Book Review: BEFORE GIRL by Kate Canterbary

She's the girl next door.
He's the guy who's loved her from afar.

They're in for an unexpected tumble into love.

Title: Before Girl
Author: Kate Canterbary
Release Date: November 13, 2018

She'll juggle your balls.
For Stella Allesandro, chaos is good. She's a rising star at a leading sports publicity firm. She's known throughout the industry as the jock whisperer—the one who can tame the baddest of the bad boys in professional sports without losing her signature smile.

But Cal Hartshorn is an entirely different kind of chaos.

He'll fix your broken heart.
This ex-Army Ranger and now-famous cardiothoracic surgeon fails at nothing…except talking to a woman he's adored from afar. Whether on the battlefield or operating room, he's exacting, precise, and efficient, but all of that crumbles when Stella is in sight.

Cal always knows—and gets—what he wants, and now he wants all of her. His forever girl.

But Stella isn't convinced she's anyone's forever.

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I have come to expect wonderful books from Kate Canterbary but she always seems to surprise me with each new release, and BEFORE GIRL is no exception. It was such a satisfying read.

I loved Cal and Stella. Their story was sexy, sweet, intense and funny. I appreciated that they were slightly older characters - Cal’s 42, Stella is 35. I enjoyed that their story was somewhat of a role reversal from typical romances; both are successful in their careers yet it’s Stella who baulks at commitment while Cal’s ready for a lifelong commitment. Their chemistry is powerful and the banter between them is wonderful.

I am captivated by Cal. He’s grounded yet incredibly romantic. He’s direct but prone to blushing. He’s an all round nice guy and is a master at dirty talking. He’s gentle and considerate but around Stella he turns into a bitey, growly man that makes me want to melt into a puddle. He’s ideal and I can’t even be annoyed at his perfection. Well, I think he’s perfect and I won’t hear otherwise.

Yes, I have more than a little crush on Cal but Stella’s more than worthy of him. She is terrific. She’s thriving professionally and personally she has her life set up in a way that works for her. But then along comes Cal who rocks the foundation she’s built her personal life upon.

But wait, there’s more! We also get a wonderful cast of secondary characters. On Cal’s side, we get to visit with some characters from the Walsh series. We also get to spend time with Sebastian Stremmel, who we met in Thresholds. I am still campaigning for him to get him own book.  Stella brings with her a pair of endearing assistants who are constantly bickering. We also meet her wacky yet lovable family who introduced me to Bathtub Marys and Dominican Cake.

There are so many great things about BEFORE GIRL. I loved it and highly recommend it.  


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Torment, Mostly | The Ass(et)

Kate Canterbary 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 New England 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.