Ellie Ballantyne, youngest child of Silas and Eden, has left finishing school. But back at her family home in Pittsburgh, Ellie finds that her parents are away on a long trip and her siblings don't seem to want her to stay. When she opens a day school for young ladies, she begins tutoring the incorrigible daughter of the enemy Turlock clan. The Turlocks are slaveholders and whiskey magnates, envious of the powerful Ballantynes and suspicious of their abolitionist leanings. As Ellie becomes increasingly tangled with the Turlocks, she finds herself falling in love with an impossible future--and Jack Turlock, a young man striving to free himself from his family's violent legacy. How can she betray her family and side with the enemy? And will Jack ever allow her into his world?
Masterful storyteller Laura Frantz continues to unfold the stirring saga of the Ballantyne family in this majestic tale of love, loyalty, and the makings of a legacy. With rich descriptions of the people who settled and civilized a wild landscape, Frantz weaves a tapestry of characters and places that stick with the reader long after they turn the last page.
My Star Rating: 5 Stars
Masterful storyteller, Laura Frantz, has done it again! In this second installment of The Ballantyne Legacy, we witness the continuing journey of the Ballantyne family as they endure life's trials and joys. Set among the backdrop of 1822 Pennsylvania, the story comes to life with vivid descriptions, and melodic and expressive prose that leaves me captivated at every page.
With its rich, historical detail, and a fine cast of characters, I was drawn into another place and time. There's so much to love about this story, it's difficult to know where to begin. I'd have to say that while the story does start out at a relaxed pace, things certainly do pick up pace, and heat up. With the Ballantyne and Turlock families both having a wide array of personalities amongst them, it makes for a good amount of tension and drama. There are the characters that charm and endear you, and then others that make you cringe at their less than desirable ways. It ends up being the perfect balance, and lends itself to a very interesting story.
In addition to tension and drama among the characters, I loved those scenes that brought a sense of danger, fear, heartache, and needless to say, . . . those moments that take your breath away and leave tears in your eyes. There were a couple chapters where I literally found it hard to breathe -- oh, the emotion! I was left with a pounding heart, and a feeling that I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to see how things were going to be resolved. Laura Frantz has a true talent for making the reader truly feel the entire gamut of emotions. From heart-pounding tension, to sigh-worthy romance, this novel has it all . . . a literary banquet, to be sure!
I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys well written, historical fiction with rich detail, well drawn characters, and a sweet love story to win your heart.
**Thank you to Revell for a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion.**
**Available September 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.**
About the Author:
From Laura's Website: "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.”
I hope my books bless you."