Alexander, Tamera. To Wager Her Heart. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2017. ISBN-13: 978-0310349686. $15.99 USD.
The final book in Tamera Alexander’s Belle Meade Plantation is as wonderful as many of her other books I’ve read, and with this being the final book in this series, I lament saying goodbye to lovely extended cast of characters, especially Uncle Bob and the rest of the employees at Belle Meade, although I expect, based on the introduction I got in Christmas at Carnton, that I will enjoy that series as it comes out just as much.
Once again, Alexander does not shy away from realistic depictions of social issues at the time, with this book focusing on the efforts of the real-life freedmen’s school Fisk University. With her Tennessee plantation series featuring heroines who are incredibly forward-thinking, I was pleased to meet Alexandra, who goes against her father’s wishes and gives up everything she has known to help with the university, and ultimately finds success.
She also depicts the tragedies surrounding train accidents, and I love how she puts real obstacles in the way of Alexandra being on common ground with Sylas, as she holds his father responsible for the train accident that caused her fiance’s death. But I also love how they didn’t spend the bulk of the book bickering. I did find the romance this time around a little less believable than in some of Alexander’s prior books, with the chemistry not being as evident as it was in some of the other books in the series. There also didn’t seem to be a build-up to her feelings for Sylas overtaking her feelings for her dead fiance, especially since she spent most of the book mourning him and modeling her life on some of the things he valued. However, since she and Sylas have fairly good camaraderie in a non-romantic sense, I don’t think it takes away too much from the overall story, especially given everything else the book deals with.