Train Station Bride
By: Holly Bush
Synopsis from Goodreads
About the Author
1887 Debutante, Julia Crawford endures a lifetime of subtle ridicule as the plump, silly daughter of a premiere Boston family. Julia strikes out on her own to gain independence, traveling to the Midwest to marry an aging shopkeeper and care for his mother. Julia finds her new home rough and uncivilized after the sophistication of a big city, while closely held secrets threaten to ruin Julia’s one chance at love.
Jake Shelling was sixteen and grew up quick when his parents died from influenza on the South Dakota prairie. Left with a half-cleared farm and two young sisters, he spent little time on his own needs . . till now. At thirty-five, he figured it was high time to have some sons and a mail order bride would suit him just fine. No expectations of love, just a helpmate from sturdy stock, ready for farm life.
Will fate and chance play a trick on Julia and Jake?
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.
Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, and vice-president of her local library board and loves to spend time near the ocean. She is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.
Find out more information about Holly Bush
My ThoughtsHolly Bush has written an enchanting historical romance that I loved getting lost in this past weekend. Who knew a chubby girl from Boston would find love with a farmer in South Dakota and it would be so wonderful? Julia is a lost soul trying to find her way in a world that doesn't fit her and Jake is the tough exterior she falls in love with.
Julia has been her family's embarrassment for a number of years. Shy, slightly overweight, and fairly insecure, her family has demeaned and discredited her for most of her life. Her sisters are the pretty ones, she’s just the doormat for them to disrespect and make fun of. When she sees an ad in the paper for a mail order bride, she decides that nothing better is coming along and sets up a means to get herself out of her life and into what she hopes is a happy family.
Jake is your stereotypical grumpy guy living out in the wilderness. He has been taking care of his sisters after his parents deaths and has pretty much sacrificed a large portion of his adulthood to his family. Out of loneliness, and a desire to have a family of his own, Jake advertises for a mail order bride to come to his farm in South Dakota.
Through a series of twists and turns, Julia and Jake find themselves married, for better or worse. Neither is what the other expected in a spouse but they decide to make it work. I loved how uncomfortable they were at the beginning and by the end they strived to be together. Their growth was fun to watch and I was rooting for them, even through the huge twist that tore them apart.
I really enjoyed Bush’s writing and her characters. The only thing I could say in the negative was that I would love to know more about the secondary characters. Jake’s sisters were really interesting and I just know they have interesting pasts, but little time is spent with them. Well, I guess I could just say that the time we met them wasn't nearly enough! All in all though, a very sweet romance perfect for someone wanting something simple and just plain nice to enjoy.
Publisher: Book Baby
Date of Publication: April 4, 2012
# of Pages: 216
Jake stopped dead in his tracks at his screen door. Julia stood in front of the sink, hair pulled up except for a few tendrils stuck wet to her back. Her dress was to her waist and she was running a washrag over her neck. Her skin was as pale as the shiny fabric of her underclothes. Julia tilted her head from side to side and hummed softly. Jake turned quickly when he heard his foreman hollering to him. He slammed the kitchen door open prepared to ask his bride what in the hell she thought she was doing standing near naked within a hundred yards of his randy group of farmhands. She turned as the door swung open. He took one fierce, angry step inside even as the sight of her stirred him.
“What in the hell . . .”
“Be careful,” Julia shouted.
Jake charged into a bucket of water in front of the door. Water sloshed everywhere and the bucket flew end over end hitting a kitchen chair and knocking it over.
Jake grabbed for the door handle as his feet began to go out from under him.
Julia ran to him and kicked an errant potato straight at him. He bent and grabbed his shin where it hit. His muddy boots slipped in the water and sent Jake careening to the floor. He lay still on his back, the wind knocked out of him.
Julia dropped down on her knees beside him.
“Oh, dear. Jake, are you all right?”
It took a moment to get his breath. He could already feel a knot growing on the back of his head. “Julia, everyman jack could a seen you standing at the sink practically naked.”
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