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    Cute read

    A wonderfully sweet holiday read that will leave you smiling. Laura Trentham takes us back to Cottonbloom with the story of Jeremy Whitehurst. He was a troubled bad boy back in Alabama but since coming to Louisiana and working for Fournette Brothers Designs he's shed is bad boy image and started over. All his hard work is put to the test when the sassy new bookkeeper at Fournette's shows up. Jeremy has never been too fond of the holidays but this Christmas might be his best ever! A really cute short read that will brighten your day. I definitely recommend it.
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    Sweet Holiday Novella

    I’ve been waiting a long time for Jeremy to get a HEA and Trentham delivers beautifully. She gives us all of his background info that we’ve been waiting for, plus forgiveness and a chance at something more than just living for him. Jeremy’s been beating himself up for his bad decisions for a long time but he’s proven himself to be a better man, to have learned from his past. Now he just has to realize it :) Kayla also has a little self-forgiveness to do and to realize that bad choices don’t define us. Like Jeremy, it’s what you do from then on that’s important. While there isn’t a lot of conflict here, the growth that they go through is just as important. It’s a Christmas novella so there’s the requisite heart and emotion, learning and moving forward, fresh starts and healing old wounds … but of course with Trentham flair! She’s not going to give us just any old holiday cheer – ours has leather, motorcycles and cop cars just to keep things hopping. (Honest review given voluntarily after receipt of this ARC)
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    sweet holiday novella

    Candy Cane Christmas is a lovely short holiday novella, set in Cottonbloom, Louisiana with characters that touch on the settings of both the Cottonbloom and the Falcon Football series by this author. I’ve read one of the football series and quite enjoyed it, but hadn’t read any of the Cottonbloom ones yet, so the secondary characters were not particularly familiar to me but the story reads well as a standalone. Kayla has embarrassing memories of the night Jeremy saved her from her abusive ex, but he’s been in her thoughts on occasion since then. Interviewing for a job at Fournette Brothers Designs (run in part by her good friend Monroe’s husband), she knows that if she gets the job, she’ll have to face Jeremy on a daily basis as he has a job there as a mechanic. Jeremy had a rough upbringing, and got into several scrapes with the law, so having a full time job with men who have taken a chance on him is something he cherishes. He and Kayla have both experienced emotional heartache and abuse, and neither judges the other as a result, making them soon on the path to friendship. Can it turn into something more, with a little holiday sparkle to brighten the way? The attraction between Jeremy and Kayla, now that they meet again under better circumstances is clear from the outset. But both are shy and hesitant to get involved for obvious reasons, not the least of which is concerns about how working at the same business would affect a relationship. Kayla is just finishing her college degree in accounting and this will be her first big break, so she can’t afford to screw things up. But their friendship soon leads to more and some sexy scenes as a result. While Jeremy doesn’t believe in Christmas, having had very poor experiences with his mother as a child (a woman who is now in jail), Kayla is able to ease him back into the holiday spirit. There are some sweet scenes too as they share their pasts and trust their secrets with each other. It’s kept fairly lighthearted even with the emotional undertones, and has a lovely happy ending suitable for this young couple. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. 3.5 stars.
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    Wonderful Christmas Story!

    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! ***ARC generously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All conclusions reached are my own***
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