Her sister, Andra, is an ornery sort, and meets us at the door at New Hope when I come galloping up the lane with Ellie behind me in the saddle. In one piece, except for a lost slipper and my own hat. She offers me no water though my horse, Cicero, is in need of a drink after our hard ride to get here. I am on my way, but now for days I am not wanting a reminder of Ellie. She likely would say the same for me.
I read in the Pittsburgh Gazette Miss Elinor is advertising for students offering a day school for young ladies in needlework, French, and dancing. She has been at a finishing school in Philadelphia for the past four years. Mother wants my younger sister, Chloe, to register for the school as a pupil. Chloe is outraged, as she is quite fine following after her brothers. Chloe is twelve and likes to fish and ride. Mother must have a plan to discredit a Ballantyne venture. A snare for Ellie, I perceive.
Father says he want to take me West with him to St. Louis. He is wanting to set up a distillery business there in the new state of Missouri, saying he needs "a cool head and a steady hand." I had hopes of going East to our established accounts but he is sending Wade, who is more regularly an imbiber. I have come to dinner to talk about taking Chloe to River Hill to live with me. In agreeing, I tell Mother she is welcome to visit anytime; that I have not forgotten it had once been her home. She tells me with the times we are all in need of change.
Ellie comes unannounced to River Hill to speak with me. We walk in the garden, away from the prying, inquisitive eyes of my housekeeper, yet in the open away from questionable speaking together in an enclosed room of the house. She tells me Chloe rode to New Hope yesterday to speak with her about joining her school. Chloe? I refuse, leaving Ellie standing in the garden. Joining the two families would dismiss all the other students she might have and disgrace both Ellie and Chloe. May they each one day understand I care to protect both of them.
The path to true love lies somewhere between two feuding families
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?
~*~The 14th annual Christy Awards for excellence in Christian fiction nominated the first book, Love's Reckoning, as one of three finalists in the Historical Romance category. Masterful storyteller Laura Frantz continues to unfold the stirring saga of the Ballantyne family in this majestic tale of love and loyalty. This is the Ballantyne Legacy.
2013 Christy Award Finalist ~ Laura Frantz is a lover of history, the author of stand-alone novels 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.
***Thank you to Revell Blog Tour Network for sending me a copy of Love's Awakening, book 2 in the Ballantyne Legacy by Laura Frantz. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***