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Love's Reckoning: A Novel (The Ballantyne…
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Love's Reckoning: A Novel (The Ballantyne Legacy) (edition 2012)

by Laura Frantz

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255428,870 (4.25)None
Member:gincam
Title:Love's Reckoning: A Novel (The Ballantyne Legacy)
Authors:Laura Frantz
Info:Revell (2012), Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:hearts endure, faith abides, the truth of The Word is timeless

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Love's Reckoning: A Novel (The Ballantyne Legacy) by Laura Frantz

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A book from exceptional author Laura Frantz is always a very special gift to readers. Her first three books were already treasured reads, each with a permanent place on my keeper shelf. Her latest work, "Love's Reckoning", is equally treasured, and now sits proudly beside "The Frontiersman's Daughter", "Courting Morrow Little", and "The Colonel's Daughter". "Love's Reckoning" is Book One in the "Ballantyne Legacy Series", and in vividly touching detail, it tells the love story of Silas Ballantyne and Eden Lee. In the year of 1784, Silas Ballantyne has traveled far from his native Scotland, where his family was tragically lost. Seeking a new life in America, his craftsman's skill in blacksmithing earns him his keep, and he hopes to gain status as a master blacksmith. With only a short time left to complete his apprenticeship, Silas accepts a position in York County, Pennsylvania with master blacksmith Liege Lee. Unbeknownst to Silas, the Lee household is beset with lies and troubles. Prone to dark moods made worse by his drinking, Liege is a hard taskmaster both in his home and in his forge. He sees Silas not only as a boon to his business, but also as a future son-in-law for one of his two daughters. Elspeth, the oldest, is a calculating blonde beauty with a clever mind and a cold heart. Strong-willed and attention-seeking, Elspeth has borne a child out of wedlock, a secret the Lee family jealously guards. Liege and Elspeth's mother let the world believe that the baby, Jon, is their own child. Lovely and sweet, with a cascade of red-hued curls, younger daughter Eden is gentle and nurturing by nature. Bearing her father's tirades, her mother's bouts of sadness, and the cruel resentment of her own sister, what Eden desires most of all is the freedom to live her faith, to attend church, and to read the Bible. Her father was displaced from the Quaker order for his inappropriate behavior. Never a true man of faith, he no longer observes religious customs. Bravely seeking out her own new life, Eden awaits word on whether she will be accepted for employment in a Philadelphia foundling home. When Silas Ballantyne comes to work for her father, Eden's life is forever changed. His quiet strength, kindness, intelligence, and his devout faith make him unlike any other man Eden has met. Elspeth sets her cap for the handsome Scot, and Eden loses her heart to him, but Silas has no desire to marry. His one goal has always been to become a master blacksmith and head West. However, a certain tender-hearted girl with titian hair invades his thoughts, and soon his own heart longs for more than a life of ceaseless hard work. When Silas learns of Eden's thirst for The Word, he leaves her notes of Scripture, and eventually, when they are able to steal moments away in a dimly-lit stairwell, he reads the Bible to her, both in his Scots-burred English, and in his native Gaelic. These precious moments are so beautifully written that I could hear his low burred tone as he gently introduced her to the written word of the Lord, and I could feel her tremulous emotions as she thrilled to the promise the words held. Eden and Silas endure much, including a long separation, before love's reckoning has its way. Once they face each other again, much has changed. Will the pledge of enduring love given so long ago reunite two yearning hearts? Will the promise of abiding faith be fulfilled? The writing of Laura Frantz is exquisitely-detailed, beautifully-etched, and rich in history. The story lines are deeply-drawn and the characters are fully-fleshed. Perhaps the most compelling skill of this awesome author is her ability to capture and present the immediacy of her characters, allowing us to anticipate their emotions and participate in their thoughts. Highly recommended--not just for lovers of inspirational historical romance--but for anyone who seeks out extraordinary storytelling.

Review Copy Gratis Revell Books ( )
  gincam | Dec 20, 2012 |
This review originally appeared on the Historical Novel Society website. Review copy received from publisher via HNS.

Eden Lee’s tyrannical father is determined that his new apprentice, Silas Ballantyne, will marry one of his daughters. The family assumes it will be bold, beautiful Elspeth, whose illegitimate child is being passed off as her mother’s son. Timid, quiet Eden deplores the deception but does not want to marry; she has other plans, and soon learns that Silas too has ambitions beyond a blacksmith’s trade.

Love’s Reckoning is the first of a series tracing the Ballantyne legacy down through several generations, and as such has quite a few storylines to set up. This is well done, with plenty of twists and threads to lead into future novels. The late 1700s Pennsylvania setting is convincingly rendered, although I personally prefer that the author not rely on “’twas,” “mayhap,” and other such ornamental flourishes to remind the reader that we are not in modern times.

Occasional writing quirks could have been picked up at the editing stage. The words “nearly” and “winced” are overused, generally in combination, and some phrases struck me as odd (“with a flurry of her hand”). There are some misplaced modifiers, and I struggled a little with the timeline, which at moments seems vaguely defined.

My biggest issue with this story, however, is that the good characters are too overwhelmingly wholesome, while the bad characters are unremittingly unpleasant. I would have liked to see more nuances, especially in the case of Elspeth, who would benefit from some vulnerability.

