This was a well-written book- lots of rich historical details during a turbulent era. I enjoyed reading about the two main characters, but felt as if there was a huge backstory that was only hinted at... but those hints made me wish I had the missing information needed to understand the relationship. I also felt that because the details of the previous history between Jack and Ellie were not shared, it was hard to feel the connection between them or understand their falling in love, or even trusting each other.
As with the first in this series, I waited until I had sufficient time to indulge without interruption. However, reading went differently than anticipated. The deeply resonant beauty of this story demands lingering rather than rushing. Yes, I wanted to know what would happen to Ellie & Jack, who jump off the page & into your heart immediately, but Laura's oh-so satisfying conclusions are trustworthy. Thus, I enjoyed several chapters at a time then took a break to allow this gloriously rich story to seep deeper into my soul. With every section, my adoration of Ellie grew. Her unspoiled heart proved a beloved & privileged daughter does not always equal a self-centered brat. Ellie wanted to please her parents, but it took a while for her to comprehend exactly what that might entail, especially with them out of town while she wrestled with several grown up decisions. Yet, they were obviously with her. The risks Ellie took for Chloe & the runaway slaves were reminiscent of her mother's kind & generous nature. While her blossoming into a brave & loving young woman with the courage to stand up for & then inspire those who didn't have the strength to believe in themselves marked her as a daughter of the Lord & of Silas Ballantyne. Then there's Jack, an absolutely sigh-worthy hero. Instead of taking advantage of Ellie's naive & reckless affections, Jack laid his desires aside to protect her. The odds stacked against him were staggering, & Jack couldn't see any way around them. Yet, he kept stepping up & out of the typical selfish, greedy, vile Turlock nature with no regard for what it might cost him. The reader's reunion with Silas & Eden came later than expected, but getting acquainted with Ellie & her three older siblings first rendered a detailed & authentic family portrait. Laura timed their much anticipated entry into the story perfectly, & I delighted in the culmination of their united hearts. Together they became not just amazing parents, bust also leaders in the community & lifelines for the down & out. Much like an unforgettable melody that captures your attention & weaves itself into the very essence of your being, Laura's treasured Ballantyne legacy will forever endear readers' hearts to her divine storytelling. As predicted, my desire for a finale bursting with hope & promise was completely fulfilled. I can hardly wait for the next installment in this wonderful series.
Lyrical, evocative, rich in period detail and the deepest longings of the heart, Laura Frantz's novels never disappoint the devoted historical fiction reader. I've been captivated by all of Ms. Frantz's books, but the Ballantyne Legacy Series engages me almost more than her wonderful novels set in Kentucky. I love the energy the Federal period supplies as the young republic explodes in size and the population moves ever westward. In Love's Awakening, not only is the country in turmoil, but Ellie Ballantyne's private world is also. With characters you relate to on a deep level and plot twists that keep surprising, this story will leave readers breathless and as eager for book 3 of this compelling series as I am.
I love words that take you by the hand and lead you deeper into the story-what reader doesn't? "Love's Awakening" is one such title I have been hording until just the right reading moment and that moment presented itself to me_and it was so worth the wait.
I didn't expect anything less than what I received between the gorgeous covers of this historical romance. Characters that brim with spice and spunk and a determination to do what is right in the eyes of God. History is rich in filling between the cracks of the character's lives, but in a way that does that detract from the story at all but only adds to the fullness of every minute spent within the story.
Ellie and Jack's love story is no conventional one_fall in love with your father's enemy? The town's professed villain? And yet their attraction is so pure_and so passionate. Jack is such a noble hero with the burden of the world on his shoulders which I wanted desperately to see released. And for Ellie to come truly into all her character's potential.
There is never just one layer to a story like this. Too many between characters, story world and secondary contributors to mention in one simple review and I can't begin to do the book justice. I can promise it is fully worth the read.
Lyrical, breathlessly romantic, and flawless in historical detail are a few of the descriptives that match Laura Frantz's wonderful novels. She has mastered a unique style of writing that is both beautiful, old-fashioned and full of enough conflict to keep the plot moving. Ellie Ballantyne's family are dyed-in-the-wool abolitionists who live out their faith by helping runaways escape in industrial Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania. Jack Turlock's father is a philanderer who makes his living selling liquor and will do anything in his pursuit of the almighty dollar. When Jack's sister becomes a student at Ellie's day school, Ellie finds herself falling hard for Jack, yet can she side with someone whose values and beliefs seem to conflict with all her family holds dear? It is easy to see why Laura Frantz has been a contender for several recent awards and I have no doubt many are in her future. With strong messages of faith and characters I grow to love, I will continue to pick up her novels again and again.