This is a wonderful story about Ellie Ballantyne, a young woman who's tired of finishing school and being hounded by the Matrimonial Society of Philadelphia and so decides to return home to Pittsburgh in 1822. While on her way, she gets caught in the storm of the century and is rescued by Jack Turlock, whose family has long been at odds with hers. While her family attend church and follow the law, the Turlocks do all they can to break it. They make their living with whiskey, own slaves, and suspect the Ballantynes of being abolitionists. Ellie's parents are away and her siblings don't seem to want her to stay, but she decides to start a day school for young ladies to occupy her time. She's shocked when Chloe Turlock begs to come. Teaching Chloe puts her around Jack and she must decide if he's like his family or if there's more to him than meets the eye.
I loved this book! It was beautifully written, with descriptions that made me feel I was there. The characters were wonderful and felt as if they would walk off the page. I loved the insight into what was happening in Pennsylvania with abolitionists, slaveholders, and runaway slaves. The author has a note in the back of the book that says "every name and incident involving slaves...is taken from the historical record," which gives the stories she shared even more meaning. This works fine as a stand-alone, but there are some references to book one, as that book is about Ellie's parents' romance. I haven't read it yet, but I can't wait to get to it. It made a lot of favorites lists last year. There's a sweet romance, redemption; it's just a wonderful story. I'm so glad to discover such a talented new author to me!
I received this book free from Revell in exchange for an honest review.
Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
You can connect with Laura Frantz on
her website http://laurafrantz.net/ or