“If you read one historical novel this year, make it To Win Her Favor. It will linger with you long after the last page.” —Colleen Coble, USA TODAY bestselling author of The House at Saltwater Point
A gifted rider in a world where ladies never race, Maggie Linden is determined that her horse will become a champion. But the one man who could help her has vowed to stay away from thoroughbred racing forever.
An Irishman far from home, Cullen McGrath left a once prosperous life in England because of a horse racing scandal that nearly ruined him. He’s come to Nashville for a fresh start, hoping to buy land and begin farming, all while determined to stay as far away from thoroughbred racing as possible. But starting over proves harder than he'd wagered, especially when Maggie Linden's father makes him an offer he shouldn't accept yet cannot possibly refuse.
Maggie is certain that her mare, Bourbon Belle, can take the top purse in the inaugural Peyton Stakes, the richest race ever run in America. Maggie only needs the chance to prove it. To give her that chance, and to save Linden Downs from being sold to the highest bidder, Maggie's father—aging, yet wily as ever—makes a barter. His agreement includes one tiny, troublesome detail: that Maggie must marry a man she's never met. A man she never would have chosen for herself.
Set against the post-Civil War history of Nashville’s historic Belle Meade Plantation, the most influential thoroughbred stud farm in America’s history, To Win Her Favor is a passionate, stirring, and highly acclaimed novel readers won’t soon forget.
“To Win Her Favor is a beautiful love story, not to mention a story of faith that shines through in the darkest circumstances. From the very beginning, I lost my heart to Cullen and Maggie and yearned for the moment when they would lose their hearts to each other.” —Robin Lee Hatcher, bestselling author of Who I Am with You
“Tamera Alexander is one of my favorite authors, so I expect a lot from her novels. To Win Her Favor is captivating beyond expectation! This novel has everything readers are looking for—rich characterization, page-turning intrigue, a heartwarming romance charged with tension, and more!” —Cindy Woodsmall, New York Times and CBA bestselling author
“Tamera Alexander has done it again. Her imagination and skillful pen intertwined with history takes the reader on a beautiful journey. To Win Her Favor is sure to stir the heart and open the mind.” —Jenny Lamb, Director of Interpretation & Education, Belle Meade Mansion
Gifted horsewoman Maggie Linden precludes the financial ruin of her family's estate in the difficult postbellum epoch by agreeing to her ailing father's plea and marrying the stranger who can rescue their inheritance. Cullen McGrath may have cash and charm, but he has a past plus, he's Irish, something the Nashville elites find unacceptable. And Maggie's determination to race her favorite thoroughbred mare clashes with Cullen's desire to avoid racing at all costs. What is behind his reluctance, and can Maggie trust him with her heart? The unlikely couple must find a way to overcome their own prejudices and unite, heart and mind, as hateful outside forces threaten their home and happiness. Alexander (To Whisper Her Name) continues her ode to the magnificent Belle Meade Plantation, using it to illustrate questions of race, faith, and loyalty that continue to haunt today. Richly drawn secondary characters add depth, humor, and a sobering perspective on how Reconstruction affected racial relations, social status, and economic fortunes. Fans will appreciate, and applaud the smooth merging of social commentary and a sweet love story.
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Favorite of 2015
This sigh worthy book has been my favorite read so far in the genre of historical fiction for this year. I could not put it down and I became obsessed with reading it!! I read as I dried my hair in the mornings, in the pick up line at school, and by lamp at night long after my family had turned in for the evening. I have read all of Tamera Alexander's books and this one might just be my new favorite of hers.
To Win Her Favor is 5 stars for its beautiful telling of a marriage of convenience. Chemistry between characters Maggie and Cullen is tangible! It is Far and Away (with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman) meets Gone With the Wind, except Cullen (the hero) is a more mature and much taller man. Tamara Alexander gives plenty of page time to Margaret and Cullen which leads to a believable and wonderful ending.
I will read To Win Her Favor again as it has won a place on my shelf of cherished books. Like a new favorite movie, it will be enjoyed by me over and over. Really, I could go on and on. I loved it!
I sought out my copy of To Win Her Favor on NetGalley. I have not been compensated for my review and all opinions are my own.