She loves a man she can never have. He’s in love with the wrong woman. In a relationship built on lies, can the truth set Jessa free before she loses Rodney forever?
When Jessa Endicott began writing to her sick friend Ada’s pen pal, she never dreamed she’d fall in love with the man on the other end of the letters. Rodney Hammersmith has fallen in love with the writer of the letters. The only problem is, the woman he thinks he loves is someone else.
When Rodney’s job brings him to Willow Wood, he can’t wait to meet his pen pal face to face. Jessa is equally anxious to meet Rodney, but he doesn’t know she exists. He’s here for Ada, the woman he thinks he’s been writing to.
Jessa never meant to mislead Rodney when she agreed to write the letters. Now she risks watching him fall in love with Ada, whose lies could destroy all their lives.
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Teresa Slack loves reading, writing, and falling in love. Creating clean and wholesome western romances where fearless cowboys still sweep independent heroines off their feet was an easy choice for her.
She writes from her home in the beautiful southern Ohio hills, which she shares with her husband and rescue dog and rescue cat. Any errors and typos she blames on the cat randomly running across her keyboard.
Learn more about Teresa Slack and her books by visiting her website at www.teresaslack.com. Readers who sign up for her newsletter will receive a free download of A Promise for Josie: A Willow Wood Prequel.
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The second book in the Willow Woods Brides series by Teresa Slack, “A Love Letter for Jessa” can be read as a standalone. The heroine from the first book is mentioned briefly in what is a spoiler for the ending of that book, but the rest of the story is independent. This is a sweet series in which those who eventually become couples are identified from the beginning, leaving little room for mystery but instead ushering in a hefty dose of wholesome romance. These are the clean, Western-style tales that one would expect to find adapted for television on INSP or the Hallmark Drama channel, and their core of faith sets them apart from other such stories.
“A Love Letter for Jessa” opens in Willow Wood, Idaho in autumn 1890. Using third-person omniscient narration, Slack introduces readers to twenty-year-old Jessa Endicott, who appeases her ailing friend Ada List by taking over her correspondence with Rodney Hammersmith. No harm, no foul. Until Ada recovers and Rodney comes to work in Willow Wood, eager to meet the woman whom he has fallen in love with through the letters. What might be a humorous incident builds into a true conundrum, layered with deceit, guilt, and misunderstanding. This story is an excellent example of how one lie always leads to another, eventually resulting in heartsickness, no matter how trivial it may seem at the time: “A lie was a lie, regardless of who told it or the logic behind it.”
Sometimes characterization becomes evident from the very first chapter, and such is the case with this novel. To the reader, none of the figures in the story come as much of a surprise, but the excitement lies in how they interact with and react to each other, learning more about each other and themselves in the process. As Jessa frets over not telling Rodney the truth, she laments that “Anything she said would make her look like a petty, jealous, conniving hypocrite trying to come between him and Ada.” Furthermore, there is the discernible Christian viewpoint that shines forth within the pages of this story. Some of the characters exemplify it, while others shun it in favor of their own gratification. I appreciate that Slack creates both, because it adds a realistic level of conflict, and while I feel that everything ties up a bit too neatly in the end, I still enjoyed this story and believe that by following the example of Jesus, we can love each other more and better. After all, God wrote the greatest love letter of them all.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
My rating: 4 stars ♥♥♥♥