- STAR RATING: 4 stars
PAGE LENGTH: 340 pages
- DATE PUBLISHED: December 28th 2021
- PUBLISHER: Vesper Press
- CONTENT WARNINGS: Eating disorder, Sexual content, Emotional abuse
IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: The Drowned Woods by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Eight weeks of forced proximity is a long time to hate someone you’re trying not to love.
Sebastian Stremmel doesn’t need another headache. He has enough of his own without Sara Shapiro, the noisy new reconstructive surgeon, stomping all around his surgical wing with her chippy, chirpy cheerfulness.
But Sebastian doesn’t usually get what he wants.
No one gets under his skin like Sara – so much so a heated “debate” and an exam room left in shambles later, they land themselves in eight weeks of hospital-mandated conflict resolution counseling. Now they’re forced to fight fair…which quickly leads them to playing dirty when no one’s looking.
They know it’s a mistake.
They promise themselves it will never happen again.
They swear they got it out of their systems.
I really enjoyed this, but it was a rough go at the start. That might be because I’m in the midst of one of the worst reading slumps of my entire life, or it might be that I’m not really into hate-relationships all that much. Or, you know, it could be a combination of the two, I suppose. BUT THAT’S NEITHER HERE NOR THERE, as I really did end up enjoying The Worst Guy. It’s my second Canterbary novel, and so far her record is 2/1. I loved, loved, loved In a Jam, but I DNFed The Belle and the Beard.
ANYWAY — Sebastian Stremmel is not a very nice guy, and well, Sara Shapiro isn’t all that nice, either. Though I did like her a helluva lot more than I liked Sebastian at the start. He’s grumpy, grouchy, and just plain mean sometimes. Put them together and it was like pouring gasoline on a fire. Things just sort of imploded. They picked on each other, teased each other, and they just plain shouted at each other. But when the clothes came off, damn they were hot together.
I loved that there were reasons behind who they were. I loved that Canterbary gave Sara and Sebastian horrible backstories. It made sense. Everything felt right — there was no part of this where I questioned whether it was realistic. It felt real, the way these two butted heads, but then sort of clicked together like magnets. This was great.
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