To Win Her Favor by Tamera AlexanderTo Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander

To Win Her Favor

byTamera Alexander

Paperback | May 12, 2015

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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 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 Journ...
Title:To Win Her FavorFormat:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 1 inPublished:May 12, 2015Publisher:ZondervanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0310291070

ISBN - 13:9780310291077

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Romance, Racism, & Race Horses This is the first novel I've read by romance author Tamera Alexander and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Set in Tennessee shortly after the Civil War, To Win Her Favor takes full advantage of the horse breeding and racing the area is famous for as well as creating a vivid depiction of the difficulties freedmen (former slaves) had finding their places in the new society.  It also shows the distrust of foreigners prevalent at the time, particularly the Irish who "need not apply". Tennessee horse breeding society was a closed community of men — white men, powerful men — who were, for the most part, loathe to accept change.  All of the jockeys were black boys; all of the trainers were men.  So when Maggie Linden's thoroughbred mare runs in a race, it is under her father's name even though she has raised and trained Bourbon Belle since she was born.  Like many of the great plantations in the south, Maggie's home is in danger.  Run down, only Maggie and her father left to run it, there are no crops planted and all of the livestock has been sold except for Bourbon Belle.  When her 10-year-old jockey Willie witnesses the hanging of his neighbour, his family decides to head for Chicago.  Maggie was counting on Bourbon Belle to win the inaugural Peyton Stakes in order to save her home from auction but she must have a jockey in order to do it. For Irish immigrants coming to America for a fresh start, the south was an inhospitable place.  Cullen McGrath runs into discrimination everywhere he turns.  "No Irish need apply" signs were throughout the town, the blacksmith he had agreed to buy the handsome Percheron tried to change the deal, land suddenly wasn't for sale, and powerful bullies were "encouraging" him to move further east or south to settle.  But Cullen liked the area and had promised his late wife that they'd farm in Tennessee where the green hills looked like home, and while she and their little Katie had died of typhoid on the trip over, he intended to keep his promise. Gilbert Linden, Maggie's father, is gravely ill and hiding it from her.  He is desperate to find a way to have her keep her home, Linden Downs, but without a jockey, they can't count on race money to pay their back taxes and loan and the farm will go to auction.  When Linden meets Cullen, he likes what he sees in the strong Irishman, in the way he talks of his family, the way he handles a frightened stallion, and his fear of gambling and drink, vices his father had displayed to the detriment of the family.  Before the afternoon visit is done, Linden and Cullen have struck a strange bargain — Cullen will pay off the debt of the farm in exchange for full ownership but the caveat is that Cullen will marry Maggie. An interesting plot that sees two strong characters first pulling against each other but eventually pulling together to fight discrimination, violence, and bloodshed as they begin to lift Linden Downs to become a thriving concern.  The Ku Klux Klan comes into it, lots of insight into horse racing, a strong power in the community becomes a staunch ally, and Cullen and Maggie when support and friendship from the workers they treat with respect and dignity.  When the daughter of one of them turns out to be a natural rider, Cullen and Maggie have to overcome obstacles and personal conflicts before they can agree about horse racing.  This is a powerful story in addition to being a romance and a very fast read because it is so hard to put down.  I'll be looking for more by Tamera Alexander for sure.
Date published: 2017-07-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lovely Travel to Belle Meade as Maggie and her mare hope to take the top purse in the Peyton Stakes. Unforgettable characters who imprint themselves on your heart.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Horses and the American South. Lots to love in this story This was the first Tamera Alexander book I've read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. In this novel, she takes readers to the American South where horse breeding and horse racing is a major part of the culture. The characters are brilliantly portrayed. As a horse afficionado and having owned several show horses, I loved the connection with these beautiful creatures. The plot is strong and multi-layered. There was plenty going on to keep me engrossed and turning the pages. I especially enjoyed the main characters, Cullen McGrath and Maggie Linden, who are people of high moral fibre with strong beliefs. I enjoyed how these characters grew closer together as the story progressed. The author's writing is so seamless yet detailed that it is easily envisioned in one's mind. Definitely talented, Tamera Alexander knows how to spin a good yarn, one the captivates, while putting the main characters through conflict. Discrimination and prejudice are also minor themes tackled in this book. It is a book that warms the heart, solidifies our personal convictions, and definitely entertains. Highly recommended! I'll definitely be reading more from this author.
Date published: 2015-06-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from To Win Her Favour Did NOT Win Mine! Until now Tamera Alexander has been a christian fiction author that I would recommend to any teen or adult without hesitation. Masterfully written historical fiction that while it contains an element of romance is clean and tasteful. Well. Not so much this book. I am shocked and disappointed by some of the more intimate bed scenes in the book. I know they are married but I do not need to know about ANYTHING that happens when they are NAKED! Give me a break! Occasionally in christian fiction there will be a scene with married people but generally they are left very vague, or it's a conversation. However, this story goes too far on more than one occasion (undressing, hands under covers, one on top of the other). I am married, but I don't need that picture in my mind, and certainly the teens who may pick up this book don't need to read what this is clearly suggesting. Yes, this sort of thing goes on and we all know it but I choose not to read and or to watch sexually intimate content. I am disappointed in this author, even though it seems to be 'on trend' for a lot of christian fiction out there right now, and I am equally disappointed in the CHRISTIAN publisher who printed it. Maybe if we speak up standards will be upheld and christian fiction will be held to a higher level than what you might find in a secular book. Just because it's true to life doesn't mean it can't be written in a less graphic way. Please check out any of her previous novels, they are wonderful and so full of history. I received this book from Litfuse and Zondervan for the purpose of an honest review. My opinion is my own.
Date published: 2015-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Page-turner Such a riveting story with so many interesting elements you don't often see in historical fiction. First up -- the treatment of the Irish in the 1800s. Alexander describes the narrow-minded prejudice with appalling clarity. Even the heroine isn't exempt from it. Quite an eye opener. As is the description of the plight of the freed slaves in the post war South. Both elements of our history that are hard to read but important to remember. And I loved the thoroughbred racing elements in the story. Especially since it's Maggie who has the passion for horses and the God-given talent to train them. So maverick for a woman of that time which ups the conflict and makes for a page-turning read. Alexander pairs the two most unsuitable people together and creates a sweeping love story with plenty of angst and a whole lot of passion. In fact, this marriage of convenience novel definitely pushes the envelope when it comes to portraying the intimacies of marriage in a Christian fiction book. It is tastefully done, but sensitive readers should beware. Love the contrasts between Maggie and Cullen. She's defensive, judgemental and a little bit of a snob at the beginning of the story. Cullen is apologetically brazen and surprisingly compassionate. And oh so very patient -- and he needs to be as far as Maggie's concerned! But he's determined to win her favor. You'll have to read the book to see if he's successful. Cautionary note: there is a bit of questionable language. Not a lot, but blatant enough to mention. As well as the use of the derogatory (though historically accurate) word for Blacks. My thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group and the publisher through Net Galley for a review copy of this book.
Date published: 2015-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Saving Linden Downs 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.
Date published: 2015-04-29

Editorial Reviews

"The quiet undertones of seeking redemption while keeping the faith should easily satisfy Tamera Alexander's growing fan base."