WHY I READ IT
The English Brothers series has become one of my favorite family series and I have been waiting for Kate and Ètienne to have their story told.
WHAT I RATED IT
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
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.
Once again, Regnery has us invested in the story from the very first chapter. Having been a fan of the English Brothers series since picking up Breaking Up with Barrett a few months ago, I have been held captive while Regnery teased us with the stories to come. After reading Seduced by Stratton (my favorite in the series), we already knew who Etienne Rousseau was and hated his guts. We were certain we knew everything about the kind of guy he was, and redemption was impossible. Turns out, we don’t really know anything at all about Etienne.
Kate English and Etienne Rousseau had an intense affair for one week when they were teenagers. Their age, and the length of time they spent together in no way diminished their relationship. They were in love, true love, and planned on spending the rest of their lives together. Unfortunately, due to rumors, misunderstandings and long held grudges, Kate and Etienne spent the next 12 years apart.
“Why did she give a damn about Etienne Rousseau when he’d never given a damn about her?”
If you are thinking Romeo and Juliet, yes, Kiss Me Kate, definitely has the star-crossed lovers kept apart by their feuding families, but there is so much more to their story. Having been separated for the 12 years, Kate and Etienne are about to be thrown together to work on a project. Kate thinks she wants closure, but what they both will come to see is that the love the shared as teenagers has never gone away.
“He was a fool to expect he could take her hand without experiencing the same jolt of electricity he’d felt the first time he ever touched her, but it still surprised him. The way their hands fit together, the way his blood rushed fast and hot, gushing through his thundering heart like it hadn’t been twelve years since he’d held her soft, naked, willing body against his, but only twelve days, twelve hours, twelve minutes ago instead.”
Kiss Me Kate is told from a dual POV with flashbacks. Generally, I feel like flashbacks slow a story down, but when done well, like in this book, they help to drive the story and give you more insight into the characters. Etienne is nothing like he is portrayed. What he is, is a man who found his forever at 15, lost her, and has been desperately searching for her since. I was moved by the love he had for Kate. I felt its authenticity in his words and actions. Kate, hurt by what she thought was betrayal, wants so badly to trust in Etienne, but the past, is standing in her way.
Regnery flows back and forth between Kate and Etienne flawlessly. The writing is clear, concise and has a poetic feel to it. As with all of Regnery’s stories, my heart becomes completely invested in the story and I live each word and emotion. There is just this beautiful quality to Regnery’s writing that makes her books stand out from a crowd. Kiss Me Kate is the best of the series, and given the 5 outstanding books that precede it, that is saying something. When I hit the final word, I just wanted to forget I read it, start over, and experience it all again.
“I don’t know…where you stop…and I begin.”