I received this book for free from Rock Star PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Proposing to Preston Series: Winslow Brothers #2
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Purchase Links: Amazon
Preston Winslow has a heart as open as the sky and room in his life for someone special. When he falls in love with Broadway actress, Elise Klassan, he holds nothing back.
Elise, who has made tremendous sacrifices to forward her career, is swept off her feet by handsome, charming Preston...but the stage has been her first love for so many years, she doesn't know if there's room for Preston in her life. When the day comes that she must choose between her ambition and her heart, she profoundly hurts the one man who could have made her happy.
Two years later, Elise has become a world-famous actress and Preston is a very successful lawyer. But fame has not equaled happiness for Elise, and Preston is much too bitter and cynical to ever consider falling in love again.
Is it possible that the only person who can mend Preston's heart is the one who originally broke it? Only if Elise can figure out a way to make him believe in love all over again.
Also in this series: Crazy about Cameron (The Winslow Brothers, #3), Campaigning for Christopher
This is the second book in Katy Regnery’s Winslow Brothers series, which spins off of her English Brothers (Blueberry Lane series), and can enjoyed as a stand alone novel.*
*My only question from not having read Bidding on Brooks (Winslow Brothers #1) was how in the Winslow family was so wealthy. There was reference to their father’s legacy but no details. Not a big enough point to effect the joy found in reading Proposing to Preston in the least.
Proposing to Preston takes place in two parts: Part One is the tale of how Preston and Elise meet, fall in love, and fall apart; Part Two details their second chance at finding happiness together.
Despite her attraction to Preston, both physically and emotionally, Elise is reluctant to enter into a relationship with the young lawyer. Her fear of commitment doesn’t stem from some past hurt but rather from her almost aggressive obsession with succeeding in her career as an actress. Elise was raised in a strict religious community and her desire to appear on the Broadway stage conflicts with that lifestyle. Ms. Regency’s decision to write as Elise remaining faithful to her religious beliefs was refreshing and added a unique layer to her character. Just because Elise wasn’t content with staying on the farm, it didn’t mean she threw away everything she was raised with. At one point Preston explains to Elise, that although she and her mother seemed to want different things from life, they were essentially very similar.
“She loved singing. I think she was happiest singing. Sometimes she’d share the gift of a solo with our congregation.”
“Like you,” said Preston.
“Not at all like me!”
“Like you,” he repeated evenly. “Performing.”
“It wasn’t a performance. It was worship.”
“It was self-expression,” he said. “It was joy in singing. It was leading a whole section of worship or singing solo because she was talented and comfortable. It wasn’t on a stage and it was for an audience of one, but surely you see the similarities.”
Preston’s understanding of Elise’s faith and her ambition, along with his supportive nature make him a near perfect book boyfriend. Who am I kidding? He is perfect. But perfect doesn’t always lead to happily ever after. When Elise gets cold feet in the face of being offered even more than she ever dreamed for her career, her decision breaks both their hearts. Knowing what she gave up to pursue acting, even before she met Preston, i.e., her relationship with her family, her community, her church, Elise fears failing to grab at all opportunities would mean her sacrifices were in vain. Nothing will stand in the way of achieving professional success, not even her own heart.
It doesn’t take long for Elise to realize she sacrificed something she couldn’t be complete without: Preston and the happiness he brought to her life. Elise’s life soon echoes the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for.”
Preston’s love for Elise is so beautifully portrayed that in the hands of a lesser skilled writer, Elise could have come across as selfish and cruel. Perhaps her actions were, but author Katy Regnery gives Elise enough layers and depth that her actions are understandable — you might not like it but you grasp her reasons. Preston and Elise’s love for one another was too much too soon and once they realized that, the healing could begin. Elise works hard to regain Preston’s trust and it’s handled with grace, honesty and maturity. My only real complaint regarding the plot was, why two years for Elise to propose a reconciliation? Seemed like a long time to try to right something she knew almost instantly was wrong. Ultimately, however, Proposing to Preston proves timing isn’t everything, love is not only thing.
This isn’t the first book I’ve read by Katy Regnery and it certainly won’t be my last! I’ve previously reviewed of her novel Never Let You Go, a modern take on Hansel and Gretel. Katy Regnery has a fresh voice and adds layers upon layers to create unique nuanced characters. Definitely becoming a fave!
