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Every summer, superstar surgeon Whitney Aldritch crashes weddings with her best friend. The first one was an accident though after a decade of dropping in uninvited, they’re masters of their craft. They keep the rules simple and they never go to bed alone.

Then there’s Henry Hazlette, best man and the best one-night stand of Whit’s summer. She never imagined she’d see him again but now he’s one of her new surgical residents—and completely off-limits.

Whitney has staked her reputation on leading the hospital’s new ethics initiative. While Henry is under her supervision, they have to keep it professional. But it doesn’t help that she can’t turn around without running face-first into his offensively broad chest or rubbing up against him in crammed elevators. Also not helping: the way he smiles at her like he can hear her every not-safe-for-work thought.

All they have to do is survive this residency—and the accidental tarot card readings that hit too close to home, a few uninvited houseguests, and the hospital’s hyperactive rumor mill—but only if they’re prepared to bend some rules as the feelings go from just for tonight to get it out of our systems to mine.


BOOK REVIEW: Change of Heart

Kate Canterbary

RATING:

“Whitney, I’d like to spend the next nine hours doing unspeakably rude things to you.”

There’s something downright breathtaking about a Kate Canterbary novel and the way her characters pull you in straightaway with the sheer freshness and candour of their quirks and wit. But it’s the way she then breaks them wide open, tenderly, carefully, that has you hooked on her every word. Two perfect strangers meet at a wedding—he’s the best man, she’s not even supposed to be there—thinking one unforgettable night of passion would be all they’d ever have. But when their paths cross again, their new working relationship throws a wrench in any desire they might have of pursuing a romantic connection. Canterbary takes the familiar workplace romance trope and turns it on its head in this heartwarming, fun, thoughtful story about finding the courage to believe in love, and it just so happens to be one of my favourite reads of the year.

“To weddings,” I said.
She tapped her glass to mine. “May they continue to provide us the mischief—and mindless sex—we lack in our everyday lives.”

World-renowned transplant surgeon Whitney Aldritch is a walking conundrum. Revered for both her technical prowess in the operating room, as well as her high standards of professionalism and propriety, she lives a life defined by rules and expectations. Except for three weeks each summer, when she lets herself be careless and free by crashing weddings with her best friend Meri and having random hookups with strangers. And that is where she meets Henry Hazlette, charismatic best man and the greatest one-night-stand of Whitney’s life. Yet, she sneaks out of his bed in the middle of the night, leaving no way of finding her again.

I adored weddings. I wanted to soak in all the weird, wonderful bits of tradition and custom that came along with them until my fingers were pruned and pale. But there was always a moment when the soapy, iridescent glee of it all burst, and reality—the ugly truth of it all—wedged itself between my ribs until I couldn’t breathe without acknowledging that love wasn’t real. Not the stars-aligned, now-and-forever, soul-recognition kind of love that we tried to glimpse at weddings.

After months of searching for her in hundreds of wedding photos, Henry never expected to find his elusive one-night bedfellow on his first day of transplant surgery rotation, let alone for her to be his new attending surgeon and boss. But while Henry is still completely smitten and wants nothing more than to pick things up right where they left off, Whitney seems to be determined to put as much distance between them as possible.

She was the beginning and end of every damn thought I’d had for months and there were moments when I questioned whether I was on her mind at all.

Henry’s confident, demonstrative, playful, dependable nature continues to chip at the walls she’s built around her carefully guarded heart, and try as she might, Whitney can’t deny her own budding feelings for him any longer. But having grown up watching her mother pay a heavy price for love, Whitney has convinced herself that getting caught feeling too much for a man would inevitably lead to disappointment and heartbreak. She worst-case-scenarios her way through all emotional attachments in life, eventually even the one to Henry.

“I think you don’t trust that he’s chosen you. You’re betting on him changing his mind and walking out on you, and you’re going to hold tight to that until he has no other choice than to do it. It’s the abandonment issues combo platter.”

Henry, on the other hand, never walks away from a challenge, and he never stops seeing Whitney as his endgame. For all his easy-going charms, though, Henry has his dark corners, too, and his greatest one is his fear of losing Whitney and feeling helpless to fix it.

I loved her the way the dark of night loved the dawn, and just as one always chased the other, I didn’t think I’d ever stop chasing her.

There is so much to love about this story and its characters, but if I had to pick one thing I adored the most, it would be the fact that the heroine is the one with the power and influence, and the hero never feels threatened or emasculated by this dynamic. He falls first and he falls hard, while she lets love into her life when she feels ready for it, and it happens on her own terms. A delicious feast of a novel, with so many layers to savour, it took me several re-reads to feel ready to let go of Whitney and Henry .

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“What’s that, honey?”
“I think I have to learn how”—I couldn’t even get half the words out before I was crying again—“ to let you love me now.”

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