Then He Kissed Me

St. Martin's Paperbacks. (Cottonbloom, Bk. 2). Jul. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9781250077646. pap. $5.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466889804. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Nerdy Nash Hawthorne and scrappy Tally Fournette were childhood best friends until his mother's death sent Nash off to live with his aunt across the river and out of Tally's life. Now, 18 years later, Nash is back in Cottonbloom with a shiny PhD in history and a position at the local college; reconnecting with Tally is at the top of his to-do list. One encounter is all it takes for them to realize their link is still strong—and will become something more—but deep-seated insecurities still haunt them, and they both have a few ghosts to lay to rest. An assortment of diverse personalities add genuineness and spice up the action in a town divided by the river, state lines, and decades-old issues.
VERDICT Appealing protagonists, a heartwarming relationship, and descriptions so vivid one can feel the steamy heat and the river mud between their toes make this a perfect, lazy summer read. Trentham (Kiss Me That Way) lives in South Carolina.

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