It would take a miracle to find a husband in Marrying Stone. But sometimes miracles are right under your nose....
I had never read a Pamela Morsi book but I heard so many good things about this one that when I found a copy I decided that it was time to try it.
The story opens with Althea, a widow, being forced by her late husband's family to choose a new husband. Althea is not interested in marrying again. She married her husband so as to have her own home and not be a burden to her family anymore. She had a baby and she wants her farm to be her son’s legacy. If she married her new husband would be the one managing the farm and they might have more children so the land would have to be divided. Besides, there's no one she would want to marry...
Unfortunately the best she can do is buy some time, she will have to find a husband soon. Althea plans to continue with her everyday life until she can come up with a solution. She needs help with the farm chores and so she decides to hire Jess to help her.
Jess is a bit slow due to a brain injury when he was born. He knows things, he knows a lot more than some other men who are considered smarter, but he needs time to process his thoughts. Most people don't give him that time and write him off as an idiot but he is far from that. And after spending some time with him Althea starts appreciating his gentleness and his intelligence.
I must say that to me Jesse was the true star of this book; he is a lovely character, aware of his limitations but trying to overcome them by learning the most he can. He feels very attracted to Althea from the very beginning but he is afraid to act due to his problems. I was quite happy when Althea realised his worth. It was quite funny how she sometimes felt exasperated with him only to realise that he had good reasons to act as he did.
Althea and most especially Jesse are far from your usual romance heroine and hero. With them you remember what is really important and how sometimes that is not valued as it should be. I am now very curious to read more books by Pamela Morsi, especially The Marrying Stone which is a prequel of Simple Jess (although SJ stands alone really well).