Author: Tamera Alexander
Review by Grace Olson
Taken from Book Look Bloggers’ website description of To Win Her Favor:
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 can help her has vowed to stay away from thoroughbred racing for good.
An Irish-born son 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 start a farm, 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 annual Drayton Stakes at Nashville’s racetrack–the richest race 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.
Cullen and Maggie need each other in order to achieve their dreams. But their stubborn, wounded hearts–and the escalating violence from a “secret society” responsible for lynchings and midnight raids–may prove too much for even two determined souls.
To Win Her Favor is a novel steeped in history, with great attention to detail. If you pick up this book, you will without a doubt learn something about history you didn’t know before. It was interesting for me to read about Thoroughbred racing and training and all that entailed in post-Civil War Nashville. I also didn’t realize that there was such a prejudice against the Irish at that point in history.
The romance in this book is definitely for a more mature audience, so I wouldn’t recommend this book as appropriate for all audiences. However, it was fun to read about how Cullen and Maggie eventually came around to not hating each other (and more).
Maggie and Cullen both have to deal with past losses of family and dreams. They both have to learn the hard lesson of putting their trust in God for the past, present, and future.
Unfortunately, this book lagged for me somewhere in the middle. So while I enjoyed this read, it wasn’t my favorite, mainly because of the more mature romance which I wasn’t entirely comfortable with, as well as the lull in the middle.
About the Author
Biography from Book Look Bloggers’ website: Tamera Alexander is the best-selling author of numerous books including A Lasting Impression and The Inheritance. Her richly-drawn characters and thought-provoking plots have earned her devoted readers worldwide. Tamera is a two-time Christy Award winner, two-time RITA winner, and a recipient of the prestigious Library Journal Award. Tamera and her husband recently returned to her Southern roots and now make their home in Nashville. Visit her website at Facebook: tamera.alexander Twitter: @tameraalexander
I was given a review copy of To Win Her Favor from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.