Book Review: The Woman Who Loved Jesse James

Zee Mimms was just nineteen in 1864—the daughter of a stern Methodist minister in Missouri—when she fell in love with the handsome, dashing, and already notorious Jesse. He was barely more than a teenager himself, yet had ridden with William Quantrill’s raiders during the Civil War.

“You’ll marry a handsome young man,” a palm reader had told her. “A man who will make you the envy of many. But . . . there will be hard times.”

Zee and Jesse’s marriage proved the palmist right. Jesse was a dangerous puzzle: a loving husband and father who kept his “work” separate from his family, though Zee heard the lurid rumors of his career as a bank robber and worse. Still, she never gave up on him.

And he earned her love, time and again.

The Woman Who Loved Jesse James by Cindi Myers is a classic historical romanced based upon the infamous bandit Jesse James himself and his wife. The story is written with great historical accuracy while allowing you to see the life of an outlaw from the eyes of the wife. The story is well written and unique with smatterings of sex scenes that so many of us look forward to in a good romance.

“I never meant to fall in love with Jesse James, but I might as well have tried to stop a tornado or prairie fire.”

I loved that the author weaved this story around historical events and the outlawry that the James gang orchestrated. Yet we also got a great look at the characters through the eyes of the loving wife, whether it was that she loved the action that came with the man or the man himself. Ms. Myers shows us a great contrast between the man Jesse is portrayed as and the loving father and husband Zee sees. But is this naivety on her behalf? I also love the contrast between Zee and Jesse Jame’s brother’s wife, Annie. We get know Zee as a go-with-the-flow kind of gal, allowing James to make the decisions. Zee is portrayed as the doting wife who will stand by her husband’s side no matter his wrong doing o of the danger who forces his family to face. While Mrs. Frank James – Annie – shows more heroics and puts her foot down when her husband is up to no good.

“Does love cause us to judge them differently, or is love a lens through which we see them more clearly?”

I enjoyed the story of Mrs. Jesse James from beginning to end and it makes me want to dive into more of Cindi Myers books as well as read more about the infamous bandit. I haven’t always gotten into historical romances and this one proved to be a real treat. I read it in one day, forgetting to stop to eat lunch. (It was that good!)

You can purchase this book at Barnes and Noble!

I received this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review. Thank you NetGalley and Bell Bridge Books!


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