Sunday, May 17, 2015

To Win Her Favor - Tamera Alexander

To Win Her Favor
Tamera Alexander
Zondervan, May 12 2015, $15.99
ISBN: 9780310291077

In 1869 Nashville, horsewoman Maggie Linden knows the impact the war has had on her family’s finances especially the threat to Lindon Downs.  Her hope to save their spread from the Tax and Title Office resides in her three years old filly Bourbon Belle winning the inaugural Peyton Stakes.

Affluent Irishman Cullen McGrath left London in disgrace after a horseracing scandal.  He comes to Tennessee hoping to start over though he knows his nationality makes him a pariah amongst the locals, even the fallen, gentry.  When an ailing former “aristocrat” offers his daughter in marriage in exchange for saving Lindon Downs, Cullen accepts the deal to wed Maggie as a quick means to some respectability.  Though she preferred to say no, Maggie honors her father and marries money.  The newlyweds immediately face a major crisis threatening their relationship; he vowed never to get involved with horseracing again, while she vowed to run her thoroughbred in the upcoming race.

The second Belle Meade Plantation homage (see To Whisper Her Name) is an insightful post-Civil War era that brings to life the upheaval of Southerners at a time when race and social status remain the last bedrocks of those who lost their place at the top of the economic food chain.  The interesting marriage of convenience romance engages the audience as trust becomes a critical issue between the protagonists; but it is the profound look at the South that grips historical readers.

Harriet Klausner

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