her to stand up for herself, and other young girls, including having incredible self defense skills. She also still has a long lasting hero worship or crush on the hero who saved her when she needed it.
Monroe has lived in Cottonbloom all her life. She's an independent woman who loves helping young girls defend themselves against abusers. Monroe was almost a victim when she was twelve when one night her mother's boyfriend tried to tape her. Monroe was able to escape her bedroom unharmed. She comes in contact with Cade, the eldest Fournette sibling who feeds his family by stealing and other illegal activities. But Cade has a good heart. That night Monroe lost her hear to Cade, and they stayed friends until he left a few years later. She then never heard from him again.
Cade has come back. He has made a name for himself in Seattle. He may be a millionaire, or someone with a lot of money, but it's implied and never told straight out. He's at odds with his younger brother and sister because he basically cut himself out of their lives because of his shame of when he was a teenager and to help his family survive. He and Monroe come in contact pretty quickly since she runs a self-defense classes for young girls at Cade's sister's gym. Cade also has hand injury from some extreme sports. Monroe takes it upon herself to help Cade with his physical therapy because that's her profession. One thing leads to another and their bond flares, which in turns becomes an adult attraction that turns into much more for the two.
Monroe still has to deal with her alcoholic mother, including her mother's sketchy ex-boyfriend who is now divorced and back in town, possibly trolling for young girls. Cade has to come to terms with his past, including his relationship with his brother and sister. Also the stain of his teen years in Cottonbloom still haunts him. As soon as he can, he's leaving his hometown behind even though he wants Monroe by his side. Does she go with him or convince him to stay in a place he hates?
The small town vibe is big here in Kiss Me That Way. Monroe and Cade are well written and have great chemistry. Cade's uncle is a real hoot, and Cade's siblings bring a nice dimension to the story. It's obvious they'll have their own romances in the future, specifically with Cade's younger brother Sawyer, the town controller, and Monroe's best friend Regan, who is also the mayor of Cottonbloom. Sawyer and Reagan also have a past that will be fun to read, and to figure out why these two are always swiping at one another when it's obvious they want one another bad.
This is a solid romance that has a little bit of everything from sweet young love, to adult reunions, and steamy kissing and love making.