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Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Love's Awakening...Review

About the book: 
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?

Laura Frantz is one of my favorite storytellers.  I anxiously look forward to each of her books.  When the first book in the Ballantyne series came out however, I was a bit disappointed.  I liked it, I didn't love it. However, I knew that there was more to the Ballantyne family and I wanted to see what happened to them. In Love's Awakening, I was happily encouraged to discover just that.

The youngest of Silas and Eden's children, Ellie Ballantyne is the favored child.  When she returns home from finishing school, she wants to find her place.  Her older siblings are involved in their lives and in their efforts to protect her, leave her feeling unwanted.  However, Ellie is determined.  As she starts her own school, she finds herself teaching the wild youngest Turlock child.  Ignoring the longstanding disagreements between the two families, Ellie is determined to teach Chloe and drawing closer to the girl also brings her closer to Jack Turlock.

Historically, I loved the inclusion of the Underground Railroad. And, Ellie is a fantastic heroine, right on par with Laura's other heroines, Morrow and Roxanna.  I adored her and she and Jack are fantastic together.  Getting to know Silas and Eden as parents and seeing how much they were still in love was enjoyable. And, as she does in Love's Reckoning, Laura shows the reader that love rises from the ashes of suffering and hurt and that forgiveness is a beautiful thing.

Thanks to Lanette from Baker Publishing for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Laura Frantz here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 9/13

* * * *
4/5 Stars

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