MINI REVIEW: In a Jam by Kate Canterbary

It’s a mini review! I’m clearing out my review queue of all the books I can’t seem to convince myself to finish, for one reason or another. That doesn’t mean these are negative reviews, it simply means that something isn’t compelling me to keep reading at the moment. Maybe I’ll go back to them another day, maybe I won’t!

DNF Details:

How far did I get? 160 pages, which is like 35% of the way into this beefy 450+ page book.

Why did I stop? I didn’t really mean to! I set it down at the end of the day, and just… never picked it back up. I was in it for the marriage of convenience, and that hadn’t even become part of the story yet when I set it down. It also feels more like a second chance romance than anticipated, with our hero harboring some hurt feelings with the way things (platonically) ended between them as teens. The dynamic wasn’t really working for me, and there were some red flags that there would be more trouble down the road.

Was I enjoying it initially? Yes, I was! It’s super cute and cozy, with a small town setting and a hero who is still figuring out how to parent his niece unexpectedly. Canterbary is a very talented author, so there’s also some great swoony moments and tension, but it’s mixed with a lot of time spent on the child and a total lack of communication. They actually don’t spend a ton of time on the page together (up to this point) either.

Would I finish this? I started this on release day and kept seeing glowing review after glowing review in the days that followed, so I pushed myself to get back into it several times without much luck. While I was enjoying it quite a bit during that initial read through, the spark is not igniting for me now. Maybe I’ll wait long enough for my brain to forget the story and go in fresh, I don’t know.

Who would I recommend this to? I’m pretty sure everyone has already recommended this, so listen to those reviews, lol! It’s perfect for those readers who prefer a slow burn to SIZZLE, as I’ve heard repeatedly that this heats up in the back half. I’ve read other books by Canterbary, so I totally believe that. It’s got small town, laidback vibes and a friends to lovers/second chance feel, more than the marriage of convenience aspect.



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 and turns his life upside down. 

CW/TW: 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.


About the Author:

USA Today Bestseller Kate Canterbary writes smart, steamy contemporary romances loaded with heat, heart, and happy ever afters. Kate lives on the New England coast with her husband and daughter.

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