Showing posts with label Tamera Alexander. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tamera Alexander. Show all posts

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Review: To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander


Heidi Reads... To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

With fates bound by a shared tragedy, a reformed gambler from the Colorado Territory and a Southern Belle bent on breaking free from society's expectations must work together to achieve their dreams—provided that the truth doesn't tear them apart first.

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 fiancee—and what has broken her heart.

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.

Set against the real history of Nashville's Belle Meade Plantation and the original Fisk University Jubilee Singers ensemble, To Wager Her Heart is a stirring love story about seeking justice and restoring honor at a time in history when both were tenuous and hard-won.


My Review

This author's writing style is rich with history and a meandering pace that ensures that readers don't miss a thing. I haven't read many books set during Reconstruction so I appreciated the new perspective of the freedmen and those in the South seeking to help them. Much of the story revolves around the work and issues at Fisk University where Alexandra secures a job teaching men, women, and children. It is at the same time encouraging and daunting, with the endeavor receiving both support and opposition. There is an emphasis on the importance of education and the freedom that knowledge brings- for both Alexandra and her students. On the other end of the spectrum is the development of the railroad lines in the area and the politics and Southern etiquette that influences the business that Sy is pursuing. Although they have little in common, seemingly chance meetings give them the opportunity to help each other and an unlikely friendship develops between Alexandra and Sy. I loved how they interacted- Alexandra's propriety not able to mask her strength and spirit, while Sy is unable to keep from admiring her and bringing light and cheer to her life in small and big ways. The romantic moments they share are so heartfelt and wonderfully written. While the highs and lows of the plot didn't feel particularly compelling or pull strong emotions from me (like the previous book in the series, To Win Her Favor), I was glad that I read this book and would recommend it to fans of historical fiction.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Friday, April 21, 2017

Review: A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander


Heidi Reads... A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

Despite her training as a master violinist, Rebekah Carrington was denied entry into the Nashville Philharmonic by young conductor Nathaniel Whitcomb, who bowed to public opinion. Now, with a reluctant muse and a recurring pain in his head, he needs her help to finish his symphony. But how can he win back her trust when he's robbed her of her dream?

My Review

There's a unique quality to Tamera Alexander's storytelling that stays with me after I finish her books. The narrative is not fast-paced, but the descriptions steadily develop the setting and characters until I feel immersed. The world of music and composing in the 1800's was fascinating and I loved the historical details that brought the story to life. Rebekah and Nate have an interesting dynamic, although I didn't quite feel the chemistry between them. They are both strong personalities that don't back down, so they had to find a good working balance as they collaborated on Nate's symphony. The secondary cast was quite varied, from Rebekah's estranged family, to her extraordinarily wealthy employer, to Nate's warm and loving mountain family. There is a real sense of Rebekah's frustration as she seeks to fulfill her dreams only to be held back by society's restrictions against her gender. It makes me more appreciative of the freedoms we enjoy today because of the determination of women who worked for change.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Thursday, June 30, 2016

$1.99 E-books by Amazing Authors!!!

(Be sure to double check the sale price before ordering)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Review & Kindle Fire Giveaway: Among the Fair Magnolias by Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray, Dorothy Love, Elizabeth Musser


 Heidi Reads... Among the Fair Magnolias by Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray, Dorothy Love, Elizabeth Musser

My rating: 

http://www.amazon.comhttp://amzn.to/1HdgAODhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Four Southern women are at a turning point in history . . . and in their own hearts.

To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander
The Civil War cost Savannah Darby everything—her family and her home. When Aidan Bedford, an attorney from Boston, buys the Darby estate, he hires Savannah to redecorate. Can she find a mysterious treasure before her job is finished?

An Outlaw's Heart by Shelley Gray
When Russell Stark returns to Fort Worth, he’s determined to begin a new life. But when he arrives at his mother’s homestead, he discovers that she is very ill and the woman he loved is still as beautiful and sweet as he remembered. With time running out, Russell must come to terms with both his future and his past.

A Heart So True by Dorothy Love
Abigail knows all too well what is expected of her: to marry her distant cousin Charles and take her place in society. But her heart belongs to another. A terrible incident forces Abby to choose between love and duty.

Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser
Emily has a secret: She's in love with one of the freedmen on her family's plantation. Meanwhile, another man declares his love for her. Emily realizes some things are not as they seem and secrets must be kept in order to keep those she loves safe.


