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Set in Nashville’s historic Belle Meade Plantation, Alexandra is a young southern woman of wealthy upbringing in Nashville. She lives with her parents. Her father is controlling and is pushing her to marry a man older than her. Alexandra’s brother died during the Civil War and her fiancé died in a train accident. She tries to live in his example to follow her original dreams and goes into teach at the Freedman’s school of Fisk University. Alexandra meets Sylas Rutledge, the new owner of the East Line Railway who is eager for her to teach him all she knows about high society. As feelings start to stir, she wonders if the two can fulfill their dreams and be together.
Number of Pages: 384
Publication Date: 2017
Series: Belle Meade Plantation
Can a railroad man and a Southern Belle turned teacher find a way to work together to achieve their dreams in the new reality of the post-Civil War South?
Sylas Rutledge, former gambler and new owner of the East Line Railway, invests everything he has into this venture, partly to see if he can do itbut mostly to avenge his father. One man holds the key to the railways successGeneral William Giles Harding of Nashvilles Belle Meade Plantation. But Harding is champagne and thoroughbreds, and Sylas Rutledge is beer and bullocks. Sy needs someone to help him maneuver in high society, and when he meets Alexandra Donelson, he quickly decides hes found his tutor.
Spurning her familys wishes that she marry, Alexandra Donelson is pursuing her passion for teaching at Fisk University, the first freedmens university in the United States. But her family does not approve, and ultimately, her father expels her from the family home and cuts her off completely.
Through her friendship with Mary Harding, Alexandra is thrown together with both General Harding and Sylas Rutledge. And she soon finds herself falling in love with a man whose roguish qualities and adventuresome spirit smack more of recklessness than responsibility.
Sylas Rutledge will risk everything to win the hand of the woman he loves. What he doesnt count on is having to wager her heart to do it.
Set at Nashvilles historic Belle Meade Plantation, To Wager Her Heart is a sweeping Southern love story about a nation mending after war, the struggle to move a country forward, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves for who they truly areand can bewith each other.
Tamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling novelist whose works have been awarded and nominated for numerous industry-leading honors, including the Christy Award (two-time winner, seven-time finalist), the RITA Award (two-time winner, four-time finalist), the Carol Award, the Maggie Award, the Booksellers Best Award, and Library Journal's top distinction, among others. After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband now reside in Nashville, Tennessee, where they live a short distance from Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade Plantation, the setting of Tameras two USA Today bestselling Southern series.
"For lovers of historical romance, To Wager Her Heart offers the very best of both history and romance. Tamera Alexander's well-told story details the early years of Fisk University as a school for freedmen after the Civil War. I was fascinated from beginning to end. This thoroughly enjoyable novel proves why Tamera Alexander is one of the genre's most beloved authors - and one of my favorites."
~ Lynn Austin, Bestselling author of Waves of Mercy and Until We Reach Home
"To Wager Her Heart is a poignant glimpse into our country's history and conflict after the Civil War. From the very beginning of this novel, Tamera Alexander invites readers on a remarkable journey, traveling alongside resilient characters determined to do what's right even when family and peers choose prejudice and contempt. Well done, Tamera! This was a journey that I didn't want to end."
~ Melanie Dobson, award-winning author of Catching the Wind
"Tamera Alexander has created a story that blends true historical events with unforgettable characters. Her vivid depiction of the struggles of the newly freed slaves, the expansion of the railway, and the journey of the Jubilee Singers brings post-Civil War Nashville roaring to life. To Wager Her Heart interweaves heroic life challenges with rich spirituality and a sigh-worthy romance. The story and characters will stay with you long after the last page is turned."
~Susan Anne Mason, award-winning author of Irish Meadows
"A steadfast heroine, a redemption-seeking hero, and a complex Southern society in post-Civil War America seamlessly combine in Tamera Alexander's To Wager Her Heart. Fans of Alexander's Belle Meade Plantation novels will fall in love with this new installment--but the real stars are the depth of research and the masterful attention to setting the perfect historical scene. Honor. Faith. And love . . . this novel's a journey in them all!"
