Character Spotlight ~ Laura Frantz’s Ellie & Jack

Love's AwakeningMeet a lady and a ruffian in

Laura Frantz’s

historical romance

Love’s Awakening


The Story

Ellie Ballantyne, youngest child of Silas and Eden, has left finishing school. But back at her family home in Pittsburgh, Ellie finds that her parents are away on a long trip and her siblings don’t seem to want her to stay. When she opens a day school for young ladies, she begins tutoring the incorrigible daughter of the enemy Turlock clan. The Turlocks are slaveholders and whiskey magnates, envious of the powerful Ballantynes and suspicious of their abolitionist leanings.

As Ellie becomes increasingly tangled with the Turlocks, she finds herself falling in love with an impossible future–and Jack Turlock, a young man striving to free himself from his family’s violent legacy.

How can she betray her family and side with the enemy? And will Jack ever allow her into his world?

Enjoy meeting Ellie & Jack

Brief physical description

Ellie Ballantyne really does look like the cover model for Love’s Awakening. She’s blue-eyed like her mother, Eden, and has darker hair with glints of red like her father, Silas. She is very slight and pale the way genteel ladies of the early 19th-century often were.ellie

Jack Turlock is as buff as they come. Winking smile. Rugged and a hater of anything dandified, he has fair hair that Ellie thinks looks like straw, always mussed up and a bit wild, and he has silvery eyes.


See attached photos

Strengths and weaknesses

Ellie has her mother’s tender heart but a bit of her father’s fight in her. Both get her into trouble. She’s able to stand up to her very strong-willed siblings but also the ability to make peace with her enemies – some of them, anyway! She is a woman of prayer.

Jack is all fight and no finesse, a fine foil for genteel Ellie. He wants to do what is right but seems thwarted at every turn. He admires those who do right but his first reaction is usually underhanded. Jack is the first un-heroic hero I’ve ever created. He has the makings of a godly jack turlock bestman but can’t quite get there. His heritage and some bad personal habits are against him.

Quirk (if any)

Ellie is ladylike and doesn’t like to get dirty. She is appalled at Jack’s manners or the lack of them.

Jack has a fondness for taverns/gin rooms and fighting. He is restless and likes to roam. He shuns custom and good manners.

Your inspiration for the character

Ellie is the quintessential lady of the Federalist period in early American history – educated in the genteel arts and of a benevolent bent. I thought it would be fun to pair her with a reprobate and see what happened!

Background to the story

I’ve always been intrigued by the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania. Many early Americans like George Washington operated profitable distilleries and much of the population drank and sold spirits. This makes a great backdrop for a historical novel, especially when you have whiskey magnates like the Turlocks and those who are teetotalers like the Ballantynes. But the main thrust of this story involves the beginnings of the Underground Railroad and the complex network of abolitionists who helped slaves to freedom. The Turlocks and the Ballantynes are very much at odds when it comes to the issue of slavery.

Thank you, lovely Laura!

Relz Reviewz Extras
Character spotlight on Eden & Silas
Character spotlight on Cassius & Roxanna
Reviews of Love’s ReckoningThe Colonel’s LadyCourting Morrow Little and The Frontiersman’s Daughter
Character spotlight on Lael Click
Character spotlight on Morrow Little
Visit Laura’s website and blog
Buy Love’s Awakening at Amazon and Koorong

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27 Responses to Character Spotlight ~ Laura Frantz’s Ellie & Jack

  1. This is so interesting! The characters sound like they make a great match together. The contrast between their personalities intrigues me.. Really, it does. I still have to read Love’s Reckoning first – or at least, I plan to. My curiosity is definitely piqued. Thanks for sharing! *Waves to Laura* :))

    • Ganise » You are such a sweetheart, Ganise – always so encouraging to authors…and me! You do need to read Silas and Eden’s story first – you won’t be disappointed, I assure you :)

  2. I can’t wait to read Love’s Awakening! Great character spotlight. :)


  3. So good to see Ganise and Melanie here on this blessed Labor Day! Rel always makes these spotlights shine :) Thanks for the invite, Rel, and a peak into the heart of the story!

  4. Hello, Jack. What a pleasure to meet you! 😉

    You know… I think I may have to read this book. Gotta’ find out what happens to Silas and Eden children.

  5. Ooo pitter pattering of the heart. Can’t wait to get this book in to my desperate hands. I think I’m going to like Jack 😉

  6. I can’t wait to get my hands on these two! So to speak.

  7. Laura always has the best characters! So fun getting a glimpse of them here. The contrasts and conflict in this plot sound irresistible!

  8. Does anyone write heroes as delish as Laura’s? Nope. I’m already half in love with Jack and I haven’t even read the book yet! Don’t worry, it’s on its way to me so I shold be reading it soon! This is THE book I’ve been waiting for all year! Thank you Laura and Rel for the wonderful post. :)

  9. I’m so excited for this book! 1) It’s by the beautiful and beautifully talented Laura Frantz! 2) This romance sounds like it’s going to be so fun (in the sense of lots of conflict and romantic tension) and epic! 😀

    Thanks for sharing, Rel and Laura!


  10. Love this!! Cannot wait to dive in!! Might have to start tonight :)

  11. Oh, so honored and thrilled with your comments – hugs and hellos to all here! I hope the book lives up to this blurb! It was wonderful to set the book in Pittsburgh, a place another reader said is sorely neglected as a novel setting. Lots of rich history and such there for sure. Renee is blessed indeed :)

    Have a wonderful day! And thanks for making mine with your great comments!

  12. Jack may become a favorite hero of mine after that description but I don’t think he will pass Silas as my all time favorite.

  13. Yay!!! I was already hooked and ready for this book after reading the preview at the end of Love’s Reckoning. Can’t wait to see what is in store for the next generation of Ballentynes.

  14. I love your presentation of these characters, Rel! The amazing Laura Frantz takes on the anti-hero! Love it, and can’t wait to read her latest. Blessings!

  15. I loved reading about Ellie and Jack, and would love to read this book. Even though I’m not really a fan of historical fiction.

  16. Aaaahhhh!!!! You made me so excited for this book now! (As if I wasn’t anyway.) 😉 I love your character spotlights, Rel, and when you feature characters by Laura Frantz? I love it, I love it! 😀 (Yes, I’m quite excited, aren’t I? Promise I’m calm now.) Can’t wait for my chance to read this one.

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