To Win Her Favor
By Tamera Alexander
Zondervan, May 2015
About the Book
A gifted rider in a world where ladies never race, Maggie Linden is determined that her horse will become a champion. But the one man who could help her has vowed to stay away from thoroughbred racing forever.
An Irishman 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 begin farming, 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 inaugural Peyton Stakes, the richest race ever 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.
Tamera Alexander is one of my favorite historical authors. Her novels set in Reconstruction Nashville are sweeping and consuming. To Win Her Favor, her latest novel, is a perfect addition.
Maggie Linden finds herself married to Cullen McGrath as the only way to save her family’s storied farm and keep her amazing thoroughbred. Cullen has left Ireland and England behind, only to be confronted with intense prejudice in genteel post Civil War Nashville. The two have to choose whether they can make their marriage more than a business arrangement.
The thread of prejudice and running from the past while someone else wants to embrace a different past brings a poignant tone to the book. There’s also something so compelling about two characters who have to choose whether to love.
The book is also filled with action, twists, turns, and enough mystery and hard choice to make it an absolutely compelling read. This is a book I will read again.
All in all, this book is perfect for those who love a rich, sweeping historical with equal parts history and romance.