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Love's Reckoning: A Novel (The Ballantyne Legacy) (Volume 1) Paperback – September 1, 2012
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"Frantz received much critical acclaim with her 2009 debut, The Frontiersman's Daughter. Since, the praise has kept flowing and she has garnered a loyal audience who appreciate the breathless, poetic beauty of her prose and the devastating ache she creates in a reader's heart... Frantz knows how to use subtle details to craft attraction, romance and even spite. Her words sing a haunting, poetic melody that paint a vivid picture and draw readers into the heart of not only a character, but a place and time. Love's Reckoning is a beautiful start to a new series." ~ USA TODAY
From the Back Cover
"Stunning. Heart-wrenching. Breathless. Not since Gone with the Wind have I read an epic novel that has stolen my heart, my breath, my sleep to such a jolting degree. Love's Reckoning marks Laura Frantz not only as a shining star in Christian fiction today but as a shooting star who soars skyward to the glittering heights of Rivers and Higgs."--Julie Lessman, award-winning author of the Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series
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.
Laura Frantz is the author of The Frontiersman's Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, and The Colonel's Lady. A two-time Carol Award finalist, she is a Kentuckian living in the misty woods of Washington with her husband and two sons. She enjoys connecting with readers at LauraFrantz.net.
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In a Cinderella-esque twist, Eden Lee is the reserved, quiet sister, doing what she is told and bearing more than her share. The elder sister, Elpeth, however, is brash and bold, and will get her way. And she doesn’t care who she has to step on to get it.
When the handsome apprentice arrives, he is unaware of the clause in his contract that the girls’ father, Liege Lee, insists on—that the younger man marry the eldest daughter.
But Silas Ballantyne has his own plans, to go west and stake his claim. Without a bride.
Written brilliantly, Love’s Reckoning draws the reader into the intrigue of the Lee household, Liege’s outbursts of rage, his wife’s distant countenance. What are the secrets this family hides? What are the secrets Silas carries with him? And how can a young couple in love overcome the seeming insurmountable obstacles that come their way?
Ms. Frantz has won a new fan in this reviewer. Her skill and mastery of the verbiage of the day lends credence and authenticity to the story. The twists in the story, the deception, the agony pull the reader in and keeps you there. In a 21st century world, it’s hard to imagine a time when women had no say in their lives, their futures; my heart longed for Eden to be free of her father’s tirades and her sister’s taunts. I felt the yearning as the west pulled Silas ever nearer his dream, and the conflict at leaving love behind. My heart broke, as time and again, young love was thwarted. Does Silas build his dream? Will Eden ever be free her self-imposed prison? Will Elspeth be snared in her own webs of deceit?
I will surely read the others in this series.
Laura Frantz, Love’s Reckoning, Love’s Awakening, Love’s Fortune, The Mistress of Tall Acre
As for this story, the only 'violence' was simply being beat up. And the only "sexual content" (or rather the result of) was one female having a child out of wedlock and another mention of this female leaving her home to see 'someone'. Plus later about this female's sister being "attacked" by a male who had been a friend while growing up. None of these were described, instead you know what happened. Such as "You know she was 'attacked' because she felt used afterward and later was thankful that she was not with child. "
The above was just some the various things that went on and includes problems with a father that wants to marry off his two daughters with at least one marrying someone who knows enough about working with iron to take over the father's business. If you are like me & other problems the family has with the father and husband - you will not like him. Unfortunately, back then couples did not go around having divorces, instead you did what you had to do. - But there is also a great deal more going on & you should enjoy this.
Overall this book well written and entertaining - so much so that I did not want to put the book down.
When Simon finally arrives at the home of his master - Liege Lee, we realize that in the Lee family alone we have most of the elements required for an enticing read. Beware, some parts will be unpleasant, difficult to stomach but the faithfulness of Simon propels us forward. Liege Lee is a hard man who rules his family with a rod of iron. His wife is melancholy, his unmarried daughter Elspeth is a runabout who will shortly give birth to baby Jon - but no problem because her parents will pretend that the baby is theirs. This leaves one young son, Thomas and last but not least - our heroine, Eden, a lovely young woman who is severely put upon by Elspeth and works her hands to the bone in order to serve her family - all serve at Papa Liege's will. And, it seems his will is to get Elspeth married to Simon shortly after he arrives. Simon, is of course unaware of such plans.
The book is actually filled with the daily happenings and goings on with the Lee family after Simon's arrival. Simon can put up with the grouchy Liege, he can refuse the sensuality of Elspeth and he even manages to remain true to his purpose and his goals in life. His face is ever toward the West and he can hardly wait to get his apprenticeship past so he can Leave. And. Go. Make. His. Fortune. Interestingly enough, for Simon, the temptation is in the person of the unassuming little Eden - hard working, a bit clumsy, always letting Elspeth have her way. If there's one thing I strongly disliked about Eden it's that she refused to stand up for herself with Elspeth. Ugh!!! Drove me nuts! Elspeth is pure evil.
One huge factor in the story is the neighboring family - the Greathouse family. They are very wealthy and although the Greathouse and Lee family mixed when the children were young, there's very little that goes on between them now except that they all seem to enjoy Eden, inviting her into their home, even giving her some of their hand-me-downs. The young master - David Greathouse, has designs on Eden. But, are they honorable designs? Simon doesn't trust David even though he works alongside David in his quest to get his sheep business up and running.
Toward the end of the book, things happen that will rob you of your joy in parts of the story. To add further insult to our main players, years pass before they meet up again. If you can take this, then you will enjoy the story. I hated it but at the end of the day, I could not give this book less than 5 stars.