The Lovesick Cure
Author: Pamela Morsi
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Publication date: August 28th 2012
My rating: 4 Stars
For Jesse Winsloe, the answer is clear: head into hiding. Single again and laid off from work, Jesse flees to Onery Cabin to lick her wounds with her ancient aunt Will—a Granny woman with the secret to healing the lovelorn.Sure, Onery Cabin may be right out of Hollywood's Lifestyles of the Poor and Hillbilly, but Marrying Stone Mountain has its charm—including the local physician's assistant, Piney Baxley, a past recipient of Aunt Will's pungent "heartbreak poultice."
Between folk remedies and a "no strings attached" romance, Jesse is beginning to think she's found her own brand of lovesick cure—because there's nothing like a pinch of confidence and a dash of attraction to mend a broken heart.
I felt like I was transported to the deep South, and could easily be sipping sweet tea, sitting on a porch swing, while reading this. It was a sweet tale of family, getting over heartbreak, and finding love in unexpected places. And while there was little in the way of drama, I was totally immersed in this sweet tale.
Jesse has just had her heart broken by what she thought was a fine upstanding man, Greg. The principal of the high school she where she taught earth science. It seems that another caught his eye and he tossed aside a two-year engagement and married someone else. To add insult to injury, right before this switch-up (or switch-down, you decide), Greg picked Jesse to lay-off instead of another teacher because of how it would look if he kept her on instead. So with no job and no fiancée, and no plans Jesse decides to flee Tulsa and visit with her ancient Aunt Will, in the Ozarks of Arkansas.
Aunt Will is a celebrity of sorts in this small, hayseed town. She’s what they call a “granny woman,” someone who dispenses herbs, “yarbs” as they call it, tonics and folk cures. But much more than that, Aunt Will seemed to be the woman the town relied on for cures and advice for all things that ailed them. When Jesse comes to visit, Aunt Will insists that Jesse take “lovesick cure” a putrid smelling poultice that’s applied to the chest every night for six days to cure her heartbreak. This is how she connects to Piney, the town Doc who recognized that horrid smell from his own time with the poultice, much to Jesse’s embarrassment. He’s had experience with heartbreak as well.
This story was told from mainly Jesse and Piney’s POV but other characters also have some time spent on them. Jesse was a likeable main character, someone I sided with from the beginning. How could you not feel for this woman who’s been dumped by her fiancée, so he can up and marry someone else after a two-year engagement? She’s from the big city but is never condescending to her Aunt Will or the others in the small town, and the love and care she shows her old Aunt is touching. Piney is a man every woman would want, responsible, good-looking, and a wonderful father. Every woman, that is, except for his wife who took off long ago. The friendship Jesse strikes up with Piney is innocent enough at first but soon they can’t fight the shared growing attraction.
The Lovesick Cure reeled me in with the promise of romance, but honestly, the history and interactions between all of these characters were just as captivating to me. There was a solid cast of secondary characters, Piney’s teenage son, Tree, and his girlfriend Camryn. And then there’s Aunt Will, and her past life and a couple of intriguing secrets. They all had their own story that you wanted to discover and watch unfold as well. I loved all of Aunt Will’s sage advice handed out with or without tact (mostly without), but hey, sometimes people have to be slapped upside the head to get a point.