Underneath It All- Kate Canterbary



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


I’m the mom of two small school aged kids and I’ve found the last few weeks crazy busy with beginning of summer break.  As I’ve spent more time in my car running errands and acting as chauffer I’ve been listening to more and more audiobooks.


There have been some great Whisper Sync sales and I loved the idea of being able to listen to a book in my car and then to pick up my Kindle and find myself automatically in the same spot I left off.  In the interest of time savings, I picked up some discounted bundle packs- of new books and of some favourites I find myself re-reading.


Two of those books were in the Walshes series by Kate Canterbary, Underneath It All and the Space Between are books one and two of what is so far, a seven-novel series.  I was nervous because I tend not to love series’ that are longer than three or four books. I just tend to get bored reading about the same characters and I always feel forced to read them to get a resolution.


Kate Canterbary and the Walsh siblings have a huge following online so I decided to ignore my usual rules and test them out using Whisper Sync sale.  I ended up listening to both books almost entirely through Audible.


Both books have a dual male and female POV narration with the male part read by Christian Fox and the female read by Lucy Rivers.  I cannot say enough about Christian Fox, I LOVED how he read the characters.  Lucy Rivers read a bit too slowly for me, I tried to speed her parts up to .5x see if that helped but of course it just made her sound like a chipmunk so I stuck at regular speed even though it was a slower pace than I would have read on my own.


I far preferred listening to the parts of Matt in book one and Patrick in book two.  Not only was the tempo closer to my reading speed, his voice was super sexy and made it easy to picture a family of large, sexy architect brothers.


When it came to Underneath it All, I loved Matthew.  He was instant book boyfriend material.  He knew what he wanted, realized his feelings for Lauren pretty quickly and acted like an adult, hoping to pursue a relationship with someone he connected with.  It was refreshing to read a hero who decided quickly that the heroine was “the one” and didn’t fight it.


“I want you and I’ve known it for a long time, and I don’t want to wait anymore. I can’t. I can’t wait anymore.”

The reason this book doesn’t have a higher rating for me is Lauren.  She had a lot of potential but ended up being the female version of the relationship hating heroes I dislike reading.


Lauren was a strong, educated and independent woman.  When I read the blurb I really thought she would appeal to me, I love a smart and sassy heroine.  Instead, I found Lauren very annoying and immature.  I really wanted to relate to her not wanting to let anything get in the way of her career, but it got to the point where I just couldn’t figure how she thought being with Matthew would change anything. They were already having sex (a lot) and spending all of their time together.  Her fear of a “label” disrupting her dreams of owning a school just didn’t match what was already happening.  Nothing was changing and I couldn’t see how one was connected to the other. I just felt like a little more explanation as to why she was such a commitment-phobe would have gone a long way.  The pieces just didn’t connect for me and she came off as whiny and selfish.


Overall this book had very little angst, great humor and a lot of dirty talk.

“Oh my God” she gasped, her hands seizing my hair.  I leaned back and aimed a hard gaze at her.  “God has nothing to do with this.  You want to thank someone, I’ll be right here, worshiping you and your outrageous body for the foreseeable future.  God isn’t involved.”


The banter between the Walsh siblings was amazing, I’m picking up the rest of the books in this series despite my typical three-book series limit just because I want more interactions between the Walsh’s.  Kate Canterbary’s writing was great, and so were all the other characters.  If the push and pull hadn’t lasted until 96% this would have been a 5-star read for me.


Even though the book itself wasn’t 5-star for me, I’ve fallen in love with audiobooks and made a major switch from reading to listening.  Expect more audio book reviews in the near future!

  • Lisa (July 13, 2017)

    Great review! I think I’ll give audiobooks a try too!


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