~Kristy Cambron, Bestselling author of The Illusionist's Apprentice
Angela BycroftOwhango, New ZealandAge: 25-34Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Worth Waging Your Heart On.January 11, 2018Angela BycroftOwhango, New ZealandAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4To Wager Her Heart was another stellar read from an author we expect no less of - and are seldom disappointed.
From its uncompromising attention to historical detail and setting plus a swoon worthy hero who takes the definite slow burn route to romance. Some may find it a little on the slow side but I felt the story warranted it and it made the eventual resolution that bit more worth the wait.
Alexandra faces an impossible choice - marry a man she barely knows let alone loves and is more of her fathers vintage. If she refuses she will be completely cut off from her family. I wanted to shake her parents for their virtual cruelty even to the point of refusing her to take her possessions with her and tossing her out with literally the clothes on her back. She takes a stand and goes to teach in a coloured school - another nail in her coffin in this south setting.
Meanwhile her path crosses with Sylas - ambitious and successful owner of the railroad. He recognises in her a strength and purpose which draws him.
Alexandra has reason to be anxious around the railroad as her former fianc was killed only recently in a terrible train crash which Alexandra was also involved in. She will need Sylas strength to overcome her fear and move on with her life.
I also particularly loved the historical additions of hymn writer Phillip Bliss which while tragic was still a great anchor point for the story.
Recommended for anyone looking for a gentle and relaxed story to warm heart. Definitely worth waging on.
KavRCanadaGender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A story that feeds a reader's heart, mind and soulJanuary 9, 2018KavRCanadaGender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5From time to time a book finds its way into your TBR pile that oozes special literary vibes that are hard to ignore. It looks good, it feels good -- it even smells good! And it clamors for attention until you pick it up and open the cover. And once you do -- there's nothing for it but to surrender to the beguiling story within. To Wager Her Heart is just that kind of novel. It's a story that feeds a reader's heart, mind and soul.
The romance is deliciously sublime. Sy is the kind of all-encompassing hero that causes heart flutters and spine chills. He's purposeful in every thing he does. He's kind and sees deep into another's needs
and then quietly goes about providing them. He's gallant with Alexandra even when she snubs him but relentless in his pursuit anyway. She's buried her heart with her fiance and panics when Sy starts to bring it to life again. Definitely an exquisite love story!
I love the way Alexander incorporates real people and events from history into her stories. Her research is meticulous and I always come away having learned something new. This Canadian had never heard of Fisk University or the Jubilee Singers and I am woefully uneducated when it comes to the Reconstruction Era. Some startling facts merge with fiction leaving me breathless and aching. Harsh reality comes into sharp focus because history isn't always kind and taking a hard look at injustices from the past is difficult to do. But so necessary!
So I finished this read a little battered and bruised. But hopeful too. Because Alexandra's and Sy's story celebrates the joy that comes in the midst of sorrow when you have the courage to place your faith wholly in the Lord. "You see, I believe that if the Lord tells me to jump through a wall, it is my part to jump -- and the Lord's to put me through it." (p 250) Facing fears, finding courage, being true to yourself and standing strong for justice -- these are just some of themes that make To Wager Her Heart such a memorable...and mesmerizing...novel. An incredible addition to Tamera Alexander's Belle Mead Plantation series.
Mrs ARS4 Stars Out Of 5Interesting HistoricalJanuary 5, 2018Mrs ARSQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5To Wager Her Heart by author Tamera Alexander is a story of a young woman who has decided to follow her dreams instead of her parent's plans for her life. She does however do this in a most respectful way, even considering her age which is in the mid-twenties. Taking place in Nashville in the year 1871, the Civil War and its aftermaths was still very much on everyone's minds. As the country was changing from the way before the war to the new reality, unfortunately Alexandra was seeing that old prejudices did not want to die. Stepping out on her own, to the best of her abilities, she was also paving the way for more women to do just the same.
