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Jessica McCarthy’s only Christmas wish is for a home of her own and children. All her friends are already married and have families. Believing that true love will never come her way, she settles for the man she sees as her last chance to realize her dream, handsome, charming, ne'er-do-well, Zachary Belk. Jessica’s father, one of the most successful businessmen in 1860’s MaJessica McCarthy’s only Christmas wish is for a home of her own and children. All her friends are already married and have families. Believing that true love will never come her way, she settles for the man she sees as her last chance to realize her dream, handsome, charming, ne'er-do-well, Zachary Belk. Jessica’s father, one of the most successful businessmen in 1860’s Manhattan, warns her that he isn't a good prospect for a husband. Jessica seldom goes against his advice, but Zachary is the only man in New York who has courted her. His own firm is on the edge of bankruptcy, and he desperately needs a financial lifeline. Jessica believes she is only being realistic when she agrees to be Zachary’s wife, but she soon finds out her carousing husband doesn’t share her hopes for domestic life. The stock market crash of 1869 changes all their lives. Born into wealth, Jessica never had to ask the price of anything. Now the cost of simply putting food on the table is the first thing on her mind when she awakes every morning. Jessica must adapt drastically to being penniless. She calls upon her faith in God, her friends, both old and new, and her own determination, not only to survive, but to find peace, happiness, security, and a real love. This is the first of three novels in the 'Manhattan Stories' saga. It takes the reader from the opulent drawing rooms of Manhattan, New York, where fortunes are made and financial empires can collapse without warning, to the frontier cabins of Manhattan, Kansas, where everything, including true love, is possible. The second in the series is Pillsbury Crossing....

Title : jessica the manhattan stories book 1
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9948955
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 363 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

jessica the manhattan stories book 1 Reviews

  • Shannon
    2018-12-04 15:04

    This is the second book I've read by Donna Mabry (the first one was "Maude"). Both books are swift, enjoyable reads. "Jessica", however, seemed a bit too simplistic. The pacing of the book seemed uneven- at times the author would get caught up in tedious, somewhat bland dialogue involving unnecessary detail, while other times she would graze over major plot elements (EG: the major life changes going on with Jessica's father in law and the father in law's love interest at the end of the novel were both barely acknowledged). There were some grammatical errors in the book as well. Considering the Kindle version is only .99, I will read the rest of the Manhattan series. It is a light, entertaining read that is definitely worth the dollar, as long as there isn't some unrealistic expectation of a grand piece of literature.

  • Anne
    2018-11-21 12:51

    Another awesome book by Donna Mabry! This one was quite a roller coaster ride. I accidentally read book 3 first and now I have read 1 and am anxious to put them together with Pillsbury Crossing, Book 2 of the Manhatten Series. I highly recommended this book.

  • Lorena Helfers
    2018-11-30 17:11

    Very sweet. And wholesomeA somewhat simplistic story. For those of you who like good wholesome stories, you will not be disappointed. No curse words no sex. Like floating on a cloud.

  • Jeannie Lemley
    2018-12-02 08:47

    JessicaJessica is a story about romance, with a little adventure and mystery thrown in, and a good deal of history. Of course now I have to read Pillsbury Crossing, the second of three books in the 'Manhattan Stories', followed by 'The Cabin'!

  • Barbie
    2018-12-15 12:58

    Very nice story. Enjoyable read.I really enjoy Mabry's style. Good stories with pleasant endings. Always hardships to overcome in between. Always a lesson to be learned.

  • Deborah
    2018-11-19 15:57

    Great Book!I posted on Facebook.. To recommend it to all my friends and family. Wonderful book...I love Donna's style of writing.

