Kiss Me Kate by Katy Regnery
Series: The English Brothers #6
Source: Review by Request
ARC Provided by the Author
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Kiss Me, Kate is the sixth of six books about the Philadelphia-based, wildly-handsome English brothers (and one lovely cousin!) who are all on the look-out for love.
Kate English, cousin to the beguiling English Brothers, has relocated to Philadelphia and now works with her cousins at English & Company. The problem with moving to Philly? It was where Kate met her first love, Etienne Rousseau. Since the move, Kate can’t seem shake the painful memories of a romance that broke her heart.
Etienne Rousseau, neighbor and arch-enemy of the English family, is recently single and has every intention of enjoying his newly-minted bachelor-status. That is…until his brother inks a deal with English & Company, forcing Etienne to work with his one-time lover, Kate English. Though he wants to hate the girl who once destroyed his life, he can’t deny the fierce attraction or hide the deep tenderness he still feels for Kate.
With vibrant flashbacks of their passionate, teenage love affair making it impossible to ignore their unresolved history, Kate and Etienne will commit to unraveling the secrets of their heartbreaking past to make way for a breathtaking future.
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‘Tis better to have loved and lost: Than never to have loved at all.
…It is even better to find your lost love again and remember all the reasons you fell so hard the first time.
“Can you fall in love with someone when you’re fifteen and pick up years later?” she whispered.
“I hope so,” he said softly, his lips moving against her skin. “Let’s find out.”
Yet another gorgeous Romance from Katy Regnery…
I’ll admit I was a little worried when I started this book. We had five beautiful books in this series which told how each and every English Brother found love. All of the brothers were wildly different, but they had several things in common:
When they fall in love, they do it deeply,
They’re each committed to the English Family,
The Brothers are protective, and honorable,
And they HATE Étienne Rousseau for breaking their cousin’s heart when they were teenagers…
It was so incredibly easy get on board with the English brothers in defending the lovely young Kate against the philandering asshole Étienne. We had five whole novels to learn how to despise him.
It took Katy Regnery only one book to make us realize that we shouldn’t have judged him so harshly…
Somewhere inside Étienne was the fifteen-year-old who’d loved her more than he’d ever loved anyone else, before or since.
Oh man… I had all of the feels with this book and it absolutely warmed my heart to watch this story unfold.
I think it really speaks to the talent of Katy Regnery that she could make me fall in love with a character I’d thoroughly disliked before starting the book.
It turns out that there was so much more of Kate and Étienne’s teenage tryst than even the English brothers knew…
There was a definite Romeo & Juliet theme spinning throughout the story – The English Family and the Rousseaus have a long standing hatred of each other… Granted, it’s a very polite hatred now that everyone has grown up and joined their parents in the ranks of Philadelphia’s wealthy elite… But make no mistake, fists flew, blood fell, and the old grudges persist.
…you never really got over your first, she thought bitterly. Especially when you move back to the city where it all happened.
Kate is the treasured cousin of the English Brothers and the only female in a generation of boys. Her parents were overbearing, and she was surrounded by cousins who both adored her and wanted to protect her from heartache.
That protective nature never really let up, even as Kate grew into a woman. Now she’s practicing law at the English & Co. firm. She’s an independent woman… even if she is on the verge of becoming a cat lady who silently stalks her ex-boyfriend on Facebook…
At the tender young age of fifteen, Kate was visiting her cousins over spring break. That was when she fell fast and hard for the gorgeous french neighbor boy, Étienne Rousseau. When Kate went back to New York, she left behind her virginity and all the precious memories of young love…
We know quite a bit of her story as told through her cousins’ POVs in the previous books… Rumors swirled about Étienne and “Easy English” – Fights broke out, revenge was had, lives were changed, and Kate English was kept in the dark about all of it.
Kate never saw or heard from Étienne again. All those beautiful memories turned sour and crippled her self-confidence.
Twelve years later, Kate is back in Philadelphia and working for English & Co. which is trying to broker a huge deal with the Rousseau Trust. As legal council for the company, Kate must liaise with her counterpoint at Rousseau Trust… Which just happens to be the one and only Étienne Rousseau.
Several of the English brothers step in to block the deal and thereby prevent fragile cousin Kate from dealing with this specter from her past, but Kate won’t hear any of it. This deal is too big for the company to back out of because of a teenage romance gone bad. Besides, she can’t pass up the opportunity to lay eyes on Étienne after all this time.
