Tuesday, January 9, 2018

To Wager Her Heart

GIVEAWAY
ALEXANDER, TAMERA
TO WAGER HER HEART

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 dream -- provided the truth doesn't tear them apart.

Silas Rutledge, new orner of the Northeast Line Railroad, invests everything he has into this new 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 through Nashville's society, and when he meets Alexandra Jamison he quickly decides he's found his tutor. But he soon discovers that the very train accident his father is blamed for causing is what killed Alexandra's fiancé and shattered her world.

Spurning an arranged marriage by her father, Alexandra instead pursues her passion for teaching at Fisk University, the first freedman'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 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?

Sy is willing to risk everything to win over the woman he loves. What he doesn't count on is having to wager he heart to do it.

Set against the real history of Nashville's Belle Meade Plantation and the original Fisk University Jubliee Singers ensemble. To Wager Her Heart is a stirring love story about seeking justice and restoring honor at a time in American history when both were tenuous and hard-won.

My Review:

From time to time a book finds its way into your TBR pile that oozes special literary vibes that are hard to ignore. It looks good, it feels good -- it even smells good! And it clamors for attention until you pick it up and open the cover. And once you do -- there's nothing for it but to surrender to the beguiling story within. To Wager Her Heart is just that kind of novel. It's a story that feeds a reader's heart, mind and soul.

The romance is deliciously sublime. Sy is the kind of all-encompassing hero that causes heart flutters and spine chills. He's purposeful in every thing he does. He's kind and sees deep into another's needs
and then quietly goes about providing them. He's gallant with Alexandra even when she snubs him but relentless in his pursuit anyway. She's buried her heart with her fiance and panics when Sy starts to bring it to life again. Definitely an exquisite love story!

I love the way Alexander incorporates real people and events from history into her stories. Her research is meticulous and I always come away having learned something new. This Canadian had never heard of Fisk University or the Jubilee Singers and I am woefully uneducated when it comes to the Reconstruction Era. Some startling facts merge with fiction leaving me breathless and aching.  Harsh reality comes into sharp focus because history isn't always kind and taking a hard look at injustices from the past is difficult to do. But so necessary!

So I finished this read a little battered and bruised. But hopeful too. Because Alexandra's and Sy's story celebrates the joy that comes in the midst of sorrow when you have the courage to place your faith wholly in the Lord.  "You see, I believe that if the Lord tells me to jump through a wall, it is my part to jump -- and the Lord's to put me through it." (p 250) Facing fears, finding courage, being true to yourself and standing strong for justice -- these are just some of themes that make To Wager Her Heart such a memorable...and mesmerizing...novel. An incredible addition to Tamera Alexander's Belle Mead Plantation series.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of To Wager Her Heart, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to a comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday January 14 2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

36 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great review Kav. You've sold me on this book. I don't think I have ever read anything by Tamara Alexander. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.
    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

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    1. She has a beautiful way with words, Cindy. Hope you get to read something by her soon. Good luck.

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  2. Oh man, I want to read this one! LattebooksAThotmailDOTcom

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  3. Oh, Kav! This book sounds utterly delicious! It sounds like it has it all. A must read for sure!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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  4. Oooh! Tamera Alexander? Count me in! Been looking forward to this book!
    Elly -Indiana-

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    1. Doesn't she write exquisite stories? Good luck, Elly.

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  5. I have this one along with To Win Her Favor on my shelf...yet unread. Sad, I know!! I'm really aiming to whittle down my physical books this year by actually reading them. It's a lofty goal, but I'm running out of shelf space rather quickly...gah!

    I've only read Christmas at Carnton and loved it so much that I can't wait for the rest of the Carnton series. I fell in love with her writing in the first page. You know you've made an author for life and will stalk....er, follow...them with everything they write :-)

    So yeah, "To Wager Her Heart" is a very anticipated read...and though I've heard it can stand alone, I will be reading the first two Belle Meade Plantation books.

    Lovely review Kav, you have my literary taste buds salivating, lol!

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    1. I have Christmas at Carnton on hold at my library. It's still on order though so it will be awhile. This one is fantabulous! Defubutekt (haha -- fingers on the wrong keys -- think I just created a new word. Definition to follow.) I've only read 8 of Tamera Alexander's books but this is my favourite. So impactful and beautifully written.

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  6. oh goodness, this has got to be a page turner. this a great review. I have to go and get this book now. thanks
    quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

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    1. Yes -- you must read it, Lori. Good luck.

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  7. Just finished the book. So so good.

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  8. Such a good book. Good luck everyone.

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    1. We're on the same reading wavelength, Mindy and Lucy!

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  9. I have loved Tamara Alexander's book every since I read TO WIN HER FAVOR. As much as I love that one, I have been so anxious to read TO WAGER HER HEART.

    Thank for your amazing review which makes me want to read this particular book of Tarara's all the more. I love a book that speaks to the heart and makes you "feel" the story as well as adding true to history facts and people making it all the more realistic.

    I would feel privileged to be the very fortunate one selected to receive this great book. Thanks for the chance!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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    1. This is definitely the kind of read you feel right along with the characters. Good luck, Kay.

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  10. Tamara Alexander is one of my favorite authors and I loved this book!!! Your review was perfect. Thanks, Kav

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  11. Tamera is an author I always "stalk" (as Trixi says). Loved this one and C at C also!! Fantastic writer!

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    1. Two more To Wager Her Heart fans!!! Thanks for sharing the love, Pam and Jackie.

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  12. Though I really enjoyed all of Tamera Alexander's Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade books, I think To Wager Her Heart is my favorite. Her books are certainly ones to savor. I was also intrigued by the importance of chocolate chess pie to Alexandra so had to try the recipe in the back of the book. It's very decadent and delicious! No need to enter me in the giveaway since I already have a copy.

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    1. Oooohhh -- you tried the recipe!!! I was afraid it would be too rich. Impressed you gave it a try. Decadent and delicious and chocolate definitely sound divine. Loved the scenes with the chocolate chess pie! Thanks for sharing, Pam.

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  13. Great Review Thanks for sharing and for the chance to win
    iamabho AT gmail DOT com

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  14. Loved this book!!!! Thanks for the chance to win!!! KathrynlvossATgmailDOTcom

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  15. I have read a couple of Tamara's books, but have yet to read this one! It sounds interesting, and I too love learning historical things when I read books. She definitely brings everything to life when she writes!
    LLWaltz [at] gmail [dot] com

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    1. Yes -- it feels like you're living in the book. Good luck, Laura.

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    2. Yes, so true! My sister and I were just discussing this book too, as neither of us has read it yet.

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  16. I love books that share a piece of history I know very little or nothing about. Count me in, please, Kav!

    ckbarker at gmail dot com

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    1. I love learning about history through fiction! Good luck, Cheryl.

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  17. I also enjoy learning new history facts in a book. Looks like another good one!
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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    1. You'll absolutely love To Wager Her Heart, rubynreba. Good luck.

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