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Customer Reviews for Revell Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2

Revell Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2

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?
Average Customer Rating:
4.882 out of 5
4.9
 out of 
5
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33 out of 3497%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2
Review 1 for Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Read the previous book in the series first!

Date:February 21, 2014
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Heidi
Location:San Diego, CA
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
This was a well-written book- lots of rich historical details during a turbulent era. I enjoyed reading about the two main characters, but felt as if there was a huge backstory that was only hinted at... but those hints made me wish I had the missing information needed to understand the relationship. I also felt that because the details of the previous history between Jack and Ellie were not shared, it was hard to feel the connection between them or understand their falling in love, or even trusting each other.
+1point
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Review 2 for Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Another Breathtaking Masterpiece!

Date:January 4, 2014
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Dolly
Location:New Mexico
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
As with the first in this series, I waited until I had sufficient time to indulge without interruption. However, reading went differently than anticipated. The deeply resonant beauty of this story demands lingering rather than rushing. Yes, I wanted to know what would happen to Ellie & Jack, who jump off the page & into your heart immediately, but Laura’s oh-so satisfying conclusions are trustworthy. Thus, I enjoyed several chapters at a time then took a break to allow this gloriously rich story to seep deeper into my soul. With every section, my adoration of Ellie grew. Her unspoiled heart proved a beloved & privileged daughter does not always equal a self-centered brat. Ellie wanted to please her parents, but it took a while for her to comprehend exactly what that might entail, especially with them out of town while she wrestled with several grown up decisions. Yet, they were obviously with her. The risks Ellie took for Chloe & the runaway slaves were reminiscent of her mother’s kind & generous nature. While her blossoming into a brave & loving young woman with the courage to stand up for & then inspire those who didn’t have the strength to believe in themselves marked her as a daughter of the Lord & of Silas Ballantyne. Then there’s Jack, an absolutely sigh-worthy hero. Instead of taking advantage of Ellie’s naive & reckless affections, Jack laid his desires aside to protect her. The odds stacked against him were staggering, & Jack couldn’t see any way around them. Yet, he kept stepping up & out of the typical selfish, greedy, vile Turlock nature with no regard for what it might cost him. The reader’s reunion with Silas & Eden came later than expected, but getting acquainted with Ellie & her three older siblings first rendered a detailed & authentic family portrait. Laura timed their much anticipated entry into the story perfectly, & I delighted in the culmination of their united hearts. Together they became not just amazing parents, bust also leaders in the community & lifelines for the down & out. Much like an unforgettable melody that captures your attention & weaves itself into the very essence of your being, Laura’s treasured Ballantyne legacy will forever endear readers' hearts to her divine storytelling. As predicted, my desire for a finale bursting with hope & promise was completely fulfilled. I can hardly wait for the next installment in this wonderful series.
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Review 3 for Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Outstanding Series

Date:January 3, 2014
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JMHochstetler
Location:Elkhart, IN
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Lyrical, evocative, rich in period detail and the deepest longings of the heart, Laura Frantz’s novels never disappoint the devoted historical fiction reader. I’ve been captivated by all of Ms. Frantz’s books, but the Ballantyne Legacy Series engages me almost more than her wonderful novels set in Kentucky. I love the energy the Federal period supplies as the young republic explodes in size and the population moves ever westward. In Love’s Awakening, not only is the country in turmoil, but Ellie Ballantyne’s private world is also. With characters you relate to on a deep level and plot twists that keep surprising, this story will leave readers breathless and as eager for book 3 of this compelling series as I am.
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Review 4 for Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

So Satisfying!

