There’s just something special about a Kate Canterbary book. The stories hit on another level for me. They always have and they always will. And writing this Shucked book review reminded me of all the reasons why.
Upon discovering the Walshes a few years ago now, I absolutely fell in love with Kate Canterbary’s writing. The fun, the silliness, the passion, and the love always flies off the page and straight into my heart. There was no shortage of that in Shucked, especially with main characters as bright and memorable as Sunny and Beckett.
Sunny is such a vibrant and interesting character. She has so many conflicting qualities that made me really excited to read page after page after page. As someone who has struggled with wanting to live that adventurous, somewhat nomadic life, but cannot imagine moving away from my hometown, I found a lot of qualities that I had in common with Sunny throughout Shucked. And I think a lot of twenty and thirty-somethings can identify with Sunny’s story. Even if she does have additional hurdles to clear that others don’t.
And then there’s Beckett. He’s the closed-off, snarky man of Sunny’s nightmares. And he worms his way into her heart in ways only these two could appreciate. I am excited to see their bond continue to develop as we (hopefully) get more and more stories in Friendship, RI. Because with them on the same page, on the same side, the town is never gonna be the same again.
Sunny and Beckett are one hell of a pair. It’s always fun to play with the dynamics of knowing someone in their youth, and then growing up separately and crossing paths a decade later. We all change as we move through the stages of our lives, from childhood to our teen years, from your twenties to your thirties and so on. So when you know someone as a kid and run into them decades later, it’s a balancing act. You have to balance the person you used to know with the person they have become. In Shucked, the torment that Beckett and Lance, Sunny’s brother, put her through as kids, it adds another layer to the history these two are battling against.
And that brings us to the banter. I hesitate to say it, but it’s probably my most favorite thing about romance, and definitely something I wanted to highlight in this Shucked book review. I love when a hero and heroine can trade insults, and are always trying to get the other’s goat. That was brought to another level in Shucked, because Sunny and Beckett both have a bit of a mean streak in them. And, since their history is more antagonistic than many of the pairings I’ve read before, that mean streak has a whole lotta heat to it.
But it’s watching that heat morph from irritation and frustration into attraction and passion that makes it so engaging to read. Love and hate are so closely linked, and relationships can move from one to the other in a moment, if the right or wrong circumstances win the day. With Beckett and Sunny, watching them reach that tipping point and then stretch beyond it delivers that warm, fuzzy feeling you’re looking for when you pick up a romance.
There are a ton of characters in Shucked that I am certainly hoping to see more of, and I hope Ms. Canterbary is setting us up for a multitude of stories set in Friendship, Rhode Island. Mel and Bethany certainly have some serious flirtation going on. Throughout Shucked we see them trying to figure out their attachment to each other. If they continue to get their flirt on through more Friendship stories, I will be a happy lady, but I’d love to see them get their own story at some point. Also, right near the end, we see a couple together who clearly have some issues to work through. I know we don’t have any future books/series promised at this point, but we are definitely meant to feel the lead in there. No spoilers, so I’ll just leave that at that.
But yeah, the town of Friendship is chock full of characters I certainly hope we get to see more of. From the other ladies at Naked Provisions to Ranger, Phil Collins, and the walking club, it’s a true community of personalities that are so much fun to read.
‘Shucked’ by Kate Canterbary published on August 22, 2023
Look for more recommendations and content like this Shucked book review on our books page.