To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Netgalley (Received to Review)
Genre:Christian Historical Fiction
Book Description: 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: To Win Her Favor is a Christian Historical Romance that takes place post Civil War in Tennessee. There are some hard facts presented are hard to read. I grateful that Tamera Alexander did not gloss over the prejudice and violence that was part of everyday life for the people of African and Irish descent.
The two main characters in this book are Maggie and Cullen. They enter into a marriage of convenience. She wanted to save her family home, he wanted to own land in an area where the Irish need not apply.
I enjoyed that Tamera wrote about the progression of their relationship from strangers to a loving couple. They don't immediately fall in love, get along, or have meaningful conversations. Their love and trust was earned.
I have read a few reviews where others were bothered by the violence and the innuendo in the book. I did not find either to be inappropriate or offensive to me. The language, attitudes, and violence against the black people were disturbing, but they were historically accurate. Words that we find offensive today were common during the time period.
I really enjoyed this book. It was well written. I loved the characters. Many were good and honest people trying to make their way in the world and I appreciated their different struggles and experiences.
I felt that the story focused on repentance and forgiveness. There are so many wonderful things that this book has in it's pages.
Because of some of the content, I would classify this as an adult book.