Love's Awakening by Laura Frantz
Reviewed by Teresa S Mathews
~5 Stars *****
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 we meet 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 written 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!
Thanks to the author for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
You can find this book and others by Laura at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Deeper Shopping and you local bookstore.
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