Bidding on Brooks by Katy Regnery
Series: The Winslow Brothers #1
Source: Review by Request
ARC Provided by the Author
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Bidding on Brooks is the first of four books about the Philadelphia-based, wildly-handsome Winslow brothers who are all on the look-out for love.
(Except Preston. He’s been down that road before and still has the scars to prove it. And maybe Cameron, because he’s super hot, but too hot-headed to be decent boyfriend material…)
Railroaded into a bachelor auction by his sister, Jessica, Brooks Winslow asks his friend, Skye Sorenson, to bid on him to avoid the possibility of any romantic entanglements. Fiercely competitive and protective of those he cares for, Brooks was profoundly affected by the loss of his father at an early age. A witness to his mother’s terrible loneliness and his siblings’ grief, the ex-Olympian has never allowed himself to fall in love.
Skye Sorenson, the plucky mechanic at Sorenson Marina, where Brooks moors his three sailboats, is a credible sailor in her own right…and has quietly lusted after Brooks for years. But her longstanding friendship with Brooks has always made romance seem impossible.
When Skye agrees to bid on Brooks, the two cast off for a weeklong ocean adventure on Brooks’ sailboat, The Zephyr, where the last thing Skye expects to lose is her heart.
Return to the world created in the English Brothers books with this fresh foursome of scorching hot Winslow Brothers!
Buy this Book:
Let your heart set sail with this phenomenal romance!
Here they were, trapped together on this boat for the next seven days… with a storm of sexual tension swirling between them.
Katy Regnery delivers another beautifully written contemporary romance that will warm your heart.
I loved The English Brothers series – five brothers, five separate personalities, five gorgeous stand-alone romances… When Katy Regnery blessed us with cousin Kate’s book, I though What a sweet treat for her fans… because I can’t get enough of these fabulous characters and their generous hearts… When I heard that The Winslow Brothers were getting their own spin-off series I was practically bouncing with excitement.
Katy Regnery consistently delivers touching emotional romances which will make even the most jaded reader fall in love… I’m not saying I cried happy, sweet, sentimental tears… But I’m not not saying that either. *clears throat* Anyway…
He was falling in love with her. Like a fool, he wanted forever, when all he could have was today.
If ever there was a fictional man I just wanted to HUG – it would be Brooks Winslow – At the age of thirty-five, Brooks seems to have the whole world resting on his shoulders.
Brooks is the oldest Winslow brother – when his father died from an unexpected heart-attack, Brooks stepped up and became the patriarch. He was thrust into maturity and adulthood – looking out for his siblings and practically raising them. He attended all the father-child functions for his siblings, and now that his baby sister is marrying Alex English, he’s preparing to perform the most honored patriarchal tradition: walking the blushing bride down the isle on her wedding day.
He’s proud of Jessica, but she’s causing all sorts of trouble… First and foremost, little sister is playing match-maker. She’s forcing Brooks to participate in a charity bachelor auction, and whomever places the highest bid on the eligible Brooks Winslow will be taking a one-week cruise aboard his restored sail boat.
Brooks has no intention of spending a week with some spoiled little debutante aboard his boat. He has a plan – ask his friend to bid on him. He’ll pay for everything. It’s a win-win-win.
Brooks doesn’t get subjected to his sister’s matchmaking deviousness.
He spends a week in his new boat with an experienced sailor.
The charity still gets their money.
What could possibly go wrong?
He couldn’t have her, but he wanted her. It was as simple and stupid as that.
Skye was a lovely character to read – she was smart, strong, and sweet to begin with, but she really flourished as she had the opportunity to prove herself.
