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To Win Her Favor (Belle Meade Plantation Series #2)

Tamera Alexander
To Win Her Favor (Belle Meade Plantation Series #2)

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 thoro... Read More

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Item # 1553205


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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 type: Book
  • Format: Softcover
  • Release Date: May 12, 2015
  • UPC: 9780310291077
  • Volumes/Discs: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Publish Date: May 12, 2015
  • Language: English
  • Audience Age Maximum: 0
  • Audience Age Minimum: 0
  • BISAC: "FIC042030"
  • ISBN: 0310291070

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Tale of the ole South during the civil war time. by Lesa on 8/12/2015
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I was truly mesmerized with the book from the moment I started reading it. I enjoyed the attention to detail of the time period and detail to the southern way of life in that time. This is truly a story of intrigue and even a little mystery. but as always it is a story of family and love and joining together for the greater cause.

A father with a keen incite to push his daughter to do what in that time was not the most popular thing and that is marry out of the southern realm. But when you read you will see they are a match made in heaven and they will prevail though all of life's issues.

A product sample was supplied to me or for my reading to give my honest and unbiased review.

Review from Rambles of a SAHM by Fitzysmom on 7/13/2015
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Southern landowners fell on some pretty tough times following the Civil War. Many lost what their fathers and grandfathers had struggled to achieve. While others had to make hard choices in order to keep their land. One of those difficult choices is put before the Linden family.

A marriage of convenience seems to be an answer to prayer to Gilbert Linden and Cullen McGrath. But to Maggie Linden it represents the only way to save her family's land and keep her beloved horse Bourbon Belle. The prospect of being married to an Irishman does not sit well with her, but she finds herself without any other viable options.

It turns out that the whole situation is brought about by Divine Providence. Sometimes when we feel like we are in the midst of an impossible situation God uses it to refine us. And refining is just what Cullen and Maggie both need.

Tamera Alexander takes on some tough subjects in this novel and doesn't bother to sugar coat them. Not only were blacks still being persecuted, the Irish were also looked down upon. When we look back on this time from our current perspective it seems so brutal and barbaric. Unfortunately it was commonplace and we would do well to learn from it.

While the book has serious undertones there is still a very steamy and romantic storyline going on. While Cullen and Maggie's marriage was a business agreement to Maggie, Cullen was determined to win her favor. The ways in which he undertakes that are a delightful read that will remind you of the beauty a loving marriage can reflect.

As with most of her books, Tamera Alexander has included a set of discussion questions that would be beneficial to any book club. I look forward to sharing this book with my local group. It is sure to be a source of great discussion.

I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.

Well Written Story from Tamera Alexander. by Charity on 7/2/2015
Rating

Tamera Alexander is a great author and one whose books I enjoy reading. They are historical and while you learn fascinating tidbits from the past, you also delve into a wonderful story often full of lessons we could all use some help with. The plot for To Win Her Favor is different than many and deals with a marriage of convenience but also a woman who wants to race horses. Not one you normally come across:) And she pens it beautifully!

The story itself is well written. I have always loved the way Mrs Alexander tells her stories and this one is no different. Maggie is a fighting stubborn woman who wants to race her mare, no matter what others think. But when she finds out her father is slowly losing strength and their house is going under, she doesn't expect what happens. She is urged into a marriage of convenience with an Irishman, Cullen McGrath, by none other than her own father! The two of them clash quite a bit but I love how gentle and persistent Cullen is. and I definitely understand where Maggie is coming from so I don't fault her in the least. There are a couple parts between them that I would caution readers over. Not anything explicit but still somewhat brings you to the marriage bed and then shuts the door. A little bit close for my taste but I just skimmed over it and went on with the story. Still, this is a book that went on my keeper shelf and won't be leaving anytime soon. Loved it!!

"Tamera Alexander"= Excellence in Christian Historical Fiction by Babbling Becky L on 6/13/2015
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Long Awaited, To Win Her Favor, this second book of the Belle Meade Plantation series, will forever be a standout in my mind.Tamera Alexander, whose writing is beyond excellent, recounts the era immediately following the Civil War,when prejudice against African-Americans and Irish was strong and considered acceptable in much of southern society. The faith aspect is subtle, yet a strong influence in the characters' lives. Discussion questions to follow the novel,causing one to evaluate his/her own heart. This tome has been making its mark on hearts and hopefully will influence people to examine their own prejudices today, even as they are entertained and learning history.

Maggie Linden is a young lady who dreams of racing her horse,Bourbon Belle, in the Peyton Stakes, in an effort to save the family farm. Her ailing father, however,has different plans to save the land. He arranges for her to marry an Irishman, Cullen McGrath, whom they barely know. Tensions abound as the KKK rears its ugly head, prejudice against the Irish causes many setbacks for the struggling McGraths, and the McGraths' marriage teeters.

