To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander (Belle Meade Plantation; 2)

The Synopsis:

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 can help her has vowed to stay away from thoroughbred racing for good.

An Irish-born son 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 start a farm, 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 annual Drayton Stakes at Nashville’s racetrack––the richest race 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. 

Cullen and Maggie need each other in order to achieve their dreams. But their stubborn, wounded hearts––and the escalating violence from a “secret society” responsible for lynchings and midnight raids––may prove too much for even two determined souls.

I received this book from the author/publisher via Netgalley for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.


I first fell in love with Tamera Alexander’s writing when I read A Beauty So Rare, and to this day, it is one of my absolute favorite books. However, I found To Win Her Favor to be lacking in my expectations for this author.

As much as I love romance, I’m surprised that this book caused me to be bored, but I think the blame for that can be on the fact that it’s predictable. In A Beauty So Rare, the romance is surrounded by mysteries, action, and twists that you absolutely never saw coming, but To Win Her favor had “twists” that are predictable to anyone who has read a lot of arranged marriage romances as well as those who read horse racing/redemption stories; both of which I read A LOT of in middle school and high school.

The character’s bonding was nice to read and I did think Cullen and Maggie had a good story. And don’t get me wrong, Tamera Alexander’s writing is simply stunning, that’s why I continue to read her books after all! I just wasn’t as taken with Maggie’s story as I thought I’d be.

Perhaps I just wore myself out of these types of stories because I read so much of them when I was younger. But overall, I’d give it 3 out of 5 stars personally, but I’d still recommend it to fans of Christian romance and horse stories because others may really enjoy it.

There is some mild cursing, action and sexual content (no sex scenes however). The sexual content consists of detailed kissing and making out; the scenes always cut out before our characters get “intimate”.

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