Romancing Olive - Holly Bush, Lee Ann Howlett


Once I discovered a love for audiobooks thanks to How It Went Down, I went on a mission for sites that give away audiobooks for review. One of my biggest surprises was that some Goodreads groups do this! I know some groups giveaway eBooks to review, and in some cases paper copies, but audiobooks? Who knew! Suffice to say I snatched Romancing Olive up as quickly as possible. I need to catch up with my 2015 Historical Romance reading goal, and this is the perfect way to get me out of my historical romance slump!


Even though I was excited about starting this book, once I officially began Romancing Olive I expected to not enjoy it nearly as much as I thought I would. I wasn’t a huge fan of the idea of just one voice narrating the entire book. You have to realize I started my audio journey with a book that seemed to have a voice for each character. I was pretty disappointed to discover a woman would be narrating the guy voices. As the novel progressed, however, I grew to enjoy her narrating style. She was far from robotic and seemed to really get into the novel. I laughed along with her and even teared up in certain parts! Lee Ann turned out to be a great asset to Romancing Olive and I can’t wait to listen to more books narrated by her. :D


Not only was I leery of the new narration style, I wasn’t a huge fan of Olive in the early chapters and didn’t know if I were going to be able to finish this one.

When Olive arrives in Spencer, Ohio it is a far cry from her life in Philadelphia. It’s small and run down, and not in the least concerned about the kind of propriety that is pretty much the focal point of life in the city. She comes off a bit snooty and judgmental at the beginning – and the worst kind of know-it-all without any life experience. I was about ready to throw in the towel until Olive finally realizes how wrong she had been about her younger brother all those years. I started to see Olive in a new light when her world is rocked on its axis, but instead of giving into hysterics she straightens her shoulders and moves on with her life, determined to give her new charges a better home filled with all the love and guidance they never knew with her gambling-addicted brother and his prostitute wife. I realized how strong Olive is and so did the other characters in Romancing Olive!

I grew to love all the main characters; Olive and her two new charges, Mary and John, Jacob the stubborn but loyal widower whom took them in and buried their parents, and Jacob’s three children. Each and every character had their own flaws but showed substantial growth by the end of the novel. I had times of irritation with all of them but couldn't help but grow fond of them all as the book progressed.

I surprised myself by how much I enjoyed the slow progressing romance in Romancing Olive. I don’t usually find myself reading slow-paced romances these days and got a kick out of the different speed of this book. I also liked that the heroine in this book is older than the usual romance heroine. She’s referred to as an “aging spinster” a few times which irked me, but seeing as in the time period 35 was older than it is now, I let it go.

Historical fiction fans of every genre should give this story a try – I believe it could appeal to anybody who enjoys a historical novel every once in a while, romance fan or not, since it’s pretty clean when it comes to romance. I enjoyed Romancing Olive so much, I raced to beg another audiobook romance from the author. I can’t wait to dive in!

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This review was originally posted on One Curvy Blogger