Date:December 3, 2013
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Casey
Location:Oregon
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I love words that take you by the hand and lead you deeper into the story-what reader doesn’t? “Love’s Awakening” is one such title I have been hording until just the right reading moment and that moment presented itself to me…and it was so worth the wait.
I didn’t expect anything less than what I received between the gorgeous covers of this historical romance. Characters that brim with spice and spunk and a determination to do what is right in the eyes of God. History is rich in filling between the cracks of the character’s lives, but in a way that does that detract from the story at all but only adds to the fullness of every minute spent within the story.
Ellie and Jack’s love story is no conventional one…fall in love with your father’s enemy? The town’s professed villain? And yet their attraction is so pure…and so passionate. Jack is such a noble hero with the burden of the world on his shoulders which I wanted desperately to see released. And for Ellie to come truly into all her character’s potential.
There is never just one layer to a story like this. Too many between characters, story world and secondary contributors to mention in one simple review and I can’t begin to do the book justice. I can promise it is fully worth the read.
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Review 5 for Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Lyrical, Rich in Historical Detail

Date:November 21, 2013
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Julia Reffner
Location:Fairport, NY
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Lyrical, breathlessly romantic, and flawless in historical detail are a few of the descriptives that match Laura Frantz's wonderful novels. She has mastered a unique style of writing that is both beautiful, old-fashioned and full of enough conflict to keep the plot moving. Ellie Ballantyne's family are dyed-in-the-wool abolitionists who live out their faith by helping runaways escape in industrial Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania. Jack Turlock's father is a philanderer who makes his living selling liquor and will do anything in his pursuit of the almighty dollar. When Jack's sister becomes a student at Ellie's day school, Ellie finds herself falling hard for Jack, yet can she side with someone whose values and beliefs seem to conflict with all her family holds dear? It is easy to see why Laura Frantz has been a contender for several recent awards and I have no doubt many are in her future. With strong messages of faith and characters I grow to love, I will continue to pick up her novels again and again.
+2points
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Review 6 for Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Beautiful Addition to The Ballantyne Legacy!

Date:November 19, 2013
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Britt98
Location:Grand Prairie, TX
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
A beautiful addition to The Ballantyne Legacy, Love’s Awakening is full of intrigue and forbidden love. Ellie and Jack captivated me from the very start. The possibility of a future together just seems so impossible. Their families have been enemies for a few decades by this point and the futility of either Jack or Ellie pursuing what is in their heart just tugged at me.
Jack is part of the dreaded Turlock clan, a powerful family with powerfully dangerous secrets. He just knows that the upstanding Ballantyne family would never allow Ellie to be his. Ellie feels pressured to marry. As she begins to realize that Jack has taken up residence in her heart, will she be brave enough to admit to her family where her true feelings lie, or feel forced to wed a man she does not love?
Love’s Awakening is a powerful tale combining a beautiful love story with rich historical detail and interesting information regarding the fight to transport slaves to freedom as they crossed Pennsylvania.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. I look forward to purchasing a copy of this novel to add to my personal collection.
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Review 7 for Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Wow!

Date:November 16, 2013
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G. Barnett
Location:Cincinnati, OH
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Oh how I wish I could give this wonderful story more than 5 stars! Laura Frantz has penned a beautiful sequel to Love's Reckoning. Love's Awakening is Book #2 in the Ballantyne Legacy, and is the story of Ellie Ballantyne, the youngest daughter of Eden and Silas Ballantyne. I was hoping to read more of Silas and Eden, and let me just say, I was not disappointed. And let's not forget the oh so handsome Jack Turlock.....wow!! I won't say much more except he is one dreamy hero... This story, with its many twists and turns, has so much depth and takes you on a journey you will not soon forget. If you love Laura Frantz and her exquisite writing, you will not be disappointed either.
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Review 8 for Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:November 8, 2013
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KavR
Location:Canada
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Blissful sigh. I just adore the way Laura Frantz tells a story. Her books are so easy to lose yourself in and my world is a better place for having spent time with her characters. Love's Awakening is another exceptional read from this talented author.
I think what strikes me most about this book is the depth and complexities of the relationships. There's such a huge contrast between cossetted Ellie's upbringing and the stark reality that was Jack's childhood. Their experiences have made them into the adults we meet in the beginning pages but it's pure magic to watch them grow in faith and maturity as the book progresses.
There's an intense subplot that totally fascinated me and brings real tension and suspense to an already rich read. Throw in Frantz's exquisite word choice and exacting period detail and you have a historical romance that will thrill, entertain and motivate. Definitely don't miss this one. In fact, buy two -- one for you and one for a Christmas present!
+1point
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Review 9 for Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Laura does it again!

