Tuesday, August 08, 2017

To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander BOOK REVIEW


Anyone who knows me, knows that TAMERA ALEXANDER is one of my top "go to" authors.  I've met her in person and have loved everything I've read by her.  Every time she writes you can see the love and research and devotion put into the work on each page, in each line.
To Wager Her Heart is no different.


 With fates bound by a shared tragedy, a reformed gambler from the Colorado Territory and a Southern Belle bent on breaking free from society's expectations must work together to achieve their dreams—provided that the truth doesn't tear them apart first.  
Sylas Rutledge, the new owner of the Northeast Line Railroad, invests everything he has into this venture, partly for the sake of the challenge. But mostly to clear his father's name. One man holds the key to Sy's success—General William Giles Harding of Nashville's Belle Meade Plantation. But Harding is champagne and thoroughbreds, and Sy Rutledge is beer and bullocks. Sy needs someone to help him maneuver his way through Nashville's society, and when he meets Alexandra Jamison, he quickly decides he's found his tutor. Only, he soon discovers that the very train accident his father is blamed for causing is what killed Alexandra Jamison's fiancee—and what has broken her heart.
Spurning an arranged marriage by her father, Alexandra instead pursues her passion for teaching at Fisk University, the first freedmen's university in the United States. But family—and Nashville society—do not approve, and she soon finds herself cast out from both. Through connections with the Harding family, Alexandra and Sy become unlikely allies. And despite her first impressions, Alexandra gradually finds herself coming to respect, and even care for this man. But how can she, when her heart is still spoken for? And when Sy's roguish qualities and adventuresome spirit smack more of recklessness than responsibility and honor?
Sylas Rutledge will risk everything to win over the woman he loves. What he doesn't count on is having to wager her heart to do it.
Set against the real history of Nashville's Belle Meade Plantation and the original Fisk University Jubilee Singers ensemble, To Wager Her Heart is a stirring love story about seeking justice and restoring honor at a time in history when both were tenuous and hard-won.


My Thoughts

Once again, Tamera Alexander has woven a beautiful story inside real history. Set in post-Civil War Nashville, and including parts of our nation's past, such as Fisk University (a freedmen's school), The Jubilee Singers, Philip Bliss, and of course the beautiful Belle Meade Plantation, I didn't want to put the book down.  
Tamera did a wonderful job showing us the hard truths of that time, the prejudice, and the shifting in society as freedmen and Southerns attempted to reconstruct their lives. I enjoyed all the characters- the main and minor. The building up of Sylas and Alexandra's relationship was believable and not overdone. It was great to see Uncle Bob and the Hardings again. I also enjoyed the theme of trusting God in everything and of continuing education. Both important during that time period, and today!

To Wager Her Heart is available TODAY!!! It is book #3 in the Belle Meade Plantation series, but can definitely stand alone. 5 stars- Highly Recommend!!

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