Book Review: The Worst Guy by Kate Canterbary

Goodreads: The Worst Guy (Vital Signs #2)
Published: 28 December 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(5 pandas)

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.
They didn’t.

Author’s Note: Grumpy/recovering people-pleaser sunshine. Introverts attract. Enemies-to-lovers in the workplace. Banter, bicker, and button-pushing foreplay. Don’t tell the friend group, get jealous when the friend group tries to fix her up.
Heat: rip her clothes off before you get the front door open.
Angst: big laughs, big feels, no ugly crying. 

TL;DR: Just as I was thinking how I’ve never read a grumpy x grumpy romance, enter Sebastian and Sara, two screeching grumpy guts who are just a little fragile and lonely and honestly couldn’t be more perfect for each other. This was so devastatingly heart-swooningly good that it was just rude? Like, the audacity of this author to write something that gutted me the way this did! Anyway, say hi to my new favourite Canterbary romance (now tied with The Belle and the Beard)! If you love an intense enemies-to-lovers workplace romance between two headstrong and amazing characters, I’d highly recommend checking this out. 👏🏽

Ngl, I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t like this because at the beginning Sara was… Oof, she was a screech owl I was not jamming with although thankfully that moment of fear passed pretty quickly. On the other hand, I loved Sebastian from the go and I’m not gonna deny that 90% of why I loved this book was entirely because of him. Seriously. THIS MAN!!! *bites fist in squee!!!* 😮‍💨 Don’t ask me what other romance hero sent me swooning as hard as he did right now because my brain is a blank space of heroes save for him. UGH. I LOVED HIM SO GDM and even despite knowing how much Nick loved him and Deanna assured me I would too, I was still. not. ready for just how much this man would send me. I’m crying in single, y’all! 😂🙃

Content/Trigger Warnings: parental neglect/abandonement, eating disorder/bulimia (recounted), emotional manipulation, gaslighting, toxic relationships

Their chemistry was absolute perfection and I couldn’t get enough of the way that Sebastian was a disgustingly lovesick fool for Sara. I didn’t expect to love their hate banter as much as I did but damn if I didn’t love it and wanted more, more, more! Were they bratty and maybe a little childishly petty at times? Sure they were. Did that stop me from literally CACKLING out loud countless times? It most certainly did not. I dare you to read the ridiculous situations they get into (thanks to anger management therapy) and NOT laugh. I mean, that jousting activity?! I couldn’t have contained my laughter even if you paid me! 😂 This is a prime example of when a lot of antagonistic banter just works and maybe it’s my Sebastian bias but I melted every time he’d spout a new affectionately mean nickname for Sara. Like, please!!! 🥰

That being said, this wasn’t just a surface swoony romance. Sebastian and Sara are twin souls with layer upon layer of battle scars that they’ve carried with them for years and buried beneath fearsome glares and pleasing smiles. Sebastian may come across as an unmitigated scowly arse who complains ceaselessly like a whiny baby and only feels one emotion, but that’s simply his way of handling the overwhelming number of emotions he actually feels. Oh gosh, I was wrecked by the depth of emotion and aching loneliness he felt, which was only made more pronounced with each interaction he had with Sara. I wanted to grab onto him and wrap him up in a hug and never let him go! 🥺 Sara also had a pretty shoddy upbringing with incredibly toxic and controlling parents that condescend and gaslight like nobody’s business. It was so gutting to read about she dealt with that and how it ended up taking such a toll on her body and mental health. It took a lot of work, patience and acceptance for them to finally get to a good place together but the journey is absolutely worth it. If you’re a fan of enemies-to-lovers then I’d definitely recommend reading this because they don’t play with their hate for each other and there’s even a good amount of dirty hate sex in this and wow—it was just wow. True enemies-to-lovers, people! 🥵

I don’t know if you can tell but I definitely loved this book 😂 I would read anything with Sebastian in it and Canterbary does mention several earlier books that he makes cameos in… So you know I’ll be checking those out ASAP. Ugh, I still can’t get over how swoony he is and I’m gonna leave this quote to end all quotes to end this review:

“I wanted to show her off tonight. Stand in front of all our friends, loop my arm around her waist, say, “Do you see? This one’s mine.” At the same time, I wanted to barricade us behind locked doors and under cozy blankets, press her hand to my chest, and say, “Do you see? This one’s yours.”

Ugh, my forking heart! 😭

Have you read The Worst Guy or is it on your TBR?

11 thoughts on “Book Review: The Worst Guy by Kate Canterbary

  1. Ahhhh! This review is everything!! I’m so happy that you loved it as much as I did. Sebastian truly is one of the best romantic hero of all-times. And omg, yes!! I was cackling ALL throughout this book at their petty shenanigans. I just loved them so much. I need a re-read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ngl, I had so much fun writing this review and the whole week I had it scheduled I was eagerly anticipating it going up so everyone can see how much I love Sebastian. He really IS one of the best romance heroes 🥲 I already miss him and feel like I NEED TO re-read soon even though I just finished a week ago.


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