Synopsis: In 1891, spinster librarian, Olive Wilkins, is shocked to learn of her brother’s violent death at a saloon gaming table and her sister-in-law’s subsequent murder, traveling far from her staid life to rescue her niece and nephew, now orphans. She arrives to find the circumstances of her brother’s life deplorable and her long held beliefs of family and tradition, shaken.
Accustomed to the sophistication of Philadelphia, Olive arrives in Spencer, Ohio, a rough and tumble world she is not familiar with, facing two traumatized children. Her niece and nephew, Mary and John, have been living with a neighboring farmer, widower Jacob Butler, the father of three young children of his own and a man still in pain from the recent loss of his wife.
Real danger threatens Olive and Mary and John while Jacob and his own brood battle the day-to-day struggles for survival. Will Olive and Jacob find the strength to fight their battles alone or together? Will love conquer the bitterness of loss and broken dreams?
My Thoughts: This book was just what the doctor ordered! I read two kind of difficult books before I picked up Romancing Olive and was in dire need of a good read. Romancing Olive grabbed me and held me from beginning to end. I flew through it in less than 24 hours because I could not stop reading!
Olive is a single woman in her mid-thirties who travels to Ohio to take custody of her brother's children after his death. She is one of the neatest characters I have read in a long time. She wasn't the typical heroine that you might see in a historical fiction novel and that made me love her even more. She seemed so stuck up and boring in the beginning but as the story progressed she opened up and learned a lot about herself and the world around her. It was kind of fun to watch her grow throughout the story; it was almost like she aged backwards. She seemed 'old' in the beginning but as she loosened up, it seemed that her attitude and mindset became that of a younger woman.
I pretty much knew how the story would end but it was still a wonderful read. Ms. Bush turned the little children into really deep and interesting characters and made Jacob into the perfect love interest. I also loved how the story was funny and yet really touching at the same time. There were parts that made me giggle and others that made me tear up; there is nothing I love more than a story than evoke emotion.
About the Author:
Holly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. She worked in the hospitality industry, owning a restaurant for twenty years and recently worked as the sales and marketing director in the hospitality/tourism industry and is credited with building traffic to capacity for a local farm tour, bringing guests from twenty-two states, booked two years out. Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public speaking on the subject.
Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She has written four romance novels, all set in the U.S. West in the mid 1800’s. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer’s group.
Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, has been an active member of her local library board and loves to spend time near the ocean. She is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.
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