Thursday, March 7, 2013

Blog Tour Review: Reconstructing Jackson by Holly Bush

From the Back Cover:

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.

My Thoughts:

After being so impressed with Romancing Olive, I had really high expectations for Reconstructing Jackson, but I just didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped I would. I had been really drawn to the idea of a hero in a wheelchair, and the setting and time period--Missouri two years after the Civil War--is perfect for a good, dramatic romance, but the story lacked the emotional connection that reached out and grabbed me in Romancing Olive. I had a hard time connecting to either of the main characters. As much as I wanted to love Belle, she just didn't seem to have much substance. All cheerfulness and sunshine, and often described as meek, but when she did decide to take a stand, her righteousness and backbone seemed to come out of nowhere. And Jackson was the reason I wanted to read the story, but he was bitter and judgmental, and not at all apologetic about it. That was fine in the beginning, but I wanted to feel more growth from him as the story went along. He is different at the end, but it seemed superficial. I felt like I was told a bunch of things about him, but never shown the real changes taking place. It didn't seem like he was very proactive in changing his life, rather he was influenced more by others. I kept waiting for his emotional breakthrough, but I didn't feel like it really ever came.

I give the story big props for the setting and tone: the coming together of people from different ways of life, trying to figure out how to exist in the newly reunited United States. The story tackles serious issues and holds no punches, but I think the development of the romance suffered for it. With so much focus on racial tensions in the town and what was going on with other characters, there was no time to focus on what was going on between Belle and Jackson, and that's what I wanted more of. Even the ending seemed to be tacked on as an afterthought and I really wanted to get invested in these characters' lives. Other reviewers are raving about Reconstructing Jackson, so I seem to be in the minority with my opinions, but for me there just wasn't enough romance or emotional connection. However, I think it's worth a try for someone interested in this time period and in reading about a different type of hero.

Giveaway! Enter to win your own copy of Reconstructing Jackson!

Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win an ebook--winner's choice: ePub, mobi, or PDF. This giveaway is open internationally and ends at 11:59pm Friday, March 15th. Winner will be selected at random. Thanks, and good luck!

This giveaway is closed and the winner has been selected. Stay tuned for more great giveaways!

Reconstructing Jackson is on a blog tour!
Click here to see the tour schedule and more blogs hosting reviews and giveaways!
Click here to visit Holly Bush's website.


  1. I would like to try "Reconstructing Jackson". I love reading about big issues. If I win, would like a PDF.


  2. Thanks for the giveaway! I've seen this series around on a lot of sites.
    Thanks again!

    mestith at gmail dot com


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