Release Date: Jul 31, 2018
Heat Level: Hot
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Set the Night on Fire is the sixth book in the Cottonbloom series by Laura Trentham and can be read as a standalone novel. It follows the story of Ella Boudreaux and Mack Abbott as they move from mutual dislike to love. Ella is a recent divorcee who invested some of her money into a share in the Abbott’s garage. This is the main source of annoyance for Mack – the fact that his eldest brother sold his share of their family garage to a woman he feels is a just a wealthy airhead. Mack vows to buy Ella out again and keep the garage back in the hands of just Abbott family, but Ella is determined to make the most of her new acquisition and position.
This was the first book by Laura Trentham I read, and I really enjoyed it. I do wish that I had read the previous books in this series since there were some references to events that occurred between Ella and Mack in the previous book, so I wish that I had that context. One of my biggest pet peeves with romance novels is the instant love that seems to occur between the characters. What I liked about this story was that the characters and the story was developed so well and I really felt like I was there in Cottonbloom with Ella and Mack watching their love develop and unfold. Ella, in appearances, comes off as an attractive, wealthy airhead so it is easy to dismiss her intellect at the start. Trentham slowly reveals Ella’s abusive past and her talent for business, and Mack really begins to see another side to Ella and acknowledges all of the positive changes that Ella is making to the garage.
We also get to see Mack change and grow throughout the book as well. He starts off as a standoffish and lonely man who cannot get past his history with his brother, to someone that learns to see the good in situations and forgives. He is also very respectful of Ella and slowly helps her to move away from her past insecurities.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book; I loved the town and everyone in it. Trentham gave the perfect small town vibes while reading this book and I will definitely be going back to the start of this series and reading them all.