I really enjoyed Laura’s story of Silas Ballantyne, in her latest novel, Love’s Reckoning. Silas is a Scotsman who arrives in York County, Pennsylvania to finish his apprenticeship as a blacksmith. he unwittingly is being courted by the eldest daughter with the idea that he would marry into the family and take over the business as the master, Liege Lee is aging and struggling with gout.
Secrets haunt the Lee family but in spite of all that Silas is captivated not by the eldest daughter, Elspeth, who has targeted him for her own, but by the youngest daughter, Eden who slaves away uncomplainingly with grace and beauty and a heart to know more about God and the Bible.
Silas has no idea of this hidden expectation and rebels against it when he finds out. While he has fallen in love with Eden he has no plan or desire to stay in this household of seething resentments and hostility. His plans are to head West to a new life in the wilds that eventually become Pittsburg.
Events conspire to draw them together and then rip them apart. I loved the story and the complexities of the characters and relationships that were so skillfully drawn out. The ending seemed to wrap up too quickly for me, but at least it was a gratifying end after all the pain and heartache Silas and Eden had to endure.
I’ve become a fan of Karen Witmeyer so when I had a chance to nab another free Kindle download of hers, I jumped. To Win Her Heart did not disappoint.
Now, let’s just be clear. This is fiction. FICTION. Not real, let’s pretend and have some fun doing it. Karen does a good job of pairing two unlikely souls, a wealthy but jilted young woman and a blacksmith with a violent and criminal past. They bond over their love of books, but their budding romance is not without challenges. Between their differences in social background, wealth and secrets, there also lies someone who is out to destroy Levi to eliminate competition for Eden. The town Sherriff turns out to be a bit of a bully.
The coolest part of this story is Levi, along with his less exalted roots and his foray into fighting, landing him in prison, has another strike against him, he has a speech impediment. Karen does a masterful job of accommodating for this in giving Levi a love of literature and an unusual ability to use words that avoid the “s” sound. Perhaps this is not as significant a problem for someone who just enjoys a good book, but as a writer myself, I found myself in awe of her willingness to tackle that kind of task and the effort is enjoyable as no one would expect a man of his background to use the kinds of words he does, and she makes it believable.
Now, if you don’t like historical, western, romantic fiction – then pass this one buy. But if you have read any of Karen’s other works, I encourage you to give this one a go. I enjoyed the time spent in those pages.