First, the beautiful cover grabbed my attention. Then the title, the author, the back blurb. I anticipated a great story and To Win Her Favor did not disappoint. It just kept getting better and better with each passing chapter. As I fell into step with the characters, I quickly fell in love with them too. Throw in horse racing and a marriage of convenience in the post-Civil War, southern setting and I was hooked.
I’ve read multiples stories involving a marriage of convenience before. Some I’ve liked and some I haven’t, honestly. This one was believable, unique, and full of heart, without the cliches. I loved following these two through the ups and downs of marriage. It gave a beautiful depiction of two people growing to love and learning how to live a life as one. The intimacies between husband and wife are there, but written with care and handled beautifully. Their relationship was honest and real and that endeared me to them even more.
I also loved many of the side characters. Their roles were minor, but pivotal to the overall story and added great emotion to the plot. The chapter hooks were great. Each scene seemed to breathe into the next, pulling me to the next page with it. The various obstacles along the way added great twists. The cameo appearances of previous characters from other books added to the fun too. And the ending? Talk about suspenseful and exciting! I could see – really see – the scenes unfolding. I was captivated right to the end.
This author knows what she’s doing. 😉 This story will sweep you away. There were so many touching moments that brought tears – many of them happy ones – to my eyes. Beautiful writing has a way of doing that to me.
Thank you to Zondervan, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, and the author for providing a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tamera Alexander is the USA Today bestselling author of numerous books, including A Lasting Impression, A Beauty So Rare, To Whisper Her Name, and From a Distance. Her richly drawn characters and thought-provoking plots have earned her devoted readers worldwide, as well as multiple industry awards.
These awards include two Christy Awards for Excellence in Christian fiction (and seven finalists), two RITA awards for Best Inspirational Romance, three Gayle Wilson Awards of Excellence, two Bookseller’s Best Awards, and being listed among Library Journal’s Top Christian Fiction, among others.
After living in Colorado for seventeen years, Tamera has returned to her Southern roots. She and her husband now make their home in Nashville where they enjoy life with their two adult children who live nearby, and Jack, a precious—and precocious—silky terrier.
For more, visit her at www.tameraalexander.com.