Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Love's Awakening

Love’s Awakening is the second book in Laura Frantz’s historical fiction series The Ballantyne Legacy.

As this is a series that follows the legacy, the generations, of a family – I strongly feel that reading the books in order are important. So, if you have not already, start with Silas and Eden’s journey in Love’s Reckoning – review here – before continuing on with Love’s Awakening.

Until then, I recommend avoiding this review for inevitable spoilers.

In Love’s Awakening, we return to Pennsylvania – this time in 1822.

Elinor Ballantyne, youngest child of Silas and Eden, is headed home – having made the executive decision that she had been “finished” enough at finishing school. Longing to see her family and friends again, she’s only slightly concerned what they will think of her choice.

As the lovely, delicate, mannered daughter, she’s been blessed with the chance to get the best schooling and opportunities – and with a fortune to rival others, she is extremely eligible.

Yet, the posts in the paper and near constant balls announcing this were enough to make her ill.

Starting a day school in her hometown for young ladies seemed like a good way to pass the time and do something useful, so Elinor puts her energies into that.

She didn’t expect for one of the students to be Chloe Turlock – the young sister of the slaveholding, whiskey magnate Turlock family – a family always shrouded in suspicion and fear.

Not one to turn a child away, Ellie finds it brings her closer to Jack Turlock. One of the wild, at least previously wild, older Turlock boys. She’s surprisingly drawn to him… though their families are essentially rivals.

Since returning home she finds that things have changed. There are secrets in her previously peaceful house. There are unexplained sounds in the attic. Unspoken dangers…

She never would’ve guessed that one of those dangers would be her heart.

I absolutely loved Love’s Reckoning – and in Love’s Awakening Laura Frantz continues to sweep us away in a spectacular manner!

This is a family saga that is gripping – truly.

Love’s Awakening instantly drew me into the time with unobtrusive details and ways of speech to make everything feel authentic. None of the characters feel strained or forced, as hers never seem to.

There’s an intensity of feeling that is soaked, seemingly effortlessly, into every page. It’s emotional without being melodramatic. It’s powerfully romantic without being maudlin. It’s heartbreaking without being manipulative.

Another thing I really appreciate about Love’s Awakening (and all of Laura Frantz’s novel that I have read so far) is that it is far more gritty, earthy and REAL than a lot of other Christian literature out there.

Love’s Awakening is an excellent family drama with soaring romance and profound character studies.

I know that there is another book coming in The Ballantyne Legacy – but I can’t help but hope there’s more than one to complete a trilogy of some sort.

To be honest, I’d like to follow this family’s legacy to present day times. Personally, I think that’d be awesome.

What do you think?

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

*I received a copy of Love's Awakening from the Baker Publishing Group. Their generosity in no way influenced, nor sought to influence, my opinion of the novel.


Anonymous said...

I haven't seen this one around but it looks really good. The cover is

Ann @ Blogging Profits Unleashed said...

I recently read the first book and really enjoyed it :) I really need to
check out book 2!

Anonymous said...

Angie, Blessed beyond measure simply reading your review. You have a stunning way with words and I don't say that lightly. I pinned to Pinterest. Thanks for your time and the care with which you did this.
In Him,
Laura Frantz