Friday, 21 March 2014

Love’s Awakening by Laura Frantz

Back Cover: 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?

Review: I became a hardcore fan of Laura Frantz’s after reading the first book in this series, “Love’s Reckoning”. The newest installment, “Love’s Awakening” was dazzling and certainly did not disappoint.

Jack Turlock comes from the worst kind of family. His father is a murder, is disloyal to his mother, abuses his slaves, and will go to the most gruesome extreme to see his illegal whiskey enterprise flourish. The Turlock family name is so feared that even the law enforcement wont cross a Turlock. Jack Turlock, or “Gentleman-Jack” as he’s known, is known for his cavorting with saloon women, whiskey trading, and being a vicious fighter. As a young man, however, Jack had a different upbringing than the rest of his siblings. A favourite of their mother’s father, the town judge, Jack was exposed to a more gentle, learned way of life. When his grandfather passed and Jack was drawn back under the evil influence of his father, Jack all but forgot the goodness he was shown as a child. That is, until a near death experience makes him question the validity of God and the rightness of their family enterprise.

Enter Ellie Ballantyne. Ellie is the darling of the family. Beautiful, kind, naive, and ever-so-sweet, she is beloved by all. After four years of finishing school, she feels quite...finished. Expecting to come home to her mother’s arms, her father’s music, and the peacefulness of New Hope, Ellie is quite shocked to find that her parent’s are gone on a journey and her siblings are less than happy to see her. It’s not until she accidently finds out that her family is heavily involved in the Underground Railroad, designed to smuggle slaves out of the country, does Ellie realize that New Hope is not the home she left four years ago. Caught between the building pressures of her families abolitionist activities and the challenging job of trying to turn a young Turlock into a lady while falling in love with her brother...Ellie’s once simple life is in serious upheaval.

Love’s Reckoning is a beautiful, engaging, lovely book. I couldn’t part with this book once I started reading it. It got taken to work, to the barn, and even on a date! I really love Laura Frantz’s writing and both these books were wonderful.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Revell Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group"

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