Seduced by Stratton by Katy Regnery
Series: The English Brothers #4
Source: Review by Request
ARC Provided by the Author
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
“Seduced by Stratton” is the fourth of six books about the Philadelphia-based, wildly-handsome English brothers who are all on the look-out for love.
Stratton English, the hottest, youngest, most devastatingly handsome CFO in Philadelphia, has a problem: women make him nervous. Really nervous. Catastrophically nervous. Socially awkward to an extreme, he’s apt to blurt out the first thing that comes to mind, and it’s rarely something a woman wants to hear. Quietly in love with his neighbor, Amy, he has no idea how to make his move, but he is committed to figuring out a way to seduce her.
Valeria Campanile, who Stratton knows through one of his four brothers, is a PhD candidate who moonlights as a dance instructor on the side. Ironically, even though Val studies Courtship Rituals, she can’t seem to find herself courted. Pursued by boys from the “old neighborhood” who promise to overlook the fact that she’s so smart, she longs to meet someone who romances her mind as well as her heart.
When Stratton helps Valeria with a financial problem, she is anxious to return the favor. But will Stratton, who needs Val’s expertise to win Amy, find himself seducing Val instead?
Buy this Book:
Step One: Meet Stratton English
Step Two: Die of Swoons
Somewhere along the way Stratton had confused helping someone with loving them. All boiled down? It meant that Stratton English, who was attracted to Valeria, despite his best intentions, and who seemed to genuinely like her, wasn’t actually unavailable. He was available. He just didn’t know it.
I’ve fallen in love with the fourth oldest English Brother.
He’s not the intense, brooding, alpha-male type…
He’s the quiet, studious, socially awkward type.
His brothers say he’s perpetually “friend-zoned” by the women he goes after.
They’ve never seen him with a girlfriend, but that doesn’t mean Stratton lacks romantic entanglements. As a matter of fact, he gave his heart to his neighbor two years ago. Not that she um… knows that…
Stratton’s neighbor Amy Colson is dating the biggest cheating ass in all of Philadelphia. Etienne Rousseau’s despicable behavior toward women is legendary – in fact, he deflowered the English Brother’s cousin Kate when she was a teenager and bragged about his conquest to the entire school. Etienne received quite a beat-down from Alex English back in high school for that particular bit of disrespect – 10ish years later, and it’s Stratton who wants to take his fists to that obnoxious French prick.
Etienne hasn’t changed much. Everyone but Amy knows that he’s unfaithful. She runs to Stratton each and every time her boyfriend breaks her heart and Strat consoles her with ice-cream, rom-coms, and his unspoken devotion.
But Amy always goes back to Etienne…
For two whole years they’ve been doing this dance…
What he needed was a professional. A master of seduction. Someone well-versed on courting rituals with heaps of knowledge.
Stratton has a plan. He’s going to seduce Amy away from Etienne. It’s a noble quest, and it sounds good in theory, but Strat is terrible when it comes to talking to the fairer sex. Hundreds of self-help books on his Kindle are not boosting his confidence and he’s too embarrassed to ask his brothers for advice.
A fate would have it, knows an expert… Sort of…
What a joke. A woman who studies courting rituals can’t seem to find herself courted.
Val is getting her PhD in Early American Courting Rituals. She’s the roommate of Emily who is now engaged to Barrett, the oldest English Brother. Valeria is working her way through college by teaching classes at her aunt’s dance school.
Somehow Stratton gets drafted to put his business genius to good use by saving the dance school. While working together to sort through Val’s aunt’s finances, Stratton discovers she has the expertise to help him win Amy. And once he successfully streamlines the dance school’s finances she’ll owe Stratton a favor.
The new plan: Convince Valeria to help him win Amy’s affections.
The Problem: He’s wildly attracted to the curvy Italian, and she seems to reciprocate.
Stratton can’t let himself fall for Valeria, no mater how perfect she seems to be for him. He has a responsibility to his Amy… Not that she knows that she’s his yet…
Valeria can’t figure out why Stratton is sending so many mixed signals. Yes, he’s hopelessly awkward, but he can’t hide the desire in his eyes when he looks at her…
This book contains HIGH levels of gorgeous Romance.
Beautiful love letters and grand gestures.
Two people with no brain-to-mouth filter.
Plus all the warmth, laughter, and love I’ve come to expect from Katy Regnery!
Stratton had finished most of his work for the day and instead of starting a new project at four-thirty, he took out his Kindle and spent a little time reviewing the ten rules for seduction in his latest book:
Make a Connection
Get Close to Her
A Little Quarrelling Can Be Good
Say No Once in a While
Build the Sexual Tension
Channel Your Inner Romantic
Have an Intimate Conversation
Ask Her Out
Make Your Move
Stratton sighed heavily, taking out a sheet of paper and writing them down. In college, at Columbia University in Manhattan, he’d found this an excellent technique for storing knowledge. But as he wrote the words, he reviewed the actions, and his heart felt progressively heavier and more defeated.
