Compelling from the first page: My review of "Love's Reckoning" by Laura Frantz

Love's Reckoning: A Novel

about the book...

On a bitter December day in 1784, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of blacksmith Liege Lee in York County, Pennsylvania. Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship quickly and move west. But because he is a fast worker and a superb craftsman, Liege endeavors to keep him in York 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?

In this sweeping family saga, one man's choices in love and work, in friends and enemies, set the stage for generations to come. This is the Ballantyne Legacy.

my review...

Love's Reckoning is a compelling read, one that gripped me from early on in the story as my sympathies for Eden quickly grew. I always know an author has succeeded at immersing me into the story they have woven when I find myself growing angry on a character's behalf, and I was soon holding the pages tightly due to wanting to remedy Eden's situation! Elspeth is a selfish, conniving sister who treats Eden with harsh disdain, serving as the perfect foil to Eden's gentle spirit and loving nature, and the injustice Eden faces kept me moving quickly through the pages to see how things would resolve. Laura Frantz has created wonderful characters in this first book of the Ballantyne Legacy, and she has set them in a fascinating period of history that is brought to life with vivid detail. My only critique of the story is that I felt it could have perhaps been shortened somewhat to keep up the pace in the last third of the book, though other readers will no doubt disagree with me. As a whole, the story is great entertainment and time well spent as Frantz succeeds at unfolding a masterfully-told tale.

This first book in the series ends with a satisfying conclusion, yet leaves me greatly wondering where the story will lead to next, as it appears the next novel will focus on the sister who did not win Silas' heart - and that should be an interesting story indeed!

I highly recommend this book and award it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

about the author...

 Laura Frantz is a lover of history, is the author of The Frontiersman's Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, and The Colonel's Lady, and currently lives in the misty woods of Washington with her husband and two sons.