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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
|Dimensions: 8.4 X 5.5 (inches)|
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.
mjk1085 Stars Out Of 5Wonderful Step Back in TIme!November 3, 2017mjk108Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5"No matter where you're going, God is already there. He's already on the train. He's already waiting for us at the first stop in Cincinnati. There is nowhere we can go--by carriage, wagon, ship, or train--where he is not already there, holding us in the palm of his hand."
--Words of wisdom from Ella's mom
Tamera Alexander once again transports us back in time to Nashville during the year 1871. A wonderful blend of true historical facts mingled with a fiction storyline runs through this outstanding novel highlighting Alexandra Jamison's heartfelt battle for independence to follow her heart's calling as an educator.
Alexandra must first break free of a domineering father and the expectations of society in order to fulfill her dream. Getting hired by the Fisk University, a freedmen's university, is only the start of a life changing course of events for Alexandra. Her choice to teach at the university leaves her without a home, money, or family.
However, during the course of events, Alexandra meets Sylas Rutledge, a mine owner from Colorado trying to bid on a railroad near the Belle Meade Plantation. The story follows Alexandra and Sy as they each pursue their dreams and struggle to find out if they can surmount a past that stands between them and build a future in spite of their differences.
The historical detail encompasses railroads, Fisk University and its Jubilee Singers, and touches once again on Belle Meade Plantation, in addition to the struggles for the general recovery of the South following the Civil War. The characters feel like real people that will touch your heart with their stories, struggles, and efforts. The themes running through the novel are many; forgiveness, acceptance, family, prejudice, and realization of fulfilling dreams in different ways.
A great read! I highly recommend this novel for anyone with an interest in historical inspirational fiction. An engrossing story that will hold your attention!
This ARC copy was received from Zondervan and The Fiction Guild in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
LucyWVAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Powerful..ImpactfulNovember 1, 2017LucyWVAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Powerful, well researched, well written, and emotional read are just some thoughts that come to mind upon finishing. This is book three in the Belle Mead Plantation Series, but I had no problem reading it as a standalone. This era of history is brought to life in a beautiful story that you can easily identify with. The characters are real and the sacrifices that were made to educate freedmen were selfless. The scene at the slave pens was so emotional and you will definitely need tissues. I can almost hear those Jubilee Singers and see their faith. What an example to us to be better people. Tamera Alexander has a gift to pen a book that draw us in and keeps us engrossed till the end. One of my favorite books this year. Deserves to be read and reread.
I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction Guild. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
Jennybug524 Stars Out Of 5To Wager Her HeartOctober 11, 2017Jennybug52Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 44 stars- Tamera Alexander is one of my all time favorite authors. I devour everything she writes. Her storytelling is masterful and she has a way of weaving together a tale that is both heart warming and real. Many of her characters in past books have endeared themselves to me. And not always just the main characters. Oftentimes, minor characters and their stories will stay with me long after I've read the book.
This story is no different. I fell in love with Alexandra and Sylas, the main characters. They both had heart wrenching backstories and I enjoyed reading how those circumstances/events/people helped mold their character. Even though neither Alexandra's fiance nor Sylas' stepfather were alive in the book, their influence and integrity lived on.
For me this book was all about overcoming adversity; realizing that God created you for a purpose, figuring out that purpose (often through the help and influence of others) and then boldly striving to live out that purpose. I loved how Tamera weaved the story of Fisk University and the Jubilee Singers into Alexandra and Sylas' story. The combination of fact and fiction was very fascinating. Ella and the other singers were another amazing example of boldly believing in God's purpose and striving to fulfill it even when it seemed impossible. Having to overcome centuries of prejudice and fight for the very things that so many of us take for granted, the students at Fisk were an inspiration.
I always look forward to Tamera's books and can't wait to read her next one. I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
vjonesSt Paul, MNAge: 45-54Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5perfect mix of history and romanceOctober 11, 2017vjonesSt Paul, MNAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4To Wager Her Heart is the perfect combination of history and romance. It is a fascinating story depicting the struggles of newly freed slaves and post-Civil war America. `In this newest installment, the characters are unforgettable and truly captured my attention. I am a big fan of historical fiction. And I always enjoy Tamera Alexanders books because of her attention to detail and significant research. To Wager Her Heart is filled with historical facts about the first freedmens University and Belle Meade Plantation.
