book review: Romancing Olive by Holly Bush

The basics: When Olive receives a letter saying her only brother James and his wife are dead, she sets off from Philadelphia to Spencer, Ohio to gather their two children, Mary and John. She intends to take them back to Philadelphia with her, but there is much about life in Spencer and the life her brother led to surprise Olive.

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

Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy Romancing Olive from Amazon for your Kindle (it's only $2.99!)

Want more? Check out the entire tour schedule, visit Holly Bush's website, like her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, find her on Google+, and follow her on Pinterest.

As an affiliate, I receive a small commission when you make a purchase through any of the above links. Thank you for helping to support my book habits that bring more content to this blog!


  1. Good morning,

    I'm so glad you enjoyed Olive and Jacob's story. Thanks for the lovely review!


  2. Now I'm sad I passed on this -- will have to grab. I'm part of a panel discussing non-traditional or non-mainstream hist fict and this would be a perfect one to mention!

    1. Audra, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one!

  3. You had me when you wrote "spinster and librarian". ;-)

    1. Vasilly, that's what got me to say yes to this one!


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