by Laura Frantz
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 Ballantynes 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?
(Note: This story takes place several years after the first book in the Ballantyne Legacy series, Love’s Reckoning. In Love’s Reckoning the readers were introduced to Ellie Ballantyne’s parents, Eden Lee and Silas Ballantyne.)
What do you get when you mix Romeo and Juliet and the Underground Railroad? A historical romance you can’t put down. Once again, Laura Frantz has penned a novel that satisfies on every level. It’s not your typical sweet romance–this story has *meat* to it. Issues are not brushed over, but given ample page space to deal with in-depth.
Prose: As usual, her prose is elegant and symphonic. Each word is precisely chosen and placed so that every sentence–paragraph–scene has a flowing, melodic cadence. I hear the music streaming from her words.
Plot: The story is a can’t-put-it-down, page-turner. You want–need–to discover what happens next. How will Ellie and Jack overcome the many obstacles keeping them apart? But you also don’t want to hurry through this book. Like fine chocolate, you desire to savor each beautifully-turned phrase on your novel journey. And in typical Laura Frantz fashion, this journey doesn’t take you down the roads you expect.
Setting & Senses: By rushing through the story, you chance missing Frantz’s vivid, tactile descriptions. I’m right there in each scene, breathing in the scents, taking in nature’s colors, feeling the wind slap my face.
Characters: Laura Frantz has the rare ability to get the reader completely invested in the characters’ lives. Not only do we care deeply for Ellie and Jack and the supporting cast, we also intimately experience their griefs, joys, and every emotion in between–they become your friends. Frantz’s stories remind me of Francine Rivers‘ Mark of the Lion trilogy where you become completely engrossed in every aspect of the characters’ lives.
I also enjoyed the fact that Eden and Silas’ children were far from perfect. I would have loved to know more about the eldest son who seems to court trouble. He could have a story of his own.
The Bad: The next book in the Ballantyne Legacy won’t be out until 2014. 🙁
I would like to thank Laura Frantz and Revell for gracing me with a complimentary copy of Love’s Awakening. I’m asked to give an honest review, which I have gladly given.
More about Laura Frantz
- Website: http://laurafrantz.net/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LauraFrantzAuthor
- Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/laurafrantz/
Books in the Ballantyne Legacy series (Revell Publishing):
Other novels by Laura Frantz — all are highly recommended (all Revell Publishing)