Author: Holly Bush

For the Brave by Holly Bush

Posted May 24, 2017 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 4 Comments

I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

For the Brave by Holly BushFor the Brave by Holly Bush
Series: The Gentrys of Paradise #1
Published by Holly Bush Books on May 16, 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 203
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Goodreads
four-half-stars
four-flames

1869 – Matthew Gentry joined the Confederate Army at eighteen years of age after an argument with his father, leaving Paradise, his Virginia home and famed horse breeding stables, for the fields of Gettysburg. Having survived the War Between the States, Gentry is haunted by the violence and inhumanity of the war. He continues to roam the country long after the conflict is over, finding solace in the arms of soiled doves and at the bottom of whiskey bottles. Finally traveling home after learning of a family tragedy, he nearly loses his life in a spring-flooded riverbed.

Annie Campbell, lone survivor of her family, lives at a remote farm near the North River, raising pigs and trying to grow enough to feed herself, and to stay out of the cross hairs of the Thurmans, violent men who run the town of Bridgewater. Annie’s secrets threaten her safety, even as she rescues and nurses Matthew Gentry.

Matthew knows he must return to Paradise, to grieve with his family. Will his heart lead him back to Bridgewater and Annie Campbell?

 

 
Matthew (Matt) Gentry left home at 18-years old, angry with his father, and promptly joined the Confederate Army. Six years later, the war is over and a disillusioned Matt has drifted aimlessly for two years through a haze of whiskey and women until he’s called home. However, on the return, he and his family’s emissary get caught in the aftermath of rains and a swollen river and are discovered near death by Annie Campbell. She’s living alone in the outskirts of Bridgewater, Virginia, a tragic figure in her own right and her life is forever altered when she decides to come to Matt’s aid.

 
I was riveted by this story from the onset. On the surface, Matt seemed self indulgent and adrift. As his story is revealed, I found him to be a man of substance, tormented by the ravages of war. Annie’s story is a bit murkier but the tension begins the moment she lands on the page. She’s tough and resourceful but I feared for her at just about every moment, with absolute justification. I was just as enthralled with her developing relationship with Matt.

 
Annie and Matt’s journeys, together and individually, were compelling. The historical backdrop also offered unique insights into post-war realities and its toll on the men who served on both sides. Bush doesn’t try to lighten the situations for purposes of a happy ending, which is her signature. I had reason to be fearful throughout the story and it just made it an outstanding tale.

 
I loved this story and am excited about this series. The introductory novella (see the story Into the Evermore in the anthology Christmas in America) set this one up perfectly. While it helped to introduce Matt’s parents, it’s not essential to be read before this one. However, I highly recommend it before or after as it is really, really good.

About Holly Bush

Holly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. She worked in the hospitality industry, owning a restaurant for twenty years and recently worked as the sales and marketing director in the hospitality/tourism industry and is credited with building traffic to capacity for a local farm tour, bringing guests from twenty-two states, booked two years out. Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public speaking on the subject.

Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She has written four romance novels, all set in the U.S. West in the mid 1800’s. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer’s group. She is always a member of Romance Writers of America.

Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, and was the vice-president of her local library board for years. She loves to spend time near the ocean and is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.


Christmas in America by Holly Bush, Piper Huguley, Joanna Shupe & Donna Thorland

Christmas in America by Holly Bush, Piper Huguley, Joanna Shupe & Donna Thorland

Posted October 11, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | 0 Comments

    This review is only for the first story, Into the Evermore.   Beau Gentry rescues Eleanor McManus from an abductor following the tragic loss of her family. He was on his way to Winchester, Virginia to claim his recently deceased uncle’s property and her family was on their way further to Charleston.   This was a really sweet story of a relationship borne out of Eleanor’s dire circumstances. While it may appear to be an instant romance, it is appropriate for the era and societal norms of the time (1842). They are two people who found each other despite what threw them together. It’s a perfect story for the holidays and a nice setup for the upcoming series, the Gentry Family. And, it’s […]