He’d already bombed out on rules one and two last night by hitting Amy in the hip with a smelly garbage bag. What about the rest…?
A Little Quarrelling Can Be Good. Really? That made no sense to Stratton. Was the advice that he should pick a fight with her? Why? How could fighting with someone lead to anything good? Sheer nonsense.
Say No Once in a While. Why would he say no to the woman he loved? What if she called feeling sad, needing him, and he said no to her? It would hurt her feelings. Maybe she’d even turn to someone else. That sounded like terrible advice.
Build the Sexual Tension. He couldn’t count the times he’d thought about putting his arm around Amy as she sat beside him on the couch eating ice cream, but since she was always in such a fragile state over Étienne, it seemed underhanded. They didn’t get together when she was feeling flirty and receptive. They got together when she was red-nosed and weepy. It simply wasn’t the optimal time to build sexual tension—if Stratton had the first idea of how to do so in the first place.
Be Direct. No problem. He grinned. Finally one that he could handle.
But then he stopped grinning, because while his modus operandi was being direct, around Amy, he wasn’t. Last night when she told him she suspected that Étienne was cheating on her, he tried to be direct, but she’d looked so hurt, he’d changed tactics immediately and lied. Being direct was a lot harder than it seemed.
Channel Your Inner Romantic. This one actually had quite a lot of appeal to Stratton. He’d had a lot of time to figure out the ways he’d romance Amy once she was free of Étienne. He moved on to the next rule.
Have an Intimate Conversation.
What the—Intimate? Like about deep and important things? Or with dirty words? His mind short-circuited. He didn’t know how to “talk dirty” to a woman. Did that mean to say the sorts of things they said in porn movies? Like, maybe he should rent some porn movies and memorize some dirty sentences? He wished the author had defined “intimate” to mean “deep thoughts” because he felt very annoyed and uncertain about the advice.
He wrote down the words Ask Her Out and Make Your Move, but he was feeling so deflated, he stared at the list like a fat alpaca would stare at Everest. If this is what it took, than seducing Amy away from Étienne would be impossible. Unless…
Unless he had a coach. Like Alex, but not Alex because Stratton couldn’t stand the teasing. Plus Alex was too far away and wouldn’t take it seriously. Hmm. Barrett? No. Barrett wasn’t especially smooth himself, and while Fitz seemed pretty smooth, he was about to get married. He couldn’t be Stratton’s wingman. That left Weston, who was studying furiously for the bar exam, which he’d be taking the week after Fitz’s wedding. As far as brothers went, Stratton was shit out of luck.
Not to mention, he wasn’t sure that—aside from Alex—his brothers were all that adept at seduction. He wondered if their success actually had more to do with luck and fate than skill. He suspected that it did. Heck, they’d all ended up with women who’d been important to them in their childhoods or adolescence. Stratton was breaking new ground altogether. What he needed was a professional. A master of seduction. Someone well-versed on courting rituals with heaps of knowledge. Étienne was a formidable rival and since Amy hadn’t shown any concrete interest in Stratton on a romantic level, it was going to take a full-scale attack to get her to see him in a new light and leave her piece-of-shit boyfriend.
He looked back at the book, skimming the chapter after “Make Your Move” entitled “Seeking Help,” and his eyes latched onto the sentence: “Practice with a female friend.” Huh. Not a coach to guide him, but a friend on whom to test and perfect his moves, and maybe get some feedback about his technique. He nodded at his Kindle, appreciating the simple logic of the advice, but then he grimaced. While it was a good idea that had merit, Stratton didn’t have any female friends aside from Emily, Daisy, and Jessica, and he couldn’t imagine Barrett, Fitz, or Alex taking kindly to him practicing his seduction techniques on their women. He could call his cousin Kate, but she lived in New York, and anyway, she was his cousin. He sat back in his chair, tenting his fingers under his chin in thought and frustration when his phone buzzed.
About the Author:
Katy Regnery, Amazon bestselling author, has always loved telling a good story and credits her mother with making funny, heartwarming tales come alive throughout her childhood. A lifelong devotee of all romance writing, from Edwardian to present-day, it was just a matter of time before Katy tried her hand at writing a love story of her own.
As it turned out, one love story turned into a series of six Heart of Montana romances, following the love lives of the Yellowstone-based Lindstrom siblings. When Katy’s fans asked her to turn up the heat, she wrote the New Adult/Adult Contemporary hybrid romance, Playing for Love at Deep Haven, which offered steamier romance to her readers. Katy is also proud to offer The Vixen and the Vet, a standalone romance that benefitted Operation Mend, an organization that helps heal the returning wounded of our armed services. The English Brothers is Katy’s second series and first indie series.
Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, and two dogs create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories of all are the messy and unexpected ones.