Jessie and James by Jennifer Beckstrand: Book Review with Celebrate Lit.
About the Book
Book: Jessie and James
Author: Jennifer Beckstrand
Genre: Western Historical Inspirational Romance
Release Date: July 24, 2019
Jessie Madsen has her hands full helping her parents run their small farm and boarding house while every fortune-seeker in the country seems to be flocking to her small town in search of gold. It’s bad enough that claim jumpers won’t quit trespassing on her property, but geologist James Kelsey, mildly intriguing and surprisingly handsome for an Easterner, seems more interested in her than the mining business. Jessie is certain she doesn’t have the time or the need for a man, and after getting her heart broken, she has resolved never to fall for an outsider again. Add stolen cash, a fast-talking con man, and a pair of bandits, and Jessie is indeed up to her eyeballs in trouble. Will she soften her rock-hard exterior and let the geologist discover the hidden treasure in her heart?
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I’m claiming Jessie and James as the funniest book I’ve read this year. Jessie’s spunk and James’s unwavering loyalty pulled me into the depths of the story. I couldn’t wait to see who Jessie would threaten to shoot next.
The meet -cute hit the mark (pun intended). Jessie hates anything to do with mining, which adds a mixture of hilarity and character-building since she lives in a mining town and deals with miners all the time. She did get a bit high and mighty from time to time, but her turn-around made everything better.
Beneath the exterior, Jessie and James strives to show God’s love knows no bounds. He loves everyone, even when no one else thinks He should.
An intriguing plot will keep you wondering from beginning to end. It’s not as predictable and straight-forward as you would think.
I encourage you to read it if you enjoy Old West stories. Fans of When Calls the Heart should fall in love with this book.
I requested a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. I was not required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
About the Author
Jennifer Beckstrand is the two-time RITA-nominated, #1 Amazon bestselling Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hillseries, The Honeybee Sistersseries, and The Petersheim Brothersseries for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer and Home on Huckleberry Hill were both nominated for the coveted RITA® Award from Romance Writers of America. Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth, the Honeybee sisters’aendiBitsy, and Alfie and Benji Petersheim. Jennifer has written twenty-one Amish romances, a historical Western, and the nonfiction book, Big Ideas. She and her husband have been married for thirty-four years, and she has six children and seven adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.
More from Jennifer
Jessie and James is my first published Western historical novel, and I couldn’t be more excited. The first book I ever wrote was a historical Western, and I’ve been wanting to write another one for ten years. (That first Western is still hanging around my house somewhere. I might decide to publish it next. J) For my research, I traveled to a real mining town about two hours from my house. Yes, it really is named Eureka, and it was a boomtown in the 1880s, the period in which my book is set. I met an old-timer in Eureka who told me some fascinating stories about mining then and now.
Did you know that you may own the ground your house sits on, but you only own it to sixty feet deep? So a mining company can come in and dig a mine right under your house, and it’s perfectly legal. Many mines were dug straight down or in any direction that would get them to ore faster. In the 1880s in Eureka, often they’d dig straight down using only picks, shovels, and dynamite. A plumb bob was utilized to make sure their tunnels were straight up and down. They usually dug down 600 feet then drifted horizontally a couple hundred feet, then dug down again. Some mines went deeper than 1800 feet. Nowadays, there aren’t many mines that deep. They’re more dangerous, so they’re too expensive to insure.
In Jessie and James, James is an ex-cowboy turned geologist looking for gold. Jessie is a feisty, independent woman who runs a boarding house with her parents and thinks Eureka needs a little more fire-and-brimstone preaching to keep the incorrigible miners in line. Jessie doesn’t want anything to do with a gold digger, and she’s willing to use her shotgun to run James off. But James doesn’t scare that easy, especially when the woman on the other end of that shotgun might turn out to be the love of his life.
Jessie and James is full of shotguns, bandits, and heart-stopping romance. Don’t miss it!