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Love's Reckoning: A Novel (The Ballantyne Legacy) (Volume 1) Paperback – September 1, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 379 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Ballantyne Legacy Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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

2013 CHRISTY AWARD Finalist
2013 INSPY AWARD Finalist
"This was one of the strongest books I read in the past year - Christian or otherwise - laced with faith yet never sacrificing passion or thoughtfulness."
Christy Award Judge

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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Product Details

  • Series: The Ballantyne Legacy (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (September 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800720415
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800720414
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (379 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #769,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying that I have read all of Laura's books. My favorite is probably the Colonel's Lady but The Frontiersman's Daughter comes in a close second. So I bought this book intending to savor the experience.

This book was so....full of angst, full of such misery, drudgery, suffering and injustice. I kept thinking it has to get better, but by the time I get to 90% of my kindle read, I had to accept that the poetry and elegant language aside, this book is simple of chronicle of drudgery.

I know I am in the minority here but my complaints witht the story line are so many I don't know where to start.

(***Spoiler Alert)

Eden is the most downtrodden, spineless, colorless (except for her hair) super saintly character in all of Laura's novels. She doesn't have a quiet and gentle spirit, she lacks personality. She allows herself to be reviled, overworked, harrassed, ignored, hoodwinked...She is just a perpetual victim. This voluminous account celebrating the victimhood of this woman comes to a climax when she is raped! Raped? The main character? Now I know some will say that the book mirrors the injustices that women often suffer in real life, but personally I don't read fiction to absorb hours and hours of abuse and suffering that are likely to happen in real life. I read to be entertained. The rape (incestuous I might add) of this woman is not met with any kind of meaningful resitution or justice. Perhaps Laura intends to cover this in a sequel. My only trouble with that is that all the loose ends in the novel makes the work seem sloppy and rushed. There are simply too many unresolved issues.

Elspeth is the one dimensional opposite of Eden. She is shamelessly promiscous, loud, vindictive, greedy and evil.
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Format: Paperback
I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars. I own all Laura's books and this one proves yet again what a gifted writer she is. I don't have words good enought to describe how great her writing is, but I'll try:
Eden Lee is practically invisible in her household in the late 1700s, doing near most all the household work, her older sister, Elspeth, seemingly the favored child, her mother in melancholy most of the time, and her father a man not given to tolerating anyone unlike himself.
Liege Lee, Eden's father, is a blacksmith and he has hired an apprentice to come help him. Tradition says the apprentice marries the daughter of the family and Elspeth is the eldest, so she is the presumed bride. However, Elspeth is corrupt at heart and only thinks of herself and her goals.
Eden blends into the background, but Silas Ballantyne, the apprentice, has a discerning heart and notices Eden and the way she is treated.
Eden's life is a blend of misery and despair,although she longs to know Christ. Her father doesn't permit her to go to church, but Silas secretly reads the Scriptures to her on nights in the stairwell. When she is finally permitted to go to church, her heart sings at being able to sit in God's house. This is the way people should feel when they enter the house of the Lord.
Laura Frantz writes with such depth of feeling that the reader feels the despair right along with Eden. Her characters are so well developed that I wish I knew them. Silas Ballantyne is not a man to be pushed around and he loves God with an amazing fervor. However, he desires to finish his apprenticeship and go west. Eden can't bear the thought of Silas leaving because her days are brighter when she sees him at the evening meal.
My, but this book was good.
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Format: Paperback
Laura Frantz books are visions into American life beyond 200 years ago. I fell in love with her last book Colonel's Lady, The: A Novel, a word-pictorial of Kentucky frontier life as lived not long after the Revolutionary War. Frantz's own bit of dialogue summarizes Love's Reckoning: "Have you ne'er had a vision, Eden?" Her text is an ambiance of history--its love, losses, hardships, and pioneer bliss. Even so--the late 1700s were hard troublesome times for America and for the Lee's and Silas Ballantyne.

Silas is a "conflummixt Scot", walking west to finish an apprenticeship and into a bridal trap of the master blacksmith, with 2 eligible daughters. But are they? They seem beautiful enough, but with baggage. Pa even provides him the garret bedroom rather than the traditional smithy's shed. Older Elspeth is ripe with man-want, while sis, Eden, holds a secret to include a Godly pursuit. Pa's a Quaker outcast and drinker. Nice to know that dysfunction existed in Early American times.

Yes it is Hist. Romance, but filled with a story that is quite believable depicting pioneer America times. It's a breathtaking picture of Pennsylvania. It's not the typical PA Amish or Dutch this time that gives us a look at early faith/life struggles in that colony.
Astonishing cover design attributed to Brandon Hill.
Your money's worth and then some. Delightful.
The worst part of the book is the end where readers get teased with a peek at the opening of The Ballantyne Legacy Book 2. It will be a hard historical wait to meet the next generation.
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