Two lonely hearts.
Just once, she’d like to be someone’s first choice.
She’s strong-willed and spunky, but she’s left picking up the pieces from her ex’s lies and manipulations, and daydreaming about taking a scalpel to his scrotum.
Flying under the radar is what he does best.
He’s laid-back and loyal, but he wants the most off-limits woman in his world, and nothing will ever make that a reality.
An arrangement of mutual benefit.
Two months, four dates.
Five, if things go well.
Five at the most.
But possibly six.
Definitely no more than six dates.
Only the appearance of a romantic relationship is required, and they expect nothing more from their time together. There will be none of those benefits involved.
One wild weekend.
After waking up in bed together—very naked and even more hungover—the terms and conditions of their arrangement no longer apply. Now they’re faced with something riskier than exposing their fake relationship: letting go of the past and zipping up the future.
Some things have to fall apart before they can be put back together.
Perfection! 5 huge stars!
Like all other Walsh fans, I have been eagerly anticipating this book, and I am absolutely thrilled because Kate Canterbary has smashed it out of the park! From the moment I picked it up I was sucked into the story, and I loved every moment of it! I was highlighting constantly the whole time I read – the funny, emotional, the sexy, the swoony and the profound (so please excuse my gushy, quote-whorey review). This book was everything that I was hoping for, and I absolutely loved it!
There’s always a fear that comes with reading a long-awaited book about a favourite character in an ongoing book series. Will it live up to expectations? Will this gloriously complex, hilarious and goofy character be strong enough to carry his own book? Will the story do him justice? And I am so relieved and overjoyed to say yes. Yes to all of it! Preservation is a wonderful exploration of all that is Riley Walsh. His humour, his wit, his determination to succeed, his damaged heart and his need for love. Riley, I didn’t think I could love you more, but you just completely wrecked me for all other book boyfriends. Sweet, sensitive, funny and romantic… and that filthy mouth! Who knew?
Like his siblings, Riley experienced a traumatic childhood, but unlike most of them he went and did his own thing. His rebellion came in the form of shunning his siblings’ path of attending a prestigious college and then entering the family’s architectural business, instead he went to RISD (spawning his nickname) and living large and loud until returning to the family business and working his ass off to prove himself to his siblings. After being the butt of jokes and familial ribbing, he has made a success of himself, but his love life is heartbreakingly complicated and I’ve been desperate for him to get his happy ending.
Riley’s heroine has been a hotly-debated topic among the Walsh fans, and I’m not going to disclose anything here. I will admit that at the beginning of this book I was sceptical how things were going to work out but as the story progressed, it turned out to be just perfect. She is unique and well-developed, and absolutely perfect for the youngest of the Walsh brothers.
She was straight out of the Tracy Flick and Hermione Granger School for Smarty Pantsing.
He had a Batman tramp stamp, for fuck’s sake. There was no quicker way of announcing one’s man-child status than that.
Very different but wildly attracted to each other, when he and his heroine agree to a fake relationship to help them both out of sticky situations, I was rubbing my hands together in glee at the shenanigans to come. Kate Canterbary writes sensational banter, and she’s done a fantastic job with these two! Funny, smart and sarcastic with just the right amount of flirting and innuendo, every interaction (both in person and over text) is gold.
Riley: I have to ask you something.
Riley: Bear with me. I can’t believe that we haven’t discussed this yet so I’m a little nervous.
Heroine: Now I’m nervous.
Riley: You have nothing to worry about. Your life will continue just fine. It’s mine that might come crashing down here.
Riley: How do you feel about comics and superheroes?
Heroine: DC or Marvel?
Heroine: Nevermind, that’s a terrible question. I’d never want to choose. I love the ensembles. The Avengers, the X-Men, the Justice League.
Heroine: But I haven’t read any in 20 years. I’ve caught up with the movies as they’ve been released, though. Most of them have been really good.
Heroine: Are you still with me?
Riley: Yes. Sorry. I just spontaneously orgasmed.
Riley: Nothing. But I’ll talk to you later. Something just popped up.
This is a deliciously slow-burning relationship that gradually shifts from unlikely allies to friends to lovers to more, and I loved every moment of it! The pacing is perfect, the sexual tension is sizzling, and the mix of funny, sweet, serious and heartfelt moments is really nicely done. And I really appreciated the lack of game playing. They both have issues and damage from their pasts which has impacted who they are and how they interact with others, but they are honest about what they are feeling, they understand and accept each other and I love the way their relationship progressed.
I liked this girl. Every salty ounce of her. And I didn’t like her because we needed to help each other survive a rocky patch of life. I liked her because I couldn’t know her and not like her. She was fierce as fuck and had more balls than any man I knew, but there was a quietly adorable side to her, too.
He wasn’t an obnoxiously perfect player man-child anymore. He was a man I cared for now, and he was neither player not child.
And though they may have started out as fake-boyfriend-but-also-touchy-feely-friend real feelings grow naturally and organically between them, and they fall beautifully for each other, and I fell right alongside them.
When had it happened? When had stolen all the warm, tender places inside me for herself? And the rough, barbaric ones, too? It was as though she’d wandered into my life, all tiptoes and whispers, and reached in and rearranged my entire existence until it started and stopped with her.
I didn’t know, but I was thankful for it. Hungry to explore it, too.
And HO-LEE HELL. SO. MUCH. HOTNESS!
“We’re going to stop fucking around now, Honeybee,” he said. “I haven’t the patience for it, and it’s not what I want tonight.”
“I’m going to serve you like a queen and fuck you like a whore.”
Like the rest of the men in this series, Riley is a dirty talking sex god, and the steamy time is off the freaking charts! The sex is hot, frequent and dirty with a bit of kink, and in addition to having me fanning myself madly, it shows the connection between them, which soon becomes all-consuming.
“You make me want everything,” I admitted. “Things I don’t even understand.”
But in order for them to move forward, they need to deal with the ghosts of the past, and that’s a painful situation for everyone.
God, I love this relationship. It’s fun, sweet, emotional, sexy and beautifully swoony. Riley shines as a romantic hero and I loved every moment of his journey as he finally figures himself out and discovers true love for the first time, recognising its significance and working to keep it.
“Promise to keep me for always, and I’ll give you everything I have to give, and then I’ll find a way to give you more.”
Of course the rest of the Walsh crew and their partners are a huge part of the story, and I loved catching up with all of them. They are funny, rude and crude, and all over each other’s lives, and their unique brand of snarky banter completely works. I love each of them, and together their dynamic is just sensational.
My family was everything to me. These people were all that I had in this world, and I didn’t know where I’d go or who I’d be without them.
This book was everything I wanted. It’s dramatic and emotional, it had me laughing out loud, and the romance is just gorgeous. I loved losing myself in the Walsh world again, and am thrilled at the hint dropped at the end of the book that there may be more to come. I will be eagerly awaiting anything else that will allow me to get up close and personal with any of these characters.
Absolutely fantastic. 5 huge stars!
An Advanced Review Copy was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
To celebrate the release of Preservation, Kate Canterbary is giving away a $25 Amazon eGift Card
The Escapist Book Blog is not responsible for this giveaway
About the Author
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.