I scored an advance copy of Tamera Alexander’s new release coming in May. Make a note or pre-order it now.
I’ve reviewed Tamera’s books before and she’s one of a few historical writers whose books I automatically move to the top of Mt. TBR. I’ve loved them all.
TO WIN HER FAVOR is set in post-Civil War Nashville. Margaret Linden and her father are about to lose their family farm and home to auction. An Irishman offers to buy the farm. Irish are not welcomed in Nashville and Maggie is horrified to learn that not only is her father going to sell to Cullen McGrath, but her father wants her to marry Cullen to be sure she has a home and someone to take care of her when he dies.
Maggie has raised a thoroughbred mare and hopes to race her. Bourbon Belle is fast. Cullen knows the world of European racing and has no intentions of getting involved in the sport ever again.
As Maggie and Cullen’s relationship grows, each finds it difficult to keep a secret from the other. I enjoyed watching their love and relationship evolve through the course of the book, though not without some true-to-life hiccups.
Maggie learns some hard lessons about herself and her attitudes toward others. Cullen suffered devastating losses before coming to Nashville and learns he can be happy again.
As I said above, pre-order this one now! You won’t be sorry.
Playing by Heart is the newest release from Anne Mateer.
I’ve loved her first three books and this one does not disappoint.
Lula Bowman is on her path to become the first woman Ph.D in Oklahoma when a tragedy forces her to return home and her reputation as flighty Fruity Lu.
Chet Vaughn is a math teacher and boys basketball coach at the Dunn, Oklahoma high school. Chet lost the luck of the draft draw so his brother is off fighting in the trenches in World War I and Chet is home taking care of their mother.
Lula applies for a job teaching mathematics in Dunn but she is offered the position of music teacher and girls basketball coach. She accepts but is already looking forward to her return to the university.
Chet and Lula are drawn to each other, but the school has a strict policy regarding female teachers and men. Not to mention that Lula is planning on leaving Dunn at the end of the school year while Chet is stuck.
Mateer’s created a compelling story with fully realized characters who live and breathe. Chet and Lula’s attraction is real as are the reasons keeping them apart. This is a romance in the best sense of the word. The hero and heroine are likable and their obstacles rise naturally from their characters’ natures and circumstances. Nothing felt contrived, which is the kiss of death for me.