Date:November 7, 2013
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The Quiet Eccentric
Location:Canada
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Beautiful, captivating and wonderfully written, this novel exceeded my expectations and I fell in love during the very first chapter!
I am a huge fan of Laura Frantz, and having read and loved all her books, I knew I was in for a treat! Historical fiction doesn't get much better then this and I'm anxiously awaiting the next book!
Ellie is slightly spoiled at first, and usually I find it terribly unattractive in a heroine, but thankfully, it wasn't enough to ruin the story. Her sweet, naive, brave little heart won me over and I fell head over heels for our hero, Jack Turlock. Now, for starters, his name is just fantastic. I mean, just say it a few times and you can picture his rugged, manly self riding to your rescue. So yes, bottom line, the characterization was really well done.
Highly recommend this book to those who love a good historical romance. It's a novel I'd definitely read again! (and not just for Jack Turlock... ;)
+1point
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Review 10 for Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Another Outstanding Read by Laura Frantz

Date:November 4, 2013
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Teresa M
Location:West Columbia, SC
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
A year is a long time to wait for something you really, really want but I can tell you when it comes to a Laura Frantz novel it will be well worth the wait! So it was when I opened Love’s Awakening and was transported to Allegheny County, Pennsylvania 1822. There I met the youngest daughter of Silas and Eden Ballantyne, Elinor “Ellie” Louise. After seeing an ad extolling her monetary value in a bulletin from The Matrimonial Society of Philadelphia; Ellie realizes that four years of finishing school is enough and she heads home. On the trip Ellie is waylaid by a horrific storm that robs her of all of her belongs, including her money and leaves her stranded in a tavern.
Jack Turlock, handsome to a fault and known for his roguish ways, is stopped by the same storm and helps to clear the debris. Afterward he heads to the tavern for some food and to his surprise he spots a much disheveled Ellie Ballantyne hiding in a corner. After speaking with her and realizing her plight Jack buys her something to eat and then offers to see her safely home to New Hope.
When Ellie returns home she finds her parents away on a trip and her brothers and sister are acting strangely, it's as though they don't want her there. There seems to be some mysterious goings on at New Hope. After trying to find something to do with her time she decides to start the Day School for young ladies she has always dreamed about. One of her first students is Chloe Turlock, thirteen year old sister of Jack. Ellie agrees to come to River Hill to teach Chloe, while there she spends enough time with Jack to realize he is not like the rest of the Turlock clan. It doesn't take long for Ellie and Jack to develop feelings for each other, but both know there is little hope for them. He comes from a family that owns slaves and makes whiskey; she comes from an upstanding family who are abolitionists. Will they be able to conquer these insurmountable circumstances?
.
Laura Frantz is a storyteller extraordinaire and once again I found myself lost in the wonder of another one of her masterpieces. When you have characters that are so real you feel you know them and you have descriptions that are so in-depth you feel you are there, you just don't want to put the book down until the last words have been consumed. This is the way I have felt with every book I have read by Laura and this one was no different. Last year when I turned the last page in Love's Reckoning I felt as though I couldn't wait for this one, now I feel the same again. Laura I can't wait to see what beauty will again flow from your pen for this coming year, I only hope I have the patience to wait for it!
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Review 11 for Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent example of historical fiction

Date:October 15, 2013
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Stacey Zink
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Once again Laura Frantz has shown herself to be the master of historical fiction. She tells the gripping story of Ellie and Jack in Love's Awakening. While we fall in love with the characters we also come to care about their lives and issues. I was drawn in from page one and didn't put her book down until the last page. It was incredibly well written! I just wish I didn't have to wait until 2014 for the next book in this series!
+1point
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Review 12 for Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Sweet but heart-wrenching

