With two very different horizons stretched out before her, one young woman stands on the cusp of an unknown future.
Sheltered since birth at her Kentucky home, Rowena “Wren” 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, Wren makes the journey with him and quickly finds herself in a whole new world–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, Wren feels she may never be comfortable in high society. Will she go her own way . . . to her peril?
With her signature attention to historical detail and emotional depth, Laura Frantz brings 1850s Pennsylvania alive with a tender story of loss, love, and loyalty.
Rating: ★★★ (3 out of 5 stars)
Rowena “Wren” Ballantyne has lived a very sheltered life with her father in Kentucky, with only whispers and passing comments about her relatives vast success and fortune. When her father decides to travel back to his childhood home in Pittsburgh, Wren is dismayed at the thought of leaving her home but does what she must to make her father happy. Soon she is thrust upon society, expected to behave as a proper Ballantyne would. Wren feels like an outlander in this stiff new world of the rich, no longer with a true home anywhere. Enter James Sackett, a pilot and family friend who immediately takes a liking to Wren but doesn’t feel worthy of her. Not only that, but he has dangerous enemies and feels he must stay away. Will they both manage to let go of what’s holding them back and find what they’ve always wanted… a home?
I have admired Laura Frantz’s talent for writing captivating historical fiction ever since first reading The Frontiersman’s Daughter a few years back and have kept up with her latest novels since then as well. Though this is the first book I’ve read from The Ballantyne Legacy series (mainly because of the amount of books already on “to-be-read” shelf) I know it won’t be the last! Love’s Fortune was no exception when it comes to Frantz’s talent for imaginative historical settings and riveting characters. It had the same depth I’ve found in all of her books, with characters I could relate, sympathize with, and love. I especially enjoyed the historical aspect, including learning about their Scottish heritage and a few Gaelic words. Also, every chapter started with a lovely quote which was something I adored! While I really appreciated a lot of features from this book, I found it wanting in a few areas. I was disappointed that the storyline of Jamie’s enemies felt skipped over, and that wasn’t the only sub-plot I thought was hastily passed after being set up for a long time (it is an almost 400 page book). I was expecting more of a bang at the end, a thrill if you will. While not my favorite of Laura’s books, I enjoyed the more admirable aspects of this book enough to be really interested in reading the first two of the series, Love’s Reckoning and Love’s Awakening, as soon as I have some free time!
For fans of christian historical fiction, Love’s Fortune was a hopeful, inspiring read about a woman trying to find a home. If you enjoy authors like Julie Klassen, Deeanne Gist, Lynn Austin, or Liz Curtis Higgs, then I definitely recommend you check out Laura Frantz’s The Ballantyne Legacy series!
**I received this book for free from Revell in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are completely my own.
Watch this video, “Love’s Fortune: Behind the Cover”, to get a glimpse into this book’s cover shoot! Cool, huh? What do you think?