Tuesday, October 16, 2012

VBRT and Giveaway - Train Station Bride by Holly Bush

Welcome to my stop on Holly Bush's Virtual Book Review Tour for Train Station Bride.  Please be sure to leave a comment or question below for Holly as she will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.  You can follow all of her tour stops here, the more often you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Train Station Bride
by Holly Bush



1887 ... Julia Crawford, Boston debutante, corresponds with an aging shopkeeper and travels to North Dakota to marry him, hoping to escape the ridicule she endures as the plump, silly daughter of one of Boston’s premiere families. What happens when the train station groom is not who Julia bargained for? Will her secrets keep her from love and acceptance? Or will Julia’s love be strong enough to conquer her past and give her the future she’s always dreamed of?



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.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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.


My Review:  

Train Station Bride by Holly Bush is a heartwarming historical romance set at the end of the 19th century.  With a likable characters, witty dialogue and a well paced plot, this book captured my attention from the first page.  Taking place both in Boston and South Dakota, Ms. Bush did an excellent job with the historical portrayal of East versus West during this period in American history.  With a sweet romance, just the right touch of emotional angst, two well developed villains and society's limitations on women, this book packs just the right emotional punch.  

Julia Crawford knows she's always been an embarrassment to her family; after all her mother tells her that as often as she can.  Determined to make a life for herself, even though she's been told she's not as attractive as her sisters, needs to lose weight and is socially awkward, Julia secretly replies to a mail order bride advertisement in the Boston papers.  Claiming to head off to visit her aunt in Delaware, Julia instead boards a train West and heads to South Dakota to marry a middle aged storekeeper.  Only things don't quite go according to plan.  

Jake Shellings has decided it's time to do something for himself.  A self made farmer from the age of 16, he'd raised. his two younger sisters when their parents died, found them husbands and bought out their share of the family farm.  Realizing he's lonely and needs an heir, Jake decides to send off for a mail order bride.  Determined to make a smart match, he sends off a request for a woman he thinks would make an excellent farmers wife.  So what if the day he's supposed to pick up his bride is Founders Day?  The activities in town shouldn't be a problem.  He never expected to accidentally marry the wrong woman.  Instead of marrying the perfect farmer's wife - he finds himself married to a fine bred society lady from Boston.  

The scenes between Julia and Jake are well written, full of witty dialogue and sly humor.  The scene at the train station seriously made me laugh.  Since the town preacher won't undo the "accidental" marriage he's performed, Julia and Jake will have to make the best of things.  Regardless of how he feels about his mistake, Jake has one motto in life, what's mine is mine and he's determined to convince Julia to make their marriage real and forever.  For her part, Julia is determined to start over and finds herself attracted to her new husband, even if she's afraid to tell him all of her secrets.

The secondary characters, especially Flossie and Gloria, are all well developed and make good contributions to both the plot and the emotional conflicts in this story.  The two villains, members of Julia's family, are also well developed and there were several times where I really wished they were real and standing in front of me so I could slap them silly.  While I was a little disappointed Ms. Bush didn't have Julia smack them around some, what happens to them does make sense since their love of money and social standing was no doubt going to be severely affected.

Will Julia and Jake make a complete success of their family?  And will Julia ever really learn to cook and be a farmer's wife.  You'll need to read Train Station Bride to find out.  I enjoyed this book a lot and see myself re-reading this in the future.  I can't wait to see what Ms. Bush pens for us next.

My Rating:  5 out of 5 Crowns

Please don't forget to leave a comment or question below to enter Holly's tour wide giveaway for a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter.  You can follow her tour stops here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning. 

FTC Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review 


  1. Good Morning everyone! Thank you to the Queen for a wonderful review and a funny (I think funny) little scene between Jake and Julia.

  2. I think the case of mistaken identity is fun and I love that she is breaking away from the negativity of her family. I am enjoying following the tour.

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

  3. Thank you to the Queen for the fab review of what sound's like a really good book

  4. I absolutely love the sound of this story. I thought the review was excellent. This is a book I would love to read.

  5. great review, thanks for hosting

  6. I'm going to love this. I found myself smiling at parts of this post.


  7. I am going to enjoy this one. Loved the blurb, excerpt and superb review. Thank you Holly for the chance to win, and thank you Queen of All She Reads for posting this.

    1. Correcting my email address :) reneebennett35(at)yahoo(dot)com

  8. I enjoyed the excerpt.


  9. Thanks for following my tour ladies! Stop by hollybushbooks.com to read excerpts. And a curtsy to the Queen for hosting me!