Excerpt from Proposing to Preston:
“I like you, too,” she whispered, unable to stop herself, mesmerized by the clarity of his bright green eyes staring deeply into hers.
His gaze dropped briefly to her lips before claiming her eyes again, and she knew that it was her cue to get up and walk home, but she couldn’t. He was about to kiss her, and she wanted him to.
Leaning forward, he dropped his lips to hers, and her eyes closed as her heart fluttered madly behind the prison of her ribs. He cupped her cheeks gently, pulling her closer as his lips caught hers. As though he knew that rubbing his coarse scruff across her skin would burn, he was careful with her, his lips strong, yet soft, insistently taking hers, loving them before giving them back and then taking them once again.
One of his hands slid into her hair, his fingers fanning out in the soft tresses as he cupped the back of her head. His other hand feathered slowly down her neck, tracing her shoulder and skating down her arm before winding around her waist to draw her up against his chest.
Lifting his mouth from hers, he tilted his head, then dropped his lips again, sealing them over hers as she tangled her arms around his neck, arching her body into his.
And he kissed her.
Oh God, he kissed her.
Elise had been kissing men on the stage since she was sixteen years old, and many times the touch of someone else’s lips on hers had stirred a feeling within her, whether she actually liked her co-star or not. But never—not with her meager list of ex-boyfriends, nor with any man she’d ever kissed under the hot lights of the theater—had she experienced the sort of chemistry she now shared with Preston Winslow.
His tongue, hot and velvet, slid against the length of hers, and she moaned softly from the back of her throat, a hum of pleasure as his fingers curled into a fist on her lower back, pushing her body closer to his. His hair, soft as silk through her spreading fingers, teased her skin as his lips continued their gentle invasion.
And then, as quickly as it had begun, it was over. Preston rested his forehead against hers, his sigh hot and sweet against her lips as his chest pushed forcefully into hers with every deep breath he took.
Just another second, her heart whispered. Keep your eyes closed and memorize this. This. Him. Now.
“Elise,” he murmured, and she heard the question in the sound of her name—the plea, the supplication, the permission to keep going, to take more.
For years, she lived her life for one reason: to be a successful stage actress. She’d sacrificed, suffered and labored toward that goal single-minded, poor, and lonely, but always grounded in the belief that if she let nothing get in her way, she would eventually make her dreams come true.
Now? Here? With Preston Winslow’s arm around her, his breath warming her skin, his fingers wound in her hair, the low sound of his voice like precious music to her ears, she began to understand the magnitude of the threat he posed to her ambition. She’d sensed it the first night she met him, as his eyes dove into her very soul, that Preston Winslow unchecked in her life could become an addiction. And here she was, limp and languid against him, her heart begging for one more perfect moment before the brutal ache that would start when she walked away from him yet again.
Before she lost every shred of strength she possessed, she pushed at his chest, leaning away from him. He dropped his hand from her hair and unfurled the fingers that had been resting in a tight knot against her lower back.
“Elise?” he asked, his eyes searching hers.
“I have to go,” she said, standing up quickly before she lost her will.
About Author Katy Regnery:
Award-winning and Amazon bestselling author Katy Regnery started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract for a winter romance entitled By Proxy.
Now a hybrid author who publishes both independently and traditionally, Katy claims authorship of the six-book Heart of Montana series, the six-book English Brothers series, and a Kindle Worlds novella entitled Four Weddings and a Fiasco: The Wedding Date. Katy’s short story “The Long Way Home” appears in the first Romance Writers of America anthology, Premiere, and she has published two stand-alone novels, Playing for Love at Deep Haven and the Amazon bestseller The Vixen and the Vet, which is book one in Katy’s a m o d e r n f a i r y t a l e collection. The Vixen and the Vet was nominated for a RITA® Award in 2015.
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 begin at home.
Upcoming (2015) Projects:
The Winslow Brothers (Books #1-4)
Ginger’s Heart, a modern fairytale
Connect with Katy:
Katy LOVES connecting with her readers and answers every e-mail, message, tweet, and post personally! Click below to connect with Katy!