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Love's Awakening: A Novel (The Ballantyne Legacy) (Volume 2) Paperback – September 15, 2013
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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From Publishers Weekly
Love, like darkness, comes creeping softly in the second installment of Frantz's romantic historical series, the Ballentyne Legacy. Elinor Ballentyne is the youngest, most protected child of the Ballentyne clan. Determined to make her mark on 1820s Pittsburgh, Pa., she comes home from finishing school in Philadelphia to open a day school for young women and to reclaim her place in the family. Her return opens a closet of family secrets. Elinor's Shakespearean relationship with Jack Turlock, the son of familial enemies, begins with her assisting his tomboy sister, Chloe, and drifts through calm seas and raging rapids to a warm, satisfying conclusion. The sizable cast of characters causes some confusion in the plotting, while seemingly unrelated story threads are left tangled and unresolved. Rich with period detail and yet occasionally ponderous, the story stands independent of the first novel and shows the sacrifice and commitment of those aiding the abolitionist movement in an era of lawlessness and change, educating readers as well as entertaining them. Agent: Janet Kobobel Grant, Books & Such Literary Agency. (Sept.)
"Frantz's family saga is a rare treat for fans that will stay with readers long after they finish." ---RT Book Reviews --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top customer reviews
Ellie Ballantyne might be my favorite lead of all of Frantz's book - never did she imagine that she would fall in love with the son of her father's enemy. "Gentleman" Jack is Ellie's opposite in every way, and their relationship is never easy or conventional. Jack is a somewthat reformed son of the roguish Turlock family and is caught up in the schemes of his family, but longs to change. Though the story is about their relationship, it is also about them as individuals. They both carry their own burdens and must ultimately must make decisions that carry heavy consequences.
I was so happy that Eden and Silas played a big part in the story - I loved them in Love's Reckoning and was glad to see them back. The other surrounding characters were multifaceted as well, especially Ellie's siblings. I love how Frantz weaves hints of whats to come in the final book with Ansel's part in the story. And I'm not sure if Andra was supposed to remind me of the dangerous Elspeth Lee, but either way, I loved that slight similarity in their personalities (though I don't think Andra would ever deliberate harm Ellie in the way that Elspeth did Eden!).
Frantz penned another beautiful romantic historical - full of lush period detail - the river landscape of Pittsburgh in the 1800s, the gorgeous details of Ellie's birthday ball and a climatic courtroom scene - this has all of the elements that I look for in the historical fiction I read. I am so eager to read the conclusion to the Ballantyne Legacy - I almost didn't read the sneak peek in the back of the book. I knew it would leave me wanting more, but I read it anyway because I couldn't stand not reading it!
Superb world-building, gorgeous historic details and a love story that both broke and repaired my heart - Love's Reckoning will definitely be a favorite of the year!
Ms. Frantz always excels at every level in her writing, from her careful research to her breathtaking romantic scenes to the scenes that drew me to tears. I fell in love with most of her characters (even many flawed ones) and inwardly “hissed” at the evil wrought by the unredeemed.
I loved the first book in this Ballantyne Legacy Series “Love’s Reckoning” and thought I could not love the sequel any better. But I was wrong. “Love’s Awakening” was the perfect follow up to the amazing love story of Eden and Silas. But this sequel, which follows their youngest daughter, captured my heart and will be in my thoughts for some time.
It makes the parting from “Love’s Awakening” a bit less sad knowing there is another sequel in the series. Making way in my heart for “Love’s Fortune.”
Thank you, Laura Frantz, for your amazing work.
The rivalry between the Ballantynes and unscrupulous, whiskey-making Turlocks hails from Silas Ballantyne's early days in Pittsburgh, becoming further embittered when Isabel O'Hara, daughter of Silas's one-time friend and mentor, marries into the Turlock clan in a fit of pique when Silas chose Eden as his bride. And from that point, the die was cast: the Ballantynes respectable and virtuous, the Turlocks and their famed hell-raising ever a thorn in their -- and all respectable society's -- side.
Jack would like nothing more than to shed his family's unsavory reputation and start afresh. But ever aware of what he's seen and done, he was resigned to the burden of his familial heritage of violence and deceit, until a chance encounter with Ellie awakens feelings he'd long thought buried. Ellie's innocence and guileless acceptance of him as he is awakens in Jack the audacity to hope for a finer, better life. When his father and brother's plans threaten to destroy everything Ellie holds dear, Jack is left with a choice: the life he was raised to or faith in the God the Ballantynes claim and His promise of redemption.
While I like to stay current with favorite authors, it has been such a treat to lose myself in each successive installment of The Ballantyne Legacy without that pesky year-long wait between releases. Though the much-loved Silas and Eden are absent for half the novel, their presence is ever felt, underscoring Frantz's thesis of the heritage of faith, inherited through generations.
The Jack and Ellie relationship is not only one of my favorite tropes in romantic fiction -- adversaries to lovers -- but it is a gorgeously-wrought exploration of inheritance and choice. Colored with shades of Romeo and Juliet's warring families, Jack and Ellie's blossoming attraction is, at first blush, nought but an impossible dream. Separated by a gulf of familial rivalry and distrust, political ideologies, and most crucially, faith, here Frantz sketches a love story all the more memorable because of the transformative power of faith at its heart.
Love's Awakening has a two-fold meaning -- Jack and Ellie, certainly, but also the agape love of one human being to another regardless of race or creed. The sacrificial love those who claim Christ are called to live each day is woven throughout each page, as Frantz places her characters in the eye of the storm brewing over slavery. The Ballantynes and Jack participate in the early skirmishes between pro-slavers and abolitionists in Pennsylvania of the 1820's seeds of the great conflict to come later in the century that would rend the nation in two. As Jack quickly discovers, the Ballantynes' abolitionist efforts are a call to action, a study in the cost, danger, and rewards of putting faith in action.
Frantz has always delivered emotionally intense novels. Her heart-stopping romances are a hallmark of her work, as is her unparalleled ability to bring the past to life on the page, all on display here. But in Love's Awakening, in the final oact of Ellie and Jack's story she delivers her most action-packed epic yet. It is no exaggeration to say that my heart was racing as I breathlessly turned the pages, eager to see the finale unfold in all its high stakes, cinematic grandeur.
Like it's predecessor, Love's Awakening is a story of inheritance, both for good and ill. The Ballantyne Legacy is an unflinchingly honest study of faith and choice and the power of both to resound through future generations. A stunning romance, suspense, and heartbreak -- this is Frantz at her finest. I cannot wait to discover what's in store for the final Ballantyne installment!