Maggie Linden loves her home, her father, and her horse but is about to lose them all. With her father’s failing health and the threat of losing their beloved home looming close on the horizon, Maggie’s only hope is for her thoroughbred, Bourbon Bell, to win some races. But when the horrors of the world strike, and her jockey and his family leave, Maggie has little hope.
When Cullen McGrath, an Irishman recently arrived from England, arrives in Nashville, he finds he’s as unwelcome as the recently freed slaves. No one will do business with him, give him a loan, or sell him their property. He visits Linden Downs and Maggie’s father makes him a generous offer—one he is hard pressed to refuse. Pay the back taxes on the property and marry his daughter and the land and everything on it is his.
This is my favorite book by Tamera Alexander yet. There are so many themes running throughout this book—a father’s love for his daughter, prejudice against people who are different, trusting a virtual stranger with your future and your dreams—and each and every one of them is handled well. Both Cullen and Maggie are likable characters despite their flaws (Maggie has been sheltered in her world and blind to the plight of others around, even to the point of prejudice only because of what she’s read and heard from other people. Cullen is bound and determined to leave his past behind, even if it means crushing his new wife’s talent and dreams). The supporting characters are given as much attention to character development as Cullen and Maggie which gives more depth to the story. And, as always, characters from Alexander’s other books make cameos—which I always enjoy.
I’ve been to Belle Meade once, when I first moved to Nashville. After reading To Win Her Favor, which brought the people and land to life, I’m ready for another visit.
Available everywhere May 12
****Zondervan Fiction provided me with a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.