A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz

A Bound Heart book cover

Magnus MacLeish, laird of the great house on the Isle of Kerrera, remembers fondly her childhood friendship with Lark MacDougall, now keeper of the bees on the land.  When Lark’s wife dies suddenly, Magnus and Lark find themselves accused and expelled across the Atlantic.  They are faced with what seems like insurmountable challenges but as the Virginia colony begins to grow on them, they realize that this may be the new beginning that both of them need.

Laura Frantz pens and develops such deep and emotionally stirring characters that have flaws and realistic struggles but also become such strong and faith-filled personalities. I liked the backdrop of this book and appreciated the detailed history.  Some of the verbiage, true to the historical setting, breaks up the flow of the story, but I think it ends up contributing to the overall novel.  I liked the romance, wrought with tension, and the ending was perfectly satisfying.  I enjoyed this sweet story and recommend it to those who love historical fiction!

I received an e-copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

The Lacemaker book cover

Lady Elisabeth Lawson has lived in a sheltered world her whole life, enjoying the opulence provided to her from her father’s connections as British lieutenant governor of the Virginia Colony. She is duty bound to marry Miles Roth, a man of little character. However, the tensions leading up to the Revolutionary War are mounting, and Elisabeth suddenly finds her comfortable world turned upside down. She forms an unlikely friendship with her fiancé’s cousin, Noble Rynallt, whom she soon discovers is one of the radical revolutionaries. As the war looms ahead, Elisabeth must make a choice between her family’s English roots and her heart’s stirring for freedom.

Laura Frantz does such a wonderful job of crafting emotionally stirring novels, and this one is no exception. I was immediately drawn to Elisabeth’s character and loved watching her growth throughout the novel. I like reading about determined, independent woman and Elisabeth remains strong despite multiple trials. The romance is rich and endearing and the history is a perfect blend of interesting and engaging elements woven throughout the story without bogging the plot down. The story flows naturally with its delicate style and is effortless to read. This truly is a wonderful novel and I cannot recommend it enough!

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz

Sophie Menzies is relieved the American Revolution is finally over. Facing the shame of having a Tory father on American soil, she wants nothing more than to welcome her brother home from war and move on with managing the family estate. Noticing the return of her neighbor, General Seamus Ogilvy, the officer in command of her brother’s unit and the master of Tall Acre, she hopes for good news. But when Sophie’s brother remains missing and General Ogilvy also has no information, she spends her days connecting with the General’s small daughter, the bond between them soon strongly forming. Yet as Sophie slowly becomes aware her affections extend to more than the widowed General’s daughter, she decides to risk it all, only to have a woman from the General’s past arrive – a woman who may ruin her newfound happiness forever.

If I had one word to describe this book it would be captivating. The scenery was painted with vivid and descriptive words, drawing me into its setting. The characters were troubled, realistic, and lovable, inviting me into their story. And the tension and romance of their relationships, the tenuous hope, the suspense from dangers not yet past, all flowed into a plot that was so well written it was easy to spend hours engrossed in the details. There were plenty of surprises to keep the reader guessing, including one shocking secret I personally never anticipated, adding to the complexity and interest of the novel. In addition, I particularly enjoyed the heart-wrenching aspects and emotional turmoil of the characters, which made their story that much more alive and believable. A most highly recommend historical novel!

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Love’s Fortune by Laura Frantz

Rowena “Wren” Ballantyne enjoys her simple life in Kentucky, where she and her father work to create beauty through fashioning and playing violins. But when her father receives an unexpected letter from his family in Pennsylvania, she suddenly finds her world turned upside down. After she realizes her arduous journey to visit her relatives is a one-way trip, Wren is thrust into a lavish society with virtual strangers, her past life only a memory. She does not care much for the rules of the rich, however, and is drawn to the quiet, mysterious James Sackett, a steamship pilot of the Ballantyne’s shipping line and a long-time friend of her grandfather. James is able to serve as an escort and assist Wren is navigating the demands of high society, drawing their relationship closer together. But James is more than simply a pilot for the Ballantyne’s, and his other responsibilities may jeopardize their growing relationship.

Love’s Fortune is beautifully told. Laura Frantz possesses such a wonderfully rich and deep manner in which she writes that the words simply flow from the page in delicious phrases. Her descriptions are captivating and meaningful and her writing style is unique and enthralling. Wren is a gentle and sweet soul, willing to support her father’s need for family despite her desire to return to her comfortable and familiar home. She strives to form relationships with those around her in spite of the difficult society. James is a man of deep morals, willing to work for what he knows is right, despite the cost. The storyline is interesting and told at a pleasant pace. A few plot points felt frustrating, such as Wren’s father’s disregard for her feelings and James’s inability to appreciate Wren’s friendship. Overall, however, this novel is recommended for readers who enjoy a book with interesting history, good character depth and development, and fantastic writing style.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.