To Wager Her Heart

To Wager Her Heart
Tamera Alexander
Zondervan, 2017

Alexandra Jamison has a choice – marry the much older man her father has ordained for her or pursue her dream of teaching. Alexandra chooses teaching, despite the fact that her father has made it plain that she will leave his home with nothing but the clothes on her back if she does. And so she steps out of a world of wealth and privilege in the upper echelons of Nashville society and strives to make a place for herself in a brand new situation as a teacher at the freedmen’s school, Fisk University. Now her only connection to the life she once knew is her old friend Mary Harding.
Sylas Rutledge has come from Colorado to Nashville to bid on a railroad project commissioned by General William Giles Harding, a powerful and respected man, and the owner of Belle Meade Plantation. Best known for its world class thoroughbreds, Belle Meade is recognized for its opulence, and General Harding intends for the railroad running across his grounds to be held to the same standard. The problem is that Sy finds himself at a loss when it comes to Southern etiquette and business rules. His only hope for landing this contract is to find someone to help him fill in the gaps.
At first Alexandra isn’t sure about the propriety of Sylas’s business proposition and her personal objection against the man himself. But finding herself woefully short on funds she agrees to tutor him in the ways of Southern society, despite the fact that Sy’s father was the engineer of the train that crashed and killed her fiancé. Sylas was already on a quest to find the truth and clear his father’s good name, but now his determination is doubled. Removing that barrier between them is the only way he will ever be able to get closer to Alexandra, something he wants more with every moment they spend together.
This post contains affiliate links. Read more about that here. Thanks to TLC Book Tours for providing a copy of To Wager Her Heart for me to review and including me in the book tour.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned before that I am a fan of Tamera Alexander – but if you didn’t know it before you do now. I have read ALL of her books and loved them, including the two books that precede To Wager Her Heart in the Belle Meade Plantation series, so I jumped at the chance to receive an early copy of this book to review. And it certainly did not disappoint.

I flew through it, coming back again and again to see what would happen to Alexandra as she was thrust into a completely new world that she wasn’t prepared for, and to see if Sylas would be able to win her heart (after he admitted to himself that he wanted to). She is so kind hearted and generous, but at the same time has difficulty accepting Sylas’s kindness and generosity towards her, because when she sees him all she can think about is her fiancé’s death. But overtime she grows to admire him for his intelligence, determination, and integrity.

Sylas didn’t come South looking for a wife, but he realizes more quickly than Alexandra that they have something between them. That leaves him with three ambitious goals: win the railroad contract, clear is father’s name, and win her heart. Ultimately he has to learn to prioritize those goals, something he comes to realize as his new friends begin to challenge him in his faith.

The thing I probably love the most about Tamera Alexander (aside from her entertaining and compelling writing style) is how seamlessly she weaves history into her stories. Everything feels so real and natural, and I never fail to learn something without ever once feeling like I’m wading through an information dump. And as a native Tennessean I can especially appreciate that characteristic in this series and her Belmont Mansion series.

And if you are reading all the way to the end of this post your reward is that I saved the best for last. At the end of the book you will find a recipe for Chocolate Chess Pie, a dish that is mentioned several times in the book. And since I blog about books and food, I couldn’t resist trying it out. I’m happy to report that it is both easy and delicious – yet another reason to love this book!

Two thumbs up for To Wager Her Heart as a standalone third installment to the Belle Meade Plantation series. I think it’s probably my favorite of the three! To read more about  this book check out the book tour bloggers schedule and much, much more on the TLC Book Tours page.

Historical fiction like To Wager Her Heart is my favorite genre. What’s yours?


  1. I used to read books like this all of the time and MAN do I miss it! It definitely sounds like one of those books that you find yourself getting lost in. When I found a great story I would tell myself that the chapter I was reading would be my last for the day, but I always wound up reading more.

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