  • Jenny
    2018-11-19 15:11

    horrible!boring!! i had to quit reading it

  • Patsy
    2018-12-02 11:15

    Strength in family and friends help them survive.Enjoyed this book. Jennifer comes from a wealthy family. At 21 she feels need to marry Zachary and start a life of her own. Her father wisely warns her of the nature of Zachary need and greed of money. He wisely wills her money and house Zachary can not take away. The Black Friday 1869 gold crash has hurt his family badly. They struggle to keep appearances. Zachary has gambling addiction. This hurts his family and New marriage. Fortunately Jessica's father has a will to protect her best he can. Zachary's parents split up and he is now trying to care for his depressed dad also. He's also critical that at 2years there is no baby yet. However he has no compassion for the blended family. He is a poor provider and this results in Jessica filing for divorce. But it will take a year for it to be final. Zachary agrees for a pay off to get out of her life but leaves his ailing father behind. With the help of a devoted servant of her father's house Jessica gets by. But like a bad penny Zachary returns and learns Jessica is pregnant. He convinces his father and her to a new start in Kansas. He agrees hire farm help, a young Indian girl. He is too good for dirty farm work. He is displeased the baby is a girl. Again his gambling and drinking lead him wrong. Stealing the last of the inheritance he runs off with a saloon girl and soon word comes he is dead. The misfit group pulls together to bring in money and food daily to survive. Life improves and new love grows with the Pastor. But shockingly Zachary is not dead and returns again!

  • D. Elisabetta
    2018-12-19 13:06

    Jessica (the heroine) is the daughter of a self-made millionaire; her life is a picturesque idea of how Manhattan (especially the Upper East Side) looked in the mid 1800s. As much as Jessica loves her father, she fears that she'll spend forever as a lonely old maid because he's the only single person left in her group of friends. Her fear of being alone is what convinces her to marry a despicable man named, Zachary Belk. Her father warns her, but Jessica hopes that love may change him. After her marriage, Jessica's life takes a complete upturn. Her marriage is terrible, her husband is a monster and life is continually bleak for her. Not only that, but she's transported from Manhattan, NYC to Manhattan, Kansas! I loved how human Jessica was painted -- she made mistakes, but they were realistic. I loved how Jessica went from being a cautious, wallflower to an empowered woman. It focused not only on self-empowerment, but female friendship and the unconditional love of family. Even though there were quite a few characters, I truly felt that all their storylines were wrapped up neatly. Zachary Belk successfully made his way onto my list of worst fictional males! :PThe writing was sweet, but simplistic; almost as if you were peering into someone's ancient memories. Something that bothered me were the grammatical errors. They were often very distracting and rudimentary. I understand that there's no editor with self-publishing, but I think the work should have been assessed prior to publishing.

  • Tiffany
    2018-11-25 11:16

    I had to stop at chapter 6. Very poorly written and quite a drag. Maude was such a great read, this is just disappointing.

  • Joyce
    2018-12-06 16:55

    Jessica tells the story of Jessica McCarthy, a wealthy young woman, who marries a man she doesn't love and doesn't even like, to fit the social standards of her time which required marriage for a woman. Fortunately, her father takes safeguards in her marriage and in his will to safeguard her inheritance. She is a strong, intelligent woman who is not beaten down by her husband's infidelities and gambling problems. I felt great admiration for her in divorcing him in that day and time. However, shortly after the divorce, she finds out she is pregnant, and allows her ex-husband back into her life to try to give the baby a father, and they move to Manhattan, Kansas to live in a house her husband has won through cheating a person at cards. Although, he falls back into old patterns and causes her to become nearly destitute, Jessica finds ways to survive and go forward. The book takes place in the early 1900's and portrays vividly the stock market crash and it's effect on so many people, including the wealthy. My favorite part of this novel was the character of Jessica---a very admirable woman who acted with intelligence and strength in a day when this was not expected of women.

  • Donna
    2018-12-10 08:50

    I have to admit I stopped reading this book when I realized Jessica was portrayed as a perfect Christian wife who seemed to accept her philandering worthless husband whom she knew was just that before she married him but thought she should marry him anyway because no one else had asked and in her time a woman has to be married. Her father warns her, she insists when she has children that will somehow make up for all her marriage lacks. He is marrying her for money and status, and her father knows it and so does she. I'm sure she gets herself above all this but the way it is written I just lost interest in this woman who seems to have no unkind or selfish thoughts, let alone deeds, and I could not relate to her at all, allowing herself to be used as she is. I may go back and finish it. I was excited that there are more books in this series. But right now I need to read about a strong woman who makes decisions for her well being above a lousy husband.

