Customer Reviews for

Romancing Olive

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
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  • Posted April 26, 2012

    Unforgettable Romance, A Harrowing Rescue

    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.

    The year is 1891 and a spinster librarian, Olive Wilkins, arrives in a frontier town in Ohio to rescue two traumatized children, her niece and nephew. At the start of the story, they are orphans, having witnessed their parent's brutal murders. They have been living with a neighboring farmer, a widower and father to three young children whose wife lost her life in childbirth.

    Olive is thrown into what was then the wild west where conditions and behavior were primitive. Instead of returning to Philadelphia with the two children, Olive stays in the widower's home until her niece and nephew feel more comfortable with her and she can take them back to the east with her. The families merge. Olive does her best to create a stable, family environment for all five children while she does the drudgism of a frontier mom. Olive and Jacob Butler, the author tells us, are "two strangers, stranded in a tragedy they had not written."

    But life--violent and unpredictable--intervenes to endanger Olive and the children and keep us on the edge of our seats.

    I loved the flesh and blood characters that Holly Bush created and won't soon forget them. I felt I was walking on the frontier. Understandably all five children are traumatized by catastrophic loss, fragile, wounded, speechless or angry, and I liked the way their slow change to normalcy is woven into the story's action. And, of course, Olive needs to change. Her reactions to this frontier world are those of a Philadelphia miss, grounded in her rigidity and absolutism. It is the book's central paradox that the frontier Holly Bush deftly recreates for us does its best to rescue Olive from her long-held, life-destroying beliefs.

    There are tender moments, violent scenes, twists and turns in this family saga. ROMANCING OLIVE will keep you on the edge of your seat turning pages. You will have to read to the very end to find out if love conquers the bitterness of broken dreams. I highly recommend the book for all readers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2012

    Love Triumphs

    This story is wonderful! Olive is at a point in her life where her future in Philadelphia is set. Suddenly she finds out that her brother in Ohio is dead, his two children are fatherless and alone. Realizing she must rescue her neice and nephew and bring them back to her home, she heads to Ohio. What she has not realized is this trip will bring her love for the first time in her life .What a delightful story! Good job, Ms. Bush!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 23, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    Romancing Olive was a delightful pleasure to read.
    The plot of the story is both interesting and a joy to get to know the characters of the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2014

    Thank you Northamericanwordcat..................................

    Thank you Northamericanwordcat..............................................
    Was reading reviews on another book when I noticed that I had read several of the books Northamerican  had recommended.  But not this one so I thought I'd try it.  Yep.  We're on the same page.  Really liked it and it's always great to find a new writer.  Well written.  In depth characters.  Good story.  One little criticism.  To me this book screamed for an epilogue.  Did they have children of their own?  Did Mark grow up and function on some level.?   Were Mary and John able to overcome their traumatic childhoods?.   I even wondered what happened to Theda.  And last but not least will their be another book that explains it all.  With an epilogue I would have given it 5 stars.

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  • Posted December 22, 2013

    What a breath off fresh air! This book was one of the best histo

    What a breath off fresh air! This book was one of the best historical romances I have read in a while, and it was an absolute delight from start to finish. I have never read anything by Holly Bush, but she has quickly become one of my favorites.

    First of all, yes, this is your typical "Western" romance (West meaning Ohio). But there are some things that make it stand apart from the others. Olive in a near-40 spinster, and Jacob is a 20-something widower. Olive has a niece and nephew, and Jacob has three kids. There was a horrid murder before the book even began, and things are not always as they seem.

    It was such a pleasure to read a book that was full of laugh-out-loud humor. The interactions and chemistry between Olive and Jacob was absolutely flawless. Watching the way that circumstances and life changed the characters over the course of the book was an absolute delight.

    I was glad that the morals of the main characters were definitely intact. I was glad that church and God played a significant part in their lives as well. There were no bedroom scenes (thankfully), but many of the scenes were still pretty intense. There was some profanity, but it was fairly mild and sometimes used rather humorously. I honestly did not find it offensive.

    I won't tell you how the book ends, but the author has woven a truly wonderful tale that will keep the reader's attention until the end. I would highly recommend this book to anyone with a love for historical romances. I can only hope that a sequel eventually comes out because I would love to know what adventures Olive and Jacob face next!

    I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

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  • Posted May 20, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    This is a well crafted, lovely romance that I stayed up late to

    This is a well crafted, lovely romance that I stayed up late to finish. The themes here are not new (spinster aunt comes West
    to care for dead sibling's children and meets not ready to move on widower). As it is a character driven book, I wasn't holding
    my breath to see what crazy thing the plot would do next. I simply really enjoyed being with Olive and Jacob and the childern and
    so I didn't want to leave them. 

