The path to true love lies somewhere between two feuding families.
In the spring of 1822, Ellie Ballantyne leaves finishing school and returns to the family home in Pittsburgh only to find that her parents are away on a long journey and her siblings don't seem to want her to stay. Determined to stand her ground and find her place in the world, Ellie fills her time by opening a day school for young ladies.
But when one of her students turns out to be an incorrigible young member of the Turlock family, Ellie knows she must walk a fine line. Slaveholders and whiskey magnates, the Turlocks are envious of the powerful Ballantynes and suspicious of their abolitionist leanings. As Ellie becomes increasingly entangled with the rival clan--particularly the handsome Jack Turlock--she finds herself falling in love with an impossible future. Will she betray her family and side with the enemy?
Masterful storyteller Laura Frantz continues to unfold the stirring saga of the Ballantyne family in this majestic tale of love and loyalty. This is the Ballantyne Legacy.
Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group
Connect with the author here: http://laurafrantz.net/
I read the first book in this Ballantyne Legacy series last year, and I enjoyed it mostly for the historical aspects. When I began reading this installment in the series, I actually didn't remember much about what had taken place in the first book. As I kept reading, though, bits and pieces of the first novel came back to me.
As in the first novel, the historical aspect of this book was the best part for me. I always foget that the Underground Railroad existed as early in American history as this story takes place - 1822. Most of what you read about it takes place immediately before and during the Civil War, so this part of the novel was really fascinating.
I also loved the descriptions of Pittsburg and the surrounding areas including the three rivers. The whole setting was very engrossing and made me feel as if I was right there experiencing all of the things that the characters did.
The romance, however, was really lacking through most of the novel. Although it picked up towards the very end, until then it just didn't seem to have any depth. Jack and Ellie spent absolutely no time together before they were declaring their love. Most of their time was spent apart mooning over the idea of each other, which to me does not a love relationship make. I just didn't feel it, and their love did not come across as based in reality. The star-crossed lover plot is not new, and I think it could have been explored so much more deeply than just through Jack and Ellie's incessant inner monologues.
I also thought that this novel was just too long and drawn out. The previous novel was long, but it spanned so much more time than this one did. This second novel in the series just seemed as if it was a (very long) bridge from the first novel to the third with Jack and Ellie's romance thrown in for good measure.
That being said, the ending of this novel redeemed it a bit for me. It finally picked up and raced on to a very exciting conclusion. Jack and Ellie's romance even became more realistic, and I was satisfied with the ending. The Epilogue sets up the next book in the series and keeps the reader wanting more.
I will give Love's Awakening ... 3 BookWorms.
by Laura Frantz
Ballantyne Legacy #2
Publication date: September 15, 2013
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."