Journal

Review: Love’s Fortune by Laura Frantz

When I find a novel I enjoy, I usually can’t get enough. With sequels, I will prefer one that carries on a a particular family’s story (even if through children or grandchildren) rather than a different family altogether. I love epilogues. I just always want to know what happens next.

When I first started reading novels by Laura Frantz, I quickly fell in love with them. Her beautiful writing drew me in and tangled my heart in her heroine’s lives. So, when she started the Ballantyne Legacy series, I was thrilled. I would get to keep reading about the family that all started in the first novel, Love’s Reckoning. If you haven’t picked up a novel by Laura Frantz and love historical fiction, I would suggest you plan to soon.

There is also a wonderful video with Laura Frantz talking about the novel and the design of this beautiful cover I would like to share with you:

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**I received a free copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review**

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 Ballantyne saga.

This is a book that kept me up all night. Laura Frantz’s writing is so polished and she always chooses the right words to tell a story. In this case, it is a story about an honest and simple heroine thrust in an artificial and complicated city. In some senses, a love square even develops.

Love’s Fortune continues the Ballantyne Legacy by introducing readers to Wren Ballantyne, grand-daughter of Silas Ballantyne. The setting is against a time of change. Tension is rising due to abolitionists and the Fugitive Slave act while talk of war is beginning. Steam boat travel is becoming eclipsed by the locomotive. For Wren, her simple life alongside her father in Kentucky has changed to the wealth and stature claimed by the successful Ballantyne family.

The main characters in this novel are fabulous! Wren is so simple and often described as “homespun” in the novel. The term fits her perfectly. She is honest and forthright, and wears her emotions on her sleeve. I couldn’t help but like her. Izannah is also quite interesting. She is also a granddaughter of Silas Ballantyne. She is a bit more composed although a bit of scandal follows her due to her father and her own uncompleted society. Malachi Carmen feels like a failure. Without a wife and children, he feels that his father’s one regret before passing away unexpectedly is to have never seen his grandchildren. Finally, James Sackett. The Ballantynes have a lot of trust in him, and he enjoys feeling a part of their family. He is quite respected as a captain of steamboats, but many would threaten him because of his abolitionist leanings. It is through these character’s that Love’s Fortune is told. The novel also brings back characters from the past two novels: Elspeth, Ansel, Andra, Ellie, Jack and even Wade Turlock.

I adored this novel. It was filled with unexpected turns in the story. Tensions kept running quite high in the background pushing me through the story. The characters were authentic, with a realness to their faith and lives. The thread of a love story that was woven into this novel was complicated with misunderstandings and choosing between one’s heart and the expectations others have of a person.

My only disappointment is that this is the final novel of the Ballantyne Legacy series, and it can be hard to say goodbye to a family whose story you’ve enjoyed so much.

I would love to hear from you! Are there any novel series that stick with one family that you enjoy?

For more on the author or this book, please check out the following links:

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