To Win Her Favor, Belle Meade Plantation Series #2   -     By: Tamera Alexander
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To Win Her Favor, Belle Meade Plantation Series #2

Zondervan / 2015 / Paperback

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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.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 1.11 X 6.11 (inches)
ISBN: 0310291070
ISBN-13: 9780310291077
Availability: This product will be released on 05/15/15
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Series: Belle Meade Plantation

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Publisher's 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 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.

Author Bio

Tamera Alexander is the best-selling author of numerous books including A Lasting Impression and The Inheritance. Her richly-drawn characters and thought-provoking plots have earned her devoted readers worldwide. Tamera is a two-time Christy Award winner, two-time RITA winner, and a recipient of the prestigious Library Journal Award. Tamera and her husband recently returned to her Southern roots and now make their home in Nashville. Visit her website at www.tameraalexander.com Facebook: tamera.alexander Twitter: @tameraalexander

 

Editorial Reviews

“No insta-love here! Readers get to experience the growing attraction between the headstrong and determined Maggie and the swoon-worthy Cullen. The deeply drawn characters move the story along at a steady pace – even Bucket, the dog, and Bourbon Belle, the mare, will win readers over.” – 4 star review
“Alexander (To Whisper Her Name) continues her ode to the magnificent Belle Meade Plantation, using it to illustrate questions of race, faith, and loyalty that continue to haunt today. Richly drawn secondary characters add depth, humor, and a sobering perspective on how Reconstruction affected racial relations, social status, and economic fortunes. Fans will appreciate, and applaud the smooth merging of social commentary and a sweet love story.”
“Strong characters, a sense of the times, and the themes of love, friendship, and the importance of loyalty and determination make this a triumph.” – starred review

Product Reviews

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  1. Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Easily my favorite Tamera Alexander novel
    April 20, 2015
    FirefliesNStardust
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    A gifted rider and horse trainer, Maggie Linden is determined that her beloved Bourbon Belle will take top purse in the Nashville inaugural Peyton Stakes. Her dream seems to come to a halt when in a desperation to save their farm Linden Downs from being sold to the highest bidder, Maggie's father offers her hand in marriage to a man she has never met.

    Cullen McGrath has arrived in Tennessee carrying burdens of his past and facing the discrimination towards Irish immigrants. Offered his chance at starting over with the Linden farm, Cullen feels it could be another huge mistake in the making and yet can't turn his back on the possibilities.

    A captivating, beautiful story of overcoming adversities and discriminations, To Win Her Favor has easily become my favorite Tamera Alexander novel. I loved the setting, the characters and was surprised by the emotions this story pulled out. I have always had an interest in the world of horse racing, fed by novels penned by Lauraine Snelling in my younger years and love for movies such as Secretariat. Tamera makes it easy to see the places and images she presents in her story and also weaves a breathtaking romance. In my opinion, Cullen was the best male lead Tamera has penned and while there were a few times I wanted to reach out and shake Maggie, I loved her growth and realization that though some things may seem culturally accepted, it does not always make those thoughts right.

    To Win Her Favor is a novel I can easily recommend to fellow reader friends, and I already ordered a paper copy for my favorites bookshelf.

    Thank you NetGalley and Zondervan Publishing for a copy in exchange for honest reviews.
  2. Plymouth MA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Debs Dozen: Bourbon Belle, a race to win, prejudice to overcome, a promise made.
    April 20, 2015
    debhgrty
    Plymouth MA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Debs Dozen: Bourbon Belle, a race to win, prejudice to overcome, a promise made.

    Maggie Linden loves the horse shes raised from a colt, Bourbon Belle. Riding before the wind on Belles back thrills her like nothing else. However, in her heart of hearts, shes afraid she may lose Belle. The Civil War and its aftermath has impoverished her father as well as many others in the area. Theyve already sold off their other horses to General Harding at Belle Meade Plantation and cant even afford to plant the fields to grow paying crops. But if Bourbon Belle can win the Peyton Stakes, the purse of $35,000.00 will bring them out of poverty and allow them to rebuild.

    Cullen McGrath, an Irish immigrant, sees the incredible picture of the horse and rider speeding across the fields and is entranced. Hes come to Kentucky to build his fortune and has the cash to do it. Luckily he has cash, for in post-Civil War Kentucky, Irish are looked on the same as are blacks. The prejudice is intense against both.

    Cullen comes to Linden Downs and asks Maggies father if hes willing to sell his estate. Her father agrees with one condition: Cullen must marry Maggie. Cullen, who lost his wife and baby daughter on the voyage from England, is taken aback at the request. However, after considering the request agrees. Now all they have to do is convince Maggie.

    How Cullen and Maggie clash and survive, how Bourbon Belle inspires them both, how the South persecutes blacks and Irish alike (read KKK), all make for a wonderful story of love and redemption. You will want to buy this latest entry in the Belle Meade series. Be prepared to read with a box of tissues by your side for youll laugh and cry throughout the book. To Win Her Favor is the best by Alexander Ive readwhat a talent you are, Tamera!

