Monday, September 22, 2014

"Love's Fortune" Blog Tour

Sheltered since birth at her Kentucky home, Rowena Ballantyne has heard only whispered rumors of her grandfather Silas's vast fortune and grand manor in Pennsylvania. When her father receives a rare letter summoning him to New Hope, Rowena makes the journey with him and quickly finds herself in a whole new world--filled with family members she's never met, dances she's never learned, and a new side to the father she thought she knew.

As she struggles to fit in during their extended stay, she finds a friend in James Sackett, the most valued steamship pilot of the Ballantynes' shipping line. Even with his help, Rowena feels she may never be comfortable in high society. Will she go her own way . . . to her peril?

With her signature attention to historical detail, Laura Frantz brings 1850s Pennsylvania alive with a tender story of loss, love, and loyalty. Fans will cheer for this final installment of the Ballatyne saga.

About the Author: Laura Frantz is a lover of history, is the author of The Frontiersman's Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, and The Colonel's Lady, and currently lives in the misty woods of Washington with her husband and two sons.

Available September 2014 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Find out more about this title here -

My Take:

After reading the first two books in this series, I was interested in reading the third because of the characters and the legacy if not for the stories themselves, which I thought were too drawn out. (You can read my reviews of the first two novels in the series here – Love’s Reckoning and Love’s Awakening).

In this installment, I was once again drawn to the characters and to the legacy of the Ballantyne family rather than the actual events that were taking place in their lives.

However, the characters that drew me in were not necessarily the ones to whom I was supposed to be drawn - at least I don't think that was to be the case.

The main characters – James and Wren – were not my favorites. They were often contradictory, and they did not always come across in the way in which they were portrayed. The reader is told and shown in some ways that James is strong and capable and able to stand up to anything. But he is unwilling to tell the woman he loves how he truly feels. The reader is told that Wren is independent and unwilling to bend to the pressures of society – that her heart is pure and that her love is true. But she constantly goes against who she is in order to please society and some of the members of her family, and she lets her assumptions take the place of reality. It was very wearying after a while to read about a character being described one way yet acting another.

Another thing that was contradictory was how some members of the Ballantyne family (the “good” ones) overlook the horrible things that other members of the family (the “bad” ones) do as if there is nothing they can do about it. It is as if those “good” members of the family are just constantly saying, “Oh, well, there’s nothing we can do about him or her. We’ll just ignore it.” – without ever speaking truth to them. There is even a case of possible murder by one of these “bad” characters in this book, and the “good,” supposedly Christian, characters never really make much mention of it. It’s as if the book comes from the view that some people are bad and will never come to repentance, rather than coming from the view everyone - even the "good" ones being in need of a Savior.

The interesting thing is that even though the two main characters in this novel – and some of the other Ballantyne characters from the past novels – were not terribly engaging in this book, some of the more minor characters were. I absolutely fell in love with Izannah and Mim and even Malachi Cameron. I almost think this book would have been better if it had focused more on Izannah and Malachi, since they were interesting characters that pretty much stole the show, in my opinion.

While the overall story in this novel was decent and some of the minor characters were good, the book itself was once again just too long. There were some bright spots in the story here and there – the visits to the orphanage, the descriptions of Pittsburg and the steamboats, the continuing abolitionist plotline, the violins – but most of the book seemed to be high-society filler. I appreciate that the author was probably trying to make the reader feel as if she had been thrown into Pittsburg high society right along with Wren, but it was just too much.

Ultimately the two main characters do finally live up to the manner in which they were drawn, but it just took way too long to get there, and it was jarring when it did.

I will give Love’s Fortune … 3 BookWorms.

Love's Fortune
by Laura Frantz
Ballantyne Legacy #3
Revell Publishers
Publication date: September 16, 2014
400 pages

Love's Fortune - Behind the Cover video.

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."

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