Underneath it All, Kate Canterbary. First book in a terrific series currently free
Underneath it All, Kate Canterbary
Genre: Contemporary Romance
“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.” Well, with an opening like that who could resist? Not me…so I fell straight into this tale of hot sex, romance, lust and love by way of a very odd family.
Lauren is great, driven, ambitious product of two very loving but very forceful parents. Failure isn’t a word in her fathers vocabulary, and it feels to me as if she’s always trying, struggling to live up the example set by him and her SEAL brothers. She young, but is opening her own school, creating it from scratch right down to finding a building to convert. That’s how she meets Matthew. He’s an architect in a family of the same. Their mother died when he was young and the brothers and sisters (4 brothers, two sisters) have taken over the business from their father. He changed when he wife died and is a horrible man, cruel both mentally and physically, he says some awful things. He still has some kind of link with the business, and still tries to influence its direction and the way the family work. I learned all this over the course of the book, and at first it felt as if there ought to have been some kind of prequel, or maybe I was reading a new series based around an existing one, as it seemed as if I ought to know things about the family from the way conversations went. I even went as far as looking up in kindle lists just to see if there was anything else…. It left me floundering at times, but the interaction between them and Matthew and Lauren was so riveting, so entrancing that I simply had to continue.
I’m so glad I did carry on, Matthew and Lauren have something magical between them, and oddly though its Matthew with the dysfunctional family background, he’s the one that’s all in for a romance, for one that has a proper relationship and not just a quick fling as has been the way for him so far. Lauren is the one who’s convinced her life has no time or place for a relationship, that one night is all she can give, but then one night becomes two, and then a week, and then more. She tries to keep control by leaving arrangements til literally the last hour, and it makes Matthew realise she’s hiding, running scared, but can he change her, and how to proceed?
I loved all the characters, even the awful father – grief does strange things to people, not that it’s an excuse but it happens. As I got to know Matthews’ family as individuals I began to appreciate what strong people they were, and how they were all very different, but that diversity is what made them so strong in business. Matthew reminded me very much of Cade in the fabulous “ no weddings” series by Kat and Stone Bastion. He shared that same single mindedness about getting what he wanted once he’d found love. He knew Lauren was the one for him, it was just a matter of convincing her. (Cade had the same problem with Hannah.) Their sex scenes were seriously hot, sensual and erotic and they simply couldn’t keep their hands off each other every time they met, no matter where they were. Poor Riley, the youngest brother – he saw and heard more than a brother ever wants to a couple of times, when they didn’t know he was in the office. That kind of scene led to some great humour and snarky one liners…
Its a terrific read – once I’d sorted out the tangled family relationships, and I’m sure stories from and about the other family members will be equally good. Lauren too has brothers who could well enter the scene later in the series and be interesting.
Stars: Four and a half, that beginning where I was floundering, wondering who was who, and how they related brought it down the half star.
ARC supplied by publishers and Netgalley.