Monday, September 23, 2013

Book Review: Love's Awakening

Love's Awakening (The Ballantyne Legacy, #2)Author: Laura Frantz
Publication Date: September 2013
Publisher: Revell
Series: The Ballantyne Legacy # 2

Ellie Ballantyne, youngest child of Silas and Eden, has left finishing school. But back at her family home in Pittsburgh, Ellie finds that her parents are away on a long trip and her siblings don't seem to want her to stay. When she opens a day school for young ladies, she begins tutoring the incorrigible daughter of the enemy Turlock clan. The Turlocks are slaveholders and whiskey magnates, envious of the powerful Ballantyne’s and suspicious of their abolitionist leanings. As Ellie becomes increasingly tangled with the Turlocks, she finds herself falling in love with an impossible future--and Jack Turlock, a young man striving to free himself from his family's violent legacy. How can she betray her family and side with the enemy? And will Jack ever allow her into his world?

His features has always been sharply handsome, almost hawkish, his hair the color of summer straw, not whiskey-dark like Wade’s. That he was a worldly man there could be no doubt. He even moved with an ease and agility far removed from the stiff formality of society’s drawing rooms. He was, in a word, different. And dangerous. Father would not approve.

Father cannot see me like this. Even the help will be scandalized. I’ll make Jack leave me at the gate – no, the lane – before reaching home…

He turned away, wanting no reminder of Ellie. She was, he’d be willing to wager, thinking the same of him.

Ellie is the youngest and most favored child of Silas and Eden. Her story begins when she leaves finishing school and decides to return to her family home. When she returns, she realizes that her parents are away and her older siblings, crazily jealous of her, do not want her around. Ellie has made up her mind not to let her older siblings run her off just because of their immature actions, so she decides to open a day school for young women. Ellie finds herself teaching the youngest Turlock girl, Chloe, even though their families have been mortal enemies for years. Not only would her parents disagree about her teaching Chloe, but they would certainly not approve of her interactions with Jack Turlock either. Will this cause a riff in the family? How will Ellie ever handle herself in this trying situation?

Ellie is a unique character, and being a teacher myself, I was really able to relate to her. My favorite part of Ellie’s journey was learning her background and that of the Ballantyne’s and Turlock’s as well. The Underground Railroad was a wonderful touch to comment on both the setting and the times Frantz has dropped readers into. She definitely does her homework and incorporates details as closely related to what’s written in the history books! Ellie is a fantastic heroine, and when she is accompanied by Jack I just don’t think you can find a better pair.

Frantz has the ability to make me gasp, cry, and cringe all in one book. Every character is so full of life, and Chloe was among my favorite in this book. She brings out a light in Ellie and bridges the families that have been feuding as long as the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s. I usually find myself either shocked, surprised or both while reading one of Frantz’s novels. She has a remarkable gift for writing! If you are looking for a brand new series to start, pick up the first two books in The Ballantyne Legacy today!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Revell in exchange for my honest review***

***Available September 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.***

1 comment:

  1. Chelsey, You have a knack for beautiful reviews! Thanks from the bottom of my heart for taking time for mine. As a former English teacher I have oodles of admiration for you:) LOVE your format above and your favorite quotes from the book.
    You inspire me,
    Laura Frantz