Review: Love’s Awakening by Laura Frantz

Ellie Ballantyne, youngest child of Silas and Eden, has left finishing school. But back at her family home in Pittsburgh, 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?

Masterful storyteller Laura Frantz continues to unfold the stirring saga of the Ballantyne family in this majestic tale of love, loyalty, and the makings of a legacy. With rich descriptions of the people who settled and civilized a wild landscape, Frantz weaves a tapestry of characters and places that stick with the reader long after they turn the last page.

This is the sequel to Laura’s last offering Love’s Reckoning, which made me happy to no end :D. The heroine, Ellie,  is the youngest daughter of Silas and Eden from that book. The hero, Jack,  is a member of the Montagues to Silas and Eden’s Capulets [or vice-versa – I can’t ever keep them straight ;)].

As always, Laura does a fantastic job – her way with words is the envy of many a writer, I’m sure! And her plots are nothing to sneeze at either.

Ellie is home from finishing school and desperate to find her own place in life. A chance encounter giving Jack the chance to be a bit of a hero to her. But when she arrives home, her parents are gone and her siblings seem to have no desire to have her around. They’re keeping a secret – a huge one. One I won’t spoil here but oh my.

Jack unwittingly, and at first unknowingly, gets pulled in to the secret – torn between his family and way of life and protecting the woman he refuses to admit he loves and her family [did you follow that ;)?]. He does his best to keep Ellie out of danger, but time after time, she’s threatened physically, emotionally, and in the livelihood she creates for herself.

Time and again, Jake proves himself to be honorable rather than the cad his reputation says he is.

Laura already knows I’m waiting with bated breath for book 3 [and since book 2 came out less than two weeks ago, I’ll be waiting a while :p].

Overall rating: 9.25 out of 10 stars

Thanks to the publisher for a free copy in exchange for my honest review.


  • Carol, I am smiling BIG at the sneeze part and also love all the rest. Given your historical romance heart, I am SO thrilled you make time for my books which are big on history and a little shy on romance sometimes. But you are one of those highly versatile readers who cross genres easily and often. Anyway, I am blessed by your words and can’t thank you enough for making time for Jack and Ellie. I will happily pin :). Thanks for sharing the link!

    • Carol Moncado

      I CAN’T WAIT for the next one. But you know that!! [I’m still waiting to see Captain Jack [isn’t it?!?! Oh it’s been too long since I read that first one!!!] show up as an indie book 😉 – at least I KNOW you won’t make me wait so long for this one!!!] Love you!!!