Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko
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.
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.
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.
As I read the description above, (since I didn’t write it), I found myself wondering at how much it leaves out. This has to be one of my favorite books by this author. I have not been so deeply moved by a novel in quite some time. While this description makes it sound romance centric, it really is not.
Instead, you will find yourself experiencing more of what the Fisk University students experienced, I was riding the train when there was an accident, or so I felt when I finished this novel. I experienced the historical events as they happened, and found myself close to tears several times.
I had heard of Fisk University and the Jubilee Singers on Adventures in Odyssey, but otherwise, have not read much about them. Phillip Bliss is a well known name to me and others that come up in this novel.
This story is not just about two broken people that found healing, it is a story that can help you understand what many faced in that time period, but also find healing yourself through their story.
I obtained this book from BookLookBloggers. The opinions contained herein are my own.
This book is available for purchase through Amazon and other book retailers. I highly recommend you set money aside to purchase it straight away!
“To Wager Her Heart”
You will not be sorry you did, even if you have not read the previous books in the series.