I've been on a reading binge recently and have been tearing through books in an almost manic need to devour words. Simple Jess by Pamela Morsi was picked up as one of Dear Author's daily deals and what a sweet read it is.
At the beginning of the book, I felt the language was slightly stilted and difficult to read. Since the story is very years ago and the people in the book were highly uneducated, it was an interesting read because the author tried her best to sound authentic (and did a good job).
I did start to enjoy the book and soon was ripping through it, unable to put it down.
The story is as follows: widow Althea is being forced to marry by Christmas day. Despite the absurdity of the situation, it's a real dilemma for her as she's a woman who can't run the farm her dead husband left her, her mother in law wants to have more control over her and the town is uncomfortable with her choice to remain independent.
Jess is a simple man who was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck so it cut off oxygen to his brain. He's a good man, hard working, able to remember instructions and seeking his own independence (of a sort). Jess ends up working for Althea, he's going to help her prepare for winter and in return she'll gift him with her husband's hunting dogs.
To say Jess is a perfect romance hero is problematic since he's simple, words get caught for him and he can't express himself. But he's honest, pure, capable of being a provider and ultimately, he's romantic in his own way and very aware of his own sexual feelings.
It was simply brilliant. And when Jess and Althea finally come together, I had to stop reading for a while because it made me feel overwhelmed by the emotion in it.When Althea got her Christmas present, I had tears in my eyes.
The supporting characters (especially Mavis and Eben) have a compelling story and I think Ms. Morsi created a character in Eben that truly took one of the most disolute bastards and made him sympathetic.
If we gave stars, this would be a 5star review.