Review and Quote-tastic Monday (29): UNDERNEATH IT ALL by Kate Canterbary


underneath it allTitle: Underneath It All
Author: Kate Canterbary
Publishing Date: October 21, 2014
Source: eARC from author via RockStarLit PR

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.


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 met Matthew Walsh.

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.


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 people down a flight of stairs and leaves them in a bruised and bloodied heap.



My Review:


Why did I want to read this book?

I was really curious about the characters. After reading the blurb, I wanted to get to know more about Lauren and Matthew and how these two would click or combust or whatever will happen to them in the story. I just had to find out more.


What worked for me?

Can I just say that I’m so happy I signed up to read this book. In the beginning, I was still wading through the introduction, trying to find that balance that will settle me in with the story. It took a little time but then it all fell into place. I didn’t know exactly at what point it started but by then I couldn’t let go of Lauren and Matthew, as well as the other Walshes siblings. I just needed to go where the author was taking the story.

I admire both Lauren and Matthew: Lauren because of the guts and dedication and hard work that she puts to her goal to build a school. I can totally feel her worry, her tiredness, her anxiety when it comes to all the things she has to do to get to that goal. And so when she met Matt, who’s architectural firm she hired to help her find the perfect place for her school, I was quite sure that things were about to get a lot more complicated, a little tiring for her (that’s for sure), but then a whole lot of worth-it opportunities to grab.

And Matthew, oh Matthew. He’s an architect as well as a structural engineer and he and his siblings have built upon the architectural firm as a family business. I enjoyed his initial attraction to Lauren, might have laughed out loud or sometimes cringe at his stalker-y tendencies at one point, but what I loved the most was watching him try to figure out his feelings for her, her feelings for him, and whether or not a future exists for the two of them together. It was so refreshing to have the male character be like the half of the couple who was the first to want something more, or at least the first to recognize that there was nothing casual at all about whatever it was between them. There were times that I seriously hurt for him when he seems to just go against wall after wall of obstacle in trying to build or start a relationship with Lauren.

Another of my favorites about the story is that it seemed so realistic in the sense that the characters aren’t throwing labels after labels defining their ‘relationship’ and yet you know as you read through the book, it’s changing and evolving, going from being something casual to something more. And still they did not define it and just went with the feelings, went with the emotions. And that’s so refreshing for me.


What did not work for me?

As I described earlier, it took a little while to get into the story. But I believe this was more from my personal taste. The story did get going and it was completely compelling and so engaging.


My over-all take on it?

This was such a lovely, lovely book about two people who, by some chance, or providence, or whatever you want to call it, meet and click and discover that they can and they want to build a life together. It’s about their struggles personally and with each other in handling the emotions they’re developing for each other. Basically, it was just great watching them fall and watching them realize that they’ve fallen, with no chance of going back.

And! The Walshes siblings are so interesting, each of their stories is just begging to be told. And yay! Because Patrick Walsh is next and he might just have met his match in their latest intern.


My rating:

4 stars 


DisclaimerI received an eARC of this book from the author/publisher in exchange  for an honest review. Yes, these are my honest and personal thoughts on this book.



Quote-tastic button

QUOTE-TASTIC is hosted by Anna @ Herding Cats & Burning Soup.

Join us every Monday and share a favorite quote that’s grabbed ya for one reason or another.

Everyone’s welcome to join in. Authors, bloggers, readers. The more the merrier! Just grab the button and toss up your post 🙂 Don’t have a blog? No worries, just leave your favorites in the comment section.

Tipsy. I was definitely tipsy.

Tequila was to blame for the current state of blissfully inebriated affairs, such as they were. His tie sat crisply folded beside his beer bottle, green with small pink shapes, and the collar of his white shirt gaped open. And I wanted to taste him right there.

It was late, the bar nearly empty, and far, far past the proper end for a normal business meeting, but this stopped being a business meeting when we walked through the door.

None of my other first dates—or fourths, for that matter—involved hole-in-the-wall bars or innuendo-laced discussions of architecture. They never involved Matthew Walsh either. This was all rather peculiar, much like that fun, buzzy feeling in my body. He smiled at me, a smug, knowing expression that told me he was watching my inhibitions evaporate by the minute.

“If you hadn’t come out with me? What would you be doing tonight?”

“I’m not winning at work-life balance these days,” I said with a grimace. “I’d probably be working on a few overdue projects.”

Matthew held up his palm and I stared at it for an embarrassingly long time before meeting his high five. His fingers laced with mine, and for a moment, I could only gape at the way they layered together. He was touching me and I liked it, and somewhere in my head I knew this was strange. I wasn’t into boys right now. I mean, I wasn’t into girls, either, but I wasn’t doing the whole boys and dates and worry about whether I shaved my legs thing.

“Balance is overrated.”

I laughed. “Yeah? And what would you be doing? If you didn’t maneuver me into drinking with you all night, that is.”

“Maneuver? That’s strong.”

He rubbed his thumb against my palm, and I bit down on my lip to prevent the tipsy giggles from leaking out.

It was just a thumb circling a palm, and it shouldn’t have been especially delightful, but if confronted with a choice between this and calorie-free cupcakes, I saw no contest. I liked this, and I didn’t want it to stop.


Why is this quote fantastic?

This excerpt was from the early part of the story and we can almost feel that pull they have with each other. I love the part where they start with a high-five but then ended up holding hands.


So, what’s YOUR favorite quote this week?

Don’t forget to hop around and check out everyone’s picks for the week! Never know, you just might find your next favorite read!



About the Author:

Kate doesn’t have it all figured out, but this is what she knows for sure: spicy-ass salsa and tequila solve most problems, living on the ocean–Pacific or Atlantic–is the closest place to perfection, and writing smart, smutty stories is a better than any amount of chocolate. She started out reporting for an indie arts and entertainment newspaper back when people still read newspapers, and she has been writing and surreptitiously interviewing people—be careful sitting down next to her on an airplane—ever since. Kate lives on the water in Rhode Island with Mr. Canterbary and the Little Baby Canterbary, and when she isn’t writing sexy architects, she’s scheduling her days around the region’s best food trucks.

Connect with Kate Canterbary:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads




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