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April 30, 2015

To Win Her Favor {Tamera Alexander}

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.


My Thoughts:
Every time I read a historical fiction book, I try to imagine what life must have been like back then. People were so different than what we are used to today, and acceptable ways of life would be considered abuse in modern days. I always enjoy reading about that time in our country's history, and consider that they had it pretty good back then when things were so much simpler.

But then I read something like To Win Her Favor and you realize that things weren't always perfect during those simpler times. Women and foreigners were treated badly, and the farm workers and their families were treated horribly.

In this story, the Linden farm is about to be sold for auction. Maggie and her father are the only survivors in the family, and they just haven't been able to keep things going. This is so devastating to Maggie, and she is doing all she can to try to find a way to make things work. Her love in life is horse racing, and she is determined to race her horse in the upcoming race in order to save the family farm.

Cullen McGrath is an Irishman, and that basically makes him a criminal and trash in Nashville. Everyone treats him so badly and wants him out of town immediately. But Cullen just wants to buy land and make his new life in on a farm in Nashville. When he makes friends with Mr. Linden, he gets his wish of purchasing a farm, but also gets more than he bargained for in the business transaction - a wife.

Cullen and Maggie are so different, yet find themselves fighting for the same thing - a successful farm. Yet both have their secrets that they are reluctant to share with each other. As the two of them grow to like, and eventually love, each other, we see their barriers break down and all their secrets come out.

This story brings together love, loss, acceptance, and eventually joy as we see these characters come together for one goal.


USA Today bestselling author Tamera Alexander is a novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose have earned her devoted readers worldwide as well as multiple industry awards. Tamera enjoys a devoted international following with her books being translated into German, Dutch, and Polish. She recently returned from a book tour in The Netherlands for the release of A Lasting Impression.

Her first seven novels are set against the rugged backdrop of the Colorado Territory (1860-70s), but she's recently turned her pen toward "home" and is writing about her own Southern heritage. A Lasting Impression, the first of three Belmont Mansion novels, showcases the larger-than-life history of Adelicia Acklen, the richest woman in America at the time, and the Belmont Mansion in the years following the Civil War. 

Tamera's ninth novel, To Whisper Her Name, the first of three Belle Meade Plantation novels reveals the story behind the most influential thoroughbred stud farm in our nation's history, as well as what happens when a Southern born son who chose to fight for the Union mets a Southern belle whose husband was killed for being a traitor to the South.

These two Southern series (the Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade Plantation) intertwine with each other, detailing the "real life" history of two of Nashville's most famous homes and their intriguing families. A Lasting Impression was a 2012 Christy Award finalist for Best Historical Romance (an award honoring excellence in Christian Fiction. This was Tamera's sixth Christy nomination. She's also the recipient of two RITA awards for Best Inspirational Romance.

After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband have returned to their native South and reside in Nashville, Tennessee, where they enjoy spending time with their two grown children who live nearby, as well as a ten-pound silky terrier named Jack. When she writes, Tamera takes steps closer to Christ, and it's her earnest desire that her readers will do the same, as they read. 

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