Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko
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.
About the Author
Tamera Alexander is the best-selling author of numerous books including A Lasting Impression and The Inheritance. Her richly-drawn characters and thought-provoking plots have earned her devoted readers worldwide. Tamera is a two-time Christy Award winner, two-time RITA winner, and a recipient of the prestigious Library Journal Award. Tamera and her husband recently returned to her Southern roots and now make their home in Nashville. Visit her website at Facebook: tamera.alexander Twitter: @tameraalexander
A marriage of convenience story. Who isn’t a sucker for those? Most of us would hate to be in that position in real life, yet we love to see a well done story with this story line. This was one of the well done ones. I loved how in keeping with the historical time period, a marriage of convenience would fit and be realistic. It would not have been easy. Margaret was more well off, but about to lose everything. Her father saw a way to possibly preserve her way of life, as well as helping out someone else.
There was a lot of talk on the web, in readers groups etc. about the marriage part of this book. It was described by more than one person as “steamy”. Some were even considering not reading it. I will hopefully put those fears to rest.
If you have read and enjoyed her other books, you will likely enjoy this one. It was no steamier or edgy than any of her other books in my opinion. There was a short scene in the middle of the book, about a page long that for the sensitive possibly be a bit much, but it still was not what I would call explicit or even glimpsing too much into the marriage bed. It did build an important scene. At the end, there is another brief sentence or two that could be construed as something more. It is for sure not a steamy or book that goes too far, in my opinion. It was not provoking of sensual thoughts even as the focus of the book is on something else. However, if you are looking for it, you might be able to find more in it than was meant. For me, since our conversation here, I was looking carefully and that was what I came up with. It is about a married couple. It addresses abuse of slaves at the time period as well as abuse of the Irish.
There is minimal violence in it as well, but even that is handled with grace.
I would personally say, if you enjoyed her others, you likely will enjoy this one. Out of the 368 pages, the possible part that might be offensive would be one page and maybe one or two other sentences. But it was not steamy or more than a very important scene that was needed to show the progression of their married relationship.
I received this book for review from BookLookBloggers. The opinions contained herein are my own.