- STAR RATING: 5 stars
PAGE LENGTH: 474 pages
- DATE PUBLISHED: September 18, 2022
- PUBLISHER: Vesper Press
CONTENT WARNINGS: Sexual content, abandonment, fatphobia
IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey for grumpy/sunshine
When Shay Zucconi’s step-grandmother died, she left Shay a tulip farm—under two conditions.
First, Shay has to move home to the small town of Friendship, Rhode Island. Second—and most problematic since her fiancé just called off the wedding—Shay must be married within one year.
Marriage is the last thing in the world Shay wants but she’ll do anything to save the only real home she’s ever known.
Noah Barden loved Shay Zucconi back in high school. Not that he ever told her. He was too shy, too awkward, too painfully uncool to ask out the beautiful, popular girl.
A lifetime later, Noah is a single dad to his niece and has his hands full running the family business. That old crush is the farthest thing from his mind.
Until Shay returns to their hometown.
Okay, so I picked In A Jam up after a few different bloggers and authors on Twitter wouldn’t stop praising it. I’m not a huge contemporary romance fan — I prefer historicals — but this one really pushed a lot of my buttons in a great way. Like, I didn’t want to do anything but sit down under a comfy blanket and read this book in one sitting. Unfortunately, life wouldn’t let me do that, but I still devoured this one.
Shay is a very competent kindergarten teacher. She’s friendly, loves to talk to kids, and more importantly, knows how to talk to kids. She wears goofy earrings, isn’t thin as a stick, and is, unfortunately, second guessing every decision she’s ever made. With good reason though — she was basically left at the altar by her no-good ex. I felt so, so bad for her, but what a wonderful group of friends she has that pick her right up and get her moving again. I really, really loved her character.
Noah is a no-nonsense lawyer-turned-farmer, and I love, love, love him. He’s gruff, grumpy, but oh my god does he fall HARD for Shay pretty much instantaneously. I am a sucker for a grumpy hero who does absolutely nothing but simp for his love. Like he is on her team IMMEDIATELY. He’d do just about anything for her, and frequently does. Hell, Noah offers to marry her just so she can inherit her farm! THAT’S NOT NOTHING.
Together, they are so, so steamy. They have chemistry right off the bat, and I loved how Canterbary wrote these two together. I will definitely be checking out more of her work, even if I wasn’t super into the first book I tried by her (The Belle and the Beard, in case you were curious.) But this book has me hoping for more like this. I want more like this right now, please. (Send me recs!!!)
The other characters in In A Jam are equally amazing — especially Noah’s niece, Gennie. I loved every second of her, and I ESPECIALLY loved that she actually sounded like a kid, and not like a weird baby-child-combo that some authors write. Shay’s friends were on her side constantly, and it was nice to see support without babying the person being supported. They were all also unique and not caricatures of types of people.
I would have read 92480234 more pages of this one. Five stars.
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