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?
The third part of Laura Frantz’s Ballantyne Legacy series is finally here, and Silas Ballantyne has come a long way since he began as an apprentice to his future father-in-law. His grand-daughter, Wren, knows nothing of his world, however, and feels more at ease living the simple life in Kentucky. When she has to move to the family home, it quickly becomes apparent that she is out of her depth. She’s unsophisticated and, as an aunt puts it, naïve. When a tragedy occurs on Ballantyne property and blackens the family name, it’s quickly determined that her appearance on the social scene will turn things around. In less than one month, Wren must learn the intricacies of society. It seems impossible.
It’s been 65 years since Silas arrived in Pittsburgh. For those who’ve read the previous two books, it means the descriptions of his and his wife’s frailties are hard to read. We want him and Eden to still be the youths they were in Love’s Reckoning. The second and third generations are now in charge of the family’s destiny, and they don’t all have the family’s best interests at heart. We might dislike Audra for the way she treats Wren, but we can tell she does want the best for the Ballantynes and is proud of what they’ve achieved. “You bear the Ballantyne name,” she tells Wren. “You’re privy to the Ballantyne fortune. With it comes privilege – and responsibility.”
As with the previous two titles in the series, this was a book I had difficulty putting down. The frivolities of Pittsburgh society are balanced out by the increasing dangers posed by transporting fugitive slaves to freedom along the Mississippi River. Even the romantic element has its twists and turns. Pittsburgh in 1850 was already a city of industry, even though the likes of Carnegie and Frick had yet to make their mark. The growing city is realistically portrayed here, right down to its problems with smog. The only negative about Love’s Fortune is that it had to end. And with the ending of the book comes, I presume, the end of this beautiful series set in a city I love.
Thank you to Revell Books for my complimentary copy of Love’s Fortune, which I received in exchange for an honest review.
Have you read Love’s Fortune? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Revell Books (a division of Baker Publishing)
Publication Date: 16 September 2014
Page Count: 400