  • Crystal
    2018-11-25 15:03

    I love historical fiction and was excited to read this one in particular because my grandmother grew up in rural Kansas. I liked the writing style but I had an odd thing happen: I was more interested in the secondary characters than the protagonist. Spoiler alert: Jessica was a total doormat and while the author tried to tell us that she was a strong woman...no. Her actions were weak. Her husband who basically bankrupted her to get divorced came back and asked her to leave with him and she actually went?! Pregnant or not, that was pathetic. Then she doesn't freak out when her ex shows up after everyone believes he's dead the night before her wedding to a good man. She had no reaction at all. Total doormat/robot. There was no depth to her at all! I also felt like the whole last 1/3 of the book was ridiculous. I found myself not caring what happened to Jessica because she sucked so much. I wish we could have heard more about Caroline or Father Belk or Mimi.

  • Fran
    2018-12-18 13:10

    As with Maude this book is "ok". It was a little hard to watch Jessica putting up with her worth less husband and coming back for more and more of his nonsense. You would think that most women would never take him back after he left the first time. What I found most confusing was that Jessica showed how strong she was when she had to provide for her and those she lived with. She was the epitome of a strong woman. But, when her husband came along the second and third time she was the weakest woman ever! That definitely was hard to read.And of course there was the ever predictable "happy ending". I debated for a hot minute as to whether I wanted to read the three remaining brooks in this series and decided there are too many really good books out there to settle for average.

  • Carol Ann Jellison
    2018-11-21 12:13

    What a bore!I can't believe I finished this oh, so predictable story! Jessica marries a known cad and - surprise! - he treats her badly. Just as I think I might respect her for creating an independent life, she decides to try again with him and heads to an unknown town in Kansas. Gee, What could possibly go wrong? Despite her stupid choices with this man, Jessica is a saintly, too-perfect character: she is talented, loved by all, and, except when it comes to her husband, never makes mistakes. When tension is introduced into the story and you think, "Finally! Something interesting is happening!", it is too quickly resolved and things go back to boring.

  • Christine Alcott
    2018-12-05 16:07

    Just not developedThe writing was not so bad, but the character development was. The main character, Jessica, acts in a manner inconsistent with her education and life - she marries against her father's will, to a man who she knows is a scoundrel, because she is afraid of being an old maid at age 25. She is incredibly wealthy, and lives independently from the beginning of her marriage, but she keeps taking back her cheating, abusive spouse, whom she has no feelings for - and never had. Multiple times. And her husband just won't go away. The characters felt wooden, and I formed no attachment to them. The end was predictable - everything tied up with a bow.

  • reneeNaDaBomb
    2018-11-18 15:13

    Jessica (The Manhattan Stories Book 1)A good storyline which shows a resilient woman and explores her life during the Great Depression. Women did not have the right to vote. They couldn't work outside the home or seek employment without permission from their husbands. What a hard life for Jessica once she met and married that scoundrel Belk. It's a worthy read because she has to use all resources to get around these obstacles during those years of poverty. Although the story starts to slow down a bit in the middle, the characters came to life for me. I gave this book 3*** because of the typos.

  • Paula Wright
    2018-12-18 13:54

    Closer to 2.5 stars. I didn't really like it, but I did finish reading it and I didn't despise it either so that is something. It is almost written like a melodrama with our heroine, Jessica, and a dastardly devil, Zachary. The only difference is the heroine pulls herself up by the boot straps every time the dastardly devil takes her down. I wanted to like the story of a strong woman, but she is too naive. The writing wasn't that great either. Too detailed in places and states the obvious too much. This is available from the Kindle Lending Library and is the first of a series. I won't be reading the rest.

  • Norma E. Scarborough
    2018-11-20 12:15

    Jessica was an outstanding depiction of the true strength of women even before they had civil rights. This would be a good read for women who have had to make it on their own with very few resources.i can relate to some of the events This would be a good read for a book club. I would encourage my daughters and others to read this. The marriage of the two seniors was a surprise. Since I read the cabin first it helped explain some history in this series to me. Jessica was an outstanding depiction of the inner strength of women at a time when they were considered property and of course had no civil rights. Excellent read for women in these Trumped up times.