Date:October 3, 2013
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An Old Fashioned Girl
Location:Minnesota
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
In her second installment of The Ballantyne Legacy, Laura Frantz introduces us to the children of Silas and Eden Ballantyne, focusing on the youngest, Elinor. When Ellie declares herself "finished" and returns home from finishing school in Philadelphia, she encounters Jack Turlock, one of the drunken, unpleasant sons of her father's enemy, who surprisingly treats her honorably and sees her home safely. Though they never expect to have dealings with each other again, Ellie opens a day school for young ladies and gets thrown into Jack's company when his tomboy little sister pleads for lessons. In spite of the disagreements between the families - particularly over whiskey and slavery - they form a friendship over young Chloe. When the time comes, will they stand with their families or stand together? Will they stand for what is right, or will they fail to take a stand entirely?
I like Ellie as the heroine; she is a sweet girl with a good heart, and more capable than her family realizes. As the youngest, everyone babies her, hardly giving her a chance to prove herself. Chloe is incorrigible; so well-intentioned, making so much trouble, but so loveable. Silas, I am glad to see, is still the man that wooed Eden in Love's Reckoning - I was afraid his feud with the Turlocks would lead to a hardening of his heart, but he never disappointed me! Still as dashing as ever! Each of the Ballantyne children are well developed, distinct in personality and role, and I can easily imagine them having fairly significant roles in the next book.
Jack makes an excellent hero, overcoming so much - starting as a drinking, wenching fence-sitter and maturing to a solid, decisive man of faith. While he has partaken in his own share of carousing, he is still a chivalrous man who does not agree with everything his family does, but he does not stand up to them either. Even when asked by a third party to make a choice, he does nothing; however, when his own family threatens those he loves, combined with a sound warning from God, he finally accepts that at some point one must take a stand, and stand firm he does. He matures significantly in the novel, both in deed and faith.
There is nothing that I actually disliked about the book, but it feels a little more pampered - like Ellie herself - and lacks the wildness that characterizes Frantz's other books. Maybe it is that the setting is so much tamer, and the Ballantynes wealthy and constrained by propriety. Not a bad thing per se, just a little different. Frantz still knows how to wrench the heartstrings, and her research and historical depth are superior as always. It is an excellent novel, full of faith and growth, joy and heartache, and I look forward to next.
+1point
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Review 13 for Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:October 1, 2013
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Rel Mollet
Location:Australia
It will come as no surprise to those who have read Laura Frantz’s previous stories that Love’s Awakening is another beautifully rendered historical tale of two fascinationg characters finding love amidst conflict, heartache, and great loss. This second Ballantyne Legacy story focusses on Silas and Eden Ballantyne’s youngest daughter, Ellie ~ a young woman with a heart for children and the less fortunate who becomes enthralled with Jack Turlock, a man whose life has been shaped by violence and selfish ambition, passed on by his father and brothers. In many ways, Jack is the antithesis of the heroes we have come to admire in Laura’s stories but she pens him admirably, revealing his weaknesses along with an inner integrity that is slowly revealed as his life is touched by the tenderness and compassion that marks Ellie. Thoroughly engaging, spiritually satisfying, and deeply moving, Love’s Awakening reflects all that readers have come to love from this supremely talented writer.
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Review 14 for Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Had me at the first paragraph!

Date:October 1, 2013
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Julieanne Miller
Location:Oregon
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Love’s Awakening had me at the first paragraph!
In her new book, Laura Frantz has combined all the angst of Romeo and Juliette, and the romantic turbulence of Gone with the Wind. This attention grabbing story kept me turning the pages as fast as I could read.
The Ballantynes and Turlocks have been deepest enemies since both arrived from Ireland many years previously. The Turlocks make and sell whiskey, and the Ballentynes are ship builders. With both families against them how could Ellie and Jack ever find a way to get together?
Even more difficult, Ellie isn’t sure that she wishes to have anything to do with a Turlock, as they are her family’s mortal enemies, aren’t they?
Until along comes Jack’s little sister, Chloe. Chloe sees a chance for a real romance between her brother and a beautiful young woman whom she admires. Will she succeed?
Will Ellie manage to change this tomboy into a beautiful young lady with perfect manners?
It doesn’t seem possible even to Ellie. Moreover, she doesn’t love Jack, and she is almost certain that she doesn’t even like him. He is a Turlock! But, isn’t all fair in love and war? Chloe thinks so.
Then, there are the slaves. There is terminal unrest in the state as more and more slaves are seeking freedom from their cruel, oppressive masters. The problems with slavery and the devastation it played in the lives of both white and black, play an important part in the story.
This is Book Two in the Ballantyne Legacy Series. I would have enjoyed reading Book One in the series first to understand some of the cross currents in Love’s Awakening, but do not let this stop you from reading this book. You will enjoy the story and will like me, impatiently wait for Book Three.
You will like this fast moving story and come away with a new understanding of the plight of thousands of slaves. Be sure to read Love’s Awakening by Laura Frantz. I know you'll come away with a new appreciation for the men and women who came to America as slaves, and the difficulties they faced to be free.
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Review 15 for Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Superb Tale!

