by Laura FrantzThe 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 Pittsburg 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?
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.
My Review: 9/10
I really enjoyed this book. As a native of Pittsburgh, I found the historical information very interesting. I can imagine it was just as beautiful as it is today.
I tend to avoid period stories that center so strongly on the issue of slavery, just because it's so overdone. While an important and interesting part of history, many novels that center on it seem to only show one opinion, one kind of protagonist and a flat and predictable storyline. To me, it's interesting to read a multitude of viewpoints and a main character can be be fascinating without being progressive.
Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised with this book. The Ballantyne's involvement is a little extreme and it does appear to paint slave holders as being singularly evil people. But as I mentioned, these elements are typical, so I was able to look past it because the rest of the book was so good.
I enjoyed the imperfect portrayals of the various family members and relationships. The romance was predictable, but fairly well done. I didn't realize this was a sequel when I requested it, but it read just fine as a standalone novel. That being said, I will definitely be reading the first book, which I've since heard is even better, as well as looking for the 3rd book when it gets released next year!