Jennifer’s Triumph! Her Safe Harbor by Holly Bush

Jennifer’s Triumph! Her Safe Harbor by Holly Bush

Posted April 11, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | 7 Comments

    Jennifer Crawford, the youngest sister, is trapped in an abusive relationship with a man, Jeffrey Rothchild, who is determined to force her into marriage. Jennifer doesn’t want to create a scandal for her family and suffers in silence. Zebidiah Moran, her brother-in-law’s chief of staff, is determined to intervene and provide safe harbor.   As awful as modern-day domestic violence is it has to have been even more horrific in an era when wives were deemed to be their husbands’ property. Jennifer’s struggle was heartbreaking, made more so by her dysfunctional and unsupportive parents. Her desire to manage the situation on her own while remaining steadfast in her refusal to marry Jeffrey was admirable. Jennifer’s relationship with Zeb developed slowly as a result […]


Review & Giveaway! The Maid’s Quarters by Holly Bush

Review & Giveaway! The Maid’s Quarters by Holly Bush

Posted July 23, 2015 by Jonetta in Book Review | 5 Comments

     I knew Alice Porterman had heart when she risked her life during the influenza outbreak at Jolene’s Texas ranch and helped tend to those afflicted. Now she’s come back home to Boston to help her mother and sickly young brother. When she arrives, she discovers they’ve been unfairly evicted from their house. Alice decides she’s going to take on Albert Donahue, the new landlord.   In this short novella, there’s a mystery with action, romance and heartbreak. Alice is a formidable heroine in an understated way in keeping with the era. She puts herself at risk and Albert was cagier and more interesting than I first thought. While their romance heats up pretty quickly, it still was lovely to see develop. And, it’s […]


An Amazing Transformation! Contract to Wed by Holly Bush

An Amazing Transformation! Contract to Wed by Holly Bush

Posted March 13, 2015 by Jonetta in Book Review | 2 Comments

  I have to admit that I wasn’t looking forward to this character’s story. If you read the first book, you’ll know why and by the way…read that first! Quick summary At the end of the first book, Boston socialite Jolene was married to Turner Crenshaw and the mother of three-year old William. When this story begins, she’s lost both of them, is facing a serious change in her financial situation and is trying to determine her next direction. When she learns Maxmillian Shelby, a wealthy Texas rancher and oilman, is looking for a wife to help him prepare for a political state-wide office run and is willing to pay handsomely, Jolene jumps at the opportunity.   About Jolene Jolene is beautiful, socially skilled and […]


Train Station Bride by Holly Bush

Train Station Bride by Holly Bush

Posted March 10, 2015 by Jonetta in Book Review | 4 Comments

Quick summary Julia Crawford, beaten down by her family’s ridicule, decided to respond to an ad for a bride by a South Dakota man. She secretly takes the train to Cedar Ridge and meets Jake Shelling who shows up with the the preacher by his side and marries her right there at the depot.   A bit of background Julia comes from a wealthy, prestigious Boston family. Her mother is the ultimate Mommie Dearest only crueler. They won’t actually miss her but don’t want her to leave because it would be a society embarrassment. She has an older, beautiful sister who married the man Julia was in love with. Jake raised his two sisters following their parents’ deaths and now that they’re both married he’s […]


Yeah, She’s Coming Undone in Red, White & Screwed by Holly Bush

Yeah, She’s Coming Undone in Red, White & Screwed by Holly Bush

Posted September 25, 2014 by Jonetta in Book Review | 4 Comments

Quick summary Glenda Nelson is a political strategist trying to manage a candidate who’s now in free fall. Her politician ex-husband seems to still be up to his old cheating ways with the new wife and dragging their two teenagers into the middle of it. There’s a crisis brewing with her parents and, oh, did I mention that there’s a hot artist who really wants to get to know her better in the biblical way?   What I loved Glenda. She’s smart, attractive and really good at what she does…in her career. She’s a lousy cook and her house wouldn’t come close to getting the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. But, her daughter and son are two amazing teenagers that prove she’s gotten parenting right. […]