Author: Laura Frantz
Publisher: Revell/Baker Publishing Group
Published Date: September 2012
Hardcover/Softcover/Kindle/Nook: 432 pages
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Reviewed by: Shanda
FTC FYI: checked out from my local library (but want to buy my own copy soon)
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.
Love’s Reckoning was a great change of pace for me. As much as I enjoy the quick, light reads that many Christian historical romances provide, it was refreshing to read one that has greater depth and a more involved story. It was a little lengthier than most and took me several days to get through, which was nice because it gave me something to anticipate until I could read again.
Silas is a great character with good principles and a dream to go West. Eden is sweet, if a bit too submissive at times for my taste. She is used to her needs being shoved aside in favor of the selfish desires of her sister, Elspeth. Elspeth is a devious and selfish woman, though I wondered as I read if she would have opportunity at redemption. There’s a certain passage of time in the book that makes me curious about what happened to her then. Maybe nothing significant, though I doubt she could stay out of trouble for long.
Love’s Reckoning is rich with romance and anticipation. I loved visiting the eighteenth century. There are some heartbreaking circumstances that had me mourning with the characters and wishing for swift justice. Most of the book was strong and held my attention well. After a certain tragic incident though, I found that things felt a little rushed or forced. I felt a bit disconnected to the characters and floundered a bit. I hung on though, and soon things came back together, if a bit differently than I’d hoped.
As soon as I finished Love’s Reckoning, I put the sequel on hold at the library. I look forward to continuing this series and don’t hesitate to recommend Love’s Reckoning to those who enjoy Christian historical romance as much as I do.
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