ARC Review: In a Jam by Kate Canterbary

✨ HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO IN A JAM! ✨

Hi friends, I’m so excited to share my review for In a Jam by Kate Canterbary today! When I learned that I was approved for an ARC of In a Jam I literally squealed because I am a big fan of Canterbary’s romances and I’m so happy to say that this one didn’t disappoint!

Special thanks to the author for providing a digital ARC via Grey’s Promo in exchange for an honest review!

In a Jam
Pub Date:
20 September 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(4.5 stars)

📖 SYNOPSIS

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.

⚠️ CONTENT/TRIGGER WARNINGS

absentee parent(s), brief mention of parent death, brief mention of parent chronic illness, mention of incarceration, mention of temporary foster care placement, reference to teenage teasing/bullying (not detailed, not explicit), brief incidence of fat-shaming, living with a neurodivergent child

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Book Review: The Belle and the Beard by Kate Canterbary

Goodreads: The Belle and the Beard (The Santillian Triplets #3)
Publisher: Vesper Press
Published: 23 April 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Panda Rating:

(5 pandas)

📖 SYNOPSIS

Jasper-Anne Cleary’s guide to salvaging your life when you find yourself publicly humiliated, out of work, and unemployable at 35—not to mention newly single:

1. Run away. Seriously, there’s no shame in disappearing. Go to that rustic old cottage your aunt left you. Look out for the colony of bats and the leaky roof. Oh, and the barrel-chested neighbor with shoulders like the broad side of a barn. Definitely look out for him.
2. Stop wallowing and stay busy. It doesn’t matter whether you know how to bake or fix things around the house. Do it anyway. Dust off your southern hospitality and feed that burly, bearded neighbor some pecan pie.
3. Meet new people. Chat up the grumpy man-bear, pretend to be his girlfriend when his mother puts you two on the spot, agree to go as his date to a big family party. Don’t worry—it’s only temporary.
4. Cry it out. Screwing up your life entitles you to wine, broody-moody music, and uninterrupted sobbing.
5. Get over it all by getting under someone. Count on your fake boyfriend to deliver some very real action between the sheets.
6. Move on. The disappearing act, the cottage, the faux beau—none of it can last forever.

Linden Santillian’s guide to surviving the invasion when a hell-in-heels campaign strategist moves in next door:

1. Do not engage. There is no good reason you should chop her wood, haul her boxes, or pick her apples.
2. Do not accept gifts, especially not the homemade ones. Disconnect the doorbell, toss your phone over a bridge, hide in the basement if you must, but do not eat her pie.
3. Do not introduce her to your friends and family. They’ll favor her over you and never let you forget it.
4. Do not intervene when she’s crying on the back porch. Ignore every desire to fix the entire world for her. By no means should you take her into your arms and memorize her peach-sweet curves.
5. Do not take her to bed, even if it’s just to get her out of your system.
6. Do not, under any circumstances, fall in love with her.

⚠️ CONTENT/TRIGGER WARNINGS

Sexism, slut-shaming recounted, alcohol consumption, drug use mentioned, pregnancy & childbirth mentioned, grief & loss depiction, recounted death of an aunt and death of a father from suicide recounted

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Blog Tour Review: The Decoy Girlfriend by Lillie Vale

Hello, friends! It’s my stop on the TBR & Beyond Tours for The Decoy Girlfriend by Lilli Vale and I’m excited to share my thoughts and favourite quotes with you today!

Thanks to G.P. Putnam’s Sons for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Click here or on the banner above to check out the rest of the fantastic bloggers on tour!

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Mini Book Review: Falling for the Enemy by Katie Golding

Goodreads: Falling for the Enemy (Malibu Millionaire #2)
Published: 17 May 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(5 pandas)

Sometimes, the perfect guy…
Is the one you hate the most.

Jasper Brooks has everything—with his smooth-talking ways and devilish good looks, he’s signed some of the hottest bands of the moment. If only he could get the wrong-number woman he’s been texting for months to reveal herself.

Blake Harris absolutely hates Jasper with every fiber of her being. Avoiding her professional rival is next to impossible in the Malibu music scene, and when a new band puts them head-to-head, their pent-up frustration explodes in a raw session of hate sex. A mistake they keep repeating.

With feelings spinning out of control, Blake bolts back to the mystery man in her phone, determined to finally meet Mr. Perfect. Not realizing that all along, she’s been secretly falling for the enemy…

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Book Review: Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Goodreads: Beauty and the Baller (Strangers in Love #1)
Published: 29 March 2022
Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

Gorgeous, talented, and brilliant, NFL quarterback Ronan Smith has the world in his hands. But after losing his career and his fiancée in a car accident, he falls into a pit of grief and bad choices. When a mysterious girl shows up to his party, he feels drawn to her and makes her his…for one night.

