Monday, September 29, 2014

"Love's Fortune" Book 3 in the Ballentyne Legacy by Laura Frantz

About the book:  Sheltered since birth at her Kentucky home, Rowena Ballantyne has heard only whispered rumors of her grandfather Silas's vast fortune and grand manor in Pennsylvania. When her father receives a rare letter summoning him to New Hope, Rowena makes the journey hi.m and quickly finds herself in a whole new world--filled with family members she's never met, dances she's never learned, and a new side to the father she thought she knew. As she struggles to fit in during their extended stay, she finds a friend in James Sackett, the most valued steamship pilot of the Ballantynes' shipping line. Even with his help, Rowena feels she may never be comfortable in high society. Will she go her own way . . . to her peril?

My thoughts: Young Wren is arbitrarily thrust into Pittsburgh Society when she and her father travel by steamship from their beloved Kentucky home.  The story is set during pre-Civil War years and the slavery issue stirs everywhere.  For years the Ballantyne family has had members involved in the underground railroad aiding escaped slaves to freedom. James Sackett who is loosely connected to the family is tightly connected to the freedom fight.

Wren must have a "season" and she must marry well. So she is corseted, groomed, trained, be-gowned, and coached to prepare herself for this responsibility. The author presents well the snobbery of society toward those considered beneath them. She also gives the reader a delightful glimpse into the graces involved in escorting and protecting a young lady.

There is danger and romance and villainy. Laura Frantz has again brought a lovely read to those who enjoy Christian historical fiction and readers will not be disappointed.

Laura Frantz will be "stopping by" Chat With Vera every now & then to chat and answer your questions. Leave a comment or question below and let's see what she says!

GIVEAWAY: A complimentary copy is being provided by the author for one of Chat With Vera's readers to win in this giveaway. Use the Rafflecopter form below to record your entries. You can come back daily for the daily entries. Begins September 29 & ENDS October 16 @ 12:01 a.m. ET. Open to address in the USA only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Ever wonder how a book cover is designed? Here is a bit of insight into the magic!
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of Love's Fortune in exchange for this review. I was not expected or required to render a positive review. No compensation was received for this review.

35 comments:

  1. I know that I had a great-grandfather fight in that war. And, they were living in the Carolinas I heard. Was a very bad war with fathers and sons fighting against.
    Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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    1. Maxie, So happy to see you this morning and learn more about your own family history. Like you, my great-great-grandfathers fought in that war and one was even imprisoned at Andersonville (they were from Ky.). I'm so glad Wren's story appeals to you. Vera did such a beautiful job with this review, inviting readers right in! I'm honored you want to meet Wren and go through her season with her. Bless you for being here today!

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  2. I do not know very much about that period of time in our history but I enjoy reading novels that give me insight into them. Love's Fortune sounds really good and I am looking forward to reading it.

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    1. Hi Loraine, Thanks for your gracious comments. So glad the history behind Love's Fortune sounds interesting to you. I always learn so much as the author while researching and then writing. Wren's story was no exception! So glad we've connected here today:)

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    2. Vera, I can't thank you enough for hosting Wren and myself today and for your review! You have a lovely way with words and bring out the most intriguing aspects of the book without giving anything away! A real invitation to read! I also love your site here and spent time enjoying the quotes in the sidebar, some of which you've written yourself. Blessings on your ministry here!

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    3. Love your sweet comments, Laura! Thanks for the kindness. We all need a bit of the sweet now and then. :) It is a pleasure to review for you.

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  3. I cant wait to read this book. I have read the first two books in this series. Thanks for the positive review!

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    1. Anon, Bless you for being here! I'm just thrilled you've met Eden and Ellie and want to meet Wren:) Some readers are saying this is their favorite in the series. But everyone is different, of course! Thanks for being here this autumn morning! Would love to send a book your way!

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  4. I know a bit about the pre-Civil war period, but not that much. What I do know I usually learn from reading fiction! ;)

    lubell1106(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Elyssa, Well said - I learn so much reading fiction, too! In fact, I'm currently reading Judith Milller's The Brickmaker's Bride (love the cover) and it contains a lot of history I don't know but am so enjoying it. Bless you for being here today! Always a joy to see you:)

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  5. I don't know much about the civil war other that it was one of the bloodiest & cost so many lives.. I do enjoy reading about that time... :)
    dkstevensne (at) outlook dot com

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    1. Deanna, I'm glad you enjoy books set in this time period. The years leading up to the Civil War were so turbulent and interesting if tragic. But I DO promise you a happy ending! Thanks for your comments here. I'd love for you to meet Miss Wren!

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  6. My grandmother's grandfather fought in the Civil war and had letters he wrote back home at one time but I don't know what happened to them.

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    1. Gail, You have the kind of family history I treasure - actual letters even though they've been misplaced. I hope someone uncovers them in future! I've often wished for a diary or letters or something from my ancestors. Precious history. Thanks for being here and wanting to read Wren's story. I hope/pray you enjoy it if you do!

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  7. Thank you for your beautiful review of "Love's Fortune", Vera!!