I loved how Ms. Alexander writes with such precision. She gives life even to the emotions, ambiance, and inanimate objects. A few examples are: "the tense silence a third partner in the room...' and "nails...now pulled away in rebellion." How can one not smile when reading such masterful, vibrant, writing brushstrokes?

When the backstories of Kizzy's family are explained, the reader's emotions are pulled to the surface, and erupt as tears. One wants to go out and fight injustice, as it is presented in all its horrors. Yet, as one reads the book and the discussion questions, one begins to see that this book is meant to challenge modern day prejudices and injustices. Fighting softly, breaking open our hearts.

Will Maggie journey from seeing her earthly father as her strong tower to viewing her husband as her strong tower to ultimately allowing the God of the universe to be her hiding place, her source of strength and strong tower?

So many quotables. I will include just one here. "There will come a time when a man will have to boldly stand for what he believes or everything he holds dear will be taken from him. And those he loves."

In conclusion, what a book! Don't miss it! I originally bought the ebook, but I gratefully received the paperback book from Goodreads FirstReads, Litfuse, and the author in exchange for an honest review.

One of those books that you don't want to put down, and you don't want to end! by Robin on 5/26/2015
Rating

Christian historical romance set in 1869 Nashville, Tennessee. An excellent read! Great for a summer read or any time you want to soak into a good book. There are so many good points to mention about this book!

Taking place after the Civil War is over, Maggie and her father have been trying to hang onto their farm. Little by little as their wealth decreases so does their social standing. They're right at the point of having the farm and everything on it put up for auction, when Irishman Cullen comes to town looking to purchase some land.

I knew that the Irish were not exactly popular when they came to America, and often competed with African Americans for jobs, but I didn't realize that Southerners persecuted the Irish and they were run out of town just as African Americans were.

This is also based on the real Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville and the thoroughbred horses that came from there and the neighboring Plantation. Maggie has raised Bourbon Belle and hopes to race her, win the purse and save their farm. But they're about to lose the farm before the race takes place. Maggie's father meets Cullen who is riding on the grounds and gets to know him. He sells the farm to Cullen with the agreement that he will also marry and take care of Maggie.

This story is made of endearing strong characters and biblical wisdom, life after the Civil War and struggle of social and racial class. Nothing comes easy to any of these characters, and you find yourself wanting to fight their battles right along with them. This is one of those books that you don't want to put down, and you don't want to end! It's the second book in a series, but works as a stand alone.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Zondervan Fiction and the Netgalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”. http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html

To Save Linden Farm by Maureen on 4/29/2015
Rating

Mail order bride, nope, mail order groom, not quite, more like 1860’s Nashville TN and a father picking someone off the highway as a prospective son-in-law. This time period is just after the Civil War, we are in the South, and so many families are hurting. Now the carpetbaggers are taking over, or the less than scruples individuals who take from those who are hurting and looing everything, besides their loved ones.
Cullen McGrath is looking for land; he wants to fulfill his deceased wives wish. Everywhere he turns he hits prejudice, former slaves and Irishmen are lumped together as being unreliable and lazy. No one wants to sell anything to him, and he is told to leave town.
Now he is offered a picturesque piece of property, and all that goes with it, and all he has to do is marry Mr. Linden’s daughter. Maggie knows she has to marry this man she has never met in order to save Linden Downs.
Will Maggie go through with marrying this man, and an Irishman at that? Will she be able to race her beloved horse, or will the new owner take away her dreams? It all lies in her hands, which way her decision goes.
Come along with for a different look at the post Civil War era, and how so many lives were affected. I didn’t want the book to end, and there are some unanswered questions here, and I am happy that there is another book coming. Yeah!
I received this book through the Litfuse Book Bloggers book tour, and was not required to give a positive review.

Brining Historic Nashville to Life by Suzie on 4/21/2015
Rating

This is my favorite book by Tamera Alexander yet. There are so many themes running throughout this book—a father’s love for his daughter, prejudice against people who are different, trusting a virtual stranger with your future and your dreams—and each and every one of them is handled well. Both Cullen and Maggie are likable characters despite their flaws (Maggie has been sheltered in her world and blind to the plight of others around, even to the point of prejudice only because of what she’s read and heard from other people. Cullen is bound and determined to leave his past behind, even if it means crushing his new wife’s talent and dreams). The supporting characters are given as much attention to character development as Cullen and Maggie which gives more depth to the story. And, as always, characters from Alexander’s other books make cameos—which I always enjoy.

I’ve been to Belle Meade once, when I first moved to Nashville. After reading To Win Her Favor, which brought the people and land to life, I’m ready for another visit.

****Zondervan Fiction provided me with a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.


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