Former beauty queen Nova Morgan is on a mission. Scantily clad as a princess from a galaxy far, far away, she sneaks into a high-profile party to capture the attention of her favorite quarterback. But her hopes crash after an awful one-night stand.

Fast-forward two years. Broke and desperate, Nova returns home to Blue Belle, Texas, where, by a cosmic twist of fate, her broody neighbor is none other than Ronan, the shiny new football coach everyone adores. But he has no idea who she is.

The booster club keeps shoving women at Ronan to keep him in town. His solution? He proposes fake dating to Nova. But things heat up for real under these Friday-night lights when he realizes she’s the one who slipped away.

Has this jaded beauty found her forever baller, or will his past keep them apart? 

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Book Review: Blind Pass by Teagan Hunter

Goodreads: Blind Pass (Carolina Comets #2)
Published: 27 January 2022
Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay there.

I would know. I’m coming home with a brand-new ring on my finger.
My wife? Ryan Bell.
We’re polar opposites.
She’s sunshine and happiness.
I’m grumpy and scarred—literally.

We could get it annulled and no one would be the wiser.
Only problem? We posted about it online, and it’s already making headlines.
I can’t afford to get that kind of attention and tank my career, and Ryan needs my help too.

We make a plan: stay married for one year, play our roles, and divorce amicably at the end. No harm, no foul.
Besides, there’s no way the beauty is going to fall for the beast…

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Book Review: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by Elizabeth O’Roark

Goodreads: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Devil #2)
Published: 20 January 2022
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

When Drew Wilson’s ex-boyfriend Joel “Six” Bailey asks her to go on his family trip to Hawaii with him just as her life is falling apart, she decides it’s the perfect time to give him another chance.

The hitch? The Bailey family includes Six’s rude older brother, Joshua—a hot-nerd doctor who has hated Drew since the moment they met and once suggested she’d steal the family silver.

Drew is determined to win the Baileys over and give this thing with Six a fair shot…but Joshua is making that difficult. Not simply because he is in her way at every turn, but because—as one tropical adventure leads to the next—she’s beginning to wonder if obnoxious, odious Joshua might be the brother she actually belongs with.

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ARC Review: Take the Lead by Jaqueline Snowe

Special thanks to Jaqueline Snowe for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: Take the Lead (Central State #3)
Published: 28 June 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

Falling for my fake girlfriend was never part of the plan…
Daniella Laughlin might seem put together in her dance gear and captainship, but on the inside, she’s figuring out who she is without her mom’s beauty pageant influence. Constantly being critiqued and set up by her mom, she dreads going home for the holidays.

Enter her best friend’s older brother, hockey captain Gabriel Van Helsing. Dani and Gabe have been friends for two decades, and sure, she’s harbored a secret crush on him forever, but she never acted on it because his sister would’ve killed her. Gabe’s a player, on and off the ice, and the longest relationship he’s had is with his hockey stick. He offers to drive her home for Thanksgiving break and proposes the most bonkers idea—they should fake date until New Year’s to get her mom to leave her alone.

Gabe might wear the C on the ice, but he’s always been passive. Here for a good time, never rocking the boat. But after his latest hookup wouldn’t take a hint, he uses Daniella’s predicament for the perfect solution: if he was unavailable, people would leave him alone.

Things begin easily with their friendship, but with every touch and fake kiss, Daniella can’t hide her feelings anymore. And for Gabe, who sets deadlines for every fling he’s ever had, he struggles to fight for what he wants. When their timeline is up, Daniella’s insecurities clash with Gabe’s inability to commit. For two people terrified to take a chance, they must risk their decade-long friendship for a shot at love.

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ARC Review: Sweeter Than Honey by Joy Avery

Special thanks to Montlake for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: Sweeter Than Honey (Honey Hill #2)
Publisher: Montlake
Published: 28 June 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(3.5 pandas)

A talented baker and a small-town sheriff forced into a fake relationship decide whether to take a chance on love in this delectable romance from Joy Avery.

Baker extraordinaire Rylee Harris has a recipe for everything—except love. It’s been five years since she lost her husband, but romance is still a struggle for Rylee. In her small hamlet of Honey Hill, North Carolina, Rylee knows she’ll be the talk of the town when she finds someone new.

To ease her mother’s worries about her love life, Rylee impulsively invents a fake relationship with the only man who’s caught her eye: the town sheriff, Canten Barnes. It’s supposed to be a secret, but secrets don’t last long in Honey Hill. One bit of gossip leads to another, and soon the whole town thinks Rylee and Canten are an item.

As Rylee and Canten embark on a make-believe relationship to save face, they slowly realize that their feelings for each other aren’t fake at all. Can Rylee and Canten keep the charade going—or will the town’s prized baker and respected lawman take a real chance on love?

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