Monday, September 3, 2012
On a bitter December day in 1784, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of blacksmith Liege Lee in York County, Pennsylvania. Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship quickly and move west. But because he is a fast worker and a superb craftsman, Liege endeavors to keep him in York by appealing to an old tradition: the apprentice shall marry one of his master's beautiful daughters.
Eden is as gentle and fresh as Elspeth is high-spirited and cunning. But are they truly who they appear to be? In a house laced with secrets, each sister seeks to secure her future. Which one will claim Silas's heart--and will he agree to Liege's arrangement?
In this sweeping family saga, one man's choices in love and work, in friends and enemies, set the stage for generations to come. This is the Ballantyne Legacy.
When Silas Ballantyne shows up on her family's doorstep, Eden is immediately intrigued by her father's young apprentice. He's a kind, god-fearing man and so completely out of place next to her father's angry, stern personality. When Eden's father tries to persuade Silas to marry his daughter Elspeth, Eden wonders if she will ever find happiness of her own.
I have loved all of Laura Frantz's books and I was anxious for her new Ballantyne series. And while I liked the book, I didn't love it and it won't become my favorite. I don't know how you can follow Courting Morrow Little or The Colonel's Lady because the bar was set so high with those books and those wonderful heroines.
Eden isn't as strong a character as Morrow or Roxanne, but she is sweet and kind with a strong desire to help others. However, growing up as she did in a home without faith or a belief in God and with an overbearing father and a jealous sister, it was easy to see why she was more meek. Even so, I found myself frustrated with Eden's actions at times and I wanted her to show more backbone than she did. I truly hated her father and her sister who are two of the most odious characters I've ever read.
All of Laura's books have vivid descriptions and are rich in historical detail and while I missed her Kentucky setting, I enjoyed learning about 18th century Pennsylvania and the art of blacksmithing. In Love's Reckoning, Laura also tackles the sober details of assault and unwed pregnancy, but it is all handled well. Eden and Silas are characters you do come care about and cheer for as the progress along their rocky path toward love.
The teaser for the second book intrigued me as to what might happen next and I am curious to finish the Ballantyne series.
Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Thanks to Donna Hausler from Baker Publishing for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Laura Frantz here. You can purchase your own copy home.
* * * 3/5 Stars