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To Wager Her Heart ~ Review

To Wager Her Heart
A Belle Meade Plantation Novel #3
By Tamera Alexander

1871, Tennesse is not an easy place to live. The War between the States has left many with a bitterness in their hearts and a distrust of those without Southern roots. And it is to this world that Sylas Rutledge finds himself trying to build his railroad future. But Sylas has one big problem in getting investors - he's from Colorado. His other problem doesn't understand Southern society and the convoluted manners that go with securing business success.

Sylas needs help and he thinks Miss Alexandra Jamison may be the perfect person to teach him the manners he needs. But Alexandra has problems of her own - she has determined that she needs to make her own way and to make a difference. And her determination has led her to Fisk University - a school for freedmen. Alexandra's choice is one most frowned upon - no proper Southern lady of a good name would ever teach former slaves. But with her father determined to see her married to a man that she wants nothing to do with Alexandra sees little choice in the matter.

Can two more unlikely people forge a partnership that could change their world as they know it? With help from unexpected sources, they both may find what they have been seeking - love, honor and the truth.

I'll be honest this is the first book by Tamera Alexander that I have ever read, but the cover caught my attention and then description intrigued me.  The idea of a freedman's university in the South shortly after the Civil War was something I had never heard of and I wanted to learn more about this pertinent information that was somehow lacking in my history books.

Well, I was not disappointed in this book and the author's notes following the story explaining the historical aspects of the story were greatly appreciated.  Learning about Fisk University and the Jubilee Singers was such an added bonus, one that will touch the heart. 

Though it is the third book in the Belle Meade Plantation series I found this book easy to follow and was not at a loss from not reading the previous books in the series (though after reading this book I would like to read the first 2 books).  I highly recommend this book regardless of your previous experience with this author - it is well worth your time.

I was provided a review copy of this book by the publisher through the BookLook blogger program with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:
Can a railroad man and a Southern Belle turned teacher find a way to work together to achieve their dreams in the new reality of the post-Civil War South?

Sylas Rutledge, former gambler and new owner of the East Line Railway, invests everything he has into this venture, partly to see if he can do it—but mostly to avenge his father. One man holds the key to the railway’s success—General William Giles Harding of Nashville’s Belle Meade Plantation. But Harding is champagne and thoroughbreds, and Sylas Rutledge is beer and bullocks. Sy needs someone to help him maneuver in high society, and when he meets Alexandra Donelson, he quickly decides he’s found his tutor.

Spurning her family’s wishes that she marry, Alexandra Donelson is pursuing her passion for teaching at Fisk University, the first freedmen’s university in the United States. But her family does not approve, and ultimately, her father expels her from the family home and cuts her off completely.

Through her friendship with Mary Harding, Alexandra is thrown together with both General Harding and Sylas Rutledge. And she soon finds herself falling in love with a man whose roguish qualities and adventuresome spirit smack more of recklessness than responsibility.

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

Set at Nashville’s historic Belle Meade Plantation, To Wager Her Heart is a sweeping Southern love story about a nation mending after war, the struggle to move a country forward, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves for who they truly are—and can be—with each other.

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