To Win Her Favor (book review)

Can Maggie prove that her mare, Bourbon Belle, can take the top purse in the inaugural Peyton Stakes, the richest race ever run in America? Find out in Tamera Alexander's To Win Her Favor. To give her that chance—and to save Linden Downs from being sold to the highest bidder—Maggie must marry a man she's never met. A man she never would have chosen for herself.  This post has been organized by LitFuse Publicity.  I was provided with a copy in exchange for my honest book review.  All opinions are my own.

About the book:

To-Win-Her-FavorA 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.

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My review:

A truly wonderful read.  I can't express how much I loved Cullen and Maggie's characters.

There were so many little details that just made me fall in love with Cullen and Maggie together.  I love how Maggie learned so much about Cullen from comments other people made to her about him (how he treated the workers, things he did without her knowing).  Somehow it made it so much better for her to learn these details about him in a round about way... not by him telling her.  He wasn't looking for acknowledgment.  He was just a good man.  I loved how Cullen learned about Maggie just by making observations of her.  Her grace and strength while riding, her care of her father, seeing her needs without her asking.  She was such a strong woman.  Young and naive in ways... but mature beyond her years in others.

This book was really so much more than the little book blurb.  It covered so many serious topics during the post civil war era.  Treatment of immigrants.  Treatment of women.  Treatment of former slaves... free men and women.  Cullen and Maggie lived in such a time of great historical change.  It was amazing to read as they learned and grew through their story.

The supporting characters in the novel were also really interesting.  I loved learning all of their stories.  How Cletus and Onnie met, married, and continued more as family than help on Linden Downs.  The story of Cullen's family and how he came to be in Nashville.  The story of Ennis and Odessia and their children, especially Kizzy.  I have to especially say was a special character Kizzy was.  I would love to read more about her as she grows up.  The world and characters created in To Win Her Favor definitely drew me in and made me want more.

About the author:

TAlexander-306Tamera Alexander is a best-selling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose resonate with readers. Having lived in Colorado for seventeen years, she and her husband now make their home in Nashville Tennessee, along with their two adult children who live near by. And don’t forget Jack, their precious–and precocious–silky terrier.

 

 

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