My Review

These four novellas are rich in history and details of Southern life. I felt like I learned several new things with each story. I was especially surprised to learn that during Reconstruction it was the Republican party that advocated for equal rights for black people and the Democrats were murdering, terrorizing, and seeking to prevent the blacks from exercising their freedoms and voting rights, as well as the Republicans that supported them. What a scary time in history. The bravery and courage of those men and women who acted on their beliefs during such violence and danger is inspiring.

Each story has a different setting- a Georgia plantation, a small-town Texas homestead, Nashville slums, and an island for wealthy vacationers. I have a personal preference for characters who experience hardship rather than reading about society's elite, since there is less entitlement and more refining of character. However, the men and women in all the stories seek to overcome hardships and pressures of society to find the path that God would have them follow.

(Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Thomas Nelson Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Four best-selling novelists bring tales of four Southern women who face near impossible choices on their journeys in life and in love during the most turbulent decade of our nation’s history in Among the Fair MagnoliasDon't miss this collection of stories from Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray, Dorothy Love, and Elizabeth Musser.

Join the authors in celebrating the release of Among the Fair Magnolias by entering to win their Southern Hearts Kindle Fire Giveaway and RSVPing to their August 13th author chat party!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6
  • One copy of Among the Fair Magnolias
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/13. The winner will be announced at the Among the Fair Magnolias Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Tamera, Dorothy, Shelley, and Elizabeth, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!

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RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 13th!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Tamera Alexander’s To Win Her Favor Blog Tour and Kindle Giveaway!



Can Maggie prove that her mare, Bourbon Belle, can take the top purse in the inaugural Peyton Stakes, the richest race ever run in America? Find out in Tamera Alexander's To Win Her Favor. To give her that chance—and to save Linden Downs from being sold to the highest bidder—Maggie must marry a man she's never met. A man she never would have chosen for herself.

Celebrate the release of To Win Her Favor with a Kindle Fire and book giveaway!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6
  • A copy of To Win Her Favor
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 10th. Winner will be announced May 11th on Tamera's blog. Plus stay tuned for more opportunities to win after May 11 with a special Pinterest contest—more details coming soon!

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Review: To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander


Heidi Reads... To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing!

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

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.


My Review

This book captivated me from the beginning. The setting is not one I would normally be interested in- post-Civil War South, however the author brings the characters and landscape to life in a way that I can't help but be fascinated. I definitely enjoyed the marriage of convenience theme, and this story is  now one of my favorites in that category. Maggie and Cullen are each caught between a rock and a hard place- Maggie because she will lose the family farm to auction, Cullen because nobody will deal with an Irishman. They are both desperate to pursue their dreams, and Maggie's father had enough foresight and faith to offer a solution that would secure the future of both his daughter and their land.

I didn't realize there was such bitter racism against the Irish in the South. It was eye-opening to learn about the attitudes and prejudices that were commonplace. Even Maggie struggled with overcoming her prejudice of Cullen's ancestry but as she grows to respect him for his character she is able to let go of the attitudes passed down by her mother and community. Cullen and Maggie's relationship is fraught with tension; they deal with secrecy and trust issues, feelings of unworthiness, financial difficulties, pressure from society, vandalism and violence from "wolves" (KKK members), and an undeniable attraction and growing love for each other.

I would recommend this book to adult readers since the marital relations between Maggie and Cullen are referred to several times (although tastefully done).

(Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and BookLook Bloggers for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Free e-book! The Inheritance by Tamera Alexander


The Inheritance by Tamera Alexander

Download The Inheritance by Tamera Alexander on e-book for free!
(The sale runs through March 1st, but be sure to check the price since e-book sales are for a limited time)

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

An unexpected inheritance. An unknown future. An unending love.

Determined to tame her younger brother's rebellious streak, McKenna Ashford accepts her cousin's invitation to move west, and to begin again. But she quickly discovers that life in Copper Creek, Colorado, is far from what she expected. Shouldering burdens beyond her years, McKenna tries to be the parent Robert needs, instead of the older sister he resents. But an "untimely inheritance" challenges her resolve at every turn, while also offering a second chance to restore her sense of trust--and perhaps even her heart.

U.S. Marshal Wyatt Caradon is dedicated to bringing fugitives to justice, yet years of living on the trail have taken their toll. When his path intersects with that of McKenna, he comes face-to-face with a past he never wanted to relive--and the one woman who can help him find the future he's been longing for.

As McKenna struggles to let go of her independence and Wyatt considers opening his heart again, they discover an inheritance beyond imagination. But it will come at a price.