The Underdog by Briar Prescott

Briar Prescott was my gateway into this genre and has remained one of my favorites to read since, and her latest book did not disappoint in that way. In fact, I think The Underdog is my favorite of her stories to date which is why I happily gave it five stars!

From the Blurb:


There once was a guy who told a little white lie. That didn’t turn out so well. I would know. I’m the guy.

Once upon a time, I told my brother and sister that my dream was to do a triathlon. I never expected them to sign me up for one! Now I’m forced to deal with my very cantankerous personal trainer.

Wells Montgomery is an angry, rude, judgmental bastard. Frankly, I’m surprised the chip on his shoulder hasn’t crushed him yet.

But the more time I spend with him, the more I realize that the anger is just a facade that conceals a man who is more than a little lost.

The more time I spend with him, the more I start to think that maybe somebody should find him.

The more time I spend with him, the more I start to think that maybe, just maybe, that person could be me?

There once was a guy who flew unimaginably high. That didn’t turn out so well. I would know. I’m the guy.

A year ago I was on top of the world. It only took a handful of seconds for my life to irreversibly change course. Needless to say, I’m not happy. Neither am I happy when my dad and one of my so-called friends trick me into becoming a personal trainer for some guy who wants to do a triathlon. Now I need to get this Anders Kelly to fire me.

It’s a good plan, if only Anders wasn’t so unbelievably stubborn. And too nice for his own good.

Annoyingly fun. Irritatingly kind. His faults just keep piling up.

But the more time I spend with him, the harder it becomes to keep my distance.

The more time I spend with him, the more I start to see the possibilities life still offers.

The more time I spend with him, the more I start to think that maybe, just maybe, Anders might not be an unattainable dream after all.

Sarah's Review:

The Underdog is book three in the Better With You series, and like the others, can be read as a standalone. In fact, this one could be read more as a standalone than book two, because the characters from the previous books are very much on the peripheral. Jamie and Connor from book one are friends with Anders and appear occasionally, but you don't have to know anything about them to find the scenes with them enjoyable or for their relationship in context to Anders to make sense.

The Underdog focuses its attention instead on the two main characters: Anders, a determined young man whose mother abandoned him to raise his seven year old twin siblings when he was eighteen, and Wells, a former NHL player who lost a leg and his career a year ago. They do not meet by chance. Instead, they meet when Anders's siblings buy him entry into a triathalon due to the fact that he always claimed (lied) that he wanted to do one. They wanted to give him one of the experiences he missed by raising them. And so, because he doesn't want to let them down, he dedicates himself to getting into shape.

Enter Wells. His former physical therapist was a friend of Anders' and when Anders needs a trainer, he looks up his old buddy. Wells very much does not want to do this. He does not want to take on this task and he does not want to be doing this. Honestly, he doesn't want to be doing anything. He's fallen into a pit of despair following his accident and he sees no way out of it. The two clash at first but slowly find common ground until feelings begin to take root.

This is a beautiful story of two men learning to love and to accept themselves. Anders is absolutely hilarious and the slow burn of chemistry between Anders and Wells is a beautiful thing to witness. Watching the way that Wells grows to accept what happened to him and the way that Anders does not treat him any differently because of his amputee status is refreshing. Everything about their romance is refreshing and I fell head over heels in love with this couple and this book.

There is a bit more angst given the nature of the two MCs life than we've seen in other books, but it still managed to be marshmallow levels of fluff. It was a quick read - but that could be a personal thing. I could not put the book down the entire time I was reading it. I would recommend this book to pretty much anyone, because its amazingly well written and the relationship between the two men feels so real.

Rating: 5 Stars