A bad marriage has left Jessie Walsh in ruins and running for her life. She answers an ad for a Texas cook and nanny. Donning a disguise to hide her identity, Jessie can only pray that she has run far enough.
Jake Tate has his hands full with a daughter, a ranch, cowboys, Indians and cattle. But the longer Jessie stays, the more intrigued he becomes. What is this tough woman hiding underneath her large coat and square spectacles?
As passion ignites between them, the real question becomes, how long do they have until Jessie’s past threatens to destroy their future?
I loved Jessie from the beginning. Lots of historical romance novels, particularly ones set in the West, boast heroines that are tough and know what they want, but Jessie also had a softness to her that made her easy to identify with. The story of her past was told little by little in flashbacks, which made it much less of an information overload and also gave you more time to empathize with her situation and want to know more about her.
This was the first historical romance I’ve read where the heroine was physically abused in addition to being emotionally abused. It gave Jessie the push she needed to get away from her old life but it was a little hard for me to read about, though it did give the story a good realism. There were some pretty good coincidences so it was nice to have that balanced out a little.
Midnight Magic felt a lot like several books in one. At the beginning there was the meeting between Jessie and Jake that went from will-they-or-won’t-they to a rich romance, then it moved on to the fight between Jessie and her past that caused them to change scenery and say goodbye to most of the secondary characters we spent a lot of time with at the beginning. I enjoyed the journey but it really did feel like two different stories were being told at times.
I really enjoyed this book a lot. The characters were all very well written, the drama was believable, and the historical settings were rich and accurate. And of course, the romance was top notch. I loved watching Jessie and Jake’s relationship unfold with all its uncertainty, and was very satisfied with the ending and how everything wrapped up. There was a teaser for Andresen’s next book, The Golden Rules of Love at the end and after reading it I’m very much looking forward to it as well.