The Christian elements are handled with subtlety and grace, making this novel a good candidate to succeed with a secular readership. Love’s Reckoning has greater depth than a straightforward romance, and promises well for an interesting series. ( )
  JaneSteen | Nov 10, 2012 |
Silas Ballantyne needs only to complete his blacksmith apprenticeship before he can finally embark on his journey to the west. Eden Lee dreams of escaping her dysfunctional family and joining the Quaker hospital. Liege Lee, Eden's father and Silas' employer, appeals to the tradition of the apprentice marrying one of the master's daughters. Liege decides that Elspeth, Eden's sister, should wed Silas, but will Silas agree to such a plan? The developing kinship between Eden and Silas threatens to ruin Liege's plan and Silas' choice will determine the course of far more than simply his own destiny.

Love's Reckoning is the first installment of The Ballantyne Legacy Series by Laura Frantz. I did enjoy reading this book, but it isn't a piece of light fluff. There's more suspense in this historical romance than I expected. The foreshadowing at times left me with a sense of impending dread – literarily, of course. However, Frantz's writing is flawless and it was hard to put this book down at times. The characters are vibrant, yet authentic. I especially enjoyed Silas' character. He was imperfect and human.; yet, he rose above his circumstances to be the hero. I also appreciated Frantz's originality in her choices of scenes and plot development. Far to many Christian fiction novels lack that spark of originality to set them apart. If there was not a sequel on the way, I would have been disappointed by the ending. Fortunately, the next installment in the series appears to be slated for publication next year and I intend to continue reading this family saga.

I definitely recommend Love's Reckoning by Laura Frantz to fans of historical romances.

Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." ( )
  Sneezybee23 | Sep 8, 2012 |
Eden Lee is the second daughter of Liege, the blacksmith of York, Pennsylvania. She has a secret desire to return to her father's Quaker roots, but church in any form is forbidden in her family home. Her family is in turmoil hiding her sister's secret, when the new apprentice arrives. Silas Ballantyne has only months to serve until his apprenticeship is finished, and then he plans to move farther west. But Liege Lee has his own plans for Ballantyne's future.



Love's Reckoning is the first book in Laura Frantz's The Ballantyne Legacy. Set in the late 1700's after the Revolution, it is a riveting romantic saga with enough mystery and suspense to keep the reader hooked. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter were a nice touch that I really enjoyed. I had never read any of Ms. Frantz's novels, but I look forward to the next installment of this series.



4 stars



“Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. ( )
  Tammy.Ford.Cuevas | Sep 7, 2012 |
A book that I could not put down! Amazing look into our country just after the Revolutionary War.
The story begins at the home of Liege Lee in York, Pennsylvania. Young Silas Ballantyne has just arrived to finish out his apprenticeship and become a Master Blacksmith. He will be done in a few months, and then he wants to head West. Right here I think West, but West is Pittsburgh...the smaller world.
When Liege sees what a talent Silas posses, he will do just about anything to make him stay and takeover his business.
Liege Lee has two daughters, one Elspeth a spoiled and rather lazy girl of loose morals, the other Eden, a Godly girl who loves her family and does most of the work to help her Mother. Enter Silas and immediately Elspeth wants him, and Eden will let her, but she secretly likes him.
Liege seems to be one angry and unlikeable man, he does seem to favor Elspeth, and with her approval is set to make Silas marry her using an old tradition saying the apprentice must marry into the family. Silas isn't interested. He sees through Elspeth, but in time seems to be taken with Eden.
There seems to be one tragedy after another, some so heart wrenching. You begin to wonder what is going on and if they will survive. A lot of questions will be answered, but you will need to get to the end of this great book to find out. Some are not answered, but maybe in the next book which I can not wait to read.
You will not be disappointed in this one, Laura Frantz has offered us a feast to become lost in!

I received this book from the Publisher Revell, and was not required to give a positive review. ( )
  alekee | Sep 3, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0800720415, Paperback)

On a bitter December day in 1785, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of master blacksmith Liege Lee in York, Pennsylvania. Just months from becoming a master blacksmith himself, Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship and move west. But Liege soon discovers that Silas is a prodigious worker and craftsman and endeavors to keep him in York. Silas becomes interested in both of Liege's daughters, the gentle and faith-filled Eden and the clever and high-spirited Elspeth. When he chooses one, will the other's jealousy destroy their love?

In this sweeping family saga set in western Pennsylvania, one man's choices in love and work, in friends and enemies, set the stage for generations to come. Love's Reckoning is the first entry in The Ballantyne Legacy, a rich, multi-layered historical quartet from talented writer Laura Frantz, beginning in the late 1700s and following the Ballantyne family through the end of the Civil War.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:16 -0400)

"On a bitter December day in 1785, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of master blacksmith Liege Lee in York, Pennsylvania. Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship and move west. But because he is a fast worker and superb craftsman, Liege endeavors to keep him in Lancaster by appealing to an old tradition: the apprentice shall marry one of his master's beautiful daughters. Eden is as gentle and fresh as Elspeth is high-spirited and cunning. But are they truly who they appear to be? In a house laced with secrets, each sister seeks to secure her future. Which one will claim Silas's heart - and will he agree to Liege's arrangement?" -- Cover verso.… (more)

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