In To Wager Her Heart, one of the main characters is faced with the decision of following a dream even when it disagrees with popular opinion or beliefs of both family and friends. Alex has to adapt to a much different social status . She also had to come face to face with her own preconceived notions and prejudices. It is fascinating to watch her journey which started with losing everything that was dear to her. She was sent from her home with nothing except the clothes on her back.
To Wager Her Heart is the third of the Belle Meade Plantation series. While each can be read as standalone, so much can be gained by reading all three in the series. Many of the characters are in all three books. I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
SemmieAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A Lovely Historical FictionOctober 10, 2017SemmieAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5** "None of us knows what we're fully capable of doing until God leads us to a place where we realize our strength is nothing compared to his. He says to take a step, yet you look out and see nothing but thin air in your path. Yet, he calls you on. And only when you finally trust him and take that step into nothingness do you discover you're standing on solid ground." **
Tamera Alexander continues her Belle Meade Plantation series with "To Wager Her Heart," a delightful historical fiction novel with just enough history, just enough fiction, and just enough romance.
Twenty-five-year-old Alexandra Jamison hails from one of Nashville's founding families. With that comes certain expectations -- like marrying a much older man whom she doesn't love. But she wants her life to have more meaning than a socially acceptable arranged marriage.
A year ago Alexandra faced a devastating loss -- she was on a deadly train crash that claimed the life of her beloved fiance David, a university professor who strived to help the freedmen advance their lives now that the Civil War is over. Inspired by David, and after hearing a performance by Fisk University's Jubilee Singers, Alexandra decides to teach for the freedmen's university -- a decision that alienates her from her family.
Sylas Rutledge, a small railroad owner from Colorado, is in town to bid on a Belle Meade railway project. But he is also in town because of the deadly train crash from a year ago -- his stepfather was the train engineer blamed for the accident. Sy hopes to clear his father's name and find the true story behind the train crash.
As Alexandra's and Sy's paths continue to bring them together, they begin to develop stronger feelings toward each other. But they also grow deeper in their relationships with their own selves, as well as with God.
"To Wager Her Heart" is a tremendous story of sticking with one's beliefs, no matter the cost to one's self -- to stand up and fight for what one believes in. It's a story about pursuing dreams, finding answers and following God's leading; overcoming fear and the power that we have over it; and having a thirst of knowledge because education means freedom, no matter your station in life. It also reminds us that we each have a purpose and we should strive to fulfill that purpose.
A major theme that runs throughout "To Wager Her Heart" is our dependence on Jesus, and how God provides for our needs. While Alexandra is at Fisk, she becomes close to the group of singers who ultimately become the Jubilee Singers and tour throughout the country. Many times during the story, they sing "Give Me Jesus," an old Negro spiritual song, reminding us of our need for Jesus at all times: "In the morning when I rise, in the morning when I rise, in the morning when I rise, give me Jesus." Alexandra learns this message again and again, including when she's asked to travel with the singers -- thus having to get over her fear and ride a train once again.
Even though "To Wager Her Heart" is part of a series, it can easily be read as a standalone novel. Alexander's latest novel is a great fictional story that circles around real places and real events and real people. For more information on what's real and what's not, check out her Web site at www.TameraAlexander.com.
A final amazing quote to wrap up -- as a Fisk official says to Alexandra: "There will always be someone who has suffered more -- or less -- than you. To think the person who has suffered more, in your estimation, is somehow more worthy is just as prideful in nature as thinking that the person who has suffered less, in your estimation, is not quite as holy as you are. ... God alone sees our lives from start to finish and ordains what your suffering and mine will be. For he alone sees what we each must endure to become more like his Son and to be made ready for eternity. For though we are all his, we are not all the same."
Five stars out of five.
Thomas Nelson provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.