I'll try to have another post up with an update on some things happening in my life, but for today I have a book review for you. It's been a while, so I hope you're excited. I'm reviewing To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander. I received this book through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.
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 hiwas m 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.
I've heard good things about Tamera Alexander's writing for far too long. I've been looking for the opportunity to read one of her book sand when the opportunity represented itself of course I couldn't refuse. This book is actually the second in a series, but reading it first probably has no effect on anything. The plot was interesting. I've seen many comment that Maggie's marriage is arranged, but I disagree since she is given the choice. I liked the focus on race horses and the nineteenth century. The Civil War era is one I enjoy reading, so reading this one, right after the War, was pretty entertaining.
I liked the characters for the most part. Maggie probably bothered me more than any of the main or supporting cast. She is a Christian, but has some strong prejudices that make her look rather ugly. I understand that we probably all have some sort of prejudice but I suppose since I knew who she was prejudiced against it bothered me. But I give Maggie the benefit of the doubt because when she wasn't acting a bit spoiled she was a good character. I liked Cullen a lot. Even though he was withholding secrets and whatnot, he was a good man who cared about others. Just a nice guy. He had his issues to work out, but work them out he did. Then there were other supporting characters like Ethan, Gilbert--Maggies father--and one of my favorites, an adorable little former slave girl named Kizzy--a character filled with spunk, something I love.
While the book had a pretty well paced plot, a bit of that plot disconcerted me. There was a lot of discussion into marital kinds of things and lots of love going on, though the scenes never went far, I feel at times they went too far for the market this book is selling to. So I wouldn't recommend anyone reading it but adults. I'm nineteen and even I felt a little awkward around parts of it. The story also has some frightening sequences thanks to racism and violence.
Besides a couple of things I enjoyed this story. Pretty well written. I hope I can get my hands on another of Tamera Alexander's novels to see if I enjoy it even more than this one.
Buy it here.
~ a rambling author