    While much of the plot is like sitting in a well worn rocking chair and running your hands soothingly over the thumb shined wood,
     the characters all have extra notes of flavor in them that make this book one that I will reread again to savor their growth and just
    who they are.  I won't tell you what the spices are because that will be your joy to find while reading this book. 

    The love story is real and sensual. This is especially impressive for a book that has a handful of kisses and lightly drawn wedding night
    at the end of the book.  

    Olive is a religious woman and at appropriate moments this aspect of her character comes into her thoughts. The hero is a
     wonderful father.  In my opinion, the villain wasn't really needed because he and some of the backstory he is connected to
    could have been explored a bit more to give the book another layer of richness. However, with his role in the book,  there is a nice bit
    of action and bravery at the end of the book that is moving. 

    I highly recommend this book and I am thrilled to have found this writer. I am always on the look out for a new good historical romance
     writer and I found one! 

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  • Posted March 21, 2013

    Another winner from Holly. Her stories are always interesting an

    Another winner from Holly. Her stories are always interesting and her characters believable. Romancing Olive is a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree. I highly recommend this for everyone.

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  • Posted March 10, 2013

    Excellent book! I loved this book! Very sweet and well written.

    Excellent book!
    I loved this book! Very sweet and well written. I read this book in about 2 days and enjoyed the storyline and characters. I don't typically enjoy western type of books, and this reminded me of one with the setting. However, it is really about a story of second chances, family, and starting over. Jacob is grieving and angry over the loss of his wife, while Olive leaves the comfort of her routine life in Philadelphia to move to Ohio so that she can take the children of her deceased brother. Upon arriving, Olive slowly strips her spinster persona as Jacob slowly starts to see that beyond Olive's exterior and slowly falls in love with who Olive is. I enjoyed the way the story progressed and the simplicity in the story, as it covered a difficult situation: a family losing their mom and a sister losing her brother. Overall, I would recommend this story! -booksintheburbs

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  • Posted September 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Sweetly Satisfying Historical Read

    Reminiscent of an episode of Little House on the Prairie, Romancing Olive gives the reader a satisfying feeling with its sweetness and message of age not mattering in matters of love and that it's never too late to start living until your last breath.  With a memorable cast of characters experiencing realistic emotions and life events this is a story that gives you lots of warm fuzzy feelings.

    Olive Wilkins has lived by societies rules her whole life which has left her alone and living each day like the last until the death of her brother has her coming to the country to raise her niece and nephew and discovering many unpleasant truths.  She never realized there was so much cruelty and betrayal in the world until discovering the circumstances behind her brother's death and how uncaring his in-laws are when they want something they can't have.  The only thing she can rely on is farmer Jacob Butler who's been caring for her niece and nephew as well as his own children on his own.  I admire how she immediately dives in to do what must be done to care for the children.  She's not afraid of hard work or fighting for what she knows is best.  She came dressed in the trappings of an uptight spinster but once she starts REALLY living she realizes that the pristine image she always projected is unimportant.  By living without all the rules others expected of her has made her look and feel younger as well as given her a brighter future.  She's opened her heart to possibilities and emotions that will now lead her to a HEA.

    Jacob Butler is a formidable match for Olive.  He's hard working and doesn't obsess over the trappings of perfection.  He's too busy struggling to make ends meet and care for his kids as best he can.  After the death of his wife he never thought to love again, but Olive does things unexpected to his heart, body, and mind that has him rethinking his future.  I adored Jacob and how gruff he was at first but slowly started showing a flirty side as his attraction to Olive grew.  His jealousy over the sheriff's attention towards Olive was humorous and demonstrated his affections in so many subtle ways.  Seeing him struggle over admitting his feelings for fear of hurting his dead wife brought a tear to my eye and made the emotional impact of the story even deeper.

    There was a constant sexual tension between him and Olive that resulted in some heart stopping kisses and a tame sexual interlude.  So fans of "sweet" romances will find this book perfect for them.  The children were a pleasant addition with realistic speech and actions.  Normally I find kids in a story distracting, but not here.  They were each unique and brought out the best in Olive and Jacob and played subtle matchmakers.  This was a satisfying romance with a setting that drew you in and characters you can't help but like.  While the story dragged on a bit longer than necessary I still found much to enjoy and characters to root for.  Holly Bush shows much promise and I'll be on the lookout for more books by her.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2012

    Not what I thought it would be

    I didn't finish reading it due to the fact within 10 pages I realized this was not the type of book I feel comfortable reading. Very disappointing.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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