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Love's Awakening

Title:  Love’s Awakening (The Ballantyne Legacy #2)
Author:  Laura Frantz
Pages:  396
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Revell
This is the second book in the series with the first book titled, Love’s Reckoning.  Readers return to the setting of Pennsylvania in the year 1793.  This romance of the story focuses on Silas and Eden’s youngest daughter, Elinor.  Also as a concurrent plot is the issue of proslavery versus abolitionists with events coming to a drastic peak.
Elinor Ballantyne is finished with Philadelphia and its’ matrimonial society.  She wants to come home and arrives on the heels of a devastating tornado.  Her older sister has the household under control while her mother is vacationing in New Orleans.  Ellie feels at loose ends and has nothing to occupy her time.  She decides to open a school for young ladies to teach them the finer things of society.  One of her pupils is Chloe Turlock.  The Turlocks are enemies of the Ballantynes and have been for as long as Ellie can remember.  Ellie wants to help young Chloe so she agrees to teach her.  As Ellie spends more time with Chloe, she also ends up spending some time with Chloe’s brother, Jack.  Ellie loves Jack and is willing to be his wife no matter who Jack’s family is.  Ellie is heartbroken when Jack leaves and then something entirely worse happens and Ellie can’t seem to recover emotionally.
Jack Turlock is everything his family isn’t.  He isn’t a slaveholder; he doesn’t like whiskey, which is the family business and he doesn’t hate the Ballantynes.  Jack has loved Ellie since they were kids, but she doesn’t know it.  As she begins to spend time at his home tutoring his sister, Jack realizes he can never marry Ellie and tarnish her with his families’ bad reputation.  Jack decides that since he can’t marry Ellie, he will leave so he doesn’t have to watch her marry someone else, have children and live a life without him as her husband.  He leaves and tragedy strikes.
There is so much more to the story, but I can’t share everything in this limited space.  Please read the book!  This is one series where the second book outshines the first in my opinion.  There were great moments of tension, angst, heart-rending sorrow, soaring joy and much more.  There were a couple of scenes where I was brought to tears I was so wrapped up in the story.  The characters have depth and seem so real that I was feeling their emotions right along with them as they experienced them.  This story ends with a cliffhanger and I can’t wait for the third book in the series due to be released in the fall of 2014.  This is definitely one for my “keeper” shelf.
My rating is 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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