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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Romancing Olive by Holly Bush

Romancing Olive by Holly Bush
Publisher: Book Baby
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical
Length: Full Length (281 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

Romancing Olive . . . 1891 . . . Spinster librarian, Olive Wilkins, is shocked to learn of her brother’s violent death at a saloon gaming table. Compelled to rescue and raise his children, Olive travels to Ohio, intending to return to her Philadelphia home with her niece and nephew. Little does she know that the children have come to love their caretaker, widower Jacob Butler. Will Olive return home without them or learn to love Jacob as well?

Olive was doing just fine living in Philadelphia and leading the nice quiet life of an unmarried woman. She wasn’t fond of the “spinster” connotation but had to admit it did fit her pretty well. She had a good female friend, her own home, her cat, and her routines. She was happy. Then she finds out her brother and his wife have been killed and she has a niece and nephew to collect from the west…

This author writes a very good tale about the early days of farming in the west. Her main female character is a “sissy”, but has a good backbone and a desire to learn what she needs to know to do her job. The wrinkle in the story is named Jacob. He’s a young widower who is taking care of the children since her sister-in-law’s family didn’t want the responsibility. He’s also good looking and it doesn’t take long before Olive finds herself caring a lot about him.

The story of how difficult it is to farm and raise a family and take care of household duties is authentic. It’s still not easy today, but it was much more difficult then. Ms. Bush shows the culture clash between the farmer and the spinster, which is amusing to read about. Another highlight of this story is the mixed family of five children. Each child has their own oddities and watching the adults handle them will make you smile.

One central problem in the story (which adds to the plot) is the grandfather that rejected the children and now wants to take them home as slaves. He’s willing to steal them if he must and neither Olive nor Jacob plan to give them up.

This is a soft sweet romance with strong individuals who will stand up for their beliefs and their children. I found it a pleasure to read and I didn’t want to stop until I reached the end. Olive became a character I admired and wanted the best for and I wanted to thwack Jacob up around the head, but it all comes together at the end.