Saturday, September 20, 2014

Book Review: Love's Fortune by Laura Frantz

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Title: Love's Fortune

Author: Laura Frantz

Series: The Ballantyne Legacy #3

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult


Sheltered since birth at her Kentucky home, Rowena Ballantyne has heard only whispered rumors of her grandfather Silas's vast fortune and grand manor in Pennsylvania. When her father receives a rare letter summoning him to New Hope, Rowena makes the journey with him and quickly finds herself in a whole new world - filled with family members she's never met, dances she's never learned, and a new side to the father she thought she knew. As she struggles to fit in during their extended stay, she finds a friend in James Sackett, the most valued steamship pilot of the Ballantynes' shipping line. Even with his help, Rowena feels she may never be comfortable in high society. Will she go her own way ... to her peril?

With her signature attention to historical detail, Laura Frantz brings 1850s Pennsylvania alive with a tender story of loss, love, and loyalty. Fans will cheer for this final installment of the Ballatyne saga.

**5 stars**

Exquisite. Enthralling. Laura Frantz pens yet another novel rich with emotion, beauty, and historical depth.

Book three in the Ballantyne Legacy series, Love's Fortune delves into the life of Rowena (Wren) Ballantyne, who lives a simple existence in Kentucky with her father, Ansel. Though missing her mother, she loves her home. Then everything changes with a letter from her father's family ... family she scarcely remembers. Grandfather Silas and Grandmother Eden Ballantyne. Uncle Jack and Aunt Ellie Turlock. As Wren is thrust into Pittsburgh high society, she's in danger of loosing not only her heart, but also herself, in the web of schemes some of her own relatives create.
     Meanwhile, things are heating up in America as a whole. Rumors of war are whispered of. Anti-abolitionists are growing more bold and vicious; a grand problem for steamship pilot James Sackett, who secrets slaves to freedom from the Ballantynes' shipping line.
      Not much is as it seems, yet love remains ...

Each time I pick up one of Laura Frantz's books, it feels kind of like meeting up with an old friend, yet going on a fresh adventure all at the same time. She writes with such a captivating charm, its so easy to get lost in her sentences; in the simplistic wilderness of Kentucky, the intrigues of Pittsburgh, the homeyness of Scotland. Her characters are not easily forgotten. The gentle and quiet spirits of the women always delight me afresh ... their innocence, sweetness, inner strength ... it seems you seldom find that in novels these days. The love stories are always so deep and heartfelt. I especially noticed that in Love's Fortune, of Wren's romance. It tugged at my heartstrings for sure! ^_^

I really appreciated the faith elements of this novel. They were woven in so flawlessly, yet so fully. I saw growth in both Wren and some of the other characters' lives, and it was beautiful.

There was sort of four main characters in Love's Fortune. Rowena Ballantyne. Her cousin, Izannah Turlock. James Sackett. And Malachi Cameron. Both men are acquainted with the Ballantynes and Turlocks. It was a little different following the lives of four characters, I don't think Laura Frantz did that in her other novels; yet it didn't take away from the book. It was sweet to watch Izannah's story unfold additionally.

I don't know what else to say without revealing parts of the story that I shouldn't! *smiles* I very much enjoyed Love's Fortune. It was lovely really, with fascinating history, intriguing plots, heart-melting romance, beautiful characters, and just flawless writing.

I heard somewhere that Love's Fortune is the last book of the Ballantyne Legacy series (coming after Love's Reckoning and Love's Awakening). That saddens me ... *tears* However, it was a satisfying and beautiful conclusion to the series.

In any case, I eagerly await Laura Frantz's next release, whatever that may be! Let's hope it comes soon, in any case! ^_^

I received a free copy of Love's Fortune from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Find the video of the making of Love's Fortune's cover HERE!

THE BALLANTYNE LEGACY series. Aren't the covers just stunning?? The breathtaking colors, the wind in the model's hair, the gorgeous dresses ... *happy sigh* These have to be three of the most beautiful book covers I've ever seen. And not to mention, the stories inside are gems too! ^_^

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