His throbbing heart should have signaled danger, because falling can hurt and he wasn’t just falling, he was slipping, sliding, plunging, and tumbling. He was hurtling headlong toward Kate English with every breath he drew, with every sweet word she spoke.
The boy who Kate fell in love with has grown into an even more amazing man. He retained his quiet nature, he still paints, and the chemistry between them is impossible to ignore.
Étienne is not the man that everyone seems to think he is. Until this point in his life, he didn’t particularly care about the false rumors which followed him everywhere. He knew the truth, to hell with everyone else. And yet, it is suddenly very important that Kate knows he is not the man that rumors have made him out to be.
Kate and Étienne discover the combination of events which separated them when they were so young. In order to move forward with their lives, they must face the old heartache head-on.
Throughout this story, Katy Regnery incorporated flashbacks flawlessly – it was like watching these two characters fall in love twice.
This has been such a lovely series and I’m positively thrilled to know that there will be spinoffs for several other families who grew up on Blueberry Lane! *sigh*
“Étienne,” said Jax, drawing his attention to the girl with the blonde hair with a wave of her hand, “this is Kate. Kate English.”
Étienne looked at her as she turned around slowly. As she moved, a cloud slid away from the moon, illuminating the trampoline, creating a moonlight halo out of her hair.
“Hi,” she said, offering him a shy smile as she pushed a lock of gold behind her ear.
Étienne felt like he’d been sucker punched, because suddenly his lungs were depleted, frozen and still as he stared at her. His fingers twitched by his sides, wanting to touch that lock of soft blonde hair, wanting to gently brush his fingertips against the perfect shell of her ear. His lungs burned as he stared back at her, unsmiling, shocked by his reaction to this unknown girl.
He opened his mouth to say hello, but he couldn’t seem to form the word, so he closed his lips, watching her eyes trail down his face and rest on his mouth for several moments before skating back to his eyes.
“I’m Kate,” she said, her smile widening just a touch, even though he hadn’t offered her any encouragement.
His hand moved of its own volition, reaching out to her, and she answered his invitation, raising her own hand and enveloping his with her cool, soft skin.
Maybe it was the moonlight…or the soft, wet grass…or the clean, crisp air.
Maybe it was the way the world had tilted and the moon had backlit Kate like an angel.
Maybe it was her smile—so open and warm, so pure and unspoiled—or her blue eyes, the color of which he could just make out by moonlight.
He couldn’t account for it, but in clasping Kate’s hand he found everything that had been missing with every other girl he’d kissed and groped. He felt something. It slammed into him like a freight train—like destiny, like grace—and even at fifteen-stupid-years old, Étienne knew it mattered.
Kate’s hand warmed against his the longer they touched, and his body reacted violently, his blood sluicing through his veins, hot and dirty, sweet and good. He settled and resettled his fingers against her skin, fighting hard against the impulse to entwine his fingers with hers.
Feeling off-balance and undone, he searched her face frantically, lingering on her lips, which made him lick his own with involuntary yearning.
“He’s such a weirdo,” said Jax, shaking her head.
“I guess it’s time to go,” agreed Mad with an embarrassed sigh.
The twins shimmied to the edge of the trampoline, making it ripple and breaking his connection to Kate as she unclasped his hand.
His fingers idled, limp and abandoned, before he snatched them away, shoving his hand into the back of his jeans. He ran his free hand through his hair, trying to figure out what had just happened.
Who the hell was she? A long-lost English sister? A cousin? He grimaced. Of all the families on Blueberry Lane, she had to be a part of that one, right? Well, that was fucking inconvenient, he thought as he tried to steady his ragged breathing. Why did touching her hand make him feel so much, want so much? And God, why did it suck so much to think of walking away from her now?
He flicked his glance back to Kate, but she wasn’t looking at him anymore—why should she? He hadn’t even managed to utter a word to her. She was hugging his sisters goodbye. Étienne clenched his jaw and turned around, stalking back in the direction from whence he’d come, the soft footfalls of his little sisters following behind a moment later.
At the wide border of daffodils in front of the hedge that separated Westerly from Haverford Park, he turned back around to see Kate English thoughtfully watching his retreat. She raised her hand in farewell, but he turned and stepped forward quickly, disappearing into the hedge before she could claim anymore territory in his throbbing, yearning, ridiculous heart.
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.