Ellie Ballantyne, youngest child of Silas and Eden, has left finishing school. But back at her family home in Pittsburgh, Ellie finds that her parents are away on a long trip and her siblings don't seem to want her to stay. When she opens a day school for young ladies, she begins tutoring the incorrigible daughter of the enemy Turlock clan. The Turlocks are slaveholders and whiskey magnates, envious of the powerful Ballantynes and suspicious of their abolitionist leanings. As Ellie becomes increasingly tangled with the Turlocks, she finds herself falling in love with an impossible future--and Jack Turlock, a young man striving to free himself from his family's violent legacy. How can she betray her family and side with the enemy? And will Jack ever allow her into his world?
Love's Awakening, dare I say it...I love better than Love's Reckoning.
I feel guilty describing my fascination for this novel, and especially for Ellie and Jack. I do not know how Laura Frantz does it, but she managed to yet again bring a solid, fascinating, and utterly brilliant story.
Jack is now my second favorite Frantz hero. My first is found in Courting Morrow Little. Ellie needs a man like him, and so does her family. In every way, Frantz has brilliantly weaved a backdrop of history with fiction. The Ballantynes are a force to be reckoned with as they set upon themselves to do good. The Turlock clan...that is a different story, except for one toughened, trodden-upon-by-his-own-family young man. The character arc of Ellie was elegant just as she is...and I found her to be well-matched to the strong, roughened Jack.
One thing which struck me so much in Love's Awakening is the ever present theme of faith. Laura Frantz...thank you for giving us a story where we see redemption and grace. It refreshes my soul.
And, now...I must return to my second reading of the second novel of the Ballantyne Legacy!
I received a complimentary review copy in return for my honest review. Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.