Skye doesn’t know the first thing about black-tie galas or designer dresses. She doesn’t care about wealth or celebrity status. She knows boats (inside and out) she values sunsets over the sea, and she’s more interested in a man’s sailing ability than in his checkbook…
Skye works as a boat mechanic at her father’s marina. It’s the place Brooks Winsow, Former-Olympian sailing champion, too good looking for his own good, and trust fund kid keeps his boats. Skye has been working around Brooks almost all her life. Long enough to respect him as a sailor (and, ya know, appreciate the scenery) – but the two couldn’t be further apart when it comes to anything off the water.
Sky appreciates that Brooks wants to help out his sister with the auction, but she’s hugely resistant to playing the part of rich-girl-renting-a-boy-toy. Brooks eventually makes the mechanic a deal she can’t refuse and she agrees to the charade.
Who knew there was a bombshell under those oil-stained overalls?
Brooks thought he would be safe sailing with Skye, but the winds have changed, and there’s an electricity in the air between them. One they’re BOTH working hard to ignore.
Skye sort-of has a boyfriend… I mean, he left her behind so he could sail the world without her – he’s out living their shared dream while she stayed at her father’s marina…
Brooks doesn’t do relationships… His reasoning behind his self-imposed bachelorhood will break your heart.
This friends to lovers romance will keep you smiling long after you’ve finished the book. Is it possible to die of swoons? I think I came close.
This is split POV, which I just loved. So nice to be able to see inside both characters’ heads and have a deep understanding of their motivations and fears. This truly was a joy to read.
I can think of two little details which might have made this a better experience for me:
1. I need more of Clay the stylist in my life. He was a bit-character that shined bright and had sage advice for Skye when she needed it most. I hereby petition Katy Regnery to include him in future books 😉
2. As a sailing novice, I had to do some googling about various details ascribed to The Zephyr. It’s not that I got lost in too many details, I just like to have a visual. I think a diagram of the boat and maybe a short glossary of sailing terms might have benefited me… Something to think about.
Excerpt from Chapter 1
Bidding on Brooks
(All rights reserved. Used with permission from Katy Regnery)
“Please, Skye. Just listen. You’re the perfect person for this. You’ve got to help me out.”
Skye Sorenson rolled her eyes at Brooks Winslow, adjusting the brim of her baseball cap as she swept past him and headed down the dock for her next job.
“I mean it, Skye. I’m up a tree…and we’re friends. Can’t you give me a hand?”
Dreamy Delight needed a new float switch and bilge pump, which would be difficult to manage with Brooks Winslow standing on the dock, looking casually gorgeous as he yammered at her about some charity event he wanted her to attend.
Gazing at her hands, she noted they were still covered with engine grease from the oil change she’d just handled on the outboard motor of a J-24 sailboat. Not wanting to get black fingerprints on the white fiberglass of the motorboat she was about to service, she took a bandana out of the back pocket of her overalls then turned to face Brooks as she wiped her fingers.
“Are you going to follow me around all afternoon if I don’t listen?”
She sighed with feigned annoyance. “Fine. You have my attention. Tell it to me again.”
Brooks looked relieved and gave her a small grin that—damn it—made Skye’s stomach flutter.
“Knew you wouldn’t let me down.”
“Haven’t said yes to anything yet,” she said, shoving the bandana back into her pocket and crossing her arms over her chest.
“My sister, Jessica, is back in Philly this summer to get married. To keep busy, she’s organized some big benefit for the Institute of Contemporary Art. She and her girlfriends thought it would be fun to volunteer their single brothers to be auctioned off.”
“Yeah…a bachelor auction.”
“Some sister,” said Skye, unable to keep the teasing from her voice.
“It’s for charity,” he said defensively, running a hand through his waves of jet black hair.
“Okay. So you got roped into it.” She thought back to an old movie she’d seen once where women were auctioned off as dates. At each of their feet had been a pretty lunch basket, and the man that was the highest bidder won a homemade lunch with the girl of his choice. “What do you have to do? Have lunch with someone?”
“Oh, no,” he said with irritation, pursing his lips. “Nothing that painless. Jess wants to make money. Big money. She had to think bigger than lunch.”