  • Patricia Anne. Dsvis
    2018-11-22 13:59

    JessicaIt must seem to those who read my reviews that I have given 5 Stars to all the books that I have read! I only give 5 Stars if I believe it is worth the read, this was a wonderful story of a young woman who grew up in a well do family, married a man who never loved her and stole from her! After she was a very independent woman,she learned to take care of herself in more ways than you can imagine. Please read about her life and see for yourself what a great book this is.

  • June Creedon
    2018-12-14 10:15

    The proof reader let the author down.Historical fiction is more effective for me to remember than a textbook with facts and dates. I can relate to the characters' basic needs and emotions because they are so similar to what I have experienced 100 years later. Maybe I expect the best of everyone because that's the way my own heart is. It's the nature I was given and my parents nurtured. Read this book to find out what happens when a hateful husband holds his wife to the vows the preacher read on their wedding day,from the bible in the book of Ruth.

  • Toni White
    2018-11-26 17:09

    A joy to read!With all the unfortunate turns in Jessica's life, her strength and determination for happiness and success win out and serve as an example that you can make lemonade out of your lemons. It was very refreshing to be able to read and enjoy a story without bad language and sex. Her life story about her grandmother in the book "Maude" was deeply moving and led me to "Jessica".

  • belinda banks
    2018-11-25 16:49

    This book was okThis not usually the type of book I would normally read but it has a good storyline and interesting characters. The reason I gave it the stars I did was because even though it wasn't a page Turner which is the type of book I love it took me longer to read it. I can usually read a book in a day or two. But what I liked about this book is the author created a strong female main character

  • Anne
    2018-11-22 12:49

    Another great book! I found myself drawn to the main character (Jessica) in so many ways. Such a bright, talented, courageous woman with a good head on her shoulders. Her husband, however, I can't say the same about. Throughout this book I constantly was pulled between her kicking him out, and then finally her moving to Kansas (later finding out he tricked her into moving there) but was the best decision of her life. It gives you a lesson in that, good things do truly come to those who wait!

  • Ann Wilson
    2018-11-28 08:55

    Wonderful story and charactersThis will go down in my list of most favorites. If her stories could only be longer and not feel so chopped off I thinkthey would be famous for all time. I appreciate the price, but would pay more. I usually won't buy a book this short;After reading Maude I put this author on my must read list. Of course Maude couldn't have the happy ending I would liked fleshed out more. I was so happy God gave her romantic love to a good man (Jessica).

  • Melissa Hickey
    2018-12-19 17:12

    After reading the amazing "Maude," I had high hopes for this book. I found it painful to read, flat, predictable and very dull. I would "speed read" thru paragraphs because I just wanted to get thru the book, hoping the next chapter would bring more exciting content. I've recommended Maude to others, but would not do the same for this book, unfortunately.

  • Lynne Baum
    2018-12-07 13:09

    I loved this book so much I picked up Maude right after. Donna mabry style is easy & reads like u r there. Jessica started out reminding me of a The Heiress but was better because her dad really loved her & treated her well. I don't want to give anything away. It was a sad but enjoyable read for people who like romance & descriptive prose about the past. 5* read for me.

  • Tammy
    2018-11-22 10:04

    Inspiring readI enjoyed this story of a young woman discovering her own strength. Jessica grew up pampered but learned quickly to handle what was dealt her. At times the story moved too quickly leaving opportunities for its development by the wayside, but overall it was a charming story. I have just purchased the second book in the series to follow the continuing story.

  • Toni Maddi
    2018-12-02 10:00

    I loved "Maude," so I had high hopes for this book. I'm not sure why I slogged through it instead of putting it down. There was very little description, which is fine if the dialogue is good, but it wasn't. The entire book lacked clout. Jessica found herself in the same (mildly) distressing situations time and again and the resolutions were predictable and dull.

  • Dyana
    2018-12-13 12:02

    Zachary pissed me off so bad that I wanted to strangle him through the page of my kindle. But then when he went away, the story got boring. The story wasn't bad. I liked the setting. The errors were terrible. Some of the errors were so bad, none of the sentences made sense. The time that it took place was in the late 1800's but one of the typos was 1990. Really? Talk about killing my mood...