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Review: Simple Jess by Pamela Morsi

Simple Jess by Pamela Morsi
Notes: I received an audio review copy from the author for review.
Historical Romance, Special Needs
Digital/Print/Audio (423 pages)
Jesse Best is a simple man with simple ambitions, his own dog, his own gun and a woman. Althea Winsloe is a young widow. All she wants is to give her son a better childhood than her own. But a young woman sitting on a prime piece of farmland is bound to draw attention from envious neighbors and swains on every side. Interfering relatives and the confession of an illicit kiss force her to make her choice of a new husband by Christmas Day. Chock full of Ozarks vocabulary, mountain culture and characters that you are sure you know, Simple Jess is a unique and beloved romance novel that no reader should miss. (Narrated by Kevin Clay)
Author Site: website

An unexpected romance gem I solidly recommend! (5 stars)

I'm not much of a historical romance reader. On the surface this book is pretty much the opposite of what I read and review. When I perused NPR's 100 Swoon-Worthy Romances in search of a gem or two that I might like it was the one that stood out. I'm an advocate for diversity in romance but it's still very rare to find characters with mental handicaps. Since it was so well reviewed I felt quite confident that Jesse was going to be treated as a person with the same dreams and desires as any man. I took the plunge and this book blew me away.

I listened to it on audio and at times the narrator was so good he was annoying but he brought the Ozarks and Marrying Stone to life. Morsi is a phenomenal writer. Not one word ever feels extraneous or like filler. The characters are vibrant, lively, and felt like they were real people, not caricatures. The plot is a bit of a classic, I could easily see this made into a Hallmark movie. Althea is impressively strong and flawed but someone with a good heart. Jesse may have ruined all future romance novel heroes for me. He's such a good man and so deserving of the love he finds.

If you're looking for an engrossing, heart-felt romance that is pretty unique please do yourself a solid and read Simple Jess. Even though it's not a book I would have ever found on my own it would make my own top 100 for it's beautiful contributions to the romance genre.

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