- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 15 hours and 23 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Zondervan
- Audible.com Release Date: May 12, 2015
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00WGYC08S
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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To Win Her Favor Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Maggie dreams of seeing her racehorse, Bourbon Belle, run in an upcoming race. Her family’s home is on the verge of being auctioned off, and if they don’t come up with an answer soon, they’re going to lose it all. Her jockey is moving away and it seems like all hope is lost.
Cullen has come to America to escape being imprisoned for something he didn’t do, but ends up with a broken heart. Now, he’s come to Nashville to try and buy some land and honor his wife’s wishes. The problem is, there’s so much prejudice that he people won’t give him any credit or let him participate in any auctions. Cullen meets Maggie’s father one day. Her father is a sick man and wants to do what he can to secure a stable future for her.
Maggie’s father offers to let Cullen buy the plantation for less money, but he has to marry his daughter and promise to take care of her. Cullen isn’t fond of the idea at first, but after some thought, agrees. Maggie knows that her father is ill, so she ends up agreeing to the marriage as well. She’d thought he was handsome until he opened his mouth. The Irish brogue puts her off, because she’s been taught that the Irish are not to be trusted and are fond of fighting and drinking.
As these two come to know each other better, Maggie is challenged about the way she views Cullen and also the former slaves that he’s now employing. At first, she’s embarrassed by the thought she has to claim this Irishman as her husband, but her views slowly change until she questions everything she’s known her entire life. It makes it easier when Cullen has the patience of a saint!
I liked this book a lot. Normally, anything to do with horses appeals to me anyway, but this story was great. The way the author dealt with the topic of prejudice was eye-opening. There are scenes of violence and lynching in there, but I think it was handled in a good way. There’s also a few moments of marital bliss, but it was tame enough that it didn’t make this prude blush.
You can read this book alone. I didn’t see any mentions of the main characters from the first book in there. I came to sympathize a great deal with one of the minor characters, Savannah, and was glad to read there would be a novella about her coming out in July 2015. To Mend a Dream will tell her story and I look forward to it. Recommended.
*I received a copy of this book from Zondervan through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I honestly didn't like the heroine for awhile, but I think that's probably a common reaction. She's been spoiled, and raised in a good home, but a prejudiced home, because, well, let's be honest: being prejudiced was seen as normal. She slowly grows out of this and it isn't preachy or fake when she changes. I appreciated Tamera tackling that topic because many would rather craft stories about the victim than the one who has the negative, unhealthy viewpoint, showing how they grow. It takes a gifted writer to pull that off, keeping us from hating such a character. While I can't say I ever love her, I did finally like her, and I related to her.
I enjoyed the hero, but hoped for more with him. I appreciate how he tackled racism and prejudice. Instead of whining about it, he worked to do something about it. What I didn't quite track with is how quickly he seemed to adjust to a completely different life after losing everything on a ship not very long ago; that was a bit much. Where was the grief? Where was the bitterness for a woman who didn't measure up to Wife #1??? We didn't see him struggle, and that felt off to me.
The romance really drew me in. I love stories about business marriages that blossom into more, and this one was no different. But there were pieces of the romance that felt more like you were on the outside of the story. It was natural to see them come together but when the hero finally fell for the heroine I didn't really feel like she merited it. She was still pretty bratty. Her resistance to him wasn't clear to me. I realize she didn't know him, but I wasn't sure if she fought her attraction due to resentment of the arrangement, or because he's Irish. We never know, so it actually made the coming together a little less sweet. The romance was still well crafted.
I loved the feministic elements thrown into the story, and didn't find the story preachy. The characters' faith just seemed part of their world, or rather, the grace pushing their journey forward. SPOILER: What I wasn't clear on is why the heroine simply decides to give up the racing because her husband demands it. He never explains it well enough and she fights that, and I got frustrated at yet another novel where a woman does the whole submission thing in a way that feels awkward. That is the one moment in the story that felt forced to me, especially because she then claims she and her husband made the decision together. Nope. He bossed her around and she finally agreed. Fine with me if she decides to agree, but not fine to make it look like he gets the right to be a jerk about it and pretend he's her dad. Ick.
There were some confusing elements to this story at the end but a race in the story actually made me cry. It was so sweet and powerful.
All in all, I enjoyed this book very much and had a hard time putting it down. I prefer stories to be more romance than history, and Tamera did really well, as always. I enjoyed it far more than Book 1 in this series, which just wasn't my cup of tea. This one is good, and I couldn't put it down.
There were some scenes of the couple making love which were a little steamer than I prefer. I choose to skim past those. I can see that these could be offensive to some readers. But these make up only a few pages and the rest of the book is well worth reading past those scenes.
To Win Her Favor was written post civil war era and presented a wonderful perspective of the reconstruction period in the south. Tamera Alexander shares the racism that existed back then regarding not only the blacks but also the Irish. Her characters were very believable as they were portrayed as flawed humans with a sin nature.
I read To Win her Favor because I had received a copy of “To Wager Her Heart” and I wanted to make sure I read the series in order. I first read To Whisper Her Name was equally fantastic. It would be very easy to read these books out of order and still enjoy every single page. But wow- I suggest reading the entire series starting with To Whisper her Name. The first book introduces the reader to several of the characters. I can’t wait to read the final in the series “To Wager Her Heart” and then “To Mend a Dream” which continues telling the story of one of the characters.