Date:September 28, 2013
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Renee C
Location:PA
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
After having read five books by this author, I'm of a mind that nobody has mastered the craft of weaving a delightfully entertaining and romantic tale better than Laura Frantz. From the very first chapter to the very last line of every book, and possibly none more so than with her latest, Love's Awakening, I have been hooked. The second book in the Ballantyne Legacy is a winner!
With complex and engaging characters, historic Pittsburgh has been brought to life as I've never seen it before. Being a native to the area, I couldn't help but be half in love with this story before I even turned the first page and I'm happy to say it lived up to, and greatly surpassed, my already high expectations. I'd love to think that some of my ancestors could have easily traveled the paths that Ellie did in this story. Love's Awakening is by far my favorite of the series and sweet Ellie Ballantyne one of my favorite heroines brought to life by Frantz. It was easy to picture a genteel lady struggling with love and faith in a rough, rapidly evolving city. Our hero, Jack Turlock, is as equally an impressive character. Without giving anything away, let's just say he's a delish reformed rogue. Who doesn't love a bad boy? I never thought anyone could top Red Shirt from her previous novel Courting Morrow Little, but I think he may have a rival in Gentleman Jack! ;-)
Everything about Love's Awakening captures the essence of great Christian fiction. Perfectly balanced with love, just a bit of adventure, and a lot of history I could not find a thing I did not enjoy when it came to this book! If you're looking for a story that engages the mind and the heart definitely consider this book and this series!
*I receive complimentary books for review from the publisher. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*
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Review 16 for Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:September 28, 2013
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Rosie
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
A lovely addition to the series!
In Love's Awakening we are introduced to Eden and Silas's family, particularly their youngest, Ellie. Oh, they were one of my favorite couples last year and their story made my top twelve books of 2012. I couldn't wait to read more about them, particularly Ellie. She's sweet, though a bit naive at first, and she has a heart as big as her mother's. Since I am the oldest in my family, I have no idea what it is like to be the youngest, seeing it through Ellie's eyes was interesting. I loved watching her come into her own.
I confess, based on the back cover I was concerned Ellie's story would be more of a Romeo and Juliet retelling than it actually was. Thankfully, I never got that impression while I read. One of my favorite new characters has to be Chloe. She's full of energy and has a stubbornness that rivals the Ballantyne's. Her transformation was wonderful to read and I wish we could have seen more of her.
Love's Reckoning remains my favorite so far, but this one made a great sequel. There was a fabulous blend of drama, tension, and romance throughout the whole book. Frantz truly sent me back in time, thanks to the historical detail she slips into her novels. Her books have been a pleasure to read. I recommend to ages fifteen and up for both readability and content.
Available September 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
I received this book from Revell in return for an honest review of my opinions, thanks!
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Review 17 for Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Two Families In Conflict, Slavery and Romance

