WHY I READ IT
I’ve loved every book in the series and have been dying for Stratton’s book!
WHAT I RATED IT
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
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?
I have loved each one of the English Brothers equally up to this point. They all brought something different to the table, and if asked to choose, I could never pick just one. Well that all changes right now. Stratton English is in a different league. I’m not even sure I could pinpoint just what it is about Stratton. It could be that he’s sweet and unassuming. It could be that he’s brilliant. It could be that he thinks he is over-his-head in love with a girl who has clearly friend-zoned him. It could be that his Kindle is filled with books on seduction strategies. Whatever it may be, Stratton English has a lot to offer a girl. Unfortunately, he is blinded by his neighbor, Amy, whom he thinks he’s in love with. Amy is dating a complete ass of a guy, who actually has a history with the English family. Stratton wants nothing more than to help Amy to see how awful her boyfriend is, and fall in love with him.
“Amy Colson owned his heart which meant there was no room in it for anyone else.”
As Emily “soon to be English’s” roommate, we’ve gotten to know a bit about Valeria Campanile. She’s fun, she’s quirky, she doesn’t think too much about what comes out of her mouth. She is ambitious and wants things that her traditional Italian family thinks are silly, like a full time job. They believe Val should find a nice boy from the neighborhood, settle down and have lots of babies. For Val, a Ph.D. student studying Early American Courtship, that is the last thing she sees herself doing. Marriage, one day? Sure. Kids…eh maybe? One thing she is pretty sure about? She’s got a thing for Stratton English. She only spent one evening with him, but if her studies taught her anything, he’s definitely feeling the attraction too. Simple, right? This story is anything but……
Nothing is easy with Stratton and Val. Stratton feels this loyalty to Amy. Even though they are not in any type of relationship, he feels carrying on with Val is being disloyal to Amy. Even so, Stratton feels such an intense pull towards Val and just cannot stay away from her. For Val, all it does is mess with her head. She wants to be with Stratton. She needs to be with Stratton. Stratton wants the same, but can’t pull his head out of his ass and see the forest for the trees. It breaks Val into pieces time and time again.
“This girl that’s-that you love…”
He waited for her to finish, staring at the last remnants of an orange sun between the black tree branches before it left them in darkness.
“I hate her a little bit,” she finally finished.
I really loved how tenacious Val was. She gave Stratton her heart over and over again. Wore it on her sleeve and handed it to him on a platter. He just didn’t know what to do with it. She was stronger than that and knew it. For all of the people who would say, just leave him already, there are those of us who see a good thing staring us straight in the face and will claw and fight for it. It was Val who had to decide enough is enough, but will she do it?
My soul shattered so many times during the first three quarters of the book, I wasn’t sure these two would ever get it together. Every time they took two steps forward, they took ten backwards. My stomach twisted in angst every time I watched them walk away from each other broken hearted and lost. Stratton was so blasted stubborn!! I spent 70% wanting to bash him in the head with his kindle. Self-help books on seduction?? You have the perfect girl staring you in the face. WAKE UP!! Unfortunately, Stratton didn’t listen to me. However, eventually, he listened to his heart and it helped to point him in the right direction. Val didn’t want to be Stratton’s back-up. She wanted to be his first choice. But, by then, had Val gotten tired of being in second place? Will these two ever get it together? I could tell you, but what fun would that be! As heart twisting as the ride is, you are never going to want to get off of it.