When the name Tamera Alexander is on a Christian Historical novel, it is usually one to pay attention to! “To Wager Her Heart” was published by Zondervan in the summer of 2017, and is the third and final installment in the “Belle Meade Plantation” saga. While I have not read the second book in the series, this one still made perfect sense and was not confusing in the least – clearly it would work well as a stand-alone novel.
Set in 1871 Tennessee, “To Wager Her Heart” delves into numerous issues of the day; primarily the education, social struggles, and segregation of freedmen. Alexandra Jamison is a young lady whose heart is torn between the privileged life she’s always known and the life of a teacher she feels God calling her towards. Sylas Rutledge, a railroad man from Colorado, arrives in Nashville with two goals: gain investors for a new venture, and clear his beloved father’s name of a horrific tragedy. When Alexandra and Sy find themselves joining forces towards achieving their dreams, God’s beautiful plan for each of them slowly begins to unfold.
While I enjoyed the heartfelt and thought-provoking story of “To Wager Her Heart”, I did not feel that it was Tamera’s best work. Although difficult to pinpoint the exact reasons why this story fell short, I believe several contributing factors include: numerous stories-within-the-story that were not all resolved by the end; lack of character depth and development; a speedy and convenient conclusion; and an overall much shorter novel than I’ve come to expect from Tamera (yes, the page-count is still high, but the font size is very large!). In conclusion, while this story was pleasant to read it simply did not sparkle or hold the almost-magical quality of writing and description that many of Tamera’s other books do. I’m hoping that she regains her beautiful writing voice in her next series, which already has a novella set to release in time for Christmas 2017.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.