I don’t read historical fiction as much as contemporary because it’s harder for me to find books with the perfect blend of historically accurate stories, an element of faith and realistic characters that I can relate to. Tamera Alexander’s stories have that perfect balance where I’m both entertained and educated in a way that it’s just part of the story. To Win Her Favor was an enjoyable book that kept me enthralled.
Maggie Linden’s dream is to race Bourbon Belle, the thoroughbred horse she’s raised and trained. She and her father are in danger of losing the family’s home because of taxes they owe and the prize money will save them, but then she loses her jockey. When her father runs into Irishman Cullen McGrath, Mr. Linden proposes a plan that will save their home, but will change Maggie’s life forever. At a time when the Irish were thought of as only a little better than the freedman, accepting Cullen’s assistance is not an easy decision.
I enjoyed how the author didn’t tell you certain things about Cullen’s past, leaving a mystery to be unraveled as the story progressed. Both Maggie and Cullen are keeping secrets from each other, creating enough conflict to keep the story interesting. There was a good amount of supporting characters and I really became invested in each one’s outcome.
This story has a little more intimacy than I’m used to seeing in Christian fiction, but as the characters are married at that point, it’s understandable. Those who are looking for a completely clean romance may be offended, but I thought it was tastefully done.
I’d recommend this story to fans of historical or romance. While it is the second book of the Belle Meade Series, it can be read as a standalone. While neither Cullen or Maggie appear in the first story, I’d recommend reading To Whisper Her Name first just to get more of the background on some of the secondary characters and the events of the time period.
I really enjoyed this book and it’s one I’ll definitely read again. I’d give it 5/5 stars.
I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.