This was much more of a historical novel than a romance, although we do get to see a romance bloom between Alexandra and Sylas Rutledge after a rocky beginning. I did appreciate the author's historical details and the real life people she placed in this book. Sylas was a railroad owner and trying to make his name by purchasing more lines and opening up the country's infrastructure. I was unaware of some of the historical facts that even took place closer to my neck of the woods and I am intrigued enough to look closer at that history.
This is the third novel in the series A Belle Meade Plantation, and I have yet to read the first in the series. I still enjoyed To Win Her Favor more (more of a romance historical, more my cup of tea) I did like getting a peak Alexandra's and Sylas's world.
I received a copy of this novel for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
MJSHNJAge: 35-44Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5delightful story set in Nashville, TNJanuary 4, 2018MJSHNJAge: 35-44Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This book is the second book Ive read by Tamera Alexander and shes quickly becoming one of my favorite historical romance authors. I had enjoyed Christmas at Carnton previously (yes, Im reading the books a little out of order here) and knew I would enjoy the authors writing style and research, but I didnt expect to be swept away so completely by the story and the characters.
Im always amazed when real-life events are so seamlessly integrated into fiction that is moving and thought-provoking. Ive learned a bit about railroad safety history as well as the struggles of the freedmen everywhere even years after the end of the war. The story is well-written with a well-paced plot. Sometimes there are lags in the plot line in historical fiction, but there were none in this book. There are solid themes of forgiveness, dependence only on Jesus, and maturity in faith. It was refreshing to see both of the main characters start out with faith, however small, and grow during the book.
Sylas is a swoon-worthy hero. Hes a self-made railroad owner, loyal, compassionate, resourceful, kind, thoughtful, and unswerving in his beliefs though they may cost him. He falls in love with Alexandra first and does everything possible to woo her, slowly and gently. Alexandra is the daughter of a prominent Nashville family still suffering from a broken heart after her fianc is tragically killed in a train accident. She is genteel, lovely, intelligent, hard-working, compassionate, and faithful to what she believes is right and true. Even though teaching at a freedmens university means being shunned by her family and almost all whom she holds dear, she still forges ahead, knowing that this is her calling. The terrible state of most peoples hearts toward the freedmen was absolutely heart-breaking, yet I realize this kind of awful darkness resides even now. In the midst of a tender and delightful romance, the author addressed the heavier aspects of racism and discrimination in 1870s thoughtfully.
I received a copy of the book from Zondervan via NetGalley. I was not required to write a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
BethAge: 25-34Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Wonderful Conclusion - Love this series!November 18, 2017BethAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5To Wager Her Heart is a lovely conclusion to the Belle Meade series. In what Ive come to believe is her signature style, Tamera Alexander brings the Reconstruction to life, rife with racial tension and numerous injustices, yet not without hope and the push for reconciliation.
Alexandra Jamison is an admirable character, surrounded by other admirable figures those teaching and those daring to learn, in a time when both aspirations were fraught with potential danger. Sylas Rutledge is an outsider, requiring assistance as he navigates a business relationship with General Harding, owner of Belle Meade Plantation. Though they clash a bit at first, Sy soon realizes that Alexandra is his best bet to do this is to get some help from Alexandra. Alexandra, who has just forfeited her home in a high-standing Nashville family in order to teach freedmen at Fisk University and in dire need of her own funds.
There are a lot of layers and details in this story that make it unique. The details about railroad expansion are both exciting and dangerous. The temerity in the face of adversity of the teachers at Fisk University and the universitys Jubilee Singers makes for one compelling story. In addition, both Alexandra and Sy must overcome personal adversity, that of fear for Alexandra, and a desire for justice for Sy. The culminating wager is not really a wager at all, but a choice that comes easily to Sy and one for which I applauded his character. Most of all, I applaud the Jubilee Singers, who face prejudice and adversity as they strived to raise money for Fisk. I appreciated the authors note that Alexander includes to talk acknowledge both the persecution and the triumph of the real Jubilee Singers.
Im so glad to have finished such a wonderful series, and recommend all three books and the novella for fans of rich historical fiction, with endearing characters and heartfelt messages.
I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a review positive or otherwise.