To Wager Her Heart, by Tamera Alexander, opens in Nashville in 1871. Alexandra Jamison and her family are members of Nashville society. Sylas Rutledge hails from Colorado Territory. He has traveled to Nashville for two reasons. One is to clear his father’s name and the other is to further his business interests. He is unfamiliar with the ways of southern society and after a chance meeting with Alexandra, he approaches her for help. It becomes clear early on that they both share the aftereffects of a tragedy. Alexandra agrees to tutor Sylas as her family has cast her out and she needs the money. The reason for her father’s anger with her is that she has accepted a teaching position at Frisk University which is a freedmen’s university. This is not what he wanted and demanded for his daughter. Neither Sylas or Alexandra was looking for a romantic relationship. Despite all the challenges and adjustments they encounter, a bond begins to form. Where will it lead?
The characters are well developed and have been given distinctive voices. Alexandra is an intriguing character as she goes from being a young woman of privilege to one who makes sacrifices in order to find her purpose. Sylas, too, has strong positive attributes. When confronted with dilemmas, he acts with honor. Even though a tragedy has cast a shadow, this remains a story of hope and faith. The book is emotionally stirring and takes readers back to a time in history that dealt with difficult social issues and a changing society. I found this to be a wonderfuly readable novel. Highly recommended.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.