To Wager Her Heart (A Belle Meade Plantation Novel) by Tamera Alexander (review by Cathy)

To Wager Her Heart

 

About the book:

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 dreams—provided that the truth doesn’t tear them apart first.

Sylas Rutledge, the new owner of the Northeast Line Railroad, invests everything he has into this 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 his way through Nashville’s society, and when he meets Alexandra Jamison, he quickly decides he’s found his tutor. Only, he soon discovers that the very train accident his father is blamed for causing is what killed Alexandra Jamison’s fiancee—and what has broken her heart.

Spurning an arranged marriage by her father, Alexandra instead pursues her passion for teaching at Fisk University, the first freedmen’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 her 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? And when Sy’s roguish qualities and adventuresome spirit smack more of recklessness than responsibility and honor?

Sylas Rutledge will risk everything to win over the woman he loves. What he doesn’t count on is having to wager her heart to do it.

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

 

My review (5-stars)

This is the third and final book in the Belle Meade Plantation series.  I’m going to state the obvious here, the cover is absolutely gorgeous, isn’t it?    Having said that, let me say that the story is rich in history, has engaging characters and is beautifully written.

I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Fisk University and  Jubilee Singers.   Ms. Alexander captured my heart in her writing of the freedmen and their desire for an education and the struggles the university faced financially.

I will always remember Alexandra and admire her for her strength and determination making her one of my favorite fictional characters in recent memory.  Sylas and Ella are both amazing characters that I adored.

As sad as I am to see this series end, I must say that it has a wonderful ending.  To Wager Her Heart is a book that I will want to read again.   If you read this book even one time, I think you’ll be glad you did.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher and have given my honest opinion.

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