Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Jessie and James by Jennifer Beckstrand

Posted August 1, 2019 by meezcarrie in Christian, giveaway, historical, Jennifer Beckstrand, romance / 23 Comments

Gold Diggers #3

GENRE: Inspirational Historical/Western Romance
PUBLISHER: Jennifer Beckstrand Publishing
RELEASE DATE: July 19, 2019
PAGES: 260

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?

Other Books In This Series


There are a handful of authors whose books I would read, no matter what genre they wrote in (within reason). Jennifer Beckstrand is one of those authors. Her books never fail to warm my heart, tickle my funny bone, and make me swoon. That’s why I jumped at the chance to review Jessie and James. Typically my Beckstrand reads have been contemporary Amish fiction, but the fact that Jessie and James is historical western romance made me want to read even more!

To be honest, it took me most of the first chapter to really get into this book, but once it hooked me, I couldn’t put it down! I became very invested in these characters (main, as well as secondary) and the events that played out on the pages.

Jessie is a fabulous heroine! She’s feisty and independent but she also has her vulnerabilities at the heart level and some bitterness she needs to let go of before she can heal. Her attachment to her gun is hysterical, as are her comebacks to James in conversation (though sometimes those could get her in more trouble with others than that gun ever could lol). James is super sweet right from the beginning with a bit of mischief & flirtatiousness that Jessie seems to bring out in him. He too has some vulnerabilities that he needs to work through, and this gives the story even more layers amid the humor and romance. And, of course, when you combine feisty banter with two characters trying to suppress their true feelings for the other person you end up with some emotion-driven and fireworks-sparking kisses too 😉

There are a couple of secondary characters that I can’t wait for you to meet. You’ll fall in love with them just like Jessie did – because I did too. I can’t say too much more about them without giving away a key plot point, but they are truly endearing and I just wanted to hug them.

Bottom Line: In Jessie and James, Beckstrand once again proves what a talented author she is – and that she was made for writing westerns as well as her usual Amish fiction. Seamlessly weaving wit and emotion alongside a bit of adventure and meaningful insight, the author also introduces multi-dimensional characters that I hope we see again! You’ll laugh and swoon, for sure, and you may even get a bit tearful as you devour Jessie and James from start to finish.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4.5 stars / Love it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion

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’ aendi Bitsy, 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.

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Other Books by Jennifer Beckstrand

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!

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to two winners!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click below to enter.

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This giveaway is hosted by Celebrate Lit, not RimSP
Follow along with the tour for more chances to win!

What about you? What interests you most about this book?

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23 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Jessie and James by Jennifer Beckstrand

  1. James Robert

    Thanks for sharing your book with us. I think we all enjoy hearing about new books we previously didn’t know about. Also, thank you for the giveaway.

  2. Lori Smanski

    Oh but this sounds like a sweet read with lots of emotion and fun. Thank you for your thoughts. Some really interesting facts about mining. Thank you for sharing those.

  3. Carrie, you don’t know how happy this makes me, especially since Jessie and James is my first foray into Western historical fiction. You’ve just made my day! I hope yours is just as good. 🙂

  4. Linda Palmer

    All of the Gold Digger books look great. I’m especially interested in your book, as I don’t think I’ve ever read any of your books. I love western setting stories and Amish stories.

  5. Donnna B

    This sounds like a great book. I have read some of Jennifer’s Amish books and they are great! Thanks for this giveaway.


    Great review. This sounds like a great read. 8 love the cover. Thanks for the chance.

    Tighefan42 atgmaildotcom

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