I loooved this book. So much.
Sebastian Stremmel is the very definition of grumpy, and the heroine – Sara Shapiro – is as messy and damaged as any of Canterbary’s characters have ever been. So yum!
Synopsis: One perpetually scowling trauma surgeon gets in to it with one (usually) people-pleasing, good girl plastic surgeon. The end result is conflict management therapy for the both of them. Eight weeks with forced proximity can’t possibly end well. That they end up having hate sex after their second session doesn’t mean anything. Right?
I’ve been waiting a long time for Stremmel’s story, but I was still surprised at how much I loved him. I guess it has to do with the whole thing of getting inside his head and learning about the insecurities and doubts behind that crabby exterior. The dual POV was perfect. And though I adored Sara too it was Sebastian that really captured my heart.
Anyway. I was completely swept away by this read. And I highlighted so many passages it’s kind of silly. But Canterbary just has this way with words. Of distilling complex and tangled emotions and thoughts down to a sentence or two. She’s talented AF. And that particular talent makes her stories feel more raw and real somehow. With the added bonus of her readers (me) not feeling alone in their (mine) messiness. Like it’s okay to not be entirely put together and have all things figured out, that you’re (I’m) allowed to just be you (me) in all of your (my) imperfect glory.
Of course, another reason I adored this book is that is takes place in the Walsh universe. The books in the Walshes series were my first Canterbary loves and getting to see them again, if only tangetially, was awesome.
It’s the feels of this book that makes it so wonderful. All the feels, all the time. And all those beautifully worded nuggets of wisdom and clarity of course. Now, I could go on about the particulars of Sebastian and Sara’s enemies with benefits situation, and the ins-and-outs of their convoluted relationship. I could expound on the delicious steam that Canterbary excels at. But I won’t since those are best experienced by reading the story oneself.
So, instead, I’ll explain why I couldn’t give this book a 5-star rating.
I thought this book was perfect. Up to a point.
At about 80% in there was this totally fabricated drama that just pissed me off. It was one of my most hated pet peeves. The everything-is-perfect-but-now-I-choose-to-leave-because-self-sabotage. Sure, both of them were total messes in their own specific ways, but really!? And yes, many (most) stories need that final dramatics to make the HEA that much sweeter. But the thing is, The Worst Guy would have been so much better without it. The story was that strong in its own right, no need for fabrications.
So a 4-star it is.