My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing
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 with him 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?
With her signature attention to historical detail, Laura Frantz brings 1850s Pennsylvania alive with a tender story of loss, love, and loyalty. Fans will cheer for this final installment of the Ballatyne saga.
This author's style of writing has a unique quality to it that's hard to describe. It's subtle, evocative, and definitely transports the reader back in time to be fully immersed in the setting. Wren's transition between two vastly different worlds amidst family and societal drama is a compelling story, with several characters dealing with struggles and secrets, danger and heartbreak. Wren is an admirable heroine as she remains true to her upbringing and personality while also learning to become a lady, even though the expectations and pressure of others attempt to smother her. I enjoyed her cousin Izannah who has a feisty personality all her own- a blend of strength and compassion. James is a complex love interest for Wren since he is pulled in different directions by his risky career, slave-smuggling, and loyalty to the Ballantynes. The chemistry of their attraction makes the romantic tension palpable as they grow closer as friends yet their lack of communication leads to some significant misunderstandings. Even though I knew things would have to work out for a happy ending, I was anxiously reading until the very end!
I'd recommend reading the Ballantyne Legacy series in order to better understand the family ties and individual personalities from the previous books.
(Thank you to Baker Publishing and Revell Books for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
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