Date:September 28, 2013
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VicsMediaRoom
Location:Irvine, CA
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Laura Frantz in her new book, "Love's Awakening" Book Two in The Ballantyne Legacy published by Revell brings us into the life of Ellie Ballantyne.
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.
"Love's Awakening" is all about family. Or more accurately family versus family. In this case it is the Ballanatynes versus the Turlocks. The Ballantyne's are abolitionists and are saving slaves, helping them get to freedom, the Turlocks are slaveholders and make whiskey. It is in this environment that Ellie falls in love with Jack. "Love's Awakening" has a "Romeo and Juliet" feel to it as Ms. Frantz explores the conflict between the two families as well as the institution of slavery. Ellie and Jack are such interesting characters and the story draws you deep into it. In "Love's Awakening" Ms. Frantz has woven in history, romance and grand adventure all in one story.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
"Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."
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Review 18 for Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

conflict onto the next generation

Date:September 28, 2013
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Kathleen
Location:Missouri
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Saturday, September 28, 2013
Love's Awakening by Laura Frantz, ©2013
The Ballantyne Legacy
~*~
Beloved daughter.
Wayward son.
Will a future with him cost
her all she holds dear?
~*~
I swoop a young lady from the disaster of the storm. I am surprised to see it is my childhood friend, Ellie. Our families are in conflict with each other ~ the Turlocks and the Ballantynes. It has stemmed from long ago, and still continues today in my generation. I am the second son so I am not privy to the family estate, Broad Oak, my brother, Wade, has inherited. Instead, I have inherited my grandfather's estate, River Hill, at his passing as he stated in his Will, having no descendant to leave it to. But... I have the better of the two; one thousand acres fronting the Monongahela River. Ellie's family are abolitionists and our family has slaves, even though they have legal freedom. My name? Jack Turlock. Anyway, I rescue Ellie Ballantyne and take her home from the tavern where she has sought protection. The Widow Meyer's is the last stage stop before Pittsburgh. She tells me her retinue has been blown away and she has no money. I suspected as much and order bread with honey and tea for her before she retires. We leave in the morning.
Her sister, Andra, is an ornery sort, and meets us at the door at New Hope when I come galloping up the lane with Ellie behind me in the saddle. In one piece, except for a lost slipper and my own hat. She offers me no water though my horse, Cicero, is in need of a drink after our hard ride to get here. I am on my way, but now for days I am not wanting a reminder of Ellie. She likely would say the same for me.
I read in the Pittsburgh Gazette Miss Elinor is advertising for students offering a day school for young ladies in needlework, French, and dancing. She has been at a finishing school in Philadelphia for the past four years. Mother wants my younger sister, Chloe, to register for the school as a pupil. Chloe is outraged, as she is quite fine following after her brothers. Chloe is twelve and likes to fish and ride. Mother must have a plan to discredit a Ballantyne venture. A snare for Ellie, I perceive.
Father says he want to take me West with him to St. Louis. He is wanting to set up a distillery business there in the new state of Missouri, saying he needs "a cool head and a steady hand." I had hopes of going East to our established accounts but he is sending Wade, who is more regularly an imbiber. I have come to dinner to talk about taking Chloe to River Hill to live with me. In agreeing, I tell Mother she is welcome to visit anytime; that I have not forgotten it had once been her home. She tells me with the times we are all in need of change.
Ellie comes unannounced to River Hill to speak with me. We walk in the garden, away from the prying, inquisitive eyes of my housekeeper, yet in the open away from questionable speaking together in an enclosed room of the house. She tells me Chloe rode to New Hope yesterday to speak with her about joining her school. Chloe? I refuse, leaving Ellie standing in the garden. Joining the two families would dismiss all the other students she might have and disgrace both Ellie and Chloe. May they each one day understand I care to protect both of them.
~*~
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?
~*~
The 14th annual Christy Awards for excellence in Christian fiction nominated the first book, Love's Reckoning, as one of three finalists in the Historical Romance category. 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.
2013 Christy Award Finalist ~ Laura Frantz is a lover of history, the author of stand-alone novels The Frontiersman's Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, and The Colonel's Lady, and currently lives in the misty woods of Washington with her husband and two sons.
***Thank you to Revell Blog Tour Network for sending me a copy of Love's Awakening, book 2 in the Ballantyne Legacy by Laura Frantz. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
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Review 19 for Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Good story overall

