by Laura Trentham
Series: Cottonbloom #6
Published on July 31, 2018 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Romance
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?
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A lot of my love for this book comes down to Ella. She’s that go-get-’em type of woman who doesn’t let anyone stand in the way of what she wants. A bit stubborn at times, but also intelligent and thoughtful. She came off the page as a really well-rounded character that I instantly connected with. There were times that I was a bit frustrated with her as she tended to jump the gun during arguments and a negative attitude permeated the first part of the story. Yet I think she was still my favorite of the two.
But as this is a romance, there’s another character in the mix. This time it’s’ Mack Abbot’s turn. So far 2 of this 3 brothers have gotten their happy endings and it makes sense in the flow of the story that Mack comes next. But I wasn’t as happy with Mack, to be honest. He had his moments but I felt like the whole I’m-mean-because-I-like-you shtick was childish and not appealing to read in the least. It worked overall between the two of them but I was less fond of his character. Though the fact that he used Pinterest was pretty adorable.
Beyond their relationship (which had plenty of heat, for anyone wondering), I really like how Trentham puts a strong focus on family in these books. Each story has brought the Abbott family closer together but has also added new members to that group, each with something to contribute without losing themselves in the shuffle of the various relationship stories. Even with Ella and Mack, there was the constant family vibe as they helped each other through their own emotional baggage, both past and present. It wasn’t just a romance.
I haven’t read the first 3 Cottonbloom novels but I’d definitely recommend reading #4-6 in order. These cover the Abbott brothers and are very interconnected, especially in Set the Night on Fire as the previous two books play a role in the brothers’ relationships with their significant others as well as with each other. But you could still read this one on its own and be okay.
Overall, this is another great small-town romance in the Cottonbloom series. I’ve enjoyed all the books I’ve read by Laura Trentham so far and plan to keep reading whatever else she puts out!