Virtual Tour Review: RECONSTRUCTING JACKSON by Holly Bush



1867 . . . Southern lawyer and Civil War veteran, Reed Jackson, returns to his family’s plantation in a wheelchair. His father deems him unfit, and deeds the Jackson holdings, including his intended bride, to a younger brother. Angry and bitter, Reed moves west to Fenton, Missouri, home to a cousin with a successful business, intending to start over.

Belle Richards, a dirt poor farm girl aching to learn how to read, cleans, cooks and holds together her family’s meager property. A violent brother and a drunken father plot to marry her off, and gain a new horse in the bargain. But Belle’s got other plans, and risks her life to reach them.

Reed is captivated by Belle from their first meeting, but wheelchair bound, is unable to protect her from violence. Bleak times will challenge Reed and Belle’s courage and dreams as they forge a new beginning from the ashes of war and ignorance.

**Author Giveaway: Holly will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.**

RHFL Classification:

Post Civil War

Heat rating 1

Review Rating: 5 Stars/Top Pick

REVIEW by : Suzan Tisdale

I don’t normally read books from this era. However, I am so very glad that I did!

Holly Bush weaves a very sweet romance into a time period and subject matter that is, to say the least, complicated and at times, quite ugly. Holly pulls no punches in regard to how slaves were treated after the war, to preconceived notions, and the struggle that people had when the war ended.

At times, I did not like Reed Jackson, simply because of his hardheaded ways and his ideals. But I had to remind myself the time period we were dealing with and those notions made sense. Reed most definitely had a heart and a soul and there was no doubt that he fell in love with Belle the moment he first saw her. However, he was struggling with inner demons and pain and heartache.  Holly dealt with him beautifully, allowing him to grow from the very first pages. That is not always an easy feat. Sometimes authors wait until the very end to redeem a character. We know from the start that there is hope for Reed. I loved that.

Belle was undeniably sweet and strong. There is nothing over the top about this character. Holly was able to show the kind of life and upbringing this poor young girl had. With everything she had gone through, she still held on to a dream. It is Belle’s dream that had me in tears on more than one occasion. How simple yet profound can a pair of white curtains be?

This is not a bodice ripper. This is not a typical romance. It is sweet, soft, gently building. There is passion, but on an entirely different level. You’ll have to read the book to understand what I mean. This is a clean romance, a sweet romance, yet there are elements and things happening that make you want to scream for people to stop being so insensitive, cruel, and ugly. But that is what sets this apart and makes it such a beautiful read.

I look forward to reading more from Ms. Bush!

At the time of this review the book is available at Amazon for $2.99 cents.


Suzan is both writer and reader of historical romance. She has three books in her Clan MacDougall series. Laiden’s Daughter, released in December 2011, Findley’s Lass, released in September 2012, and the third, Wee William’s Woman was released on March 8, 2013. She is currently working on her fourth novel, Rowan’s Lady, which will launch her Clan Graham series. Rowan’s Lady is set for release later this year.


No Responses

  1. Lovely review, Susan.

    I’ve only read one book set during the post Civil War time and that was Lorraine Heath’s ‘Texas Destiny’. Both the hero and heroine have suffered from the horrors of the war and have to rebuild their lives.

  2. Holly Bush is a new-to-me author. I also might be hesitant to read a post-Civil War story…and with a hero in a wheelchair? That’s not my usual reading. I gravitate towards fun, flighty, humorous contemporaries…but I’ve been working this year to diversify my reading interests!

    • If you’d like to try another of Holly’s books, try “The Train Station Bride”. It is perhaps a bit lighter in topic, sweet, beautiful, a sad spot here and there, but over all, a great read! I gave that one 5 stars too. ;o)

  3. Thanks for your review. I like that fact that you didn’t like Reed at times. I think it is a sign of good writing when an author can take a character with some unlikable traits and bring the reader around to the fact that he truly is a hero.

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  4. When I read the review it made me think of today’s wounded veterans. Of course, during the civil war we did not have the VA but even in 2013, what are we doing for them that is so much better? First of all, WE SHOULD NOT HAVE WOUNDED VETERANS! Especially, from IRAQ!! So I feel a compulsion to read this book and hope America will improve someday from the civil war veterans!
    Please enter me in the giveaway and thank you.

  5. Even though there’s nothing “over the top” about Belle, I like that she’s just a nice, normal, down to earth character. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  6. It doesn’t sound like a novel that I would normally read either. But with all the great things I’ve been hearing about this novel, I’m really looking forward to giving it a chance. It sounds amazing!


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