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The second in the Ballantyne Legacy series, Love's Awakening has been on my wish list since I first had a sneak peek at the end of the first in the series,
Love's Reckoning. I've been savoring this amazing novel all week, stretching it out, not wanting it to end.
In a few words, it was:
~~A Riveting & Sweeping Saga
~~Lovely & Winsome
Plot & Setting: In the spring of 1822, Ellie Ballantyne comes back home on the winds of a storm to her family home in Pittsburgh, but the upturned trees aren't the only things unsettled in the valley where the Monongahela meets the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers. Though the Turlock clansmen continue as powerful slaveholders and whiskey magnates, the handsome Jack Turlock tests the loyalty of Ellie's roots and her deep ties to her father's abolitionist views. Determined to find her place in the world, her heart is captured when one of her students turns out to be Jack's younger sister. When the suspicious rival clan brews up a plot to claim victory over the Ballantyne's legacy, Ellie is deeply entangled between the two sides. Will she betray her family and side with the enemy?
Hero: Roguish, yet soft enough to hope redemption can plant a root in his heart. Jack Turlock is a twelve on a one to ten scale of the swoon-ometer! He had me on page 86 at "I'm here Ellie." Check out Laura's Pinterest template for him: Jack Turlock Template.
Heroine: Ellie, the cover says it all. Elegant. Lovely. Innocent. Like a rose you hope won't get crushed between the thorns of the clan.
Themes: What will happen when choosing love means siding with the enemy? How will Ellie resolve the ties that pull her two directions? And will Jack be able to shed the identity of his violent clan for freedom's sake? Laura paints amazing pictures of loyalty, freedom, and powerful illustrations of salvation, paid debt, liberation, and new life.
Favorite line: "As the old saint Whitfield said, we are immortal until our work is done."
Favorite secondary character: Chloe.
About Laura Frantz:
I was born and raised in Kentucky, living first in Ashland, Mammoth Cave, Bowling Green, and then Lexington. But my heart has always been in Berea, Madison County, the place my family has resided since the 18th-century. I came to know Christ there at the age of 12, was baptized, and spent my childhood roaming through the woods and swimming in the rivers of my books.
My earliest memories are of the public library, standing in front of shelves filled with those little biographies of famous historical figures like Daniel Boone and George Washington and Sacajawea. I began scribbling stories at age 7 and thankfully never stopped. My passion then and now is history and all the wonders of past centuries.
I attended college at Denison University in Ohio and also in England, living in a manor/castle and studying the American Revolution from the British perspective. Shakespeare and 18th-century literature form the backbone of my English degree. Strangely enough, I only took one creative writing class.
It was never a desire of mine to be published. I simply love to write for the sheer joy of writing – and that was enough. But as Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”
Reader Questions for this week's give-away of a free copy:
Did you know the Underground Railroad was alive and well in 1822?
What is your favorite Laura Frantz novel?
Have you ever been to Pittsburgh?