021: Underneath It All by Kate Canterbary

Title: Underneath It All
Author: Kate Canterbary
Stars: ★★☆☆☆

Blurb: If I had known I’d have a hot architect balls deep inside of me before the end of the weekend, I’d have made time for a pedicure. Also, a little chat about not losing my shit at all the wrong moments.
Hindsight was a bitch, and karma…well, I didn’t know her story yet.

Meet Lauren Halsted.
It’s all the little things—the action plans, the long-kept promises—that started falling apart when my life slipped into controlled chaos.

After I fell ass-over-elbow into Matthew Walsh’s arms.

I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to run screaming or rip his pants off, and most days I wanted a little of both. If I was being honest with myself, it was rip his pants off, ride him like a workhorse, and then run screaming.

Meet Matthew Walsh.
A rebellious streak ran through Lauren Halsted. It was fierce and unrelentingly beautiful, and woven through too many good girl layers to count, and she wasn’t letting anyone tell her what to do.

Unless, of course, she was naked.

She wasn’t looking for me and I sure as shit wasn’t looking for her, but we found each other anyway and now we were locked in a battle of wills, waiting for the other to blink.

Sometimes the universe conspires to bring people together. Other times, it throws them down a flight of stairs and leaves them in a bruised and bloodied heap.


It’s been a long while since I’ve read a romance book that I’ve enjoyed and I was really hoping that this would be the one to get me back into the genre.

Of course it wasn’t, I’m not that lucky.

However, this time I don’t think it was me that was the problem; it was the bloody characters!

Lauren constantly blew hot and then cold and she was constantly just using Matthew for either sex or advice for building her school. I couldn’t stand her! She bragged about knowing how to defend herself from attackers yet was so unbalanced and uncoordinated it just didn’t make sense.

Also, her obsession with food and food treats sounded like the start of an eating disorder. I think I marked at least three notes where her food habits struck me as disordered. Not that I’m marking that as necessarily bad but it’s never expanded on. In a different authors hands it probably would’ve been handled better but it’s completely glossed over.

Matthew, oh my God, Matthew was a pain in the rear end too! Talk about stalking! After Lauren ghosts after their one-night-stand he sends her 13(!!) texts and when she doesn’t reply he goes round to her house!! That is so fucking creepy and I don’t care how “hot” someone is, that shit is not okay! Neither is travelling to New Orleans to “surprise” her, like he actually boarded a plane from Boston to New Orleans for “drinks”. That was fucked up.

He also referred to his old hook-ups as “beasts” because they worked out and had muscles, which is a disgusting attitude to have really. He would also constantly objectify Lauren in his thoughts too. I had a hard time believing that he was in love with her when it sounded more like lust.

Another trend I’ve noticed in romance novels is that all women tend to talk about is men. I mentioned it in my review of Perfect Chemistry too but it’s really starting to grind my gears. Lauren’s two friends are moving away and have children but nope, we all need to talk about Matthew!

The main source of conflict came from Lauren’s whole shtick of “I want to be with him, now I don’t. Wait, now I do.” etc. etc. which got so annoying. I nearly put this book down and the only reason I didn’t is because I hate not finishing books.

There was some conflict with Matthew’s dad which could’ve been really interesting if it had been expanded on but every time his dad did something fucked up Matthew would immediately go back to thinking about Lauren, or having sex with Lauren etc. I would’ve loved it if the book mentioned more about Matthew’s home life and the dad’s issues but nope, we can’t have that.

Then Angus conveniently dies and again we’re spared about a page and a half before he’s all “Lauren, Lauren, Lauren” again.

Of course, they get engaged by the end of the book. Ugh.

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