04 June 2015

To Win Her Favor, Tamera Alexander's New Novel - Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels

To Win Her Favor
To Win Her Favor
Zondervan (May, 2015)

5 Stars *****

Once again, Tamera Alexander delivers an exceptionally good book. Although this story, which I received from NetGalley, begins slowly and with a heroine, Maggie, who is less than sympathetic, we quickly meet the wonderful Irish hero, Cullen. Tamara notes in the back of the book that her inspiration for the story was to address prejudice. The racial prejudice in the deep South is well known, particularly post-Civil War, during Reconstruction. But the  rejection of the Irish is less well known and although I have Irish ancestors, I've not read the the types of hateful epithets thrown at them. And I was surprised by the use of the "n" word in a CBA book. Wondering if that will be kept in the actual published book.

To Win Her Favor is set near Belle Meade plantation near Nashville, which the series revolves around and features the horse racing industry. Love the storyline and how the heroine, at the outset an immature 20-year-old, evolves into a more caring person. Lots of faith elements. One of the best heroes I've "met" in a while.
Belle Meade Carriage House

Make room in your schedule to finish this book. Even though you'll want to take your time to savor every one of Tamera's words, you'll end up having to finish the compelling story. One of my favorite characters was Gilbert, Maggie's father--he was an amazing and godly man--just loved him!

I read this before it went to print. Available in audiobook version, too, but I couldn't wait to read this book because this is one of my favorite authors. But I've now broken down and ordered To Win Her Favor from www.Audible.com and hope to listen to it while doing housework.

Bibliotherapy: Prejudice as mentioned - particularly against the Irish--this really interested me because one of my ancestors immigrated from Ireland into the south during this time frame and I have to wonder the prejudices he encountered.  Starting over. Spoiler alert - death of a parent and coping with loss.

Here's some lovely Irish music to enjoy!


Disclosure: I received my copy from NetGalley but am under no compulsion to post a positive review.

GIVEAWAY: We're giving away two copies of To Win Her Favor this week! Winner's choice of format. (International winners also unless prohibited by law, book is  available on Book Depository.)

44 comments:

  1. What a wonderful review, CARRIE! Love all the extra pics and music! Thank you!

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    1. TY, Diana! Kathleen's review of my books motivated me to add some stuff to my reviews!

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    2. :D ~ would like to be included in the drawing for this story. Unaware of a prejudice beyond their only acceptance as lowly working class. As you can tell by their music, it didn't hold them back. YaY for Ireland lads and lassies. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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  2. Carrie, I loved your review! I could actually picture/feel the racisim that existed. I've read other books that dealt with this, .I cannot wait to see how these characters progress through this story with all they had to deal with it. Love the pictures of the Carriage House!

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    1. TY Gracie! This is a super novel!!! Racism against the Irish I've heard of but boy, she makes it sound vicious, which I'm guessing it was.

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  3. Great review! This book is in my TBR pile. I too have Irish ancestors and so this peaks my curiosity.

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    1. It really made me wonder if my Christy Irish great-great-grandfather faced that!

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  4. Wonderful review & loved the pictures! I didn't realize how large a carriage house is! I guess I pictured horse stalls and not much more, lol!! I've seen such rave reviews & read short excerpts of Tamara's book "To Win Her Favor" , that this is one that is a MUST for my to-read list....which seems to grow daily, lol!! Ah, and that music....makes me want to get up a do an Irish jig (if only I knew how!)...so delightful! I love the sound of Irish music...so uplifting and liltingly haunting! I don't know what it is about it, but it just touches me in some way :-)
    Thanks for a chance to win a copy of Tamara's book and for the wonderful post today!
    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Oh yes, Trixi, the stables at Shirley Plantation in VA are BRICK and huge esp. for colonial times! You HAVE to read this book!!! I love Irish music, too! TY!

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  5. Thank you for the review! I've been away from hearing about new books and excited to read reviews again! Love Tamera's writing.

    missionwife AT hotmail DOT com

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  6. Thanks for the wonderful review, Carrie. I thoroughly enjoy Tamera's books and I agree, you really want to savor each word! Wonderful giveaway - I would love to win.
    bettimace at gmail dot com

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    1. Exactly!!! It's like you cannot rush it because you'll have to wait for the next one!!! Thanks for your kind words! Hugs, Betti!

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  7. Some very interesting points made in your review thank you.

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    1. TY Mary, which ones particularly interested you?

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  8. Wonderful review! I really hope to get a chance to read this soon! And beautiful music! I adore Irish music. :)

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  9. I enjoyed your review, Carrie. Of course, since I love reading about the south during the Civil War era, I'm bound to really enjoy this book.

    Cindi Altman

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    1. This is after CW over, Cindi, during Reconstruction and so yes, you should love it! TY!

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  10. Thanks for your beautiful review, Carrie - loved the pictures and music, too!! Can't wait to read "To Win Her Favor"- love the era, story line, and the opportunity to learn more about the prejudice involved.

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    1. TY sweet Bonnie! I think you'd love this book! We need to get that in your hands.

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  11. Loved reading your take on this amazing story, Carrie! The hero and heroine had such rich character development, particularly the heroine... That and the faith elements made for a very inspiring story as well as an entertaining one. Thanks for the Irish music experience btw, that was great!

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    1. TY, Noela, I wouldn't dare compare my review to yours after Tamera's post on Monday but, aw shucks, yes I will, let me say I bow to the Review Queen--loved your review!!!

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  12. Thanks for the great review Carrie! I love the music video too... makes me want to go look up my favorite local irish band 'Emerald Road'.

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    1. Neato, I will have to see if they are on YouTube, Patty!!!

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  13. Love to win Tamera's book! Shelia Hall sheliarha64@yahoo.com

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  14. Wow, what is not to love about this book! You have God who is always #1, beautiful settings,history, and romance. I would love to win this book to read and review. Thank you for the chance. Pennymarks@frontier.com

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    1. Exactly, Penny Marks! Glad to enter you! Blessings!

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  15. I can't wait to read this book--thanks for the lovely review and for the giveaway! Danandlyndaedwards(at)msn(dot)com.

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  16. I can't wait to read this book--thanks for the lovely review and for the giveaway! Danandlyndaedwards(at)msn(dot)com.

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  17. Look forward to this book. Great review.
    Thereadmaster(at)me(dot)com

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  18. I really love her books and it sounds so good! I liked reading the review, also. Good job! sonja dot nishimoto at gmail dot com

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  19. Carrie I enjoyed your wonderful review. The horse racing industry is so fascinating. I can't wait to read Tamera's book. :)

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    1. TY! Isn't that COOL about American Pharaoh winning the Triple Crown?!!!

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  20. I can't wait to read this!!!!!

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  21. It's so AWESOME that American Pharaoh won the Triple Crown!

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  22. Thanks Carrie for this good review. Tamera's books have pretty covers, as well as stories. a song I love is My Wild Irish Rose. hugs to all of you OWG girls. Maxie >mac262(at)me(dot)com















    Not sure what happened, but my comment disappeared just before submitting it. Had a busy weekend with our family reunion and my brother's 90th birthday. BIG crowd. Relatives I never get to see. Even got to meet the son of my dad's brother who I never really knew. and Preston and I had only by FB and email. It was so great. Would love to win Tamera's book. Thanks. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com

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  23. Great review, Can't wait to read this book!

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