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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
Meganleigh8444 Stars Out Of 5A Poignant Story of Love in the Post-Civil War SouthSeptember 22, 2017Meganleigh844Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4If you like the "When Calls the Heart" TV series, I think you'll really enjoy "To Wager Her Heart". "To Wager Her Heart" by Tamera Alexander is the third book in the "Belle Meade Plantation" series. It can also be easily read as a stand-alone. I don't normally like to read a lot of books set in the U.S. during different war periods, but recently I've been picking more of these up and enjoying them more than I thought I would. "To Wager Her Heart" is just such a book. Tamera Alexander has a superb and engaging writing style and creates here a story that draws the reader in. Her characters are also very well written and come to life on the page. She is very good at writing swoon-worthy moments!
"To Wager Her Heart" is set in the post-Civil War South. It is fascinating to read about the South and what life was like for everyday people after the war ravaged their land and their hearts. Ms. Alexander does such a great job portraying this "in-between" time where a lot of change is taking place, but there's also many people who still hold to the "old ideals", including the father of our main character (Alexandra).
I love how Ms. Alexander incorporates real life into the fictional story, like the freedman's school that Alexandra teaches at (Fisk University) and the Jubilee Singers. I love that the university emphasizes knowledge, not only of the basic subjects, but of Christ. Despite these many good things, it was hard for me to read at points, due to the vivid descriptions and the heavy subject matter. Like I said, it's not my favorite time period to read about, precisely because of all of weightier issues that come along with it. But it is important to remember these periods in our nation's history as well and the courageous men and women who went before us.
There are many important messages in this book. Throughout the story, Ms. Alexander conveys the lesson that we're all created in God's image and it doesn't matter what color skin you have, which is still a very pertinent message today with the recent racial tensions and the white supremacy movement. I was encouraged by Alexandra's struggle with fear after tragedy and how she is able to overcome that fear through her faith. Tragedy, loss, love, overcoming, and justice are all themes that are woven into this amazing story!
Content: This is a clean read, but it is more on the edgy, gritty side of Christian fiction. One character was in a train accident and she often thinks about it or has flashbacks. The descriptions of the accident and aftermath are very detailed and vivid. The word "negro" is used in context. There is talk about a woman's "assets" and the author implies that a character is a prostitute. The prostitute propositions a man, and this man has been to a brothel before. The Lord's name is taken in vain once. A person accidentally gets drunk. A man tries not to look at a woman's dcolletage. There is some sexual innuendo. There is talk of how slaves used to commit suicide.
Genre: Christian historical fiction; Romance
Rating: I give this book four stars.
I want to thank Tamera Alexander, Zondervan, and the Fiction Guild for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions CFR 16, Part 255.
bookstoregal5 Stars Out Of 5i love the history!September 21, 2017bookstoregalQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0Good story, especially for those of you who like historical fiction with some romance. I had not read the first 3 books in this series, but I liked this one pretty well, even so. I really like to read historical stories that have some basis in fact, so that I can learn something new. I love that this book features the Jubilee Singers! Very interesting!!
The one drawback for me was that it had maybe a little too much smooching near the end. . Overall, a good book.
I was given this book by the Fiction Guild in exchange for an honest review. I am in no way required to give a favorable review. Thanks!
RobbyeFayeAnniston, ALAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5To Wager Her HeartSeptember 20, 2017RobbyeFayeAnniston, ALAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Tamera Alexander's To Wager Her Heart's historical novel is replete with real characters and events. With slight literary license, she brings to life the stories of Belle Meade Plantation, Fisk University, Jubilee Singers, Philip Paul Bliss (composer and author of hymns), the Ashtabula River rail disaster and the Dutchman's Curve train wreck.
The tapestry of the tale is woven so well, the lines between your real life and fiction become indistinct and blurred, causing you to wonder if you have stepped into the narrative or the characters have stepped out of it.
To Wager Her Heart is the third and final installment of the Belle Meade Plantation Novels. However, you will not miss anything as it can very easily be read as a stand-alone.
I received To Wager Her Heart from Zondervan Publishers and the author, Tamera Alexander. (Update: I also received a copy from The Fiction Guild) However, I was not obligated to write a review.
Cynthia5 Stars Out Of 5Another Wonderful Read from TamaraSeptember 13, 2017CynthiaQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild. I was not asked or compensated for a favorable review. All thoughts are my own. This is the 3rd book of the series and it is another wonderful book from Tamara. This makes you think about how families in the south made decisions based on how they were perceived about what there station was. Alexandra had lost her fiancee in a train accident the year before and felt lost. He father wanted her to marry an old man she had no feelings for because she was getting older. Sy came to Nashville to bid on the construction of an extension of the rail line & find what happened to his step-father in the same train accident. He needed to learn how to deal with the Southern men in business and Alexandra would be his ticket. He didn't expect to fall in love. She was banished from her family home because she was going to be a teacher at Fisk University. She needed to find her steps. But with this she needed to get over her fear of riding on trains, wonderful things come to those who give everything in God's hands. This is a wonderful historical read, and again Tamara draws you in and you can't put it down.
BookLoverGender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Definitely book hangover worthy!September 13, 2017BookLoverGender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I have so many thoughts regarding this book. I almost cried a time or two, and it definitely left me with many things to ponder. It's one of those stories that has stuck with me, a few weeks later, I'm still noticing the impact on my thoughts and reactions. I love that! I so enjoy reading books that challenge my preconceived notions and cause me to stop and think and this one does exactly that.
I always enjoy and appreciate the depth of historical detail in Ms. Alexander's books. Her writing pulls me in until it seems I'm right there with them, on the road to Belle Meade Plantation, or in the classroom with Alexandra, or riding the train. The story in set in the years following the Civil War and much of it focuses on the discord in the South regarding the teaching of Freedmen and overcoming biases. It's a very controversial topic, but I thought the author handled it with grace. I may have picked this book up expecting an entertaining story, but I found so much more than that and turned the last page with a challenge set before me. I also appreciated how the story ended. I don't want to spoil anything, but it is so realistic and I liked that it wasn't an unrealistic "everything works out perfectly" ending. It was real, but also hope-filled.
I so enjoyed getting to know Alexandra and Sylas! Alexandra is kind and caring, determined and brave. Desiring to follow her dreams, she stepped into the unknown and maybe stumbled a few times, but got back up and kept fighting for what she believed in. I loved seeing her character grow and change throughout the story as she learned to look past the color of a person's skin and see them for who they are. Sylas is also a great character and one that suited Alexandra perfectly. He's a bit rougher around the edges, but with an integrity that runs deep. I appreciated how he stood for what he valued and didn't back down, regardless of the cost. He also loves to ruffles Alexandra's oh, so proper feathers and defy society's expectations. Both of these people became dear friends over the course of their journey and I was cheering for them as I turned the last page.
The only person I truly disliked was actually George White. I'm not sure whether he's one of the historical figures found in this story or not, but I found myself frustrated with him often. I realize he's described as abrupt and determined and he truly wanted what was best for the students, but I personally found him to be overbearing and rather rude. His appearances I could've done without, though he definitely didn't ruin the story.
Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and stories that leave you with a "hangover" for a few days.
*My thanks to the publisher for my complimentary copy of this book! I was not required to write a review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.