Monday, August 15, 2016

Book & Audio Review: Showing Jessie by JoMarie DeGioia

Showing Jessie by JoMarie DeGioia
(A Cypress Corners Novel)

Publisher & Release Date: Bailey Park Publishing, June 3, 2016

Time and setting: Present Day, Cypress Corners, Florida

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length:  306 pages

Heat Level: 2 Flames

Rating: 4.25 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

The guy who wants to settle down

The girl afraid to lose herself again

Showing her hand…showing his heart

And a chance to have forever

Jessie Wilde survived an abusive boyfriend and now just wants to live her own life. Her enthusiasm and expertise sell the environmental features of the idyllic town of Cypress Corners but she doubts her own worth, often hiding behind her glasses and bulky clothes.

Former beach bum Noah Brady builds houses but he wants to make a home for himself and his young son. He doesn’t know if he has it in him, though. He’s never been a commitment or future kind of guy.

When he meets Jessie, and gets to know the sweet smart girl inside, he has to figure out how to do this relationship thing. He’s starting to think she just might be his forever.

Can Noah show Jessie there’s more to life than just surviving?

Or will her fear of the past keep her from reaching for her future?

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Vikki’s Musings

I’ve become quite a fan of Cypress Corners. Showing Jessie is the fifth book in this delightful series. Each story in this unique setting has been an enjoyable read. When Ms. Stetson asked if I would be interested in listening to this recording, I immediately accepted the offer. Showing Jessie is an excellent addition to this series. I’m glad I had an opportunity to listen to it.

As with all Ms. DeGioia’s books, Showing Jessie is an easy read. The pacing is fast, and I love the small town atmosphere of Cypress Corners. Not only did I enjoy the hero and the heroine, I had the chance to find out what the Chapman siblings are doing.  

Noah is an awesome hero. He’s of course good looking, but he’s also a genuinely nice guy. He’s uncomplicated, and he’s just perfect for Jessie. While his son was definitely not planned, but instead the result of a one-night stand, Noah has accepted full responsibility for him and did right by the boy’s mother. It would have been easy for him to just do the minimum, as many men would have done in this situation, but Noah is a great father instead. Just loved his character from start to finish.

Now Jessie, her character is much more complicated, which worked well for this story, creating a good bit of conflict for her to resolve. At times I did get a bit frustrated with Jessie. She struggles so much with accepting that Noah really cares about her. The ex really did a number on her self-esteem. All in all, I did enjoy her character, but just not as much as I enjoyed some of the other heroines in this series.

Now, I listened to the audio version performed by Wendy Rich Stetson. As always, Ms. Stetson truly brings the characters to life for me. From the delightful southern-bred older lady, Lettie, with her scandalous comments, to the young receptionist at the sales center where Tammy and Ben work. She gives each character a distinct voice, making it easy to recognize who is speaking, even if the author didn’t use many dialogue tags.

The author does that very well, by the way. That’s so important in an audio recording. Too many he said, she saids, become tedious to listen to, but that is definitely not the case with Ms. DeGoia’s books.

This is not the first performance I’ve listened to by Ms. Stetson and it will definitely not be the last. I love Ms. Stetson’s smooth voice and well-modulated tone a great deal. With each performance, her skill as a narrator shows amazing growth, and I’ve enjoyed seeing her brilliance only become brighter.

If you enjoy light-hearted, witty contemporary romances with plenty of heat between the sheets, then you will enjoy Showing Jessie. I highly recommend this book, along with the other four books in this great series. Happy reading!

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