Review of When the Stars Come Out

When the Stars Come Out: A Cottonbloom Novel by [Trentham, Laura]

When the Stars Come Out

Laura Trentham

A Cottonbloom Novel

St. Martin’s Paperbacks

January 30, 2018

Cottonbloom. A beautiful, faraway place where a woman can escape her past—and find reason to stay forever in Laura Trentham’s When the Stars Come Out. . .

Willa Brown never planned to stay in Cottonbloom. She was on the way to somewhere else when she landed there and found work at the Abbot brothers’ garage. . .and a sense of comfort and safety that she had never known. The same holds true for Jackson Abbott himself. With one glance in her direction, he can make Willa’s heart melt. But what begins as an unrequited crush turns into something far more powerful than Willa could have ever imagined. . .

Jackson’s most meaningful relationship has always been with his car—and he’s not afraid to admit it. Still, he can’t help but become emotionally entangled with his new star mechanic Willa, who is definitely hiding some dark secrets of her own beneath the hood. Jackson desperately wants Willa to trust him, and to seek protection in his arms. But even as the two slowly surrender to their shared attraction, the danger lurking in Willa’s past remains a stubborn obstacle. Can she open up enough to give them both a chance at having real and lasting love?


Although When the Stars Come Out is the first Laura Trentham novel I’ve read, I know it won’t be the last. This is a solid romance with excellent writing, fleshed out characters, and small town charm.

There isn’t a huge amount of romantic conflict, however, what exists is realistic. Can the distrusting Willa allow herself to trust the man she’s fallen in love with? Since trust is the fundamental basis for any relationship, this worked for me as the impediment.

The Abbott brothers were all winners for me and I’ll probably dig up the preceding novel to read about Wyatt and Sutton’s romance because I liked the bit of Wyatt’s charm that I saw. Jackson is protective, even though Willa seems well able to take care of herself, and thoughtful, which I liked.

The only disappointment was that I expected messiness. There were so many opportunities for messiness to bleed all over the pages yet they never occurred. Which is good, I guess–although it feels a little deceptive and sterile. And, yet, maybe that’s good too. Sometimes we need to read novels in which the bad dreams turn out to be nothing more than bad dreams, the workings of stress and not reality. The silver lining and all of that. Maybe that’s a good enough reason to read romances like this. We can all use a little more light at the end of the tunnel.

Lastly, I was wondering about the title as it had no relevance (seemingly) to the book and meant nothing to me. Lo and behold there’s a country music tune with this as the title and the lyrics fit the book so I’m thinking that’s it. Presumably riddle solved.

And, lastly, lastly, this can definitely be read as a standalone novel. Although I knew there was history, nothing in When the Stars Come Out required that you knew about previous characters or actions.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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rating: 4-butterflies

4 butterflies out of 5 butterflies


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