Jul 31 2017 8:30am

First Look: Laura Trentham’s Leave the Night On (August 1, 2017)

Leave the Night On by Laura Trentham

Laura Trentham
Leave the Night On (Cottonbloom #4)
St. Martin's Press / August 1, 2017 / $7.99 print & digital 

What is it about the girl who never fades from memory? That’s the way Wyatt Abbott has always felt about Sutton Mize—going back to when she was a girl—coming by his family-owned garage with her father, Judge Mize.

Back then, Sutton had been so pretty, he’d alternated between fighting his tied tongue and saying something stupid. Typical, but acutely embarrassing.

Even in as small a town as Cottonbloom, their paths hadn’t crossed since. Not that unusual considering he was from the Louisiana side of the river, and she was from the Mississippi side. More separated them than just a body of water and a few miles.

One day Sutton shows up at Abbott Brothers Garage and Restoration in a sweet cherry-red Camaro convertible. She wants Wyatt to restore it to its former splendor: it will be an engagement gift for Andrew Tarwater, her fiancé. Why are all the good ones taken, Wyatt wonders.

Shockingly, when Wyatt and Sutton clear out the Camaro’s glove compartment and check under the seats, they discover a deal more than spare change and fast food wrappers. Sutton’s eyebrows shoot up when she looks at a pile of restaurant receipts from expensive out-of-town establishments, but a “black, very brief lace thong with a red heart embroidered at the hip” stops her cold. When Wyatt says, “Yours, I assume?” speaking “through a clenched, fake smile,” she knows the truth is anything but.

Sutton stared at the lace concoction. From La Perla’s fall collection. Fine Italian lace. Ridiculously expensive for something so small. A special order with the addition of a small embroidered heart to sit at the owner’s hipbone. Oh yes, she was acquainted with the underwear but not intimately acquainted. She’d ordered them through Abigail’s Boutique, but not for herself.

And while Sutton’s mind is racing and her heart is aching—she knows full well who ordered that red thong—who should show up but “her best, Bree Randall.” Bree, like Sutton’s fiancé, is a lawyer and she’d “been Sutton’s best friend since first grade,” and she has a predilection for expensive lingerie and, seemingly, other people’s fiancés!

“Your fiancé and your best friend?”

Put like that, she felt even dumber. “My life has turned into a cliché.”

“It’s a cliché because of how often it happens. Nothing for you to be ashamed of. It’s them that should feel like chickenshit.”

“You don’t understand how people like to talk.”

“I understand, alright. I just don’t care what people say.” The defiant edge in his voice spoke of his own pain and sorrows, but right now she only had room for her own. He was quiet for a moment. “You want me to get rid of her?”

Sutton accepts Wyatt’s help. She’s not up for a confrontation with her erstwhile bestie. Later she marvels at how Wyatt said exactly the right thing to her to help ease her embarrassment. Perhaps that comforting memory is what leads Sutton to blurt out to her fiancé and best friend that she too has been indulging in a little extracurricular action—with Wyatt. Before the gossip starts flying around Cottonbloom ,Sutton asks Wyatt to come over and she fesses up to what she’s done. Wyatt says no problem—he’s happy to be her boyfriend in name only—and the race is on. While Wyatt is visiting, Bree shows up. What’s a supposed-couple to do? Are you channeling Bonnie Raitt right now? Wyatt sure is.

“Let’s really give them something to talk about, shall we?” Wyatt waggled his eyebrows and stepped toward the door.     

And here comes Andrew. Wyatt asks Sutton if she wants “to rub it in his face.” Does she? Does she dare?

A kiss right here, right now would be on the edge of wild and reckless. Hadn’t she lamented the fact she was too nice and normal and . . . beige. Yep, that’s what she was. Or even worse, maybe taupe.

Wyatt was all color. His energy, his laughter, his impetuousness. She craved color in her life.

Start your engines readers. How long before pretend becomes profound? Before saving face becomes falling in friendship/companionship/lust/love? The pair has a lot in common.Wyatt notices subtle things: Sutton does too. When Wyatt handsells a Sutton Wize original to one of Sutton’s clients—at a Vera Wang price-tag no less—I knew that they were well on their way to a richly deserved HEA. But enjoy the journey! The public burn on a faithless fiancé, the bliss of discovering that a guy from the other side of the river might be just the person to bring back fun and fizzing passion…Leave the Night On is a hot yet sweet treat to enjoy before August turns to September. Hit the beach and take Sutton and Wyatt with you!


Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Leave the Night On by Laura Trentham, available August 1, 2017:

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Janet Webb aka @JanetETennessee moved from the San Francisco Bay to eastern Tennessee. Baseball is my passion: I follow the Chattanooga Lookouts and the Nashville Sounds (farm team of my beloved Oakland Athletics). Social media devotee. Stories on royals and politics catch my eye. Ottawa born. Grew up on Georgette Heyer and Helen MacInnes. I also review at Criminal Element.

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