Romancing Olive Review
“This tragic twist of events would place two young children in the care of an aunt they had never met.” – Holly Bush
After receiving news about the death of her brother and sister-in-law, Olive Wilkins is faced with the challenge of a new life. It is 1891. Olive is thirty-five, a librarian who dresses the part, and considered a spinster in the eyes of everyone she encounters. Yet she heads to Ohio to retrieve her five year old nephew and ten year old niece to bring them back to Philadelphia and the Wilkins family home. In her mind Olive paints this beautiful picture of the life her brother must have had and the home he raised his children in. Naïve, maybe even spoiled, Olive is about to have a shocking revelation – everything was a lie. Yet everyone is gone and all Olive is left with is a family in disarray and anger at not knowing why. So instead of a happy welcoming and a quick return to the comforts of Philadelphia, Olive has to accept that sometimes even the best laid plans can be destroyed rather quickly and dreams change sometimes drastically.
In Ohio, Olive meets two small children that witnessed their mother’s murder and are staying at a neighbor’s house. John, nephew, refuses to speak. Mary, her niece, seems to hate anything and everything around her. If her family isn’t in bad enough shape, then a whole new family is thrown into the mix. Peg, Luke, and Mark are the children of young widower Jacob Butler. At twenty-five, Jacob has lost the love of his life during childbirth and works to forget his pain.
Described as a spinster to the extreme, I thought Olive was rather too prim and proper… until I was allowed to see beneath the surface. Throughout Romancing Olive, Holly Bush weaves a story of loss, success, and hope. I haven’t read a historical romance in a while. I had trouble separating my modern thinking to historical thinking but I managed and then I really got into the book. The frontier is barren, lonely, and dangerous. Yet there is hope even among the most dismal of situations – love too. Jacob and Olive don’t exactly see eye to eye originally. Despite the age difference, they grow as friends first and begin to see each other in a new light. Olive is the first to realize that she loves Jacob but fear holds her back. Jacob is in denial for the most of the book (the poor guy) and eventually sees the light. But do they get together or does something get Olive first? *dun dun dun*
With some spicy romantic moments, touches of religious undertone, and a handful of looming danger, Romancing Olive was a fun read and satisfied the hopeless romantic in me. I went from sad to angry to happy. I fell in love with the children. I adored Jacob (and swooned at times) and cheered for Olive as she overcame her fears and figured out what she really wanted.
With a little bit of everything in this book it is worth the read. Give it a try!
What Others Are Saying –
“A poignant read, ROMANCING OLIVE is an inspired, emotion-packed historical story that will touch your heart.” – Reviewer for romance book site Romance Junkies
“Put away your notions of romancing. Dust off your ideas of shocking and pick up a copy of ROMANCING OLIVE by Holly Bush, a family saga reminiscent of THE THORNBIRDS.”
–Susan Russo Anderson Author & Book Blogger
To find out more about Holly Bush and
how to purchase a copy of Romancing Olive, click here.