ARC Review: The Cornerstone (The Walshes, #4) by Kate Canterbary

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“You’re so much … And I want all of it.”

4.5 steamy, romantic, and epic banter-filled stars

I love this series, absolutely love it! Featuring a group of siblings who endured a horrific childhood and who are now all grown and running their own architectural firm (well, most of them), and all of them are up in each other’s lives. These books have it all – beautifully romantic, dramatic, insanely hot, and laugh-out-loud funny, they just get better and better, and I loved this one.

Though each book in this series features a different couple, I would definitely not recommend reading this one as a standalone. There’s a lot of background context that builds during each book, and it would definitely be more meaningful if you read it as a series – and why wouldn’t you? They’re fantastic! Start with this one – Underneath It All.

This is the fourth book in the series and features the second eldest in the family, Shannon. Shannon is the no-nonsense, tough-as-nails ‘Cornerstone’ of the family. She has taken it upon herself to care for her siblings and she runs their business, and pretty much their lives, working her ass off to do whatever she can to make life easier for them all. She comes across as a bit of a hard bitch, and I loved the chance to get to know the real her during this book.

The book begins a couple of months after the end of the last book, but then takes us back in time to events during book 2, and shows us Shannon meeting Will. Will is a badass Navy SEAL and the older brother of Lauren (heroine from book 1), and it is during Lauren and Matt’s wedding that Shannon and Will meet. And from their very first encounter, you know that this is going to be a great read.

Sparks fly from the very first moment – they are attracted to each other but he is arrogant and super horny from being on deployment, she is feisty and not prepared to put up with his crap. Conversation is had, the gauntlet is thrown down, and then it’s all on.

“I am not fucking you on a bar,” she said.
Oh, there was the spitfire.
“Let’s get one thing straight now,” I said … “I do the fucking here.”

OMG, I LOVE these two together! Will is super sexy and likes control in the bedroom, and Shannon’s not used to giving that up. It’s a constant battle of wills (even during the sex), and the banter is absolutely epic.

“What was that?” he asked. He didn’t stop thrusting. He went right on rocking over every tender, pulsating inch of me.
“An orgasm,” I said into the blankets. “Surely you’ve encountered more than your own, commando.”
“If that was an orgasm, it was a pathetic one,” he said, his arm snaking around my waist and hiking me up.
I looked over my shoulder at Will, horrified. “Did you just 
insult my orgasm?”
“Yes,” he said, nodding. “Now get your little ass over here. You can do better.”
Of course this asshole wasn’t finished. “And what are you getting out of this?”
He bent me over the edge of the bed, my feet not even touching the ground as he moved in me. “If you have to ask,” he grunted, “you’ve been doing it wrong.”

It’s a great combination of being totally freaking hot, while leaving me completely gobsmacked at the things they’re saying to each other, and laughing out loud that it’s all happening the way it is. It’s highly entertaining (and delightfully dirty) reading.

“All this talking makes me think you need a dick in your mouth,” he murmured.

Their wild night together leads to one more… and one more… and one more. And soon Will and Shannon are taking every opportunity they can get to hook up. It’s an escape for both of them, allowing them the opportunity to let go of the pressures of their lives and be wild and free together. And as they get to know each other, their walls start coming down, they start to feel for each other and things get complicated. Will likes his women to challenge him, but Shannon is unlike anybody he has ever met before. Can the arrogant navy SEAL convince his hard-ass girl to take a chance on him for something more?

“You’re so much … And I want all of it.”

I love the way everything unfolds between Will and Shannon. Their interactions – whether in real life or during their epic text conversations – are full of fantastic banter that so perfectly captures the argumentative edge that defines their relationship. It’s a phenomenal battle and I can honestly say I loved every moment of it.

I admired how hard she worked at that attitude. She put everything into being pissed off, and it make me want to throw her up against any of the cars in this underground garage and fuck her while she insulted me. 

And, of course, they are SO freaking hot together!

We heard a tremendous crack and the right side of the bed buckled beneath us. Will locked his arm around my waist as the bed teetered on a steep angle, and before we could move, the other side of the bed crumbled, too.
“That means we’re doing it right,” he said. 

But even amidst all of the arguing, there is a beautiful love story. It’s not an easy road for either of them and they have a lot to overcome before they can be together, but the heartache is worth every moment for the gorgeous romance that builds slowly and realistically from friendship into so much more.

“I’ve spent eleven days with you in the past eight months and that’s all it took for me to fall for you. Because I’ve sent you over five thousand texts and called you two hundred and eighteen times and you know what I have to show for that? I fucking loveyou.” 

The timeline of this book crosses over the last two and a half books in the series, so Shannon’s family is heavily involved. They all care for each other deeply, so between their work and social lives, they are together a lot. Each of these characters are different and wonderful in their own ways, but put them together, and you have absolute GOLD! There is a scene between them in their boardroom during a ‘meeting’ where they all start having their own conversations, and I honestly had tears rolling down my face at the ridiculousness of it all. So freaking funny! But what I really loved about this book was seeing Shannon’s perspective on things. I loved her conversations with Patrick, and seeing how the two of them take the ‘Mum and Dad’ role in the family, and I loved watching her deal with dramas going on in her family while trying to come to terms with everything that is happening between her and Will. She changes a lot through this book, and I really enjoyed her journey as she learns to let herself go and finds the courage to claim her HEA.

“I love you… You are my fire and ice, my calm and chaos, my everything, and I can’t remember life before loving you. “

This is a great addition to the series. I absolutely loved it, and can’t wait to get my hands on the next instalment.

4.5 stars.

Advanced Review Copy generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.


The Walsh series


Underneath It All (#1) (Matt)
Buy:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Paperback

The Space Between (#2)  (Patrick)
Buy:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Paperback

Necessary Restorations (#3)  (Sam)
Buy:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo |iBooks | Paperback

The Cornerstone (#4) (Shannon)
Buy:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Paperback

Restored (#5) (Sam)
Buy:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Paperback

The Spire (#6) (Erin)
Buy: Amazon USAmazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Preservation (#7) (Riley)
Buy: Amazon US  |  Amazon UK B&N  |  Kobo  iTunes

Threholds (#8)
Buy: Amazon iTunes Kobo


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