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 that the truth doesn’t tear them apart first.
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 fiancee—and what has broken her heart.
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 stirring love story about seeking justice and restoring honor at a time in history when both were tenuous and hard-won.
To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander is a brilliant historical romance. Full of emotions. Both protagonists find themselves in a world of hurt that binds them together. Each one seeking something with the help of the other. Tamera Alexander brought me back into the era of railroads and their danger. High clout families, politics, and the risks of falling in love. The stakes are high and the scenes are engaging. Themes of loss, honor, and hope are found here. I was intrigued with both the southern belle determined to make her own way and the troubled man taking on a huge task. Heartfelt, entertaining, and well-developed. Alexandra Jamison is a strong female character. She worked hard and it paid off…the feeling of accomplishment back then in her time period was the best part of the book. To Wager Her Heart has won my heart over many times. I highly recommend it to readers worldwide.