Published by Holly Bush Books on March 13th 2018
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1871 Born to privilege and duty, Olivia Gentry comes of age as women begin to find their social and political independence. The youngest child, and only daughter, of a successful Virginia horse breeding family, she has been raised and educated to carry on the family business with her brothers. 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. But he is fearful that he will never purge Olivia from his mind and 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.
“You must tell me,” Jim Somerset said finally when he could no longer be silent. “Has someone hurt you? What has happened? Shall I take you to Matt or Adam?”
Olivia’s face reddened and she shook her head. But her eyes stopped and widened at something over his shoulder. He looked back and saw Richard Armsworth staring at her.
“Do not bow your head. Look up at me and smile even though it’s not what you wish to do,” he said softly.
She responded to him with a tentative smile, her hand quivering against his palm. She was a singularly beautiful woman. She was dressed in a gown the color of honey, accentuating her dark red hair and matching the pale freckles across her nose. It was then he noticed a tear in the fabric of her dress, a few threads sticking out at odd angles, at the corner of her squared neckline. She looked down to where he was looking and peered up at him with panicked eyes. He danced her right out of the large, open double doors at the back of the hall, and to the deserted side of the building.
“Why is your dress torn? What has happened?”
“Nothing . . . I can’t . . . nothing.” But she was gulping for breath and did not finish her words.
“Armsworth? It’s Armsworth, isn’t it. Has he hurt you?”
She grabbed his forearms. “Don’t do anything. Please.”
His skin itched with the desire to do violence. His heart was beating hard in his ears and his fists were clenched. But she was pleading with him, and he didn’t have the heart to deny her anything, especially when she was in such a state.
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For This Moment is the third book in The Gentrys of Paradise series by Holly Bush. I haven’t read the other books before this one but don’t feel like it was a necessity.
This book is set in Virginia in 1871. Olivia Gentry is now of age and is an educated, independent woman. She knows just as much about politics and the way of the world as any man and certainly as much as her brothers. In a time where women are meant to be gentle belles, Olivia stands out. She has had one bad experience with a man in her past, besides which she has also been hopelessly in love with her brother’s best friend. It’s an unrequited love because a few years back he rejected her advances. She knows it’s time she seriously considered marriage, but can’t put her heart and soul into it.
Jim Somerset is the man that Virginia loves. Yes, he rejected her but didn’t explain to her why. She was just left heartbroken. In truth, he is as in love with her as she is with him. He is a farrier, socially far beneath Olivia. He knows she can and must do better than him when it comes to love and marriage. It’s because of that he knows he can never let her know his true feelings. For the most part, he tries to avoid her, but as the families are firm friends and they do attend the occasional social gathering at the same time, he has to suffer being close to her but unable to be with her. Now she is of age and he has to watch her being wooed by other men he is in absolute agony over his feelings for her. He is doing the right thing by her, or is he?
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the era and the setting of the story, and I couldn’t read the book quickly enough to see if Jim and Olivia had their happy ending. It was so sad reading about how they both felt about each other, and yet they seemed to be drifting further and further apart instead of getting closer. Olivia was a breath of fresh air. I admired her independence, and I particularly loved one scenario where she herself got to play hero. The very same scenario which was when Jim’s feelings came to light finally!
This was a very sweet story, so if you are looking for steamy passionate scenes this book won’t be for you. But if you are looking for a beautiful, old-fashioned romance, this will be a perfect read.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.