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.
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.
Visit Laura's website at http://laurafrantz.net/
Love's Reckoning is the first book in the Ballantyne Legacy series, and I must admit that I am hooked. I was immediately drawn into the lives of the Lee family, and can't help but feel like I had a journey into another place and time.
I read a lot of historical fiction novels, and this is the first one I have read about an apprentice blacksmith. It was easy to visualize the craftmanship of Silas Ballantyne, as the descriptions were extremely vivid. I couldn't help but feel empathy for Silas when he found out that he had to marry one of the daughters of his new employer/master. A bride is the last thing that Silas was looking for.
The two Lee sisters were different as night and day, and their heartless father made me so angry at times. I loved the character of Eden, but couldn't find any redeeming qualities in her sister Elspeth. Right from the start, I couldn't help but cheer for sweet and gentle Eden.
There is nothing better than a story of redemption and second chances, and this particular story full of inspiring characters who made the right choices, despite their difficult circumstances. And to round it out, there were enough villains to made the plot believable and definitely interesting.
Laura Frantz is a master storyteller who develops rich characters that are easy to love and/or hate, and her attention to historical accuracy and detail makes this a captivating story from beginning to end. I can't wait to read the next book in this series.
Disclosure: 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.