To Win Her Favor, is set within the racing fraternity; Maggie Linden has one goal in mind: her thoroughbred mare, Bourbon Belle, must become champion of the Drayton Stakes. Cullen McGrath, an Irish man, however, wants nothing to do with racing but must be involved in the sport to win the heart of Maggie. He is fulfilling the agreement he has with his future father-in-law, to marry the daughter and to take on the farm.
Already in the first few chapters, there is conflict, drive, determination, intrigue and a fair amount of feistiness. That magnetism between the two main characters of both hate and passion at the same time, remind me a little of the structure of the Mills and Boon's library. In those books this was tedious and it soon became predictable and samey. As Ms Alexander is a new author to me, I don't know if this is the usual pattern of her novels, but, even if it does, it works well here.
The first word that popped into my head whilst reading To Win Her Favor, was 'Master.' Words such as this do not come very often to me, especially in relation to a book or story but, for this novel, it is fitting. Master, is a word I use to a describe Tamera Alexander's book, with regards to the style, the competency as a writer and the skill used to write dialogue and description. It far surpasses many of the books I have read over the years.
The novel is a Christian one and, as such, has attracted some negative reviews with reference to the sex scenes. However, there are varying degrees of levels within faith as with anything in life and so these particular scenes may be considered offensive to some but not others. This differing of opinion should not take away what the novel undoubtedly has: class
The sex scenes are within the confines of a marriage between two loving adults, and, because of that, should not be seen as gratuitous, or unnecessary. Are the sex scenes the main focus? No, they are not. Would the novel be fine for a young adult to read? Yes, absolutely. Did I enjoy this novel? Almost certainly! What is there not to love?
To Win Her Favor is marketed as a historical Christian romance, and that is exactly what it is.