    Zondervan Publishing gave me access to a Netgalley copy of this book in exchange for my candid review.
  3. Clover, SC
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Tamera Alexander's Absolute Best!
    April 20, 2015
    Susan
    Clover, SC
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I own every single book Tamera Alexander has ever written. She is, and will remain, one of my favorite authors. Tamera never, in my opinion, sits down and just writes a fluffy little Christian novel. No, she does impeccable research and takes her time, writing a book that resonates with the mercies and grace of God. She creates characters that will remain with the reader long after the book is closed. This one was no exception, either.

    I personally feel this is Tamera Alexander's best book EVER!!! I was completely captivated by it. Cullen McGrath was the best male lead she has crafted in her writing career, in my opinion. I especially enjoyed hos he came back to faith in Christ after so many heartaches and losses. He was kind, thoughtful and faithful in all his ways. Of course, the character of Maggie was also wonderful. I had just never identified with a male lead as much as I did Cullen.

    There were so many passages in this book that I flagged with sticky notes. Passages that I knew I would want to go back later and read because they resounded so much within my spirit. It's a rare book that causes me to flip back so often and re-read entire passages and paragraphs. And that is exactly what I did! It's like I couldn't get enough of the depth writtein in these pages.

    The book contained so much that ministered to me. It's one of those books that cause you to think so much about what you've read and just doesn't leave you for a while after you finish. You find yourself thinking about these characters off and on throughout the days after finishing the book.

    Sometimes when I'm reading a book, a passage or sentence will just grab my attention and this book did just that. I will list it here for it does not contain a spoiler. "And here in the darkness before the dawn, the time that had held some of the loneliest moments in her life, hope struggled to find a foothold." You see, I've been there in that place, struggling to find hope when my husband was given a horrible diagnosis. Laying awake at night, wondering if my prayers would be answered. This just grabbed at my heart so hard and brought tears to my eyes. (In fact, I shed many a tear reading this book!) My husband is fine now. But Tamera Alexander has the ability to make the reader FEEL what the characters are feeling. We go with them during their days and activities and feel like we are just walking alongside them as they go through life. It's an amazing ability and one, I'm sure, Alexander was gifted with by God.

    I loved this book so much. Do not miss this one. You will not regret the purchase price. I promise you. I seriously promise you that.

    *I was given an advanced reading copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.

    1 like
  4. Fredericksburg, VA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    My New Favorite by Tamera Alexander!!
    April 19, 2015
    ChooseWisely
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This sigh worthy book has been my favorite read so far in the genre of historical fiction for this year. I could not put it down and I became obsessed with reading it!! I read as I dried my hair in the mornings, in the pick up line at school, and by lamp at night long after my family had turned in for the evening. I have read all of Tamera Alexanders books and this one might just be my new favorite of hers.

    To Win Her Favor is 5 stars for its beautiful telling of a marriage of convenience. Chemistry between characters Maggie and Cullen is tangible! It is Far and Away (with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman) meets Gone With the Wind, except Cullen (the hero) is a more mature and much taller man. Tamara Alexander gives plenty of page time to Margaret and Cullen which leads to a believable and wonderful ending.

    I will read To Win Her Favor again as it has won a place on my shelf of cherished books. Like a new favorite movie, it will be enjoyed by me over and over. Really, I could go on and on. I loved it!

    I sought out my copy of To Win Her Favor on NetGalley. I have not been compensated for my review and all opinions are my own.
  5. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    Great characters and plots
    April 7, 2015
    Maria
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    To Win Her Favor is the second book in the Belle Meade Plantation series by Tamera Alexander. I loved the first book so I was super excited to read this story! As usual, the author writes beautifully and has such real characters. I loved all the complexities and stories in this book, and I could not stop reading it.

    Maggie Linden loves horses and trained her mare, Bourbon Belle, from a foal. She is determined to race her one day and is convinced she will win, but with all the money problems since the war she isn't sure if her dream will ever materialize. Faced with losing the only home she has ever known and her aspirations to race her horse, Maggie tries not to let her father know how much it pains her.

    Cullen McGrath came from England to buy his own land, but even in America prejudice runs strong against the Irish. Then he meets Mr. Linden, owner of Linden Downs, who strikes a hard bargain with him. Mr. Linden is persuasive and Cullen reluctantly agrees. Maggie and Cullen now have to somehow settle their differences and learn to live together. Will love ever happen?

    This story was very well written, never boring, and was rich in detail. Maggie was fun to read about. She is so spirited and free! Just like her precious horse. :-) Cullen was an amazing character but seemed a bit unrealistic in parts. Even so, he was one of the best characters in the book.

    There was one thing I did not like in the story. There is an arranged marriage so when they fall in love they told a little too much since they were already married I guess. It was highly uncomfortable, and I just skipped it. The story didn't need all that, and honestly I was surprised the author would put things like that in there. It's made me reevaluate whether or not I should read anymore of her books. I hope the author doesn't do it anymore because she writes wonderfully! But that's the only thing I didn't like, and the only reason it's four stars. The story itself is five stars, though.

    I was given this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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