Skye stared up at him. “Dinner?”
She gestured to the sleek Sportscruiser moored at the end of the dock that she was supposed to be working on. “I’m out of guesses, Brooks…and that pump isn’t going to fix itself, so—”
“A sail. She’s auctioning off a sail. With me.”
“Well, I don’t know why you’re complaining. You love sailing. You love women. What’s the problem?”
Skye tilted her head to the side, looking at Brooks’ way-too-handsome face with a cheeky grin.
Long ago Skye had accepted the fact that Brooks would never see her as anything but a great mechanic, a proficient sailor, and a long-time friend. She was—honestly and truly—satisfied with that status quo between them. He was rich and powerful, an ex-Olympian and world-renowned sailor from Philadelphia, while Skye lived a much quieter life, working as a “handyman” at her dad’s marina in Maryland. What they had in common was a deep love of boats and mutual respect for one another’s nautical skills, and that was just enough to keep their friendship intact.
The first time Skye had ever seen Brooks Winslow was the day he came down to her father’s marina to claim the fifteen foot Primrose wood-hulled sailboat gifted to him from his parents for his fifteenth birthday. He swaggered into Sorenson Marina, flashing his perfect smile at her, and her ten-year-old heart had grown wings as she’d discreetly followed him down the dock. She was instantly infatuated with Brooks, of course, but much more, Skye harbored a deep devotion to his Primrose, the most beautiful little double-ended Daycruiser she’d ever seen. Her stomach had been in knots as she walked behind him from a discreet distance, hopeful that he would handle the little sailboat with the grace and care she deserved. But Skye’s worries turned out to be unfounded. He’d treated that pretty boat with respect and skill, and Skye had breathed deeply with relief, whispering, “I’m gonna marry you someday,” as he sailed away.
Twenty years later, Skye knew two things for certain:
One, that Brooks was one of the most talented, natural, organic sailors she’d ever met in her life. Heck, he’d made it all the way to the Olympics and come home with a medal to prove what Skye had always known—that any boat was safe in his hands. She respected him more than most of the sailors she knew.
And two, the chances of her ever marrying him were next to none in the approximate area of zero. He was gorgeous and rich and talented and fascinating…and completely out of her league.
“Not a one-day sail,” Brooks continued in a terse voice, jettisoning her memories as he prompted her back to their conversation. “Not even two. Jessica signed me up for a cruise. From Baltimore to Charleston.”
Skye felt her eyes widen as she stared at him. “That’s a week. Minimum.”
Brooks grabbed the back of his neck with his hand, rubbing. “Nope. It’s supposed to be… romantic.”
A romantic cruise. For a week. Alone. With Brooks.
Lucky girl, she thought, ignoring the ridiculous spike of jealousy that jabbed a little at her heart and made her feel instantly guilty.
She couldn’t help her attraction to him, but the fact that it was totally unreturned made it manageable in a way that didn’t hurt. For heaven’s sake, it wasn’t like she had feelings for Brooks beyond friendship. She just liked looking at him. Her eighty-year-old granny’s heart would flutter at the sight of Brooks’ thick, dark hair, flashing sea-green eyes, square jaw, muscular body, and perennially-tan hands that handled a boat with the same finesse that he probably handled his women. Noticing Brooks’ good looks didn’t make Skye unique or special, and it didn’t mean she wanted more from him than friendship either (she tried to convince herself). It just made her human.
“Romantic,” she murmured. Turning away, she looked out at the harbor where sailboats bobbed up and down in afternoon sun.
“But you won’t know who she is,” said Skye, “until she wins you.”
“Bingo,” he said.
“And then you’ll be trapped at sea for a week.”
“She could be anyone.”
“Does your sister really hate you?”
Brooks scoffed. “No. But she really loves modern art.”
“Okay. Yeah. It’s a pretty sucky situation. But how can I help?”
He grinned. “You can bid on me.”
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.