My thoughts: Historical romance is not typically a genre I'm drawn to, but this novel featured so many things I am drawn to that I couldn't resist. Olive is a spinster and a librarian. She's a relatively privileged city woman, yet she must voyage to the Midwest in the 1890's, a fascinating time in U.S. history. Yet as the title suggests, the emphasis of this novel is more on the romance than the history. The story is the relationship between Olive and Jacob, the younger widower who took in Mary and John. While it's rooted in small-town Midwestern life at that time, the story is not firmly rooted in Southern Ohio in the 1890's.
Bush shifts the narration so the reader knows what both Olive and Jacob are thinking. This technique also reminds the reader that although it's clear the two are headed to romance, for them individually, there is still a long emotional journey to get there. As I read, I enjoyed these two characters and their budding romance.
The verdict: Romancing Olive is a predictable, yet engaging and enjoyable, historical romance. What it lacks in surprises it makes up for in its charm. This slim novel is an entertaining, one-sitting read, and fans of historical romance will enjoy it.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Length: 205 pages
Publication date: November 1, 2011
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
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