Date:September 28, 2013
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Michelle Sutton
Location:Arizona
Age:45-54
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I enjoyed this story. It's not my favorite book by this author, but I loved the abolitionist themes as well as the bad boy turning good plot the story was based on. What the love of a woman will do for a man...sometimes that can turn the hardest of hearts toward God. Fortunately Jack was one of the better in the bunch... maybe the only good guy in his family besides his sweet little sister. I really loved her character. She almost made me cry several times. I'm sure she smiled at the end of the story even if it's not included in the book.
Ellie, the heroine, is everything I wish I could be myself. Tender and passionate, yet demure and sweet at the same time. But she is also honest and true to herself and she loves with her whole heart. That's a great heroine. The way the author described her feelings whenever she was around Jack was well done and my heart melted a few times when they were together. The same with Jack. A few times I almost cried. This author really knows how to pull at a reader's heartstrings. I am looking forward to the third book in this series.
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Review 20 for Love's Awakening, Ballantyne Legacy Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Outstanding historical fiction

Date:September 28, 2013
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Carole Jarvis
Location:Jonesboro, Georgia
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
In Love's Awakening by Laura Frantz, book 2 of The Ballantyne Legacy, we are reunited with Silas and Eden from Love's Reckoning and also introduced to new characters. Laura continues her tradition of masterful storytelling and, as with her other novels that I've read, has created a moving epic that will long linger in my thoughts.
Laura Frantz has a natural gift when it comes to creating characters and narratives that engage the emotions, set against a historical backdrop so rich in details so that you get a realistic feel of time and place. I never want to miss one of her novels.
Love's Awakening is set in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania during the pre-Civil War years of 1822-1823. Silas and Eden from the first novel don't appear until almost halfway through, and I couldn't believe how eager I was to see them again - and that's a mark of great storytelling. In the same way that I was drawn to Ballantyne patriarch Silas, I was also drawn to his son, Ansel, and youngest daughter, Ellie.
Ansel is an easygoing, unpretentious young man with great inner strength, and the musical tradition that began with Silas in Love's Reckoning continues through the talents of Ansel and Ellie. "Between running fugitives and seeking solace in music, Ansel led a strange double life." With all the Scottish/Irish jigs and folk tunes mentioned, combined with the classical duets of Ellie and Ansel, I almost think a soundtrack should be released with this novel!
And then there's the Turlock family! Jack is the younger son in a family that had come to America in the early 1700s, rich from illicit whiskey refining and smuggling in Ireland. The Turlocks were "poisonous distillers and slave owners in dire need of God's saving grace, and having none of it."
Although Pennsylvania had enacted legislation for slavery's gradual abolition, its grip on the state lingered. Pro-abolition vs. pro-slavery forces take center stage in this novel as the Ballantyne family provide safety as part of the Underground Railroad. The times were heartbreaking for slaves and dangerous for those who were willing to help them. A cupola atop the Ballantyne's New Hope estate, often lit by Ansel when it was safe for runaways to cross the river, symbolizes the hope of freedom to all.
Laura does a great job at blending spiritual themes throughout the story, such as the characters' strong faith in God's Word and a reliance on prayer. But one message that shines through is that we don't have to be defined by our family's actions. As Ellie once asked, "Doesn't Scripture also say the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father if he turns from his sins?" It is a joy to watch Jack's spiritual awakening and the love between he and Ellie grow. In Jack's words, "As the old saint Whitefield said, we are immortal until our work is done."
The romance between Jack and Ellie is tender, sweet and emotional - another trademark of Laura's writing. Her use of quotations at the beginning of each chapter adds so much depth and meaning, as with this Leo Tolstoy quote that relates to Jack's feelings: "He felt now that he was not simply close to her but that he did not know where he ended and she began."
I don't think I've ever seen anyone more creative than Laura when it comes to Pinterest! With her Love's Awakening board, she has pinned much scenery, as well as period clothing and furniture. Referring to this board while reading will make the story come even more alive.
I think the appeal of Love's Awakening goes far beyond fans of inspirational historical romance, so I don't hesitate to highly recommend it to all readers.
Love's Awakening is available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Book 3 in The Ballantyne Legacy releases August 2014.
This book was provided by Revell as part of their blog tour in exchange for my honest review.
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