Sunday, July 23, 2017

To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander

Sylas Rutledge, the new owner of the Northeast Line Railroad, invests everything he has into this venture, partly for the sake of the challenge. But mostly to clear his father's name. One man holds the key to Sy's success--General William Giles Harding of Nashville's Belle Meade Plantation. But Harding is champagne and thoroughbreds, and Sy Rutledge is beer and bullocks. 
Sy needs someone to help him maneuver his way through Nashville's society, and when he meets Alexandra Jamison, he quickly decides he's found his tutor. Only, he soon discovers that the very train accident his father is blamed for causing is what killed Alexandra Jamison's fiancé--and has shattered her world. 
Struggling to restore honor . . . 
Spurning an arranged marriage by her father, Alexandra instead pursues her passion for teaching at Fisk University, the first freedmen's university in the United States. But family--and Nashville society--do not approve, and she soon finds herself cast out from both.
Through connections with the Harding family, Alexandra and Sy become unlikely allies. And despite her first impressions, Alexandra gradually finds herself coming to respect, and even care for this man. But how can she, when her heart is still spoken for? And when Sy's roguish qualities and adventuresome spirit smack more of recklessness than responsibility and honor? 
Sylas Rutledge will risk everything to win over the woman he loves. What he doesn't count on is having to wager her heart to do it. 
What an interesting book.  The struggles of Sy and Alexandra are told in a very good way.  Alexandra is trying to overcome the death of her fiance while trying to escape her father's iron hand.  He wants her to marry a man old enough to be her father.  He gives her an ultimatum that is life altering.  Sylas wants nothing more than to clear the name of the man who is blamed for the disastrous train wreck that killed so many people.  Including Alexandra's fiance.

This book also highlights the struggle of the freedmen following the Civil War.  The slaves had been freed but there was still a lot of oppression.

I highly recommend this book.

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