Intelligent and outspoken, Jessica Barnes will never make a docile wife, and she’s never met a man who’s wanted anything more. She left her home back East to help her seriously ill brother run the Springwater Gazette, but she arrives in town to find the family in upheaval and the newspaper about to go bankrupt. Ever efficient, and not shy with her opinions, Jessica rolls up her sleeves and takes charge. Springwater has never met a woman like Jessica, a fact which becomes abundantly clear to one of the town’s most distinguished men.
As mayor of Springwater, Gage Calloway can’t stand the way Jessica criticizes his decisions. As a man, though, Gage is finding her a delectable armful he would dearly love to know better. And when a blizzard strikes, stranding them alone, these two strong-willed people find a passion in common they’d never thought possible.
The story of Jessica Barnes is told in the historical western romance called Jessica by Linda Lael Miller. It’s the fifth book in the Springwater series and there are actually only two more in this series (although Ms. Miller has said she might do more) that I have left to read. I’m pleased to say this is the last of the short ones (150 pages) though.
I have to admit that I was a little upset that Jessica takes place five years after Miranda (in the winter of 1880) but it was nice to meet new people and see how much the little stagecoach stop has grown. It’s actually a town now with a mayor and everything! The people in Springwater and their families have grown a lot as well.
This was such a good story! Jessica was a little harsh and snippy at first for my taste and Gage had his own shortcomings but I liked both of them by the end. I have to admit it was fun to see the two of them match wills though. I can’t wait to come back to this enchanting little town when I read A Springwater Christmas.
A Springwater Christmas (1999)
Springwater Wedding (2001)