About the Book:
Publication Date: November 1, 2011 | BookBaby | 205p
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?
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.
Romancing Olive is a very sweet tale. Olive Wilkins is living a staid, peaceful life in Philadelphia as a settled spinster when she learns that her brother’s children have been orphaned and need a home. She sets off West to Ohio with the intention of bringing them back to her life. Little does she know that Life has something else altogether in store for her.
Once she arrives she finds not the perfect farmhouse with a white picket fence she envisioned her brother’s farm to be but rather a run down, dirty shack. She finds her niece and nephew in the care of a widower on the next farm over. They are traumatized and unwilling to accept another move. They saw their parents murdered and are afraid of Olive. Jacob Butler, the farmer, while rough around the edges is doing all he can to care for the orphans and he offers Olive the chance to stay at his farm while they get to know her. She is of course SHOCKED at the impropriety of staying at a man’s home when she is an unmarried lady. Olive soon learns that the standards she lives by are much more relaxed in this harsh new world.
As Olive puts Jacob’s house in order she comes to love Ohio and the people in her brother’s town. She also learns some hard facts about her brother and her father. She decides to stay in Ohio and build a life for herself and her niece and nephew. She finds herself attracted to Jacob but she is much older than he – could he possibly find her attractive too? There is also danger lurking as the children’s grandfather comes looking for them to work his farm. He is an abusive man and has no compunctions about beating women or children.
I truly enjoyed this book. It was not perfect by any means. There were several questions left unanswered and it was clunky at times but I found myself smiling through most of it. Olive felt herself old and dried up and a confirmed spinster at 35 but was experiencing life for the first time. She let herself be free and going through that with her was an absolute joy. It made up for the deficits in other areas of the book. As she literally put her hair down and learned to love and be loved I almost cheered out loud for her. My problems arose with the “bad guy.” There was minimal explanation as to why he was bad. He seemed to just appear when some tension was needed or a “ride to the rescue” would propel the story line forward. He had NO backstory and that was disconcerting.
Despite that, I found Romancing Olive to be a light, fun read. It’s not long so it can be enjoyed in one sitting. The setting was well described and the ancillary characters – for the most part – added to the enjoyment of the novel.
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You can purchase Reconstructing Jackson on Amazon.com
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Disclosure: I received a free ebook of Romancing Olive for my honest review from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received no compensation for this post.