Book Review: To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander

Posted September 21, 2017 by meezcarrie in Christian, historical, romance, Tamera Alexander / 25 Comments

about the book

From #1 CBA Bestselling Author Tamera Alexander

Impeccable historical research woven with heart-gripping fiction!
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 the truth doesn’t tear them apart first.
Seeking justice . . . 
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.
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 powerful love story about seeking justice and restoring honor at a time in American history when both were tenuous and hard-won. It’s Tamera Alexander – impeccable historical research and heart-gripping fiction – at her best! 

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SERIES: Belle Meade Plantation #3
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Fiction
PUBLISHER: Zondervan
RELEASE DATE: August 8, 2017
PAGES: 384

Other Books In This Series


Tamera Alexander has been one of my go-to authors since I rediscovered my first love of reading. Everything she writes is beautiful, heartfelt, and sincere. Her books are the kind you must keep reading until you’ve savored every last word. To Wager Her Heart is no exception. (While this is the 3rd book in the Belle Meade series, each book can be read as a standalone.)

Alexandra is my kind of heroine – stronger & smarter & braver than she realizes, yet still decidedly feminine. And Sy is book boyfriend material for sure with his black duster, the gun at his hip, the dog by his side, and the tender smile on his face. Not to mention those kisses. Whew! I love the nod back to Alexander’s Colorado Territory books, too, in Sy’s own roots.

But even more than the romance, I love Sy’s spiritual and emotional journey over the course of the novel, as well as the rich history that the author weaves seamlessly into the fabric of the story. The Fisk University students and specifically the singers are inspiring and humbling – their courageous spirit challenging me in my own journey. The scene with the chains… y’all. I was undone. The persecution they endured on a regular basis, not to mention as they set out to gain support for their school, and their drive to learn what had previously been forbidden to them (like how to read) is something I will carry with me for a long time. Additionally, the reminder that life isn’t always tied up with a neat bow gives this novel greater dimension and grounds it even further in reality.

Bottom Line: To Wager Her Heart reminds me yet again why I love Tamera Alexander’s novels. She gets to the heart of the history while maintaining the heart of the gospel. Her characters are vivid, sincere, and diverse without straying into stereotypes or losing dimension. The historical themes are compellingly timely for our current world, and the emphasis on doing the right thing no matter the cost is timeless. Go ahead and plan not to get anything else done while you’re reading To Wager Her Heart, because you won’t be able to tear yourself away once you’ve begun.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / Exquisite and heartfelt

KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion

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about the author

Tamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers in the historical fiction genre. She and her husband live in Nashville, Tennessee, not far from the Southern mansions that serve as the backdrop for six of her award-winning novels.

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 What about you? Have you read Tammy’s books before? Which one(s) is your favorite?

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25 responses to “Book Review: To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander

  1. Rachael Merritt

    I thoroughly enjoyed this read. Her historical research in this one was amazing, and my favorite part of this terrific read.

    I think my favorite book is A Beauty So Rare…maybe because it’s how I discovered her. I’ve read seven of her novels. I have two other series in my TBR books.

    I love her writing, and she is a must read author for me. A Note Yet Unsung is a very close second. A thoroughly enjoyable read with terrific characters!!

    Lovely review! ?

  2. Winnie Thomas

    Ummmmm, Carrie, you can send me one of your copies of A Note Unsung if you want. 😀 I really hate to admit this, but *whispering* I don’t think I’ve ever read any of Tamera’s books. Yes, I know it’s shocking. I have some on my TBR list, but I’m woefully behind. I must get to them soon.

  3. Haley Resseguie

    Carrie, I completely agree with your review on this one. I loved it! Tamera Alexander does a wonderful job of taking you back in time and showing you the real history of the time period. I also loved that she didn’t give closure to every situation. I have to admit that I usually want everything tied up with a neat little bow and I kept waiting for it to happen in To Wager Her Heart. However it made the story so much richer and more authentic when the characters had to come to grips with certain situations not being resolved. I often think that I can’t love a new book more than the last, but Tammy always surprises me!

  4. Paula S.

    I love everything that Tamera has written! My favs have got to be the Belmont and the Belle Meade books. She does research her books soooooo well. It’s like you are there! I have yet to read A Note Unsung or To Wager Her Heart , although both are just sitting there waiting for me to puck them up!!!! So many books …. so little time! Who votes for that extra day in the week to just READ!!!

  5. Andrea Stephens

    I love your review, Carrie. I’m so glad the Kindle version of this book went on sale…I have all three in the series now!
    I don’t know if I have a favorite book of Tamera’s, the first book of hers that I read was “From a Distance”. I now have 14 of her books on my Kindle and a few in print. I haven’t read them all yet, but I have them! 🙂

  6. Lovely review, Carrie! I’m not sure which of Tamera’s books would be my favourite. I think ‘To Win Her Favor’ was my favourite of this series, but I still have quite a soft spot for Veronique and Jack from ‘Remembered’ ❤️

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