You know those rare books that you wait for all year because you just know that it’s going to be a good one? And then, once it’s finally yours, you are content to just stare at the beautiful cover for a few days, wondering about the story you will find inside and knowing it will be over far too soon.
When you finally allow yourself to read it, you excitedly read too fast and have to force yourself to slow down and savor this book. Because after it’s over, you will have to wait another whole year for the next one.
Let me introduce you to Love’s Awakening by Laura Frantz. This is one of those books.
Love’s Awakening by Laura Frantz
The Ballantyne Legacy, Book 2
Ellie Ballantyne, delicate and dainty as a flower, has just returned home from finishing school. She is the apple of her parents’ eyes and holds a special place in the heart of the family. Jack Turlock, on the other hand, is the rough, tough man whose family is infamous for making their living on whiskey. No two people could be more different, neither in the way they were raised or in how they see life as adults.
Ellie and Jack’s lives are thrown together when Jack’s sister, Chloe, becomes a student to Ellie. Chloe definitely has some rough edges, but she is also thoroughly entertaining and endearing at the same time. However misguided, her attempts to bring Jack and Ellie together are genuine.
Meanwhile, Jack has an internal battle, in which he struggles between being the man his reputation makes him, or being who he wishes he could be, the man who is deserving of Ellie’s heart.
Some books hit you head on, with full force. Laura’s writing is more like a soft, gentle whisper. She captures moments and emotions with beautifully poetic words, and her stories find a way into your heart. You will find yourself thinking about the lives of the Ballantynes and the Turlocks as you go about your day.
And seeing Silas and Eden again was such a treat! Love them!
Rating: 4 stars
At the end of the book, there is an excerpt from Book 3, which Laura has just recently announced the title will be Love’s Fortune. I am excited to say that the third book is about Wren, Ansel’s daughter. Ansel was one of my favorite secondary characters in Love’s Awakening, so I’m thrilled that we will be following his daughter.
Summary (from the back cover):
The path to true love lies somewhere between two feuding families.
In the spring of 1822, Ellie Ballantyne leaves finishing school and returns to the family home in Pittsburgh only to find that her parents are away on a long journey and her siblings don’t seem to want her to stay. Determined to stand her ground and find her place in the world, Ellie fills her time by opening a day school for young ladies.
But when one of her students turns out to be an incorrigible young member of the Turlock family, Ellie knows she must walk a fine line. Slaveholders and whiskey magnates, the Turlocks are envious of the powerful Ballantynes and suspicious of their abolitionist leanings. As Ellie becomes increasingly entangled with the rival clan–particularly the handsome Jack Turlock–she finds herself falling in love with an impossible future. Will she betray her family and side with the enemy?
Masterful storyteller Laura Frantz continues to unfold the stirring saga of the Ballantyne family in this majestic tale of love and loyalty. This is the Ballantyne Legacy.