Thursday, June 18, 2015

To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander

"Steady, girl," Maggie whispered, peering down from the bluff, leather reins held taut. The thrum of spectators on the field below rose on the cool morning breeze, and she leaned forward to stroke the thoroughbred's neck." Opening Paragraph


Synopsis:  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.

Review by Mirella Patzer

This was the first Tamera Alexander book I've read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. In this novel, she takes readers to the American South where horse breeding and horse racing is a major part of the culture. The characters are brilliantly portrayed. As a horse afficionado and having owned several show horses, I loved the connection with these beautiful creatures.

The plot is strong and multi-layered. There was plenty going on to keep me engrossed and turning the pages. I especially enjoyed the main characters, Cullen McGrath and Maggie Linden, who are people of high moral fibre with strong beliefs. I enjoyed how these characters grew closer together as the story progressed. The author's writing is so seamless yet detailed that it is easily envisioned in one's mind. Definitely talented, Tamera Alexander knows how to spin a good yarn, one the captivates, while putting the main characters through conflict. Discrimination and prejudice are also minor themes tackled in this book. It is a book that warms the heart, solidifies our personal convictions, and definitely entertains. Highly recommended! I'll definitely be reading more from this author.

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