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Love's Awakening by Laura Frantz #BookReview by Loraine Nunley

Love’s Awakening by Laura Frantz

Book Review

Synopsis from the back of the book:

In the spring of 1822, Ellie Ballantyne leaves finishing school and returns to the family home in Pittsburgh only to find that her parents are away on a long journey and her siblings don’t seem to want her to stay. Determined to stand her ground and find her place in the world, Ellie fills her time by opening a day school for young ladies.

But when one of her students turns out to be an incorrigible young member of the Turlock family, Ellie knows she must walk a fine line. Slaveholders and whiskey magnates, the Turlocks are envious of the powerful Ballantynes and suspicious of their abolitionist leanings. As Ellie becomes increasingly entangled with the rival clan – particularly the handsome Jack Turlock – she finds herself falling in love with an impossible future. Will she betray her family and side with the enemy?

My review:

*Sigh* That’s how I felt when I reached the last page of this book. “Oh no, what will happen next?” was my next reaction. What a good story. Ellie and Jack are such great characters. I would definitely have wanted to be friends with both of them. I also enjoyed revisiting Silas and Eden (Ellie’s parents) from the first book. There was a lot of great push and pull in the action and so much great historical information about slavery in Pennsylvania. I didn’t know that slavery was so bad in a northern state. I also liked watching Jack learn about God and grow into his love for Ellie.

I thought that Ellie was a wonderful person. I enjoyed her sensitivity and compassion as she helped Chloe learn to be a lady. She was deeply rooted in her faith and had such a calming personality. I also loved that Ellie looked past the family reputation to get to know both Chloe and Jack better.

Jack was a very nice offset to Ellie. He had just enough roughness around the edges to be smoothed by her softness. He had a lot of integrity and strength which was prevalent as he struggled to remove himself from the bad reputation that his family had.

I was also glad to see Eden’s sister, Elspeth, show up. In the first book in the series, we were left wondering about what part she would play in the future. Suffice it to say that our wondering was satisfied in this book.

What I enjoyed most about this book:

Definitely the interaction between Ellie and Jack. They have a great love story. I also really enjoyed Chloe, Jack’s younger sister.

What I didn’t like about this book:

That I have to read the next book in the series right away so I can find out what happened to one of the brothers… It’s a good thing that book is already on my bookshelf.

My rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes definitely. This author is such a wonderful storyteller. It was obvious that she did a lot of research and I really loved learning something about the history of slavery that I didn’t know. This book is a standalone book, but I would recommend reading the first book of the series beforehand as there are some spoilers about Eden’s family in this book. I believe this book will be my favorite of the series, but we will see…

Where can I learn more about this author and their books?

Laura Frantz, Author Website


Good books are meant to be passed on and so I am passing along my copy of Love’s Awakening by Laura Frantz. It is a gently read copy in very good condition. To enter the giveaway, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  Open to readers with USA mailing addresses only.  No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited by law.  The winner will be notified via email and will have one week to respond back to me with their info.  Good Luck and Thank You for stopping by!

The comment question for this giveaway is:  What is something interesting that you can share about the United States’ history with slavery?
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The Ballantyne Legacy Series

18 thoughts on “Book Review + Giveaway: Love’s Awakening by Laura Frantz

  1. Last night, my husband Jay and I started watching a historical series about the Civil War on Netflix. It mentioned that after the invention of the cotton gin that slavery increased and slaves outnumbered whites in the South 7-1.

  2. I don’t know anything specially but living here in Alabama we have several plantation homes that are historical and labeled as such. The Friedman Home was once used as our public library. As a child I loved roaming through the different rooms, the smell of book pages dominant.
    We now have a building that was built for the library. The Friedman Home is now rented for wedding receptions.

  3. Louisa May Alcott was an abolitionist and she and her family served as station masters of the Underground Railroad in Concord, Massachusetts. (I just learned that on a recent trip to the NorthEast US.)

  4. My comment is a question. I would like to know, how did slavery begin?
    Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.

    1. Interesting question Janet. According to, it began in the United States in 1619 when African slaves were brought to Jamestown Virginia to help with tobacco crops. Good luck!

  5. My neighbor discovered a hidden room in her attic, and upon further research, found out that an abolitionist doctor had lived in her home! Apparently our area was a route on the Underground Railroad. I also think it was neat that many abolitionists hung quilts on their clothesline, which gave the escaping slaves messages or directions.

    1. Can you imagine being put into a box and shipped? I would be claustrophobic for sure. Wow. He made it, I hope? Thanks for sharing Stephanie and good luck!

  6. I love reading historical fiction and learning about people and places in a particular era. I am looking forward to reading Love’s Awakening and have put it on my TBR list.

  7. What is something interesting that you can share about the United States’ history with slavery?

    I don’t know if this is new to anyone else, but I never realized that freed blacks also had black slaves. I recently read Ice Whispers by K. Willow for an upcoming blog tour I am participating in and this was brought to light. I find this very interesting, especially since these people are trying so hard to gain their freedom.

    1. You know, I think I do remember hearing something about that. That is really interesting isn’t it? Thanks for sharing Sydney and good luck!

  8. One thing that I read recently was that, even if the slave owners were kind and the slaves were treated as family, the slaves still faced uncertainty about their future, because they could be sold to pay their owner’s debts or sold upon the death of their owner. I hadn’t thought of that before. Very sad.

    1. It is very sad. I can’t imagine living with that kind of uncertainty. Even if the owner took care of them in their will, there was still the possibility for the heirs to treat them differently. Good luck Kay!

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