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—Maggie must marry a man she’s never met. A man she never would have chosen for herself.
|About the Contributor(s)||Tamera Alexander
Tamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling novelist whose works have been awarded and nominated for numerous industry-leading honors, including the Christy Award (two-time winner, seven-time finalist), the RITA Award (two-time winner, four-time finalist), the Carol Award, the Maggie Award, the Booksellers Best Award, and Library Journal's top distinction, among others. After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband now reside in Nashville, Tennessee, where they live a short distance from Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade Plantation, the setting of Tamera’s two USA Today bestselling Southern series.
|Publish Date||May 12, 2015|
|Series||A Belle Meade Plantation Novel|
- Review by Fitzysmom
A marriage of convenience seems to be an answer to prayer to Gilbert Linden and Cullen McGrath. But to Maggie Linden it represents the only way to save her family's land and keep her beloved horse Bourbon Belle. The prospect of being married to an Irishman does not sit well with her, but she finds herself without any other viable options.
It turns out that the whole situation is brought about by Divine Providence. Sometimes when we feel like we are in the midst of an impossible situation God uses it to refine us. And refining is just what Cullen and Maggie both need.
Tamera Alexander takes on some tough subjects in this novel and doesn't bother to sugar coat them. Not only were blacks still being persecuted, the Irish were also looked down upon. When we look back on this time from our current perspective it seems so brutal and barbaric. Unfortunately it was commonplace and we would do well to learn from it.
While the book has serious undertones there is still a very steamy and romantic storyline going on. While Cullen and Maggie's marriage was a business agreement to Maggie, Cullen was determined to win her favor. The ways in which he undertakes that are a delightful read that will remind you of the beauty a loving marriage can reflect.
As with most of her books, Tamera Alexander has included a set of discussion questions that would be beneficial to any book club. I look forward to sharing this book with my local group. It is sure to be a source of great discussion.
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review. (Posted on 7/14/2015)
- Review by Sally
Mr. Linden’s health may be failing but he still has his hand in the thick of things. He has a good mind and is an exceptional judge of character. His “chance” meeting of Cullen McGrath, an Irishman, inspires Mr. Linden to give Cullen a chance to start over, while saving Linden Downs and seeing Maggie is cared for…all he has to do is agree to marry Maggie…a marriage of convenience. However Cullen left England under a cloud that involves horse-racing and is not sure he wants to risk being caught even if he is in the U.S.A.
I am not sure what captured my heart first. It could have been because I love post-Civil War, being familiar with Nashville TN, horse-racing or the willingness of the characters to listen to that small still voice and do what is right. No matter the reason I was hooked from the first page. I spent the entire afternoon being highly entertained by Maggie’s antics and yet saddened by the tragedies of life after slavery and the unwillingness of people to accept foreigners. It is hard for me to understand how America can be the great melting-pot, yet hold so many prejudices against those who come here in hopes of a better life.
The characters are so well developed and the story line so believable it is easy to become part of the book. As you turn the pages you will experience victory over the injustices as they unfold.
MS. Alexander is one of my favorite authors. Throughout this book she subtly inserts the love of God in each of her main characters without being “preachy”. This is a book you won’t want to miss. It will not only appeal to the Christian reader to the secular reader as well.
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this Book by the publisher, Zondervan, through Book Look Bloggers , blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.
(Posted on 5/15/2015)
- Review by Brittany at the Books and Biscuits Blog
Overall, I definitely enjoyed reading To Win Her Favor. Ms. Alexander writes an intriguing tale of love and commitment that supersedes the typical romance plotline. The novel shows the development and maturation of Cullen and Maggie’s marriage, as well as their growth as Christians in the face of exceptional trial. True to the form and style of Ms. Alexander’s other novels, To Win Her Favor also captures the prejudice and upheaval of Southern culture after the Civil War, while focusing on the challenges of both freemen and Irishmen during the period.
With a moderate pace consistent with Ms. Alexander’s other work, readers may find that the development of the story takes more time than those of other authors. However, I have always found that her style offers perhaps a more realistic impression of the period and individuals than the artificially-accelerated timeline depicted in other novels.
Special thanks to NetGalley and Zondervan for the advanced copy of To Win Her Favor!
Brittany at BooksandBiscuits.com
(Posted on 5/12/2015)