Genre: Historical Romance

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
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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.


Charming Sir Charles by Anna Campbell

Charming Sir Charles by Anna Campbell

Posted April 3, 2017 by Jonetta in Book Review | 0 Comments

    Widow Sally Cowan, Lady Norwood, is introducing her niece, Meg, to London society and has focused on one suitor, Sir Charles Kinglake. While he’s a bit older (about 29-years old to her 18), he’s charming, kind, considerate and attentive. But, he’s not yet issued a proposal and the season is close to ending. Charles is even more frustrated as he’s trying to court Lady Norwood!   Sally is one of the more spirited of the Dashing Widows so it was startling to see her so off balance once she owned up to her feelings for Charles. She was so damaged emotionally by her first marriage to a boorish and cruel oaf, Sally couldn’t see the proverbial forest. Even Meg had to intervene for […]


Audio Review: The Ghost by Monica McCarty

Audio Review: The Ghost by Monica McCarty

Posted January 23, 2017 by Jonetta in Book Review | 0 Comments

  When she witnessed the inhumane treatment of her mother at the hands of the English, Joan Comyn silently vowed her allegiance to the king of Scotland. As soon as she was old enough, she used her wiles to extract vital information from powerful men and delivered it to Robert Bruce and his Highland Guard. She became known only to them as the Ghost, her identity secreted. But she was infamous to all as the effect of her treachery was damaging. Alex Seaton, formerly a member of the Guard before her time, is now working on behalf of King Edward and is committed to squirreling out the spy. However, he’s beguiled by Joan and she with him. This series is ending on the highest note […]


A Match Made in Mistletoe by Anna Campbell

A Match Made in Mistletoe by Anna Campbell

Posted December 9, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | 0 Comments

    Serena Talbot has only had eyes and heart for golden boy Paul Garside as far back as she can remember. Now that she’s twenty-one, he’s finally paying her the attention she’s always wanted but the dark and broody Giles Farraday is distracting her from the man who’s ready to marry her…in person and in her dreams.   Serena’s grown up with both men as they were her brother’s friends since childhood so she’s knows them well, or so she thinks. The sprig of mistletoe she placed under her pillow brought the romantic dreams she was hoping for but not of the man she imagined.   I really liked this story, especially Serena. She’s bright, resourceful and witty, easily someone that you can imagine […]


The Rogue by Monica McCarty

The Rogue by Monica McCarty

Posted November 14, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | 0 Comments

    I wasn’t a big fan of Thomas Randolph but was very interested in learning more about him after Ella broke off their betrothal. Isabel (Izzie) Stewart was someone I wanted more from as she was more spirited and intriguing than her cousin, Ella.   I liked the story but was hoping for more action involving the Highland Guard, which just doesn’t happen here. The one action event was covered in the last story so this was limited to the developing relationship and romance between Randolph and Izzie. Since my primary attraction to the series is the focus on the historical elements, it fell short of my expectations.   Thomas isn’t the most likable character but Izzie draws the best out of him. It’s […]


Who’s Wooing Whom? Pursuing Lord Pascal by Anna Campbell

Who’s Wooing Whom? Pursuing Lord Pascal by Anna Campbell

Posted October 18, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | 0 Comments

    Amy Mowbray is a 25-year old widow who’s content with her country farming life than London’s social scene, especially as she’s a recognized expert in the field. She agrees to accompany her widowed sister-in-law, Morwenna, and best friend (also a widow) to the city for the current season to help lift Morwenna’s spirits. But, it’s Amy who experiences the transformation, especially when her teen crush, the suave and gorgeous Lord Gervais Pascal, makes her the focal point of his interest.   I loved this story! While Amy may have lived an unconventional life for a woman, it didn’t mean she was a shrinking violet. She was witty, intelligent and went toe-to-toe with Pascal in every way. He’s used to women falling at his […]


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 […]


A Breath of Scandal by Connie Mason

A Breath of Scandal by Connie Mason

Posted August 26, 2016 by Amanda in Book Review | 0 Comments

Connie Mason is one of my go to historical romance authors. She does a great job pairing romance with adventure. Julian is a man haunted by the death of his late fiance and unborn child. As a secret agent, he lives a double life and uses all of his resources to find the Jackal – the man responsible for his loss. Julian is close to discovering the man’s identity when he is captured. He barely escaped with his life. Found on a beach by a beautiful gypsy woman who nurses him back to health. His desire for her is uncontrollable, but he knows she and her tribe would be better off without him around. Lara is drawn to the stranger and he sparks a need […]