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In A Jam
by Kate Canterbary
Release Date: Available Now
“In a Jam” is a wonderfully sweet and tart small-town, slow burn romance by Kate Canterbary. It’s hard to write this review without using lots of jam and bread puns, but I’m going to do my best. I will share though, that the “jam man” leading man earns another nickname in this book … “Daddy Bread Baker”, which becomes an excellent running joke.
Reeling after her fiance calls off the wedding just a few hours before it’s due to start, Shay is handed something of a heavenly helpline when her recently deceased much beloved step-grandmother leaves her a surprising inheritance – the farm that’s been in the family for over 300 years. In desperation, she decides to go for it, for at least a year that she has before the conditions of the inheritance kick in. Oh yes, there are some serious conditions including the fact that she must live there for a year, and must be married by the end of that year. The chaos starts the moment she gets to the driveway of farm where she lives for a while in her youth, and it keeps rising from there. The biggest complication of them all is Noah, her best friend from high school who is now droolworthy man-candy with a farmer’s tan. He has a complication of his own; the six-year-old niece he has custody of, and her toy sword wielding, sailor worthy cursing habits. Now Shay has to navigate complicated feelings for her old friend, while she struggles to comprehend certain truths about herself that she’s just come to realize.
This is an entertaining book, with plenty of great rom-com moments. It’s also got a lot of sweet moments, farm animal hijinks, and a big, wonderful cast of secondary characters including Shay’s friends and the local townspeople. Noah’s niece is so important to the story that she is almost a main character, When Shay and Noah finally stop fighting the burning attraction between them, the fiery heat they generate practically sets the farm on fire. Noah blushes sometimes, but his bedroom talk is enough to make more delicate readers blush. It’ll probably make most of you as hot and bothered as Shay! There is also a lot of emotion in this story, and some scenes that might have you sniffling behind your book. I thought the ending was nicely done for these characters who truly deserved their happy conclusion.
Cowboy’s Christmas Girlfriend
by Leslie North
Release Date: Available Now
“Cowboy’s Christmas Girlfriend” is the first book in the ‘Carson Christmas Games’ series by Leslie North. It’s a single dad, friends-to-lovers, fake relationship romance with just the right balance of sweetness and steaminess to make it a perfect escape from everyday life.
Suzanna is a novelist who develops a friendship with Will, a rancher she met in an online forum where she was posting questions as part of her research for a book she was writing. Sometime later, she shares with him the awkward situation she’s now found herself in; for some reason she told her publisher she lives on a ranch, which she doesn’t, and they want to interview her there. Will has problems of his own – single and his own family members are relentlessly harassing him to date. The handsome widower is busy enough running the huge ranch and raising his twin 6-year-old daughters – he has no interest in trying to start a new relationship. Obviously, they decide to help one another out. She can be filmed and interviewed at his ranch, and he can tell his family that she’s his girlfriend. Yes, the story is predictable, but it’s also entertaining and fun. I wish I could attend the Carson Christmas Games because they sound awesome.
This book is like a delicious holiday movie you can hold in your hand. Suzanne and Will are likable, kind-hearted characters with good intentions. There are plenty of entertaining secondary characters, including his daughters and his mother and the rest of his extended family, all of whom descend upon the ranch for a wide variety of holiday activities. It’s nicely written so you can picture in your mind everything that’s happening as the story progresses. The author creates a delicate balance of funny, emotional, steamy, and sweet along the way to the happy conclusion of this quick and easy to read book.
Beyond the Red River
By Thomas McGrath
About the author:
(Excerpt is taken from: )
For some 50 years, the late Thomas McGrath produced a prolific array of titles, encompassing poetry, novels, books for children, and several documentary film scripts, including uncredited work on the eloquent and exhilarating Smithsonian film about the history of flight, To Fly. But McGrath is primarily a poet, and although “important contemporary poets . . . proclaim him as a major voice in American poetry in the last three or four decades,” according to Frederick C. Stern in Southwest Review, McGrath’s work has been critically neglected for years. “He’s one of those poets who should be known but isn’t, who is constantly being rediscovered as if he were some precocious teenager who just got into town,” declared Mark Vinz in North Dakota Quarterly.