Love’s Fortune By Laura Frantz

Rowena Ballantyne had lived in Kentucky from the time she was born. Now it was just her father, as her mother had died. She was content with her home, enjoying the beautiful country side and helping her father make violins and bows. Wren, her nickname, was passionate about music and playing the violin. It brought her great joy. Their lives were simple and unfettered by the trappings of the world. She knew her father came from a very wealthy family, but it mattered nothing to her.
That is until he is summoned to family home by his father, Silas Ballantyne. Never having left her home, she is overwhelmed by the trip on a Ballantyne steam boat named after her, “The Rowena”. While the journey was trying for her, she was nowhere near prepared what she would face when they reached the family estate.. She is not only thrown into living with her family she never met, but also all the expectations and entrapments of high society. Her father makes the change with ease, stepping back into the life he once had. Thinking this is simply a visit, Wren soon learns that this is her new home.
She attempts to meet her new family’s expectations and adapt to their ways, but she is a simple girl at heart. All the finery and airs are a burden. Her grandparents were both very sweet and unpretentious, unlike Silas’s haughty, overbearing sister Andra. Her Uncle Jack and Aunt Ellie’s big family and home were a welcome respite, especially her cousin Izzannah that was near her age. Andra is determined transform Wren into one of the aristocracy. Her purpose is to secure Wren a wealthy suitor to save their family’s business and lavish lifestyle. Wren’s wants nothing of it and yearns to be with James Sackett, a dear family friend and steamboat pilot. Along the way she learns of many secrets and dangers she must face. Will she yield to her aunt’s wishes or follow her heart?
I have not read the other 2 books in this series but now I certainly want to! This book stood alone. Each character was distinct and well developed. I learned so much about the wealthy during this time. I knew they had balls and were rather, what can I say, fake, but I never dreamed high society was so rigid and detailed to the point it was ridiculous. I loved the descriptions of Wren’s attire and lavish gowns. I too felt weary as I read about all she was expected to do not only in dress, but also manners, conversation, and endless social events. I could feel her frustration with the senselessness of it all.
Wren was such a beautiful character. Even in the midst of such lavishness, she maintained her character and she was not swayed nor impressed my all the pomp and glitter. Her values remained intact. Wren’s compassion and concern for people no matter where they were on the social ladder was foremost. This book was well written and a very enjoyable read!
I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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