"Vivid, well-written, and compelling. This novel is definitely author Holly Bush’s greatest achievement so far, and I can’t wait to read the next one in this series. " Deana, Goodreads
Published: May 16th, 2018
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 crosshairs 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?
The rain had finally stopped long enough for Annie Campbell to feed the hogs and not get soaked to the skin. She pulled on her father’s brown hat, the brim bent down so far that it was barely recognizable as a brim any longer. She stepped into her brother’s boots, pushing down on the newsprint that lined the soles where the leather had worn through. She pulled on her coat over the heavy wool shirt she wore and tucked the legs of her flannel pants down into her boots. She threw another log on the fire before she left and stirred the soup in the back of the fireplace.
Annie moved the shotgun from her right hand to her left and picked up the bucket sitting on her front porch beside the old rocker. There were plenty of scraps there to keep the hogs happy and fat, and the fatter they were the better price she’d get from Jeb Barlow, a neighbor man who took her hogs to auction in Harrisonburg when he took his heifers. For a price, of course.
“Dinnertime!” she called. “The sun is finally coming out and I’m able to get out here and feed y’all.”
Two great pigs and nine piglets came trotting over to the trough where Annie was dumping the scraps. They were snorting and oinking loud enough that she could barely hear herself think. But it was springtime, her hogs would sell soon, and it was a beautiful day. Even though she was not naturally happy or ebullient, the sun breaking through after endless weeks of wet, chilly spring weather was threatening to make her feel some joy. What an odd feeling, she thought, as she spun in the warm sunbeams. Maybe tomorrow she wouldn’t even need her coat when she went out to do her chores.
She took a look along the fence line she intended to fix this spring, and fix it she would starting tomorrow, the whole way down to where it stopped at the stand of trees. Past those trees was the North River, just a large stream at this point but with all the rain, she imagined it was well over its banks as had happened on other occasions.
There was something standing there just inside the tree line. She brought her shotgun up to her shoulder instinctively, but it wasn’t a who. It was a what. A deer? No. Her eyes were playing tricks on her now. She walked down the slope toward the trees to get a better look. She stopped dead in her tracks when she realized it was a horse. A horse meant a man. She turned and ran back to the house as fast as her feet would carry her. She threw the bar over the door and climbed on the stool to see out the slit on that side of the cabin. The horse had walked out of the trees and stopped in the tall grass. She climbed down, opened her mother’s sewing box, picked up the tray that held the spools of thread, and pulled out her father’s spyglass.
About the author:
“. . . I intended to be fearless tonight, and found it was easier to face cannons in battle than show feelings that might not be returned. But you’re my brave warrior.” For the Brave
Holly Bush books are set during the turbulent and transformative years of the late 1800’s. The first two books in her newest series, The Gentrys of Paradise, will release in the spring of 2017, beginning with Into the Evermore where readers will meet Virginia horse breeders, Eleanor and Beauregard Gentry. The following books will feature their children, Adam, Matthew, and Olivia. For the Brave is Matthew’s story and is the first full length book of the series.
The Crawford Family Series following the fortunes of the three Boston born Crawford sisters and includes Train Station Bride, Contract to Wed, Her Safe Harbor, and companion novella, The Maid’s Quarters. Cross the Ocean and Charming the Duke are both British set Victorian romances. Fan favorites stand-alone historical romance novels include Romancing Olive and Reconstructing Jackson. Her books are described as ‘emotional, with heartfelt, sexy romance.’