    The final book in this trilogy -"Love's Fortune" is truly a treasure!! I fell in love with Wren before I ever met her, from the book cover shoot video and promos - and fell in love with Laura and her masterful writing with her very first book!! Love every aspect of her writing - she is one of my very fave authors!!

    I loved learning more about the slavery/underground railroad issue and the push to marry well in that era. Reading the historical content in Laura's books always gives me the desire to learn more. I love the Ballantyne family, have sequestered those beautiful characters in my heart, and excitedly await Laura next masterpiece!!

    I'm not entering the contest, but have shared the post!!

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    1. Whoops, I still haven't mastered that reply button:) Please see below, dear Bonnie..

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  8. Bonnie, So thankful for you, as always. Love all this history talk and how much we learn from reading historical novels. It really is a wonderfully rich experience with all the books out there! Can't wait to share a new cover and title with you soon:) Bless you for taking time here with Vera and friends today!

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  9. Hi friends - All this talk of history really tickles my fancy. When I'm reading a novel, I tend to do my own "research" to learn more about the period. It is fascinating to learn the smaller items of history that authors uncover and they lead you to learn more and more. Sometimes I even insert a bit of my research gleanings into my reviews. That makes it fun for me and hopefully my readers as well.

    Speaking of Civil War family history, my mother's mother's father (or my great grandfather on mother's side) faught on the Southern side. He had been prior to the war and after a School Master. This was esteemed in rural Southern living. They were poor, and even poorer after the war. He lost his leg (part) and was given a wooden peg leg. After all that, he returned to battle. It is unreal to think of the horrors of war in any age whether the instruments of war are battle axes or the awesome military might of today's armies. But I digress..... my great-grandfather's military record was retrieved by a distant family member and my mother was able to get a somewhat messy copy in addition to a "xerox" copy of a copy of a copy of a picture of him after the war. He and family were in front of a really humble house. They look so desolate. So poor. So sad. Those were hard times.

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    1. Vera, Your own family history is so touching and a lot like mine. Amazing and humbling to think that, poor as they were (my grands, too), that they were willing to fight for better things. My great-grandfather also had a peg leg after his was amputated due to a too-tight boot. I don't know how these men of ours lived through that kind of trauma in an age of poor sanitation and little medicine.

      Like you, I'm often inspired by novels to delve deeper into history. That's the sign of a good novel, I think - that which makes you grow and learn. So thankful for books!

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  10. I only know a little about the Pre-War years, it was a time of change for our growing and expanding country. When I visit historical places like Gettysburg it is almost overwhelming to think of what families went through. I look forward to reading Love's Fortune soon!

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    1. Merry, Bless you for your thoughtful comments. Sadly, I have yet to see Gettysburg. I hear it's a very moving place/experience. It made a lasting impression on my brother (a pastor and missionary in Spain). You're so right about the families and all they went through.

      So hope you enjoy Wren when you meet her!

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  11. I have the first two books in this series and would love to complete the trilogy!

    Laura, what do you have in store for us next? Another series or a stand alone novel?

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    1. Dear Patty, Oh, love your question! Thank you for having LR and LA in your possession! I'd love to have Wren join you! I've actually just turned in a standalone novel set in Virginia in the 18th-century. My next 4 books will all be standalones. I hope that doesn't disappoint any series lovers out there! Thanks so much for being here today and wanting to meet Wren. You sure bless me.

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    2. Well Laura, we'll certainly be looking forward to seeing your Virginia story come out! We enjoy reading what you write.

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    3. Vera, So glad you want to read on - I should have a new title and cover for you after Christmas :)

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  12. Laura shows us so well the foreign world (to me, anyway!) of high society's season and the pressure to marry well. Without her excellent writing I couldn't imagine dealing with the confines of corsets and society's expectations. And it appears that males in the family had a lot of power over females, yes? Some of that really surprised me.

    Thanks, Vera, for an interesting review, and a contest to boot!

    Mary Kay

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    1. Mary Kay, You always make me smile:) Love your writing heart! I was amazed, too, about the male-dominated society though it was perhaps even more rigid in the 18th-century where I'm most at home. Like Wren, I would have shed my corset asap! Bless you for being here, my friend!

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  13. Sharon Richmond BryantSeptember 30, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Enter me!!
    Conway, SC.

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    1. Hi Sharon, Would love to have another SC reading friend! Thanks for stopping!

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  14. I love the Civil War Era but I know very little about the years preceding
    the war. I love historical fiction and I appreciate this giveaway.

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  15. Connie, So happy to meet you through Vera:) Glad you have a heart for historical fiction, too. I learned so much writing this story and it helped fill in the gaps as I wasn't as familiar with the pre-Civil War years either. I hope you enjoy Wren when you meet her. Bless you for being in the giveaway!

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  16. Don't know much but love the clothing. The dresses were so beautiful :)

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    1. Hi Deanna, I so agree with you about the clothes. Many were works of art and often handed down through generations. Thanks for being here and taking part in the drawing. I'd love for you to meet these Ballantynes!

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  17. Agriculture was an important part of the economy in the pre- Civil War era.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  18. Hi Nancy, You're so right. Agriculture was critical in that time period and I do bring a bit out of that out in this new book. Thanks for being here and taking part in the giveaway. Have a blessed weekend!

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