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1871 – Born to privilege and duty in Virginia, Olivia Gentry comes of age as women begin to find their social and political independence. She has been raised and educated to carry on the Gentry family’s successful horse breeding stables with her brothers at Paradise, their family home. Having been deceived in love as a young woman and unsure of her instincts, she is wary to commit to a marriage, but she cannot deny her long-buried feelings for a family friend.
Jim Somerset has been in love with Olivia Gentry from the moment she gazed up at him as a young girl. A farrier by trade like his father before him, he and his business’s future are inexorably entwined with the Gentry family. He has watched her be courted by statesmen, and considers her and her goals out of the reach of a common workman, like himself. But he is fearful that he will never rid Olivia from his mind and from his heart. Has the moment come for him to reveal his passions for her? Find out in the third installment of the Gentrys of Paradise.
Enjoy an Excerpt:
Olivia understood herself enough to know that she had lost her confidence, and even though others might see her as wealthy and educated and fortunate, which she was, she was still fragile and unsure of how her future would unfold. Any man she married or fixed on would be a central part of that future. Would define in society’s eyes whether her hopes and dreams were fulfilled, whether her personal happiness and the draw of competency and ambition she had for herself would cross paths.
She supposed that she should end her self-imposed exile. What good did it do her to hide in her room? She’d answered some of her own questions in the last four months. She did wish to marry. She wanted children of her own. She wanted a companion, a man, all for herself, not meant to be shared with others. She wanted to experience intimacy, and although she could do that outside the bounds of marriage, she couldn’t imagine it. How could one achieve the intimacy necessary to complete the act with a person that one had no relationship with, either from personal choice or law?
The final question, of course, was whether she would achieve any of those goals if love wasn’t evident. Her mother and father hadn’t been in love when they married. Yet they had grown to love each other and built a successful life together. Olivia believed that she could do as many other women had done before. Marry with purpose. Marry to achieve goals. Marry, not for love, but for compatibility and future hopes.
Still on the historical romance kick. But then again, I love Holly Bush. I read about her Crawfords and now I’m on to the Gentrys. However, I have NOT read Matt’s book which I have already bought. I did read the prequel/parents story and loved it. I missed old Beau in this book but he is Olivia’s mind at all times.
What I really liked about this book is the family. They rally around each other and it’s good to see healthy relationships between everyone. Including Annie, Matt’s wife. She’s a sweetheart and the relationship that she has with Olivia is spot on. Married or not, Annie is still a woman and talks to Olivia has one, not as Matt’s wife. Plus, Eleanor Gentry, the matriarch of the family is a force to be reckoned with. She treats her children with respect, love, and friendship.
Jim Somerset. I wanted to slap him most of the time in the book. Talk about stubborn, hard-headed and so much in love with Olivia that it hurts. Plus, he thought the bro code was still in place. Communication or lack of is Jim’s biggest problem and at times it was maddening. I realize that is the point of the book but honestly, I got tired of it. But I didn’t give up on him. His blind devotion to Olivia and the Gentry’s is endearing. Plus, I loved his family. They never let up on him when it needed. Now, I will say that I swooned when he FINALLY went all caveman on Olivia. I know, I know. It sounds backward but when he did it, I literally swooned. It was his moment to get the girl and he did it the only way he knew how.
Olivia might seem to be a strong woman but actually, she’s has been burned before when it comes to men, so I could understand her reluctance when it comes to men. The senator’s aide is an ass and I’m glad that she saw that but then she…oh wait…I can’t say that. I really liked her from the start and honestly, she was the only one of them that actually communicated. Even when she was with Josephine, she communicated. Let’s not forget about the train ride either.
Overall, I loved the book. Once Jim decided that he just had to have Olivia, with some physical confrontation with Matt. I can’t wait to read about Adam next. This book has some humor, lots of love and two people that fell in love with each other has children. Love a childhood friends story and this story has it in spades.
About the Author:
Holly Bush writes historical romance set in the U.S.in the late 1800’s, in Victorian England, and an occasional Women’s Fiction title. Her books are described as emotional, with heartfelt, sexy romance. She makes her home with her husband in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Connect with Holly at www.hollybushbooks.com and on Twitter @hollybushbooks and on Facebook at Holly Bush.